After we broke up into groups for our ride, I was ready to spin my
legs. I hadn't been to Florida in years (to ride or for anything
else) so I was looking forward to getting back out on some familiar
singletrack. You see, I rode Hanna Park
many moons ago, an honestly I wasn't that impressed. Typical
Florida singletrack; rooty, sandy, twisty, and flat as aboard
That's why I figured I would run off to Santos after our group ride
last Saturday. When I heard that SORBA-Jax
had been putting in a shitload of work to add to those trails though,
I got a little excited.
Let the group ride begin.
We started out twisting and turning, and only a little of the
trail looked even remotely familiar. My how things had changed in just a
few short years. The club members down there have really worked hard
to make a quality trail, and after only a few short miles I was
having a blast. Feeling comfortable with the terrain was a plus, but
those folks sure know how to make due with what they have.
Riding through a swamp was a nice touch for me too.
There are quite a few loops out there, and while not overly
difficult they were challenging enough. After a little while we
ended up on a road in the park, on to the next section.
And then it was back in the swamp.
Just make sure you don't give any food to the critters.
When it was all said and done, I think we clocked somewhere around
seventeen miles. I wasn't worn out, but it was a good enough ride
that I didn't feel I needed to go anywhere else. Well, almost.
Since I was so close to the beach, I rode out there.
With plenty of time to get to the afterparty, I took off on a
search for some local brew that I could bring back to Charlotte.
Before long (thanks to some friends in the area) I had some good
stuff. My beer status was much improved from the night before for
Intuition I-10 IPA
is a local beer, and it's quite delicious. I bought plenty to bring
back here, so I had a few before I cleaned up to head for the big
At the party we were treated to free food and beer, and I chatted
it up with friends old and new. After the free stuff ran out, we
kept going. Things got way more fun, with us yelling off the balcony
at the locals below. I swear at one point I was hanging out with
Dave Grohl, and a dude that looked just like Michael Phelps. I tried
to get photos, but the best I could do was one that would make a
Bigfoot hunter proud.
He's got another confession to make.
It wasn't Foo Fighters, but there was a band:
They weren't bad, but I drank a lot so my opinion isn't to
I had a great time down there in Jacksonville for sure. It was
nice to go back to the state where I grew up, and the folks at
showed us a good time. They are a hard-working club (just like the
rest of us here in the Southeast), and I feel privileged that I got a
chance to spend some time down there seeing what they were all about.
I also learned a lot from the board meeting, despite how much fun it
looked like I had. I'll definitely be back to Florida's largest
Oh yeah, what trip to the swamp would be complete (for me) without
posting a picture of an alligator?
I miss Florida sometimes, but not enough to move back. Definitely
enough to make frequent visits down there from now on though.