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looking for good riding in OCALA, FLORIDA(9 posts)

looking for good riding in OCALA, FLORIDADuke249
Nov 4, 2003 11:27 AM
I've recently moved to Ocala from Northern Indiana and am absolutely loving the weather. I've found the Santos trailhead and have done more off-road riding than I've done in the past 5 years, however, I'm still searching for group rides and decent routes for road riding. It appears that there would be some nice country roads through the horse farms here, but I've haven't been able to really find good road riding. I'm accustomed to fast training rides, and am looking to race. Any help will be appreciated.
re: looking for good riding in OCALA, FLORIDArussw19
Nov 4, 2003 12:07 PM
You have some really nice roads in that area to ride and it is one of the more hilly areas in Florida, outside of Tallahassee and Orlando, but there aren't many group rides in that area that originate from Ocala that I am aware of. You need to drive up to Gainesville and hook up with the Hippodrome rides or the UF cycling team's rides if you want fast group rides. The area you are in is great for long solo days, but fast group rides leave from up in G'ville.

Follow this link for the Gainesville Cycling Club's webpage, and if you need more help finding rides, drop a note to me on here and I can help you more.

re: looking for good riding in OCALA, FLORIDAslowmo1829
Nov 4, 2003 6:27 PM
your right between gainesville and orlando orlando is full of group rides try or in orlando.
also horrible hundred century 10/16 is a blast all hills
Ocala is MTB countryIan
Nov 4, 2003 7:41 PM
As you have found, there is some great MTB riding in that part of the state. Santos is fantastic. Reddick (just north of Ocala) is also wonderful. These are probably the two best MTB spots in the state. Partly because of that, the road scene has not developed well. You can check with the Santos Trailhead Bicycle Shop, they do evening road rides during daylight savings time. Also check with Streit's Cyclery, they may have some small (4-8 person) weekend road rides.

For larger group rides, you will need to go to Gainesville. Check with The Bike Route and Gator Cycle. They are the premier shops in town and should be able to point you in the right direction.

Or for even larger rides, make the 1 hour drive to Windermere on Sunday mornings. Check for more info. The ride leaves at 8:00am on Sunday's and more often than not, there are around 100 riders that start this ride.

Welcome to FL. This will be the best winter riding you will have ever experienced. Today was 85 degrees, mostly sunny skies and a 10 mph wind. I bet those in Indiana could not say that.

Don't go to Gator... Arthur is a jerk!russw19
Nov 4, 2003 10:52 PM
"Babe! You like, you buy!"- that's Arthur's favorite sales pitch for selling high end bikes....

Arthur represents everything that is wrong with bike shop owners! He's an ass, a bigot, a sexist jerk, and knows absoultely nothing about bikes! Go to a shop where the owner AND the staff actually ride. Bike Route is a cool shop, and Mike is a good guy, also Chain Reaction's owner Raliegh is cool and he sponsors the UF team. Bikes and More's owner Lex (who also just opened Mr. Goodbike with Mike Hetrick and Gus from Spin) is a super guy. And one of the only frame builders in the area that I still know of. If you are into mountain bikes, go to Spin. Ted has had the nicest and most knowledgeable shop in Gainseville for 10 years now. He rides and he cares about the cycling scene. Traditionally a mountain shop, but they have two roadies there who know there stuff (way more than Arthur at least!)and they have the reputaion of being the nicest and most honest shop in town.
Nov 5, 2003 7:20 PM

Have you been in Gator lately? Gerry (who used to own Primo) now runs the store. Gerry is one of the nicest, most knowledgeable and avid cyclists I know. I have always had good experiences in dealing with him.

Nov 5, 2003 7:38 PM
Hey Ian, Yeah! I like Gerry a lot too, but I can't stand Arthur! No matter how much I like anyone, Arthur makes that store not worth going into. The shame of it is that they have the best location in Alachua county, a great product line, and they used to have some damn good mechanics... but I gave up on that place because of Arthur. It's just my single solitary opinion, but he represents everything that is wrong in the cycling industry today, and that coupled with guys like Ted at Spin, Mike at Bike Route, Raliegh at Chain Reaction, and Lex at Bikes and More, means all the more reason to go other places.

Again, that's just my opinion...

Is Chandler still around somewhere?wooglin
Nov 5, 2003 7:46 PM
Not the most knowlegeable guy, but damn nice.
re: looking for good riding in OCALA, FLORIDApugjulie
Nov 6, 2003 11:47 AM
There's also a group that rides out of Suncoast Bicycles in Inverness on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 5-5:15pm There's quite a few that come down from Ocala and from Dunnellon. It breaks up into many groups from A-B. Tuesday is very hilly and is 45-50 mi. Thursday is flatter and faster at about 40 miles. Great group though, and you'd definitely find your niche. There's road and mountain bike racers integrated into it. You can give the the shop a call at (352) 637-5757 and ask for Mike Layo (that's not me, but he's the one to talk to). It's only about 45 minutes south of you, and a lot less populated - no city stuff to worry about. Gainesville may be the same amount of time away, but with traffic it may be longer and a bigger hassle (they probably have a bigger group though) Also, there used to be a Saturday morning ride right out of Ocala near Streit's Cyclery, but it seems as though it may have fizzled out. Anyway, try us out, we have a really good group of anywhere from 15 to 30. Hope to see you there.