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Author Topic: Thoughts for Alafia trails  (Read 7866 times)

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Offline Barry Reimer

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Thoughts for Alafia trails
« on: May 24, 2007, 06:15:48 PM »
Now that I've ridden all the trails out there several times I can thoroughly say they rock!!!!

I noticed that it looks like another trail is in the works around rabbit ears, and I do have one thought about something to round them out on the harder end (they obviously have a great range on the intermediate and beginner ends).   The one thing I think is missing that you see in other trails/areas that would be a great rounding off addition is a section of trail that includes a good sized drop-off, I'm thinking around 24 inches give or take.  It would be awesome to have this in an area the you could take the approach and landing with some speed.  I realize that much of the landscape out there doesn't really offer this naturally, so it might need a ladder bridge/planking type of set-up.

I'm not talking freeride type stuff, just a drop-off like you see in trails out west and in the GA/NC mountains.  Santos has one on the Vortex trail that's pretty cool that is natural.

Obviously this would be on a double black section.  I think that as far as other advanced trail terrain that Alafia has got pretty much everything else you could want.

Just thought it would add some additional challenge and fun, not to mention a great way to get used to those type of obstacles for people going on trips out west or to the NC/GA areas, without having to drive to Santos everytime.

I'm always game to put in whatever work it takes to get it built and maintained.  Let me know what you guys (and gals  ;)) think!!
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 07:19:27 PM »
i have been jonesing for some drops and even a pump track somewhere.  i totally agree that it would be great to have somewhere to learn to get air.  i cant wait to go to santos on monday to try the new drops they have added to the vortex.

Offline Barry Reimer

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2007, 07:25:34 PM »
Me and the wife are headed to Ocala for Sun and Mon.  Maybe we'll see you out there!!!

I helped build those, and I've gotta say, as hard work as it was...it was a blast building 'em!!!  I'd totally do it out here.  They are sooooooo fun to go off!  The 3rd still takes me a bit of doing to commit to going, but they are a blast, and great to learn to do that stuff, even if you never do anything bigger than that!!!

Let me know if anyone else shares our view and let's figure out when and where around here, and what we need to do as far as red tape goes.  I don't mind being on the proposal making side as well as the contruction side 8)
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2007, 10:28:49 PM »
hope to see you there monday....i will def help build those

Offline Barry Reimer

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 07:27:06 AM »
Who do we need to talk with to make this a reality?
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Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2007, 08:11:35 AM »
In all four parks where SWAMP creates and mantains trails, it takes months to approve new trails with either the State, County, or land owners.  I know of trails in the planning that have been planned out almost a year ago.  I belive the 3rd ear at Alafia was planned and approved closed to if not over a year ago.  Because of the amount of volunteers we have there are only so many miles we can have of trail to mantain.  If they keep adding more miles of trail, they need so many more volunteer hours to mantain them.  I for one would rather have clean, well mantain trails then a bunch of new miles of trail that will never get clipped or fix because there is not enough volunteers.

Now, that does not mean that a drop/mount/jump can't be built on an existing trail.  You can approach the individaul SWAMP people in charge of each park to see if you have any luck.  Or you can go streight to the top (Wes Eubank).  Individual Alafia (Art North), Boyette (Garry Rosseter), Morris Bridge/FW/TC (Ken Orlando), and Croom (Bob Wilcox).

You may find spots on the existing trails that you can use for what you are talking about.  If you look hard enough, you will see spot where you can do drops.  Is unofficial and I don't reccomand doing them but they are there.  It may not be nice downhill and clean jumps like you see at the start of the Vortex in Santos.  But if you just want to do a quick climb up a hill and attempt a mjaor jump on the other side, I know of some spots...

Alafia - This is unofficial pice of trial but it look like everyone is using it.  ON the north side of hte bathroom as you are headed to rollercoaster or sandpine, there is a mount on the right side behind a tree.  Another one on Bridges after Shelly's loop.   Several sections of North Creek have quick mounts that you can use as pump track.

Morris Bride - As you approach the pits and go on the rigth side toward Gator Bait, there is Ant Hill that you can try.

Croom - Several on Drunken Mokey, the north blue pits, and several on the south red/blue pits.  The Clay pit has a ton of jumps you can practice on.  Even some major drop offs.  Several sections of the blue trail have small rolling dips.  These are motor cross style and a ton of fun to do with your bike.

