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Keystone Heights, FL

Old 08-28-18, 10:09 AM
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DonRocinante
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Keystone Heights, FL

Iím a transplant to this town from NC. My wife grew up here & in Jax & wanted to move back home, so here I am! After moving here I discovered the bike trails, & after riding my sonís heavy hybrid I have bought a vintage Trek & ride all the time, most everyday. The most Iíve ridden is 27 miles so far & am estimating that I can ride for around 35 miles all on paved bike trails!

I happened to be riding next to a guy from Orlando who has a daughter out here who he visits a couple of times a month & he always brings his bike when he comes just so he can ride these trails. Anyway, he told me that the trails were at one time train tracks that the state had converted in a program called something g like ďrail to trail.Ē There are parts that of the old rail line which are still under construction with miles to be added.

If if anyone is in the surrounding area & doesnít know about these trails, youíve gotta check them out! I will be meeting a bike group in the area this evening for the first time for a twenty mile ride & am looking forward to it. There are other cycling groups nearby in Gainesville & Jax as well as the Keystone Heights bike group. There are also plenty of events in the area which I will be attending soon.

Moving here was a happy accident for me, but one I have come to love!
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Old 08-28-18, 04:22 PM
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Hey Don. There are rail trails all over the US. In my neck of the woods there is the Withlacoochee Trail which still has the markers along the trail showing how many miles from that point to Richmond.

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Old 08-29-18, 06:00 AM
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Hi Ron,

I had no clue that there are so many trails, so Iím totally excited to discover them! How long are the trails near you? Do you ride often? The picture you posted looks like that trail is in excellent shape! How far from KH is it? That is assuming itís in FL. It looks like it could be. Either way, enjoy riding the trails you are so lucky to have & have fun!
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Old 08-29-18, 06:28 PM
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Don, I did a google search and got this info. Link below
https://www.trails.com/florida/rail-...z=6&m=outdoors

The Jax-baldwin trail is 30 miles round trip. Pretty nice trail . Only 8 miles from the house. Going to ride the Withlacoochee trail https://www.trails.com/us/fl/istacha...ee-state-trail .
Here is a link for a ride on the w/c trail. Furnish lunch and you can ride the distance you desire. Very laid back ride.. Town of Inverness is where it is based out of.
https://raceroster.com/events/2018/1...chee-bike-ride
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Old 08-30-18, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by DonRocinante View Post
Hi Ron,

I had no clue that there are so many trails, so I’m totally excited to discover them! How long are the trails near you? Do you ride often? The picture you posted looks like that trail is in excellent shape! How far from KH is it? That is assuming it’s in FL. It looks like it could be. Either way, enjoy riding the trails you are so lucky to have & have fun!
The Withlacoochee Trail is 46 miles long. The nearest trailhead for me is in Hernando, 11 miles from the north end. I try to ride the trail 3-4 days a week. The picture isn't the trail. Its a neighborhood street next to the trail. For pics of the trail (with friendly riders) and other info click this link. —> https://www.rttwst.org

I also enjoy riding the Suncoast Trail. It's 41 miles long. —> https://www.traillink.com/trail-maps/suncoast-trail/

Come on up and give them a try.
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Last edited by RonH; 08-30-18 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 08-31-18, 06:08 AM
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Baldy1953 & RonH,
Thank you both for the awesome info! I will be riding those trails in addition to one I just heard about in Santos. I don't know if I'll make the race or not, but I do know that I'll be riding that awesome trail! I'm hoping to het out there by next week!
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Old 08-31-18, 02:50 PM
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Race??? Do you mean the Rails to Trails ride in October? That's a charity ride. Most folks an Bike Forums are talking about charity rides when they mention riding in an event. It's the folks on the Road Cycling forum who talk a lot about racing. I'm coming up on 74 in a few months so no interest in racing other than watching the Tour de France, Vuelta a EspaŮa, Giro d'Italia or other pro races on television.
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Old 09-01-18, 08:45 PM
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yes, the withlacoochee is not a race. It is just a group of people that ride to support the trail. The ride starts in Inverness and you can go south or north. Going south to the end and back to Inverness is a metric century. I rode with a sloooow friend last time and we had a good time. I plan on riding it again in October sans friend. I cannot tolerate a 10 mph average. Way too slow for me. Plan on it taking around 3.5 to 4 hours this time, not 6 hours.
Registration is now open for the ride.
Here is their website. https://www.rttwst.org/annual-bike-r...-to-trails.php
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Old 09-02-18, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldy1953 View Post
yes, the withlacoochee is not a race. It is just a group of people that ride to support the trail.
"Group" is not a small group, it's more like 500-800 riders of all ages and abilities riding any type of bike you can imagine. Great fun too.
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Old 09-02-18, 08:39 PM
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@RonH, yes, I agree there is a lot of people riding. However, there is no mass start, so the crowd is not too bad. I rode it for the first time last year and we started around 8:30. Maybe we missed the big crush of people. Never saw that many people the whole day. Very enjoyable day though. Looking forward to doing again this year.
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Old 09-04-18, 04:40 AM
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Yeah, I guess I meant to say ďeventĒ vs ďrace,Ē haha! Yep, Iím a newbie alright!

I will be looking at those events as well as a couple of others. One is ride in Keystone Heights, but the details are kind of vague according to one of the guys that Iíve been riding with occasionally. Thereís another called ďThe Horrible Hundred,Ē which seems like a grueling hill ride to me. Others are the ďEndless SummerĒ ride, the ďWatermelon RideĒ & Iíll have to look back at the CAAM list for the others.

