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Offline Bruce O

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Help another visitor please!
« on: April 04, 2007, 10:51:51 AM »
  Several friends and I are planning a two day trip to Alafia. None of us have ever been there before. We hope to ride (hopefully) all the trails both days. The trails do not look like they generally flow from one to the next very easily without some backtracking. Could someone give me the best trail order to follow? Any current trail condition reports and advice would be appreciated.  Is the Tampa bay Brewing Co worthwhile for refueling? Thanks!

Offline BeerCan

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2007, 02:58:03 PM »
Bruce,
No worries about the trails at Alafia.  No matter what order you do them in there is virtually another trail right nearby.  Alafia is in MNSHO the easiest of the trail systems in the area to navigate.  All trails are very clearly marked and all of them pretty much start / end near the trail head.

As for the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, it is one of my favorite places in Tampa to eat / drink.  I love most of the beers they brew there esp. Iron Rat Stout.  The food is on the better side of decent and they usually have a pretty good special selection.
"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." Frank Zappa
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Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2007, 09:41:45 PM »
Bruce,
BeerCan is right.  You don't have to go far form Trail head to hit any of the trails there.  Everyone follows their own path.  I am a B-/B rider and do up the black diamond trails.  I don't do the double black diamonds (yet) and still avoid some of the "hard" sections on others.

For the online trail maps visit:
http://www.floridastateparks.org/alafiariver/docs/WebsiteBikeBrochure.pdf

My flow at Alafia when i am alone is as follows:
Warm up with my favorite of all trails in the world....  Sandpine.  Then do: Rock Garden, River loop, south side of Bridges, North Creek, take double track road to north side of Bridges, double track road to Rollercoster.  If time allows it, I do it again of course.

If you can ride the double dimond courses then you can do almost the same as above but this way:  SandPine, Rock Garden with hard sections (shelly's loop, Frank's Loop), River Loop, South side bridges with hard section, Gator back (if open.  Curently closed), North Creek, North side of bridges, Rabitt Ears, Rollercoaster, Moonscape. 

Have fun and stay safe....

Offline Bruce O

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2007, 12:01:14 PM »
   Thank you "BeerCan", your recommendation of TBBC carries a lot of weight, you obviously have some knowledge of the subject!
   And thank you MrSandPine, your recommendation to start with Sand Pine will be followed for similar reasons! I can't wait to see it. I plan to follow your (hard) route, at least the first day. Most of us are probably the at the same level as you, but since we're traveling from S. FL, we want to at least attempt/see everything you have to offer. Some of us can do everything at Markham and Oleta, so we are at least hopefull, although we're not sure what to expect out of a Double Black Diamond  ???.
   Thanks again. We'll be there this Wednesday PM and Thursday AM.

Offline CrazyWhiteGuy

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 04:49:30 PM »
At least try the black diamond stuff, if its to big then its not to much of a walk. It's taken me about a year just to get everything to click together to the point where I can clean Rollercoaster without a single dab, that doesn't mean that it's necessarily over your head.

My usual course is North Creek Trails, all of Bridges, Rollercoaster, moonscape. If I'm feeling strong still then I might add in the black diamond loop of Bridges and maybe Franks loop. All the trails are very good, but these are the cream of the crop.
Rolling on the RumbleFish

Offline Bruce O

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 10:57:42 AM »
   Thanks for another point of view. To do all of Bridges I assume you have to backtrack some on the double track? Where is Frank's Loop and Shelley's Loop; they are not detailed on the Park Service trail map I have? I see one small black diamond loop between Rock Garden and River Loop, I assume that is one of them. Is Moonscape much harder than Rollercoaster? Thanks again. Are we going to be able to stay dry tomorrow afternoon?

Offline Gregg

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 11:21:16 AM »
Bruce,

You are right that one loop that you mentioned is Frank's Loop. Try it, you'll have fun. Even if you have to walk part of it. Moonscape is significantly more difficult than Rollercoaster. Even on the harder options of rollercoaster it is not real hard as long as you stay with the basics, and the right gear for you.
Moonscape is another creature all together. The pace that you will do it at will be much slower, it is a fun trail, but kind of a crawl. I have been riding for about 2 years and as of January was able to complete all but one climb. If you need some advice on what line not to take on Rabbit Ears let me know.

Enjoy yourself out there. It is a nice park, the weather this week is supposed to be pretty good. The staff out there is great!

Gregg

Offline Bruce O

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 05:17:15 PM »
Thanks Gregg. We are definitely looking forward to checking out your park, Rabbit Ears included! The black diamonds sound and look in the pictures to be pretty challenging. It looks like it is raining pretty good over there right now. I know everyone needs it, but hopefully it stops by tomorrow.....

Offline Bruce O

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Re: Help another visitor please!
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 02:44:06 PM »
   Just wanted to say thanks again for all the tips and information. We had a great trip and can't wait to make it back there again. We all especially enjoyed North Creek (what a great trail), Bridges and Rollercoaster. You have all done a great job on these trails! Bruce

 

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