As for building a "pump track" or wooden ledges style of track for practice in our existing sWAMP trails, I can just tell you, it will never happen.  In my opinion, that is not what SWAMP is out to build since the majority of SWAMPERS do XC trails.  They will never build anything that seems to be close to freeriding on the existing parks.  Not because they don't want.  But mainly because the land owners were our parks are do not want to deal with the higher libility issues this type of track/trails will bring.

As I said before, feel free to talk to the people I mention.  I for one would come out to help and I am sure other will too.  If you can't wait to get some quick BMX still tracks in.  There is one in Dale Mabry that you can take your MTB bike to and try them.  There is a small bike shop in Riverview building/planning a new BMX/MTX park down the road from where Boyette is at.



« Last Edit: May 25, 2007, 08:17:43 AM by MrSandPine »

Offline FACTORe

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2007, 08:32:52 AM »


As for building a "pump track" or wooden ledges style of track for practice in our existing sWAMP trails, I can just tell you, it will never happen.  In my opinion, that is not what SWAMP is out to build since the majority of SWAMPERS do XC trails.  They will never build anything that seems to be close to freeriding on the existing parks.  Not because they don't want.  But mainly because the land owners were our parks are do not want to deal with the higher libility issues this type of track/trails will bring.

As I said before, feel free to talk to the people I mention.  I for one would come out to help and I am sure other will too.  If you can't wait to get some quick BMX still tracks in.  There is one in Dale Mabry that you can take your MTB bike to and try them.  There is a small bike shop in Riverview building/planning a new BMX/MTX park down the road from where Boyette is at.





I hope this is just your opinion and not that of the majority of Swampers.  A proper skills section where you can learn to take drops and do some freeride type things will only help make you xc riding safer when you do travel out of state and encounter drops and that sort of thing on xc trails. 

There is a difference between a pump track or skills area than a bmx track.  Don't get the two confused.  XC trails and Skills areas work great together at places like santos and there is no reason they wouldn't be a great assett to great riding we already have here.  These type of areas also help get yourger riders involved which in turn helps cultivate more mtb culture which only helps our sport grow locally.

Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2007, 08:37:24 AM »
It is totally my OWN opionion.  You two are not the first ones to ask for this.  I only been here 1 1/2 years and I can tell you I seen several peeps asked for this without much success.  By all means, talk to the folks in charge and see what they have to say.  I for one will love to come out to help.  I will attempt it.  I really love the practice track at the Santos parking lot as well as the one on the right side of the vortex.  Of course it will make us better.  Just stating my opinion from what I have seen.

At least give me credit for replying...   ;D ;D ;D ;D   There are several senior SWAMP members on here.  Even Garry.  Maybe one of them will give us a clear/official statement on how SWAMP thinks about this issue.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2007, 08:50:54 AM by MrSandPine »

Offline Homer 2-Niner

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2007, 10:15:00 AM »

I hope this is just your opinion and not that of the majority of Swampers.  A proper skills section where you can learn to take drops and do some freeride type things will only help make you xc riding safer when you do travel out of state and encounter drops and that sort of thing on xc trails. 


FACTORe.. I agree with what you are saying that a "skills area" will make you a better xc rider, and that is the way getting a skills area approved should be approached. Marcel brings up good points about not getting enough volunteers and the liability of having freeriding trails in Hillsborough County...

So here is what you or whom ever wants this approved needs to do..

1. Feature/Benefits..  Why is having a "skills area" good for developing BETTER xc riders, and safer riders. Well "skinnys" 2 inches off the ground are not going to hurt anyone first of all, second they refine balance, teach you to control speed... which alot of people around here need lessons in...
2. A skills area near the parking lot will not need much maintainence since it is not in an area which will over grow.
3. Installing some obstacles on the trails would be great! Mix up the trails, better controls speed on the trails, helps with erosion, and no need to cut new trail.

So thats what I would try and run with... There are alot of riders in the club who feel the same way you and Marcel feel. Its coming up with a happy medium that is where we need to be.. Like placing obstacles on harder trails that alot of people who dont want to see obstacles do not ride anyways.... ie. Moonscape, Gatorback etc...

