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Old 12-20-06, 09:34 AM   #1
mg777
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Overnighter

Anyone ever been lost out in the brush overnight or a lot longer than expected? I carry the cell phone, compass, and a map but even with that once night falls it would be tough to find the way out of some of our spots here in florida. Interested to see if anyone has any survival stories of the mountain bike sort.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:16 PM   #2
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Not any of the mountain biking sort, but spent half the night during a short planned afternoon hike that went bad!

Where in FL are you? I can't think of anyplace I ride that is so desolate that it would leave me stranded to the point where I had to camp out.

Santos - Nope, Razorback - Nope, Alafia - Nope, Carter Road - Nope, Tom Brown - Nope.

Only places I can think would be the Ocala Nat'l Forest, and San Felasco, but even then, you'd eventually hit a paved road sooner or later. Lost maybe, but not stranded.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:48 PM   #3
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Only places I can think would be the Ocala Nat'l Forest, and San Felasco, but even then, you'd eventually hit a paved road sooner or later. Lost maybe, but not stranded.
Thats cute how you list off all your trails and most of those are high traffic singletracks especially if youre into group riding. Try finding your way out of san felasco at night without a map when youre back far in there. Im sure youll be whistling dixie till you "eventually hit a paved road." I dont know where you ride in sarasota, but it would be possible to spend a good while out in flatwoods wilderness park or boyette scrub field.

Btw, what did you think of santos as far as the singletrack and dj/freeride area?

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Old 12-20-06, 08:42 PM   #4
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Not really, have this knack for finding my way again.
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Old 12-21-06, 05:39 AM   #5
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I don't think you would be in too much trouble spending a night in the bush in Florida.
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Old 12-21-06, 08:19 AM   #6
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I don't think you would be in too much trouble spending a night in the bush in Florida.
Again Im not asking about what you think about florida especially since you ride here. Lets all try to keep our egoes in check this holiday season.

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Old 12-21-06, 08:23 AM   #7
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I don't think you would be in too much trouble spending a night in the bush in Florida.
Now I could very easily see getting lost in the area that you do your riding though. I don't think I would be comfortable at all riding Pisgah without someone that knows the area.
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Old 12-21-06, 09:28 AM   #8
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I would rather try to do an emergency mtb bivy in western pa than spend a night in the woodlands of FL- especially all the snakes I saw on a BP trip in ocala NP, even if it is nice and toasty.

Never have gotten all that turned around though...

I am wondering where you ride and some resources for Sarasota area single track. I will be visiting my rents in Old Miakka and may try to get out for a ride if my girls go play somewhere for an afternoon...

and If I can figure out a bike... I may even spend some time out on step-d's xmart special (don't worry eric, I'll put the kickstand back on- I promise)...

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Old 12-21-06, 10:08 AM   #9
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The assumption many are making is that you'd only have to stay out if you were lost, but that's not always the case. If you're riding solo in a remote area and something brakes or you crash hard and injure yourself, doing an overnighter is possible as well. If you're riding with a couple people and one gets hurt, you may have to stay with the injured person overnight while the other goes for help. I often ride solo after work and finish after dark. I'm more worried about getting injured than getting lost, though. If I don't know the trail and it's long or remote, I've got a map and compass.
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Old 12-21-06, 10:37 AM   #10
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Not really, have this knack for finding my way again.
In New Jersey? Very impressive.

Try some actual wilderness and you could very easily get lost.

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Old 12-21-06, 10:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by LowCel
Now I could very easily see getting lost in the area that you do your riding though. I don't think I would be comfortable at all riding Pisgah without someone that knows the area.
Shoot, it's only 156,000 acres or so - what's the big deal?

I was indirectly involved with an overnight excursion - back in '94 or so, I got this kid coworker of mine into mountain biking. We were staying near the Delaware Water Gap in PA, and had our bikes with us. I got multiple bee stings while in the field that day, so I didn't ride that evening, but he was gung-ho, so I gave him directions to the AT trailhead (and way too much credit). He went solo, rode too far in, got lost and then shut out by darkness, and ended up spending the night. Luckily it was mid-summer and relatively warm, but when he dragged back in at 6am the following morning, he was looking/feeling very rough. He learned a valuable lesson that evening for sure.

Sidenote: I recently received an email from him, and he won the overall MSC championship in Sport Men's XC last season. So at least his adventure didn't turn him off to mountain biking.
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Old 12-21-06, 04:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mg777
Again Im not asking about what you think about florida especially since you ride here. Lets all try to keep our egoes in check this holiday season.
You're sharp.Did I hurt your feelings? I'm sorry.
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Old 12-21-06, 05:12 PM   #13
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I never got lost, because the mountian I ride on is really small for a mountain.
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Old 12-21-06, 05:26 PM   #14
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I sortof got lost one day - we call it the "3 hour tour". Had planned on doing a 3 hour ride but found a trail and my buddy and I decided to see where it went. Level heads would have told us to turn back after a awhile but it soon became a mission to see how far the trail went. We climbed and climbed (and occasionally walked as the trail got narrow, rocky and well "Iffy") and climbed and eventually came to the other side of the Santa Ana Mountains hell and gone from my start. We took some surface streets back in order to save some time but eventually got on a trail system I've not ever ridden, got lost again, thankfully ran across a runner who told us where to go (thank goodness cause we were headed in the wrong direction). We finally made it back to the original trail and back to the cars. Had planned on a casual 20 mile, 3 hour ride and instead did close to 45 and took almost 8 hr. (there was some trail blazing and walking involved). I had only a Balance Bar and a half Camelbak of water. That was foolish. I got bonky and thirsty. I now don't trail blaze unless prepared.

