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  1. #1
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Withlacoochee State Trail Ride Sunday Oct. 4, 09

    This is still about seven or eight weeks out but I was wondering if anyone else that posts on this forum planned on doing this ride. I have never done this one before but from what I have heard it is a good event. My daughter and I have signed up to do the 60 mile ride and will add 2 & 1/2 onto it to make it a metric century.

    To get complete information on the ride go to:
    www.railstotrailsonline.com

    You can download the entry form from there.

    This might be a good opportunity for some of us Florida riders who post here on a regular basis to meet up for a hand shake. Just a thought...

    Hope to see some of you their on Sunday Oct. 4

    SloSpoke Jim

  2. #2
    Fueled by Scoobie Snacks! Boatdesigner's Avatar
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    I am still undecided, watching my pennies very closely as the boat biz is a disaster at the moment. Latest report I have read is that 75% of the people in the boat business are out of work right now. I don't doubt those numbers at all as most of the boat builders have pretty much closed up shop.

    I'll let you know if I do decide to ride that day, although I probably could not keep up with you and your daughter, especially over 62 miles!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    Sounds like fun. Let me see if I can work it out and maybe even bring a friend or two from Highlands. How fast do you and your daughter ride? Around here I see the leaders of our group at the start and sometimes later if I short cut
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  4. #4
    Fueled by Scoobie Snacks! Boatdesigner's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, the trail runs north and south, no way to shortcut! I average around 13-14 mph and stop every 10 miles or so for a break. I think Slo Spoke is a bit faster than me. Does that make me Super Slo Spoke Timm?
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  5. #5
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boatdesigner View Post
    I am still undecided, watching my pennies very closely as the boat biz is a disaster at the moment. Latest report I have read is that 75% of the people in the boat business are out of work right now. I don't doubt those numbers at all as most of the boat builders have pretty much closed up shop.

    I'll let you know if I do decide to ride that day, although I probably could not keep up with you and your daughter, especially over 62 miles!
    I am sure the poor economy has put a damper on the boat business as it has a lot of other industry and I am really saddened by the poor situation that a lot of people are being placed in. I retired 2 years ago and felt that I was in a pretty good position to make it to the end of my time but things have changed over the last couple of years and my investments are only paying about half of what they were prior to the downturn. This has not caused me to go out and seek reemployment at this point but I would not rule it out in the future.
    Anyway my daughter and I average about 13-14 miles per hour and also stop about every 10 miles for a break so no one has to worry about us riding off and leaving anyone. Any way I hope you can make it.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedC View Post
    Sounds like fun. Let me see if I can work it out and maybe even bring a friend or two from Highlands. How fast do you and your daughter ride? Around here I see the leaders of our group at the start and sometimes later if I short cut
    Red we average about 13=14 mph, we ride for enjoyment not speed would love to meet up and say hello if you can make it. Let me know if you plan to be their.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatdesigner View Post
    Unfortunately, the trail runs north and south, no way to shortcut! I average around 13-14 mph and stop every 10 miles or so for a break. I think Slo Spoke is a bit faster than me. Does that make me Super Slo Spoke Timm?
    Boatdesigner, my daughter and I call ourselves team slo spokes and we are the only members of the club so you are more than welcome to join the team. We have no rules and no dues no meetings except to ride, the only requirement is that you enjoy riding your bike. By the way I really envy you living over their where you do so close to the Withlacoochee

    SloSpoke Jim

  6. #6
    Fueled by Scoobie Snacks! Boatdesigner's Avatar
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    Jim, I thought you went faster than that! It is nice living near the trail, although I sometimes see the pics other people post of their locales and wish I had a little more variety. The roads here are not good for riding, so I'll have to travel to some other places to ride. I was thinking of doing the Horse Farm Tour this fall up in Ocala, we'll see if I can afford it. I'll let you know if I will be riding the trail ride.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boatdesigner View Post
    I was thinking of doing the Horse Farm Tour this fall up in Ocala, we'll see if I can afford it. I'll let you know if I will be riding the trail ride.
    That route is beautiful.
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  8. #8
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boatdesigner View Post
    Jim, I thought you went faster than that! It is nice living near the trail, although I sometimes see the pics other people post of their locales and wish I had a little more variety. The roads here are not good for riding, so I'll have to travel to some other places to ride. I was thinking of doing the Horse Farm Tour this fall up in Ocala, we'll see if I can afford it. I'll let you know if I will be riding the trail ride.
    My days of speed have been gone for about 25 years. While I admire those who can ride 25/50 mile at 20+ mph, and have been able to do that in years past, and I enjoy watching events such as the tour and other races, if I need to be some place in a hurry I will take the car. I ride primely to spend time with my daughter and keep myself in reasonably fair condition. I like to look at the surroundings as I ride and I don't think you can do that when high mph is your objective. I like to ride often 4/5 sometimes 6 days a week and my average ride is around 30 miles per ride with an occasional 50 mile every now and then. I like to stop and have lunch or a cold drink about mid way and meet new people (Panera Bread in Lake Mary is my favorite). I have friends that ride fast and are after me to work on improving my speed so that I can keep up with them, but it just is not my thing. Hence the name Slo Spoke Jim

