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FSC NEW changes
2014 Specialized Bicycles Florida State Championship series #3 Alafia River State Park - Lithia, FL 10-5-14.
By Tom Pike, photo by Michelle Pike.
Alafia River State Park, site of the Specialized FSC#3, oh yeah! This is a trail system that not only feels good to ride it makes you feel good. It makes a man feel like a man and a woman feel like a woman. It hits those pleasure zones you only hear them talk about on after hours call in shows. Okay maybe I'll stop there because I think there's young people that read this article is too. But you get the picture. The Alafia River State Park Trail system is probably one of the most favorite courses on the FSC circuit. I know riders who will take extra pre-ride laps because it's too hard to say no to this mistress of fun. I even heard some racers in the pits talking about going out and trying to push through another lap after the race is over because they just couldn't get enough of Alafia. And who could blame them. This was a weekend where the weather, the choice of trails for the race and the people that showed up came together to make a good time. Mother Nature treated the park to rains in the days leading up to race day. This get the trails a nice stickiness. Even the short sandy section in the field was almost tolerable. It's been almost a year since I rode Alafia last, which is inexcusable I know, but it gave me a real chance to appreciate the improvements the volunteer trail group has done there. The extension to the Magic Island Trail is a riot. It almost has a Carter Road feel to it. You know those cool is a moose but twice is hairy bench cuts where you just let go of the brakes and hope you don't fly off the edge as you switch back to the trail. Definitely a thrill inducer and smile maker. Other noticeable improvements included small berms in the North Creek Trail and on the Bridges trail. Also some minor rerouting of the Roller Coaster trail which also was a real smile maker. Thanks again to the trail crew. One of the things that I enjoy about the Alafia Trail system is its availability to spectators. Because the trails all branch off of one fire road it's easy for spectators and photographers to get the different points in the trail. Which has two benefits. The first one is it's always nice to hear people cheering specially at those parts of the course when you're really digging deep and suffering. The second is more variety of photographs from those that are out always shooting pix. Well San Felasco is up next. The challenge, besides riding your best, how many deer you see. Ride fast! Ride safe!
Tom Pike is an Ellsworth Team Rider. Tom has won a Silver Medal at the USAC National Mountain Bike Championships and is a two time Florida State Mountain Bike Champion. In his “spare time” he works teaching Film Production at Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami, Florida.
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*Also new is the Gone Riding Store including our new Gone Riding Jersey
mountain bike racing
Mountain bike racing
Wow what a change in weather from one day to the next, on Saturday during the pre-ride it was hot, wet and muggy and on Sunday as the first cold front of the season came through it was cool, dry and perfect for racing. The 6.7 mile course is one of the more technical courses on the FSC circuit and was in prime shape not only due to mother nature but also to the volunteers at the Swamp Club, many thanks! The elite class saw nearly an extra mile of trail as they were priviliged to a parade lap before hitting the first single track on a section called North Creek, all of the other classes had a mad dash to the first section to try and gain an advantage on their fellow racers, starts were very important at this round. Shelly Allen took her third win in a row at what is considered her home track and she also bagged the $50 First Place Racing Fast Lap Fifty as she set the fastest lap time in the Women's cat 1 class. There was great racing all around but in the elite class it was a hammer fest between Mose Howard, Dwayne Allgire and Bob McCarty with McCarty taking his first win of the season which keeps him in the "leaders jersey" for the next round. KMC chains also had two fast lap awards for the top Single Speed lap time (Max Baggaley) and the 40-49 cat 2's (Peter Osborne), congrats to all! AJ's Bikes & Boards graciously hosted the event as they have every year at Alafia and handed out over $2000 in prizes to the medalists.
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