Moving North

Bit of frost again on Thurs AM. Camp spot is sheltered from early sun warmth. Cold.

Plan is to go ride Santos round trip to land bridge which is  an overpass over I-75 that looks like a real land bridge:

Turner hiding on edge of land bridge
Turner hiding on edge of land bridge

Left XG, drove short distance to Santos TH. At TH OMBA created a skills area & a pump track. My plan was to hang & wait for temp to climb before my ride. I tried to key out several trees.

A Sheriff’s car w/ a bike rack was in parking lot. I wanted to talk to the officer to learn of law enforcement comments about bike trails. Officer showed up. He rode in is duty clothes. The bike is a cheap hard tail w/ rim brakes & platform pedals. He was happy riding in his get up. He offered little insight about trails.

Replaced chain & installed the eggbeater wear plates on the high top Specialized shoes I have been wearing so far. The eggbeater erodes the sole of the shoe making the pedal / cleat interface seem loose.

Rode a few of the skills. I rode an 8″skinny that was less than 18″ off ground. A break through for me. There were various boulders to climb up & over. Th larger ones had chain ring grind marks on them. I don’t do that w/ my stuff.

Headed out following IMBA Epic & Land Bridge as goal. Trail was supposed to be marked w/ blazes. I missed or it was missing a marker & did a big loop back to TH. Tried again. Started moves on rattlesnake and the chain started skipping on cluster. Darn, Cluster wore out. Turned around, made it back to TH because trail was flat & no climbing load was on chain. Drove short distance to bike shop to buy a cluster & check on bike parts. Ordered cluster from sister shop for tomorrow pick up. Weak shop. No brake part. Crossed up shop owner, never had as cold a person as she. Reinstalled old chain which doesn’t skip as chain & cluster are worn together.

Decided to stay in XG again @ $23/ night. Picked campsite 12 that sun warmed early. Rode on Florida Trail that I learned is closed to bikes but there was no closure notice where I jumped on. I encountered a hiker, not only was she cold she was killing me w/ her voice. Opps.

Headed out made it past my furthest loop & found epic markers to Land Bridge. Greenway is maybe 1/4 mile wide. In it there are higing, biking, & horseback trails, all single use. The horse trails in deep woods look like firebreaks.

Different flora:

Live oak w/ spanish moss
Live oak w/ spanish moss

Epic mostly follows easier trails as they are more linear. 28.27 miles in 3 hours, climbed 1318′ somewhere. Warmed up during ride, took off tights: bare legs.

Took shower @ XG before dark.

Clear night.

Email from Rob stating that he had to abandon Friday’s ride because he is building a pump track in his yard this weekend. His wife is all for it after riding the public one.

Plan for Friday is to manage the time in getting an AM ride & shower & out of XG by 1:00 and then check in @ bike shop.

Some frost on ground, sun warmed van quickly.

Rode pavement to TH. Plan was to ride all the intermediate blue trails & red advanced trails as I could. Rode part of Vortex until I spun off to ride Twister that ate up my time. Still 11.45 miles in 93 mins, gained 651′.

Took shower & made the gate w/ minutes to spare.

Drove by bike shop on way to grocery store. Decide to try Winn Dixie instead of Publix. Checked out produce section & walked out. Publix is better chain.

back @ bike shop. Cluster is there but no mail. Bill & girl did not receive any mail. I called Charlie @ Formula & asked what’s up. He said that the status showed received. Address was for highway 44 not 441. Who got the mail? SHop owner shows up. Asked her, finally got to understanding to check the locked mail box. There is was. Bill replaced the broken part, the plunger, in $7.00 labor. I can now adjust the rear brake to brake before the lever crushes my fingers between the bar.

Headed out scenic drive on highway 441 to Sanfelasco just N of Gainesville. Road ran thru countryside before Gainesville. Rob told me FL has the largest number of cows than any state.

Found laundromat on S outskirts of town. Run down but manned by a helpful English is second language person. Put line dry clothes in dryer and selected low heat. Might have damaged the pieces from the heat.

Drove thru UF on highway. Students all over. Very warm: short sleeve collared shirt & driver’s window rolled down.

Found camp spot just off highway in small industrial park. Railroad track, drainage ditch, & small band of trees seperate me from road. Checked tracks out: very rusty.