A couple of times riding trails in Mammoth I got lost but learned to get to a high point, spot the Mountain and work my way back. It did get alittle scary at times as they are sometimes strange people lurking about.
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Old 12-21-06, 06:57 PM   #15
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I know two guys that had a kind of "constructive interference" when they rode together. Apart, they could navigate fine. Together, they couldn't find their own asses with two hands and a map. Said bikers went out to ride Moose Mountain one day after work, starting around 7:00 p.m. The normal loop is about 20 km and takes a couple of hours. Dusk would be around 10 p.m., so they had plenty of time. Somehow, they got lost, and ended up wading across a river [there is nothing on the loop deeper than 6"]. They asked a passing canoeist for directions back to the highway, but it ended up being the wrong highway [50? instead of 66]. They ended up in West Bragg with no lights, no jackets and no food. All the stores in Bragg Creek were closed and they made it back to the trailhead a little after midnight.

The closest I've come to having an overnighter in the woods was riding Misty Range many moons ago. It's a 50+ km loop that takes about 7 hours if you're fast. Our group missed a turnoff, then did a fun, steep DH for 8 km until we realized that we had missed a right at the coal pile. So, what took us 30 minutes to go down took us almost 2 hours to climb [scree!]. Chatty Kevin was out of water and was starting to bonk, but we still had 3 more hours of riding to go. When we got to the top of the ridge, the sun was just starting to set and we couldn't find the trail down. I followed a trail to the south along the ridge until it dropped off of a cliff, which was bad. We were way above treeline, there was bear scat on the way up and the cars were ~10 km away. We eventually found the trail and made it down to the cars about 10.5 hours after we started. If we wouldn't have found the trail when we did, we would have ended up bushwacking through a fairly dense forest in the dark. Nobody had lights.

Long story short, I'll pull the plug on a detour if it looks iffy. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell the wrong way from the right way.
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Old 12-21-06, 09:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by pinkrobe
I know two guys that had a kind of "constructive interference" when they rode together. Apart, they could navigate fine. Together, they couldn't find their own asses with two hands and a map. Said bikers went out to ride Moose Mountain one day after work, starting around 7:00 p.m. The normal loop is about 20 km and takes a couple of hours. Dusk would be around 10 p.m., so they had plenty of time. Somehow, they got lost, and ended up wading across a river [there is nothing on the loop deeper than 6"]. They asked a passing canoeist for directions back to the highway, but it ended up being the wrong highway [50? instead of 66]. They ended up in West Bragg with no lights, no jackets and no food. All the stores in Bragg Creek were closed and they made it back to the trailhead a little after midnight.

The closest I've come to having an overnighter in the woods was riding Misty Range many moons ago. It's a 50+ km loop that takes about 7 hours if you're fast. Our group missed a turnoff, then did a fun, steep DH for 8 km until we realized that we had missed a right at the coal pile. So, what took us 30 minutes to go down took us almost 2 hours to climb [scree!]. Chatty Kevin was out of water and was starting to bonk, but we still had 3 more hours of riding to go. When we got to the top of the ridge, the sun was just starting to set and we couldn't find the trail down. I followed a trail to the south along the ridge until it dropped off of a cliff, which was bad. We were way above treeline, there was bear scat on the way up and the cars were ~10 km away. We eventually found the trail and made it down to the cars about 10.5 hours after we started. If we wouldn't have found the trail when we did, we would have ended up bushwacking through a fairly dense forest in the dark. Nobody had lights.

Long story short, I'll pull the plug on a detour if it looks iffy. Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell the wrong way from the right way.
good story. sounds like a sweet place to ride, assuming you know your way around or have gps!
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Old 12-21-06, 09:50 PM   #17
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I've never gotten so lost that I had to overnight. I have gotten lost of 10 hours though...didn't really mind cause I have food and water and got to ride my bike the whole day. If I get lost I usually just turn around and retrace.
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Old 12-21-06, 10:35 PM   #18
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good story. sounds like a sweet place to ride, assuming you know your way around or have gps!
I've ridden in quite a few places around Western Canada [N.B. if you go to Whistler and the bike shop dude says that the bears are "like big dogs", please spit in his face] and a few places in the western U.S., and I have to say that I still love Kananaskis Country and Peter Lougheed park. There are just so many great rides out there. And lots of bears...
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Old 12-21-06, 11:06 PM   #19
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I am wondering where you ride and some resources for Sarasota area single track. I will be visiting my rents in Old Miakka and may try to get out for a ride if my girls go play somewhere for an afternoon...
Cant say much for sarasota, but if you head north a little to Brandon area (just south of tampa) youll find some good riding locals: Alafia River state park and Boyette Srub preserve. Both are great single tracks with well over 10+ miles of singletrack with skill levls from easy to double black diamond. The area out there was an old phosphate mind and rock quarry that left us with some sick bike riding. In tampa itself, you have flatwoods (wilderness park), which is massive area although it is ,obviously, going to be pretty flat riding. If u want some specifics or more info, pm me.
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