100 Triathlons
Go to the early blogs to read how I got into triathlons. Click on any picture to enlarge it. I'm now in USA Triathlon's Century Club; go to
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Sunday, May 8, 2011

New Salsa Mukluk - First Ride!

A few years back, I was at Orange Cycle when Orlando bike doyen Diane Blake, arrived with an amazing new bicycle, a Surly Pugsley. It's a snow bike from Minnesota that does equally well in sand. I thought, "What a perfect bike for Wekiwa Springs State Park's sandy trails". So for about 2 years, I have been saving for my own snow/sand bike. After gathering small work bonuses and ebay sales, it finally added up and on Monday, May 2nd, a new Salsa Mukluk arrived. I put it together the next evening and was riding around neighbors' lawns at 10:15 that night. I was really looking forward to Sunday in the Park!

Mother's Day morning at 7:00 AM I entered the park, filled with nervous anticipation. My last foray in there with a Gary Fisher mountain bike (1999) resulted in many spills and the sale of the Fisher at the following month's Orange Cycle Garage Sale. I hit the first trail 1 mile from my house and immediately started a sharp uphill climb, scattering 9 deer on my way up. About 5 minutes later, I was hooked; the Mukluk was perfect for the sandy trails! About 3 miles later I decided to turn off the fireroads and try a singletrack trail. The bike excelled at the technical stuff too, bouncing over roots and obstacles with ease. I rode up toward Otter Camp, the furthest camp in the park, at the 6 mile point. I passed Big Buck Camp which was occupied with a family (Happy Mother's Day!) and waved as I continued on. Otter Camp was empty so I stretched my legs and took some photos. Both of these camps are on Rock Springs Run, which funnels into the Wekiva River.

After a break, I backtracked and explored a trail I had never run down before. I was surprised when it dead-ended at a fence on the border of Kelly Park, the very north end of Wekiwa. I turned south and stopped again 2 miles later at a trail crossing. I was then surprised by 3 mountain bikers, William, Paul, and Tony. We chatted briefly and I let them lead out and followed behind. We separated after a bit and I saw them in the distance on another cross trail later. I went through the dreaded "sugar sand" 5 times but only had to walk through it twice. I'm sure that will improve. The best part of the ride was never falling once. I returned home with a total of 15.6 miles and the conclusion that this bike is amazing!

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