Tomorrow is Sanfelasco & then push back North. Need to return to FATS & Bill to ride rest of trails. Then back into N GA for Olympic course, Ellijay mountains, and more.

Ocala, FL is 2779 miles from Spokane. Bar Harbor, ME was 3041 miles.

Might not need heater tonight but windows need to be closed. I am not ready for warm temps. Head North back to cold.

Florida makes a cold 35

Slept quietly up at end of road. inside of Windshield had about 13″ ice which says it cold pretty cold last night. Morning warmed up & ice melted after bfast cleanup. Helps that windshield was pointed into warming sun.

Drove over to Interstate 75 to make tracks for Ocala ride @ 4:00. Saw cotton fields:

picked cotton field Georgia
picked cotton field Georgia

Allowed GPS to land me in the parking lot of santos Trailhead bicycles. The brake part is being mailed here. Weak store.

Shop mngr & I tried to spin the brake adjuster on both brakes but to no avail.

Grocery shopped @ Publix & drove back to TH for Santos. Decided to spring for a paid campsite for a secure city place to stay & a shower afterwards.

Rob showed up while I was completing the registration. His bud, Rich arrived.

Off to ride Santos, another IMBA epic. Rob lead & Rich get me up close. Trails all hand made, twisty w/ lots of turn berms so I could take outside line & rail the berm. sandy to hard limestone tread w/ roots in the trees. Rob has worked on the trails for like 14 years. A trail system utilizes a limestone pit for short tight up & downs. 13 miles in little more than 1 1/2 hours. Total elevation gain was 730′. Vortex around pit is technical. Limestone rock feels like slick rock but with a slightly slippery feel. Finished just before too dark. They left for home & I left for attached XG.

Cold again tonight. Shower is not heated very well. Shower was almost like the Jim Thorpe shower of hyperthermia in the shower. But this shower stayed on and had hot h20.

XG is alongside a major highway so I pick up distant traffic.

Tomorrow I will ride some more of the trails. Rob might have some time off and he would do a longer ride here.

I am told I need to drive further South to Alafia River because their trails are super.

Van got 29.1 mpg after sensor light problem resolved. Smoking good.

FL is cold. h2o spigots are cracked open in the xg.

Georgia is in the ride column

Sometime during the night a tractor was maneuvering very close by that woke me up.

Fixed pancakes for bfast, cup of cold brewed coffee, & yogurt completed the table. Normal bfast chores completed off to dealership for sensor installation. Val said that Egolf did not go far enough in their repair or they would have discovered this sensor. She guaranteed the problem has been fixed.

Drove back highways to Macon. Zysk, I drove around Montecello per your suggestion. It was a mix of old w/ new. Old well taken care of big frame houses. Town square that routes traffic around the periphery w/ stop lights.

Saw this old house back a red dirt road. Venture property:

someone called it home, avaialble to loving committed family
someone called it home, available to loving committed family

Used gps to pin point Macon’s Pig Trail. Got pretty close because there is no street address. Rode out just guessing the trail. Single track, hand built, serpentine over roots, some small ups & downs. Played thru planted rows of pine trees. Tried following a number sequence but  maybe several numbers were torn down that kept getting me on a loop. Ended up riding back out the same way. Not a flowey trail, demanded handling skills to remain upright. Enjoyed having to deal w/ rough tread. That would be the cat’s meoow if the machine built trails could have roots & rocks on the tread.

twist thru planted pines
twist thru planted pines

Sunny ride but windy & getting into 40s.

Listened to inauguration on XM. Obama is a eloquent motivating speaker. May America rise up.


Former child of the 60s, white, traveling in Georgia, listening to a black man sworn in as president of US. Public protest got the troops out of Vietnam sooner than a black man elected president. But protest & realization that what we were doing was wrong and we changed. May Obama lead America to other heights.

Drove S on US 129 to Hawkinsville. Found a dead end paved road leading up hill between a motel & restaurant. Chilly again. It snowed in Thomson this AM.

Drove past The Allman Brothers Band Museum right on main drag. Also passed Carl Sandburg’ s memorial.

Macon is home of Thomson seat posts & stems. I ran out of time to visit this go.

Tomorrow I drive down to Santos, FL to meet up w/ Rob & Rick on Santos trails. A bit warmer would be enjoyed.