First, the trusty steed, approaching 15 years old and still going strong. Still as heavy as a Buick. Still 4130 straight guage steel. Still mistaken for a girls bike. Sometimes.
Trail markers...Red for naughty, including the freeride park. We did a bit of the trails out in the Vortex freeride area, but not too much. I'm fat and old and shameful, so elevated bridges and ramps frighten me. The technical trails were a treat however. I should find my Hammer Guards and get busy. Yeah, old guys have Hammer Gards too.
Blue, for the medium intensity stuff, good tight twisties with some solid obstacles to traverse... The pic is at the end of the trail, obviously where the sign was, and obviously NOT where the twisties or the obstacles were. Looks like a bloody sidewalk! (or as bike activists prefer, a 12' multi-use path'.)
And finally, the yellow, advertised as easy, but in reality, these are the great, sweeping, twisty, speedy trails that I remember Santos (or back in the day, 'Barge Canal') as having.
Note the green directional arrow on this yellow marker. It advertises the "Epic Ride" route.
Now, back in the day, Santos was about a quarter of its current size, and back then there wasn't anything even remotely considerable as 'epic'. Today though, you can ride for hours and not do the same trails, and actually feel like you are traveling a legitimate distance and not just spinning in circles, as is the case with many Florida parks. From the OMBA website..."The Office of Greenways and Trails recently received the IMBA designation of "Epic Ride" for its Cross Florida Greenway Santos Trail System. One of only three sites designated in 2006, the Santos trails join an elite list of only 40 rides named as "Epic" by IMBA since 1999. This is a 42 mile ride if you choose to do the whole thing." Very nice.
And of course...we are in Florida, so the parking lot was stuffed with a good many folks just posing on their Dubs and gabbing. Word, Dog.(!) We passed maybe 5 different people on the trails, not counting the 4 rubber kids on the dirt jump bikes in Vortex, and yet the parking lot was full, some 50 plus cars. Most folks seemed happy to just hang around the marking lot and ask each other for help with their shock pumps and crap like that.