Mountain biking in Florida

Yes it exists

Alafia+River+State+Park.
Alafia River State Park.

Alafia River State Park.

Photo provided by getsomeadventures.com

Photo provided by getsomeadventures.com

Alafia River State Park.

Troy Dyer, Staff Writer

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Florida is known to be the flat state, one just for beaches, tanning, and causeways, and while this is true, it doesn’t mean you are just held to the roads or the beachside for biking. Florida is rich with phosphate mines, well abandoned ones now, which left open tons of hills big and small throughout the northern parts of Florida. These are home to some of the best biking possible here in Florida, and it takes you off road. Parks such as Alafia River State Park and Balm Boyette are home to some of the hardest, yet most exciting, trails this sport can offer. These are just two of the parks out of the many here in Florida, and these are my personal favorites, located about an hour and a half each from Clearwater. All you need to get started is to rent a bike, which you can do at Alafia, bring a helmet and water, and you’re off to the trails! Each trail is color coded, so you know how hard it will be, scaled on green, blue, and black. Green being the easiest, blue being medium, and black being the hardest.

No matter the skill set, green is always the way to start off, from a casual warm up lap to a first-time off road. Then give or take a few times out, blues are the next step, providing more exciting hills and obstacles. Then after many times of blue-even I still need more practice-you then can test your skills on the black trails, which provide hard turns, jumps, drops, and hills. Completing these trails is the most rewarding as they are a true test of skill and max out the off-road experience. I go with my friend Nick as much as possible and it’s never a dull trip no matter what trail we do and how much we struggle on some of the harder bits. This is one of the most exciting and challenging sports out there, testing your cardio, strength, and limits you are willing to push yourself.

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