When we lost the lease, I sent an e-mail to Mundy and Don asking if we could get a work day to get the Ocala motorcycle loop in rideable condition so we would have a place to ride until a new lease was up and running. When I didn't hear back from them I assumed that we were close to getting a new lease. It has been over two months and nobody has heard anything about a new lease. I thought I would let the general membership know about a conversation I had with Jay Perry. He is in charge of trail maintenance at the Ocala National forest. On October 10 through the 14th there is going to be a work detail on the green motorcycle loop. This is not going to be forstery personal but it is supported by them. They will supply camping passes to anybody that is helping with the maintenance. The last I heard there are only about 6 people so far signed up. Anybody that has ridden this loop lately knows it is very overgrown and whooped out. If anybody is willing to come out and help out it would be greatly appreciated. Even if it is just for a few hours. If you can help you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 352 256 0752 Thanks
Post by queenofslow on Sept 25, 2019 20:33:17 GMT -5
Hi Mike. Thank you for caring about the trails in ONF and for looking for alternatives for RCDR.
We live in Salt Springs and ride ONF at least twice a week. We are very familiar with the forest, especially the quadrant north of 40. We have not been riding the motorcycle loop because of the severe issues with it:
- overgrown trail. The vegetation of the area is extremely dense scrub oak- even when you clear the trail itself there is still zero visibility, making collisions a real hazard. Old members of RCDR can relay their personal stories of severe head-on crashes.
- two-way single track. Think about it. Two-way. Single track. Zero visibility. Hmmmm....
- whooped and superfluffy. It would take a lot of money and equipment to fix the whoops, and it will be a temporary fix at best.The soil of this area has no clay and no base in it. The deep sugar sand makes it like riding in the Sahara. This trail in its best condition (after a monsoon) is still unrideable by the average rider.
- once the trail is cleared it will most likely be encroached by the SxS and four wheelers which are riding RAMPANT everywhere they should not- with no monitoring and penalties by the forest service. The drivers of these vermin apparently cannot read maps and signs. They are ruining some of the best forest roads in the area. The pox on their house.
Bottom line: in my opinion it is not worth investing time and effort to "fix" the motorcycle loop. It is not fixable. It is in the wrong area (in the midst of four wheel OHVs territory with superfluffy soils and zero visibility).
There are other areas in the north part of the forest which are accessible from trailheads and parking areas and are much better suited for a "motorcycle-only" loop. Instead of wasting resources with a lost cause, all the clubs adjacent to ONF (not just RCDR!) should propose and support a better alternative. And the state of Florida should graciously shell out the gas tax money they have been collecting and not investing in motorcycle facilities. Here AMA can help a bit put together a proposal for financing.Best case scenario is not going to happen overnight.
On another note: if you ride a tagged (aka street legal) motorcycle we will be glad to show some fun itineraries in the forest which do not involve fighting the sand gods and risking head-on collisions. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
And FYI, the forest service has been closing MORE forest roads in ONF every year with no input or protest from the public (aka US). And clearcutting of 4000 + acres a year has been ongoing (actually 9000 acres in 2018) leaving behind forest roads which look like war zones. The future does NOT look bright.
With the difficulty all clubs (not just RCDR) are having in finding rideable areas, if we don't make our voice heard we'll end up riding in the parking lot of Walmart.
I can't argue with anything you have said about the trail. The trail is hard and a beginner rider would not enjoy it at all. That said it is about the only single track around other than Croom. The head on danger is a real concern. You have to ride the trail with the mindset of getting a good workout in and having some fun too. I thank you for the offer to ride but my bikes are not street legal.
Post by queenofslow on Sept 26, 2019 20:50:24 GMT -5
I understand. You may consider getting a cheap street legal bike. It will open the potential for some really awesome riding in Ocala and Osceola. BTW I was at Jim Harker's* today and saw his KTM 300 lurking in a corner of his humongous garage. The bike is tagged. He is considering selling it because he is not using it. It is old but good. Give it some thought if you have a few spare dimes rattling in your pocket and have no ethical qualms against a two stroke bike.
The 300 is a great bike for Ocala. Lots of fun!
* Jim is a past president of RCDR and member of the "1000 days of trail work" club.
Post by johnnyb300 on Sept 27, 2019 8:22:45 GMT -5
I feel your pain Mike. I probably spent more time at the lease riding, and just enjoying walking the trails with loppers during the week more than anyone else. Believe me when I say I miss it. The club is doing all it can to find a piece of property, but in modern times the few remaining private landowners are in constant fear of liability issues. Right now, NFMX, Ocala and Osceola are available. Osceola, notorious for being unrideable in rainy seasons is dry now. There is a section that can be ridden without needing a tagged bike at the Swarthout or Mt. Carrie OHV trailhead off U.S. 90. I spoke to someone at the Ranger station, and they said you must either have your title in hand, or you can go to the DMV with your title and get a bike sticker. Note that non-tagged bikes are restricted to the dotted lines on the attached map (I hope the attachment opens). The numbered roads are off limits without a tag. There is also the Forest link below for general info. I hope this helps. If you have any questions, email RCDR and I'll reply. John B.
Post by queenofslow on Sept 27, 2019 12:39:50 GMT -5
Second that. Excellent map of rideable trails at Osceola NF can be downloaded from the site Osceola National Forest (address in John's posting above) MVUM map. The visitor center on 90 also has a $ 10 (maybe $ 12) plasticized map which is good for general orientation.
If you ride the OHV trails on the weekend, watch for 4 wheelers. They have developed and maintain the trail system between 10 and 90. (Evidence of what determined and interested users can do by working with the Forest Service). Generally this bunch is comprised of nice and corteous folks, a welcome respite from the obnoxious invaders in Ocala.
We are in Osceola for the next two weeks, escaping the fluffyness and dust of Ocala. Anybody who wants to ride during the week or weekends, drop me an email.