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Author Topic: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.  (Read 1921 times)

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Offline RiskEverything

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Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« on: May 26, 2009, 12:04:23 AM »
I've been MTBing for over two years now, and enjoy the more technical aspect of the sport. I've avoided Croom all this time because (for me) it is over twice as far as Alafia and Boyette, and Santos is not much further. I've heard that it is a non-technical sand-pit that only rides well when everything else is too wet to ride.

That last statement is certainly true. Croom rides very well when wet! I was expecting a sandy version of WTA- never-ending twisty trails through scrub-brush. What I found was much better- elevation change! MTX-style trails with downhills long enough to make and maintain high speeds, series of rollers long enough to pump and/or jump through, banked turns that let you keep speed up, and climbs long enough that I didn't want to simply stand up and charge to the top.

The blue pits were a blast. Sure, they're not the most technical terrain in FL, but they offer a lot of fun without a ton of penalty for failure. No falling off of cliffs or smacking into a boulder. I only rode the main trail through this part of the system (from end to end and back again), but noticed a lot of smaller, less traveled trails that made interesting use of the terrain.

My g/f and I rode through the forest under constant threat of rain. Thunder boomed nearby the entire time, and the clouds gave very welcome shade from the afternoon heat. A storm-fueled cool breeze blew through often enough, and towards the end of our ride a light drizzle cooled us off until we got onto Nobleton Rd. We road Nobleton to Croom and then back to the #3 parking lot. The wide dirt road was the most exhausting part of the whole ride!

Two years later, I finally realize what everyone is keeping quiet about. Whenever it's too wet to ride anywhere else, I'll be riding in that forest. Maybe even when it's dry, once in a while...  ;D
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Offline Darrinw2001

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 06:24:18 AM »
Variety is the spice of life, even as far as trails go to me. I like every trail system we have around here for diffferent reasons. Croom is great to ride REAL hills, get in Lots of miles, and see wildlife (I am riding there Saturday and cant wait!). WTA is great for miles and speed (and roots if you like that). Boyette is great for a mixture of techincal and miles, Alafia and Carter are great for a little more technical, but not alot of miles. Every systems has its own personality and it's nice to get out and ride the different ones. Riding the just a few of the same trails all the time would bore me to death.....

Offline ClintonRH

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 06:54:12 AM »
Croom kicked my butt and made me huff and puff like no other place has yet. Until I rode out there I thought I had made a lot of progress trimming down and getting stronger. The hills at Croom were a bit of a reality check and has made me push my fitness goals higher. I personally plan to make my way back there more often until I can dominate those hills.
I do admit that I worry a bit about riding out there alone. There's probably no cell reception back in there, very little traffic, and it would be really long crawl out in the admittedly very rare case of injury. The trails are a bit confusing at times. I really wish the landmarks and technical sections that the more experienced riders all seem to know by name were marked on a map. I'm thinking that GPS would be a great investment there with an acceptably low risk of crash damage to the unit. Might have to make my own more detailed map. Might be a bit too busy and info-dense for a hand-out but I think it would be an interesting project that info-junkies like myself might appreciate.

Offline Garry

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 07:21:43 AM »
Luckily there was cell phone coverage for me last year when I crashed bad.  Paramedics were able to get to me pretty quick actually, but I was within a half mile of the 8 mile bailout.

Offline Garry

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2009, 07:34:44 AM »
I've been MTBing for over two years now, and enjoy the more technical aspect of the sport. I've avoided Croom all this time because (for me) it is over twice as far as Alafia and Boyette, and Santos is not much further. I've heard that it is a non-technical sand-pit that only rides well when everything else is too wet to ride. We hear this from people a lot.  We're in Florida baby, considering that people should learn to love the sand and how to ride it.  Everything is a challenge.

That last statement is certainly true. Croom rides very well when wet! I was expecting a sandy version of WTA- never-ending twisty trails through scrub-brush. What I found was much better- elevation change! MTX-style trails with downhills long enough to make and maintain high speeds, series of rollers long enough to pump and/or jump through, banked turns that let you keep speed up, and climbs long enough that I didn't want to simply stand up and charge to the top. Even in the dry season it has it's good features, but yes, navigating the soft sandy climbs will test your will and endurance.  It's a challenge.

The blue pits were a blast. Sure, they're not the most technical terrain in FL, but they offer a lot of fun without a ton of penalty for failure. No falling off of cliffs or smacking into a boulder. I only rode the main trail through this part of the system (from end to end and back again), but noticed a lot of smaller, less traveled trails that made interesting use of the terrain. Some of those side trails in the rainy season also have clay in them and can really muck up your drive train for the rest of the ride; the l-long ride.

My g/f and I rode through the forest under constant threat of rain. Thunder boomed nearby the entire time, and the clouds gave very welcome shade from the afternoon heat. A storm-fueled cool breeze blew through often enough, and towards the end of our ride a light drizzle cooled us off until we got onto Nobleton Rd. We road Nobleton to Croom and then back to the #3 parking lot. The wide dirt road was the most exhausting part of the whole ride! The dirt road is deceiving. I still find myself trying that now and again.  It is always better to just enjoy the single track unless cramping bad, or just need to simply focus on your reserve to make it back to the parking lot.

Two years later, I finally realize what everyone is keeping quiet about. Whenever it's too wet to ride anywhere else, I'll be riding in that forest. Maybe even when it's dry, once in a while...  ;D

 ;)

Offline rob_squared

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2009, 09:02:36 AM »
Ssshhhh!
Stop telling everyone!!

Stay away!
It's S-A-N-D-Y!!
You will HATE IT!
FLAT!
Boring.......

I heard 2 mtb'ers were captured by skunk apes..... never to be seen again.
 >:(

Offline FACTORe

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2009, 09:07:35 AM »
Ssshhhh!
Stop telling everyone!!

Stay away!
It's S-A-N-D-Y!!
You will HATE IT!
FLAT!
Boring.......

I heard 2 mtb'ers were captured by skunk apes..... never to be seen again.
 >:(

how did you miss out on the thai fest saturday night?

Offline rob_squared

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2009, 09:11:04 AM »
I was riding in georgia over the weekend..... or Dawn and i would have been there i'm sure. Dawn's family had a get-together and i couldn't pass up the opportunity to take my bike along.

Offline Gregg

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 08:59:07 PM »
sand sucks....right now croom is the best it can be......which is pretty good.

Offline StonePony

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2009, 11:43:57 PM »
Place is riding great right now -- sand is well packed in most places.  Did a couple hours tonight and other than choking down spider webs spun out of nylon the conditions were perfect.

Offline Darrinw2001

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2009, 06:56:32 AM »
thanks for clearing those webs for us. I hope they are not as bad today! we will be there this AM..

Offline FACTORe

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2009, 04:39:27 PM »
croom was in great shape this am

Offline catman

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Re: Why I went to Croom... and why I'll go back.
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2009, 09:06:39 PM »
Rode Croom today for the first time and while there were certainly some sandy areas it was a lot of fun. I've never felt sustained speed like that anywhere in Florida. Thanks to the Naked Indian for giving me my own personal tour and a good deal on some mtb goodies. As long as the rain keeps coming, Croom will be on my list of weekend ride options.
 
Oh, and thanks for stopping your car to give me some water Treadlight. Must have spotted me with my tongue hanging out and took pity on me. I only had like two oz's of water left and a few miles yet to go.
 
And an extra special thanks to Naked Indian for not ragging on me too hard as I was having to relearn clipless pedals.
Part time mountain biker, full time roadie smiter.

 

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