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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 05-01-08, 01:12 AM   #1
RubenX 
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I did the Van Fleet! (yet another...)

Inspired by other posters who have done, I wanted to break my personal distance record of 38 miles by doing the Gen. Van Fleet trail. I started at the Mabel trailhead, all the way to Polk city and back. The odometer says 60.17 miles in 5:52h. To that you could add a 20 minute break at the Polk city trailhead and another 5 minutes at one of the middle stations (water comes in, it has to come out).

And since my current road bike doesn't really fit me, I did it on a (drum roll here...) $59.95 cheapo MTB from Walmart that weights 51 pounds and has both wheels out of true.

My only regret was not taking my camera with me. As expected, I found lots of squirrels and 2 snakes. But the bunny that tried to race me for 1/10 of a mile was a new one. The deer that jumped in front of me was very pretty and unexpected. And I really wanted to get a picture of my exhausted self, flipping the bird at the nasty looking vulture that was circling above me for the last 90 minutes (I'm not dead yet!).

I feel great!

PS: The bunny won...
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Old 05-01-08, 12:43 PM   #2
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Congrats! I rode the Van fleet trail today as well but started at the polk city trail head.nice day to ride! see you out there.
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Old 05-08-08, 12:57 PM   #3
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tons of snakes out there today!!!!!!! a few rabbits,turtles,squirrels and wild turkey. The wind was blowing but not that bad.
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Old 05-27-08, 03:03 PM   #4
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I did it again! This time I took the camera with me. Again I started from Mabel city, went to Polk City and came back. Here are some pics:

This is one of the wooden bridges, there are a few...


The trail is so long and straight that it disappears in the horizon...


The bunnies were to fast so I decided to race the turtles!


This is at one of the trailheads...


Some historic marker from the railroad era...


Taking a break....


The concrete bridges say they need repair...


No kidding, they do need repair...


And don't you dare go under the bridge M'kay
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Old 05-27-08, 03:04 PM   #5
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Bathrooms at the second trailhead....


The whole thing is FLAT. So even a noob like me can fly!


There are only a handfull of intersections, mostly private or rural roads with little or no traffic...


Here's my favorite resting spot...


Yeah, another break...


and finally, Polk City! (remember I still have to go back)
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Old 05-27-08, 03:55 PM   #6
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nice pics!!!
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Old 05-27-08, 08:14 PM   #7
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I like the pics.
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Old 11-05-08, 10:32 AM   #8
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Nice going. I ride the Blanchard Park trail everyday. I do 21.5 from the Goldenrod entance and back....my house is just off the trail, so I'm pretty fortunate. I have to try the ride you did....round trip of course.
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Old 11-07-08, 11:49 PM   #9
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Ruben,
You should give the Withlachoochee Trail a try. Essentially just as flat, but thre's a curve here and there over the 46 mile route. About the same as the Van Fleet, just a handfull of very low traffic crossings. Easy to add a few extra miles in either at the turn around or along the way to make it a nice century. Easy to pick up near Dade City - Trailhead is approximately a mile South of US 301/98 & CR 575 in Trilby, FL
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