Hope that helps... let me know if I can help in anyway. Plus all these things can only help this club. The great thing about this club is the diversity of riding which everyone brings to the table...

-Bob  ;)
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Offline Barry Reimer

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2007, 12:48:54 PM »
Bob, I would be happy to draft a proposal.  Marcel and Factore, if you are interested, I would greatly appreciate input, review and whatever else. 

My post was in no means about creating freeriding type areas.  I know the headaches with getting approval due to liability, maintenance, etc. that comes with that.  I myself am more of an XC rider, but I like to have a wide range of versatility to be able to ride on any trail that would not be considered an extreme DH (such as some a Whistler or Snowshoe) or freeriding, such as the 5-20 foot drops at Santos.  (can't say fit this bill quite yet, but I'm still working on it ;))

To whom should we address the proposal to?

Thanks!!!!
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Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2007, 01:54:43 PM »
Bear,
Let's wait until we hear from other members on this.  Specially more seniority SWAMP members who are close to or part of the board.  Kevin's and Garry's input at least.  I know Garry has been talking about making the Boyette Quadrants interesting.  He keeps hearing from people that the Quadrants are "boring" to ride.  Maybe is time we explore that and start bulding log obstacles, raised planks, or even small mounts along side the current trail on the quadrants to offer variety to other more technical riders while keeping the beginners satisfied.  If we get buy-in from Garry on this, maybe he can support it and take to SWAMP board to approve.  Just a thought...


Offline chisel

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2007, 02:46:12 PM »
Please dont touch the quadrants! if they are boring to you you are not riding them fast enough! I love that section. 8)

Offline Barry Reimer

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2007, 03:34:17 PM »
One thought I had was to have a couple of small off-shoot options wherever it is built, that way it's nto another trail, and it doesn't disrupt the flow of the trail that many have already gotten used to and love - whether this is at Boyette or Alafia.

The skills areas at Santos have gone over well with that group.  So that might be another viable option as Trek8500 mentioned.

I'm not saying we should send a proposal up ASAP.  Don't misunderstand my enthusiam for being overly hasty, if this is something that is an option, let's figure out what is going to benefit those who would enjoy it the most, before hand, then put the proposal together with that support and see if we can't make it a reality.

Not everyone uses the skills area and small drops at Santos, but I have seen them get so much use since they went in, and many people area learning to handle trail obstacles that they would not have tried before.

Garry, do you have any thoughts?
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Offline Garry

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2007, 08:55:09 PM »
Building obstacles and pump track type features to our trails is a tough, tough call.  At Boyette it has taken a few years to get approval for the trails that we are adding now.  I think as far as the land managers go - adding the types of technical trails suggested will need substantial reason for adding them.  Santos is a unique animal in that the vortex and the free ride area had a lot of user support already - illegal, unauthorized, multiple entry points unable to control - so some very dedicated people worked with IMBA and the land managers to put in what is there now.
I wouldn't hold my breath for that type of trail system to be incorporated into SWAMPs trails, as MrSandpine said, not because SWAMP doesn't want it per say, but because most of those features aren't found on these trail systems and would have to be built and maintained.  Then liability issues come up. With over 60 miles of trails at Croom, 16 miles and growing at Alafia, 23 miles at Boyette, and 25 miles at Morris Bridge et al, we just run out of people to design, plan, get authorization, and build the trails.  But, it will be taken up at the next board meeting.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2007, 08:57:23 PM by Garry »

Offline Kevan

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Re: Thoughts for Alafia trails
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2007, 12:07:05 AM »
I have sent an e-mail to the SWAMP board members asking them to review this thread. The next directors meeting will be in early June but there are a lot of issues to deal with as the May meeting was canceled.

I think clarifying the request is a good idea.  Think long term impact, liability issues, how to bring in the land managers, locations and other things.  The clearer the ideas the better and easier it is.  The fantastic volunteer board members spend a lot of time working on the multi-FTF's, several annual Trips, socials, ride schedules, newsletters and everything else it takes to run a big group.

As I see it (my personal opinion) the best SWAMP things have come from people who have had a great idea AND have found ways to make it happen. The board is made up of people just like you and me, they enjoy our sport and are willing to put in a great effort, however, they also have limited time.

Good ideas folks
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