Im interested in events like this, but I also just like to ride trails with a group without the formality or solo. I just like to ride🚴🏼*♀️!!

Bike pictures res coming later today 🚲
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Old 09-06-18, 04:43 PM
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Don, you'll have to post a little info about your rides in the "Did You Ride Today?" thread.
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Old 09-10-18, 08:03 AM
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Cool, Ron! Iím going to post some pictures of my ride this morning now!
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Old 09-12-18, 07:44 PM
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Don, You missed the ride you were discussing in your earlier post. I am pretty sure the ride you were talking about is " the Endless Summer Watermelon Ride".. It was on the 9th. There are several rides coming up. The Gainesville cycling festival is one. The Withlacoochee Ride is also soon. Google either one and you can get the info necessary
to register if interested.
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Old 09-13-18, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Baldy1953 View Post
Don, You missed the ride you were discussing in your earlier post. I am pretty sure the ride you were talking about is " the Endless Summer Watermelon Ride".. It was on the 9th. There are several rides coming up. The Gainesville cycling festival is one. The Withlacoochee Ride is also soon. Google either one and you can get the info necessary
to register if interested.
Yeah, I was bummed about missing the Endless Summer Watermelon ride, but thanks a million for the info on the upcoming rides! Iím googling now!
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Old 09-15-18, 07:08 AM
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Don, you can read about almost all the Florida cycling events here. —> CAAM Florida
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Old 09-17-18, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Don, you can read about almost all the Florida cycling events here. ó> CAAM Florida
Thanks again, Ron! Unfortunately, I have just screwed my back up, again! I most likely will miss the ride this coming weekend for the event in Keystone Heights. But Iím hoping to hit one the weekend after. Itís a real bummer, I can barely walk and standing takes a lot of effort. Anyhow, iím down but not out! I will be turning 50 in the beginning of November and there are a lot of events that I want to participate in. Thanks for the information on CAAM!!
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Old 09-17-18, 04:52 PM
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Sorry to hear about your back. I'm 73 and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis about 3 years ago. My spine doc (who is a cyclist) told me to continue riding my drop bar road bikes. They're great for stretching out my lower back.
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Old 10-03-18, 10:04 AM
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My first ride today!

Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Sorry to hear about your back. I'm 73 and was diagnosed with spinal stenosis about 3 years ago. My spine doc (who is a cyclist) told me to continue riding my drop bar road bikes. They're great for stretching out my lower back.
Once my back straightened back out, I was ready to think about riding again. And today was that day! It was only a short 8 miler, but it felt great to be back on my bike & back on the trails that I have been missing so much!

Im going to be cautious & not push it too much by riding any great distances just yet, BUT, I have noticed the unpaved part of the trail heading into Palatka from Keystone Heights is being paved now! AND, this trail will eventually lead all the way to St. Augustine!! Wow!!

Man, I have been chomping at the bit & biding my time while battling cabin fever, so I readjusted my brakes, my front derailer, handlebars & seat post & I put on a new chain & seat. When I got off the bike I had to make a few more adjustments but my bike is more ready than I am! Iím also going to start planning to hit that Withlacoochie Trail Iíve heard so much about!

Last edited by DonRocinante; 10-03-18 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 10-03-18, 11:03 AM
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Glad your back is doing better.

Originally Posted by DonRocinante View Post
I’m also going to start planning to hit that Withlacoochee Trail I’ve heard so much about!
Let me know when you'll be heading over this way.
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Old 10-03-18, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Glad your back is doing better.


Let me know when you'll be heading over this way.
Thanks, Ron & will do! Iíve seen that trail listed as having 46 paved miles! Nice! How far do you usually ride?
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Old 10-03-18, 04:00 PM
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Back when I was a kid (5 years ago) I'd ride 35+ miles. I've ridden the entire trail length. Now days since I'm getting older (coming up on 74) I do 22-32 miles. They're having the Rails to Trails ride this coming Sunday. I know its short notice. I won't be there. I'll be at church. I like the spring Clean Air ride much better. It's always on Saturday.
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Old 10-03-18, 07:22 PM
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Yes, the ride on the trail is on Sunday.Wife and I are going to be there. She will ride about 12-14 miles and I am going to do the metric by going south from Inverness to the end and return. Did it last year with a friend. He rides too slow,so will be on my own this year. Weather should be good also.
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Old 10-04-18, 04:54 PM
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Yeah guys, I donít think Iíll make that ride this weekend. I would love to, but itís realistically a bit too soon for me with my back issue. I did a 20 miler today & was fine until I got off my bike. I wasnít bad or in a lot of pain, but I definitely felt it more today than the 8 miler I did yesterday. I also had to pass on this eveningís group ride with the Keystone Heights group.

Ill get back on my trail here in town tomorrow morning & go for another 20, but at a more relaxed pace & see how I do. So yeah, Iím definitely going to ride that Withlacoochie trail & want to a good distance. I just have to remember what my wife always says about how you have to eat a bear one bite at a time, haha!
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Old 10-04-18, 05:55 PM
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the ride is whatever distance you want to ride . It is not set distances. All for 1 price. Then they feed you when you get back. Put your lunch in a styrafoam container. So you could ride any distance you feel comfortable with. The first rest area going south is about 10 miles ( or was last year)
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