    Tina (my daughter) and I have talked about doing the horse farm tour as well.
    SloSpoke Jim

  9. #9
    Daily Commuter-Tampa, FL drew55's Avatar
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    Should be up that way with 3-4 others to participate in this Rails to Trailes ride again this year. Look forward to seeing you and your daughter on the trail.
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  10. #10
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
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    Maggi and I usually do this ride every year with a group of tandems, though I'm not sure we'll make it this year. the Souhtern Tandem Rally is the following weekend in The Villages, we're on staff for it, and may well be busy with that.

    However, if you see a gathering of two-fers around the start/finish about 8AM and one of them is a bright red Trek T2000, stop by and say hi!
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  11. #11
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    This is a beautiful ride that I usually do for 2 events each year. Around March they have the clean air ride. The rides are very well attended. The main concern is to be very aware of all of the riders around you. There are many who want to do this ride 2 abreast at a moderate pace. The trail isn't that wide so if a fast pace line is trying to pass and another is coming towards you it can get a little scary, but is very manageable if you pay attention. Enjoy your ride.

  12. #12
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    Oh one more note: Year before last we rode the Horse Farm ride in Gainesville and loved it. We live in the Bradenton/Sarasota area and consider crossing the bridges to be "hills". The Horse Farm ride had rolling hills that went through some very beautiful countryside.

  13. #13
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLGIRLSK View Post
    Oh one more note: Year before last we rode the Horse Farm ride in Gainesville and loved it. We live in the Bradenton/Sarasota area and consider crossing the bridges to be "hills". The Horse Farm ride had rolling hills that went through some very beautiful countryside.
    We have talked about doing the Horse Farm ride as well. Perhaps we will bump into you...(well not litterly bump into you)
    SloSpoke Jim

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    We will definitely ride the Trail in October. Look for the tall guy wearing the FSU jersey and I like to wear my UF one just to add a little fun. Hope to see you there.

  15. #15
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjc9640 View Post
    This is still about seven or eight weeks out but I was wondering if anyone else that posts on this forum planned on doing this ride. I have never done this one before but from what I have heard it is a good event. My daughter and I have signed up to do the 60 mile ride and will add 2 & 1/2 onto it to make it a metric century.

    To get complete information on the ride go to:
    www.railstotrailsonline.com

    You can download the entry form from there.

    This might be a good opportunity for some of us Florida riders who post here on a regular basis to meet up for a hand shake. Just a thought...

    Hope to see some of you their on Sunday Oct. 4

    Just wanted to bump this back to the top to see if we can generate some more interest. Looks as if a few people that hang out here are planning to attend. Hope to see some of you their on the 4th.
    SloSpoke Jim

  16. #16
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Hmmmm....maybe I'll join in on this.
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  17. #17
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    Hmmmm....maybe I'll join in on this.
    miamijim, I have never done this ride before but I have ridden the Withlacoochee Trail and in my opinion it is the best trail in FL. Please keep in mind that it will be very crowded that day. I am told that you can start from any location on the trail so that should help thin the congestion out some what. Anyway I am looking forward to the ride and hope to meet some people that post on this form.
    SloSpoke Jim

  18. #18
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    My wife and I are supposed to be in Orlando around the end of Sept or beginning of Oct. We have friends and family in Crystal River and Homosassa -- both near Inverness. Is Inverness the starting point? If not, where will it start?
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  19. #19
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    My wife and I are supposed to be in Orlando around the end of Sept or beginning of Oct. We have friends and family in Crystal River and Homosassa -- both near Inverness. Is Inverness the starting point? If not, where will it start?
    Ron, I have been told that it is an open start. But to answer your question Inverness is the main focal point. The North Apopka Ave. Trail Head to be exact. Start time is from 7-9 am with a continental breakfast and lunch is from 11-2. The trail is 46 miles long and is very scenic in my opinion, it is very rural and flat with small little towns along the way and very few intersections.

