Monday, May 2, 2011

Mountain Biking - Oleta River State Park - North Miami

I have owned a Mongoose Mountain Bike for years but have never really taken it off road. A typical weekend ride for me is about 20 miles. I like that my bike rides heavy on the road. Much better workout. I heard about Oleta River State Park from a friend and decided to give it a try. This is South Florida right. No mountains, no hills, no curves in the road. How hard can it be.

Oh boy!!! Big surprise. I started off with the beginner trail and found out what a beginner I was. The hills were what I expected. Dirt pushed up here and there. It was the rocks, roots, branches, and closeness of the trees I didn't really think about. Jumping logs and running across little wooden bridges keep my attention focused like a laser. I put my new helmet to good use more than once. The trails are pretty well marked and not all that crowded when I was there. That is to say no one ran me over. It is quite amazing to be right in the middle of a busy city and yet totally immersed in nature. After about 20 minutes on the novice trail, I gave the intermediate trail a go. I approached a steep hill and didn't quite give it enough gas to make it over. The incline was enough to make my brakes useless and I came down backwards pretty quick. In all fairness my bike has never stopped going backwards before and if the rear brake had managed to grip, I would have rolled the bike. Not to be deterred, I got some distance from the hill and a good amount of speed and was up and over. I was pretty shocked when the seat on my bike snapped right off. I was not too badly hurt but I have to say I am not to impressed with Mongoose right now.

The conclusion of my first experience at Oleta is that it is far from my last. Of course I need a new bike but wow, what a rush. I barely even scratched the surface of the trails and some of the advanced trails are terrifying. One had a set of stairs. Not sure if you were supposed to carry your bike up or ride down them. All I know is I want to try again and soon.


  1. Ah, what's a few planes between friends?!?! Sounds like a fun adventure all the same!

    Like you, I explore my own area - unlike you, my area is the whole country of OZ!

    Happy travels!!

  2. Wow - a comment from the other side of the planet. How cool is that!!!

    I actually travel the world and the US as much as I can. While I wait to fund those huge adventures, I like to dig out the little, inexpensive nuggets of fun in South Florida. I like your insiders view of Australia. Another place on my bucket list you are making more real for me. Thanks.