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Author Topic: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............  (Read 20472 times)

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Offline scubastud

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I rode/walked Gatorback today for the second time. My question is this.........is there anyone out there that can successfully conquer that entire trail without unclipping/stepping off the pedals. Granted I'm really new at this sport and my legs still resemble chickens, but I honestly can't see how people make those climbs.......holy cow !!! Impressive if you're one of the elite few.

So if you're one of the lucky ones, is it more a function of..........

The bike you own?
Pure stamina and leg strength?
Technique?
Luck?

Or probably some combination of all the above.........

Please share your stories........I got so discouraged after today that I figured I'm better off sticking with North Creek, Bridges, Rollercoaster, and Rock Garden.
"Life is short so break the rules and never regret anything that made you smile..."

Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 08:30:32 PM »
I've cleaned the whole trail a few times. I don't count ones where I goofed up and went back and made the spot I goofed on though. It is definetly one of the harder trails around IMO, puts me out of my comfort zone in a few spots.
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Offline BillT

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2007, 08:45:23 PM »
I've cleaned the entire trail, but it has been a long time since I have done it.  The part that used to give me problems was a section I used to call the 'Root Wall' but that has been modified so it doesn't give me any issues.  Right now, my issues are with getting my bike on the bridge at the top of the one climb.  I can get my front wheel there, but then I'm out of strength to get the bike the rest of the way on the bridge.
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Offline scubastud

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2007, 09:42:06 PM »
Okay, I'm officially IMPRESSED BEYOND WORDS.

You both are impressive riders that probably have quite some miles under your belt. I just can't seem to look those seemingly insurmountable climbs in the face and conquer them. Now that I know they are doable, I have some new goals !!!
"Life is short so break the rules and never regret anything that made you smile..."

Offline EllsRider

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2007, 10:28:06 PM »
It's definitely an advanced trail, or at least it was. I haven't been on it for some time now. For meeee, I never made that root wall but have cleaned the rest. I can only do the bridge at the top of the hill switchback when I'm feeling strong. It all comes down to strength and conditioning. The stronger you are (ride strength that is, not your odor or how much weight you can lift) the easier things become. There are guys who rip through that trail on rigid single speeds as fast as I can ride out at Boyette.  Cannot name names, but  they do exist. Or so the legend goes.  ;D
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline BillT

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2007, 06:29:33 AM »
The only times I ever made the root wall, I just charged into it with as much speed as possible (no brakes on the downhill before it) and just used momentum and a bit of luck to get up it - it was not graceful at all.
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Online chisel

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2007, 06:47:20 AM »
I usually clean the whole trail. If any section in there does put up a fuss it would be the root wall! Over all I dont really like Gator back, it just has no flow at all. I think all of the elevation change out there could be put to much better use!  :(

Offline slowfatguy

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2007, 07:47:13 AM »
That is funny, that root wall gives me no problems. For me it was always that dang bridge around the tree. Not so much the bridge, but getting up to it comfortably, I'd always dork up on the humps just before it and have no momentum left. Oddly enough the first time I cleaned the trail was on my hardtail. ???
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Offline BillT

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2007, 08:46:05 AM »
The old bridge (pre-erosion when it was level with the ground more or less) didn't give me problems, but the new bridge does.  Admittedly, I'm in worse shape now then back then, but I'm totally out of steam by the time I make the climb, turn the corner and get to the bridge that I consider it an accomplishment just to get my front tire on the thing.

The only thing I have never made at Alafia is the climb up to the high-line on Moonscape - I've come close a couple of times, but never fully made it.
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Offline treadlight

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2007, 09:50:37 AM »
It is not easy.
I have not made the whole trail in one try but I always go back and try different lines, gear combination, etc. and usually makes it after so many tries and bruises.
I usually clean the whole trail. If any section in there does put up a fuss it would be the root wall! Over all I dont really like Gator back, it just has no flow at all. I think all of the elevation change out there could be put to much better use!  :(
I agree with you man. I had the goal to clean the whole thing but it seems to me that there is just no flow to the whole thing. I rather ride moonscape.

Offline steve

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2007, 09:52:46 PM »
That is funny, that root wall gives me no problems. For me it was always that dang bridge around the tree. Not so much the bridge, but getting up to it comfortably, I'd always dork up on the humps just before it and have no momentum left. Oddly enough the first time I cleaned the trail was on my hardtail. ???
Youre a dork anyway

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2007, 10:32:30 PM »
What is the fate of the OL Gator ? I heard that AJ's had taken over responsibility for future maintanance. I also understand it is currently being dumbed down a little to allow us mere mortals to enjoy ;D Any truth to these urban legends?

Offline EllsRider

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2007, 06:46:09 AM »
Some people out of St Pete were supposed to take it over. Haven't heard anything lately. Art said he is open to re-working the trail. AJ's has not been involved with  this since last year to the best of my knowledge. They are going to be working on the pump track at the Boyete BMX facilty with Crazy Mark.  If the St. Pete group  don't step up me and Chiselchest will step up and  re-work this failed trail system. I gots me some idears. Being an XC rider myself, my plans would be more favorable to my riding style. Thats the way uh huh uh huh  I like it.To those who are willing to put out the effort, go the decisions on how things will be. (under the supervision and approval of the Swamp heirarchy of course).
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline Ken

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2007, 08:30:22 AM »
I've never cleaned the whole thing, but I'm doing alot better than when I first started riding it. Sometimes I make the bridge and sometimes I don't. As far as the root wall,I think you're talking about where it drops by the little creek and straight back up, used to be a pallet there I think, it still troubles me. I don't think I carry enough speed to get a good start on it. My technical; climbing skills leave alittle to be desired. I watched A guy from one of the bike shops over your way, can't remember his name or which shop, he was at the FTF two years ago, make that climb on Moonscape. A few of us were stopped and talking where the climb ends right before the split to go up the ridge or carry on down the trail beside the water. He started from there and made a slow climb right up it. He might have been going 3-4 MPH, if that. I was amazed at how he cleared it! Every root that he came to with a little pull on the bars he got over it and kept climbing. I know he powered through it but I have to use alittle speed to climb such places, but at that spot you have little speed because of the climb and the turn to make it up the ridge. I also usually make the wrong gear selection. I asked that rider what ring he was in, thinking that he was using the small ring, but he said he was in the middle ring. I guess i need to take Harveys technical skills class! ;) :D 
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Offline Harvey

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Re: Gatorback.......for all those that ride it......BE HONEST..............
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2007, 10:19:11 AM »
I'm not gonna have much input on this since I never work on the trails there anymore. Seems like the only time I ride there these days is for my skills classes.

That being said, I think the trail should be reworked to make it more sustainable. Unfortunately that means making it easier. All those sections that go straight up and down fall lines are maintenance nightmares. I would much rather have an easier trail that's open than a difficult trail that you can never ride because it's always closed.

 

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