    While you are in Orlando and want to ride let me know and I will guide you to some of our local trails. West Orange, Seminole Wekiva, James Van Fleet, ect.
    SloSpoke Jim

  20. #20
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Photo from Withlacoochee trail

    For those who plan to do the Rails to Trails Bike Ride Oct. 4, here is one of the interesting things you might see This was taken about 5 miles north of the Ridge Manor trail head
    Attached Images Attached Images
    SloSpoke Jim

  21. #21
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    More photos from the Withlacoochee Trail

    More photos from the Withlacoochee Trail:
    From left to right
    Looking south on the trail @ Floral City
    The General Store at Istachatta (now closed I think)
    Fort Cooper (just south of Inverness)
    Slo Spoke Jim & wall painting @ LBS in Floral City
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by kjc9640; 09-04-09 at 10:07 AM.
    SloSpoke Jim

  22. #22
    Fueled by Scoobie Snacks! Boatdesigner's Avatar
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    The Istachatta Store is closed now. I'd watch out for the camel. I understand those things can spit! The trail does have some hills, but they are not real steep as the railroad bed was flattened for the choo choos. If you are used to riding down south, I'd guess you'd find it hilly. If you are used to riding in the middle of the state or up around G-ville, it is pretty flat.

    Registration for the ride is in Inverness, I don't know if you have to check in if you have pre-registered. I would think you have to stop in and pick up your t-shirt.
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  23. #23
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boatdesigner View Post
    The Istachatta Store is closed now. I'd watch out for the camel. I understand those things can spit! The trail does have some hills, but they are not real steep as the railroad bed was flattened for the choo choos. If you are used to riding down south, I'd guess you'd find it hilly. If you are used to riding in the middle of the state or up around G-ville, it is pretty flat.

    Registration for the ride is in Inverness, I don't know if you have to check in if you have pre-registered. I would think you have to stop in and pick up your t-shirt.
    I thought I remembered that you had posted that the general store had closed. I really hate that, I thought the place was kind of neat. The bike shop in Floral City is run by 2 great people and they are very helpful. I hope they are still open. There is a great deli just around the corner from bike shop that puts out a great sandwich. Wallace Brooks park is a great place to take a break when riding. Can you tell how much I like this trail

    You don't have to check in unless you need to pick up your shirt. We might start from some other trail head and ride the bikes to Inverness to avoid the car crunch that I am sure will be present.
    SloSpoke Jim

  24. #24
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boatdesigner View Post
    The Istachatta Store is closed now. I'd watch out for the camel. I understand those things can spit! The trail does have some hills, but they are not real steep as the railroad bed was flattened for the choo choos. If you are used to riding down south, I'd guess you'd find it hilly. If you are used to riding in the middle of the state or up around G-ville, it is pretty flat.

    Registration for the ride is in Inverness, I don't know if you have to check in if you have pre-registered. I would think you have to stop in and pick up your t-shirt.
    Seems to me you have to check in to get your goodie bag, but it doesn't take but 30 seconds if you're preregistered.

    As for hills, there is an additional 8 mile off-trail loop added in each year towards the north end that's much hillier than the trail, (a la Gainsville Horse Farm ride). That's to give you a full 100 miles if you do that plus the whole trail, (46 + 46 + 8)

    Maggi and I do this ride every year with a group of tandems, but regrettably we won't be there this year. The Southern Tandem Rally is the weekend after over at The Villages, so we'll be preparing for that if it's possible for us to go anywhere. (Been a rough year!)

    There's a big wooden ... something ... gate-posts-with-no-gate-made-from-logs thingy at the southern end of the start finish that's always a good place for people to meet up. (See pic of thingy and me below!) Most people seem to start out to the south, so we go north. If you do the north end with the 8 mile hilly loop, you've got 40 miles in by the time you get back to start finish.

    If any of you don't want to go that far/ride the hills, when the bunch turns off the trail for the loop, keep going straight to the north end. The loop rejoins the trail a little below the north end, and their route will send them there as well. So you can regroup there, and your ride will be 32 miles. There are well stocked sag stops and adequate facilities set up every year we've done it. We'll miss it this year. You guys have fun.

    P.S. The camel is cool! First time we saw him, his butt was to us as we approached, but he was looking back towards us. I told Maggi, "Look at that UGLY horse!"

    R2R_start_finish.jpg
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  25. #25
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Onegun that is some good information about the Withlacoochee ride. I took a look at the STR web site, that seems like a great event and I will bet you guys have a ton of fun. Anyone that could confuse a camel for a horse would have be fun to be around. I don't have a tandem but I might just stop by one day and say hi. The Villages are just up the road from me. I hope to be riding the Pinellas trail this Tuesday and Wednesday with my daughter. If you spot two slo spokes out their give us a wave.
    SloSpoke Jim

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