Trail riding can be a variety of different types of trails like a short, highly technical and constructed trail to longer forest or rail trails. They can even be hiking trails that include mountain trails and can last for days.
Enduro, or all mountain, is where there is a number of timed downhill segments of trail and a few uphill transfer stages that are not timed. This is a stage race and the winner is the racer that ends up with the lowest sum of time after adding up the different sections. These will most likely take up about 1 or 2 days.
Downhill mountain biking adds a bit more to the race in mountain biking by having tracks or trails that are usually on steep and rough terrains that include jumps, drops, rock gardens and other obstacles. To endure the ride, the bikes are heavier and stronger than the others ones. Unlike the other genres.
Freeride, although closely related to downhill biking, focuses more on tricks, style and technique rather than racing. Now known as one of the most popular mountain biking categories it was coined from the snowboarders who basically set no course, or goals or rules, simply used their creativity to ride freely.
Finally, dirt jumping consists of riding bikes through cement or type trails to jump and become airborne. The purpose of dirt jumping is the jump itself, not the race or ride.
Alafia River State Park
This trail is located less than an hour away from Tampa. If you’re up for it, you can start off with nearby 25-mile trail system Balm Boyette Preserve. Here you’ll be able to enjoy tons of steep, undulating hills and drops. In Alafia you will find more difficult steep climbs, so it is definitely for more experienced riders. If it’s your first time be sure to pick up a trail map at the visitors center.
This may seem like heaven for mountain bike lovers. This is the largest and most well-known mountain biking park located in the Ocala, Florida area. Don’t worry too much if you’re just starting off because all of the trails are marked, so just follow your color and you’ll be fine. Yellow is for beginner trails, blue for intermediate and red for advanced. You’ll find such a large variety of trails ranging from flat and rolling to rocky and steep. It is important to navigate carefully since it is 81, 290 acres of all trails, so be sure to carry a trail map and compass just in case.
Markham Park makes for a great ride for beginners since it’s basically hard packed sand with some rocky areas. It is about 10 miles of trail if you were to ride it all. Make sure you go during sunny season because after a strong rainfall you’ll be swimming instead of riding. It’s located in Sunrise, Florida.
This particular trail is part of the Santos trail mentioned previously, but is worth mentioning separately due to it being the longest one. This one will offer tons of obstacles for an action packed ride, taking you through technical rock gardens, ladder ramps, boulders and wood skinnies. This trails surrounds the freeride and dirt jump area of Santos, so you can definitely find your way easily and after about 2 miles continue on the freeride trail or just go back in.
In general, you are sure to have a blast and just to finish up, keep in mind these final reminders to make your ride even “smoother”. Always look where you want to go, get your fingers away from the front brake, keep your butt behind your back seat and finally for those big drops be sure to drop the back seat, you’ll see a big difference.