Bikepacking Documentary: Mountain Bike Camping & MTB Touring in Florida to Alexander Springs

Bikepacking Documentary: Mountain Bike Camping & MTB Touring in Florida to Alexander Springs

The ride started early Saturday morning
at the Pedal Driven bike shop located in the historic district in Sanford Florida. “He’s got skinny tire bike” “We are about this embark on this
adventure here with Matt” “Oh yeah” ” That’s the owner of this shop where we’re
starting here. Also here with Tony” “What’s up guys?” “Ready to do this?” “Yeah definitely!
Riding to Alexander Springs” “All right let’s go!” The ride was planned having two
different starting locations the first being at the bike shop
shortly after nine when we started we were joined by one more rider the four
of us then rode nine and a half miles to the second starting location where we
would be joined by the remaining riders and what would make up the bulk of our
group. “Hey we got a good group here!” “Nice! Hello!” I wasn’t exactly sure how
many more riders to expect and so I was stoked to see an additional 12 show up
for a total of 16. “Frank what’s going on man! Good to see ya!” About five minutes after
the second group of riders arrived we resumed by entering the Markham Woods
trail system right across the street from our second starting location. The route then took us into the Seminole
State Forest a few miles later. About halfway through the Seminole
forest we stopped for some quick local knowledge about Blackwater Creek from
Ron. “Upstream is also really really cool. It splits – sulfur run goes one way if you
go up far enough you run into an old railroad bridge. That’s where most people
like to go, it actually is a full bridge across the River.” From there we continued moving
north toward the Cassia trailhead at the north end of the Seminole State Forest. Once there the group stopped for a
moment to regroup and be updated on what lie ahead. “Yeah we’re gonna be on
pavement here for about two two and a quarter miles on 44 and then we
turn left on Royal Trails, that’s another roughly two two ish miles
maybe two and a quarter and that takes us right to Maggie Jones which Maggie
Jones’s are gonna be a lot like what we just did except the final, I guess the
final two or three miles, it turns into pavement and it starts becoming light
residential, but the majority of it is just like what we just rode – gravel,
wilderness. Yeah so if you guys need any water, drinks, food, bathrooms, whatever, get
it at the Dollar General because once we leave there that’s our last stop until
we actually get to Alexander Springs which is like another 12 miles of
singletrack up the road and it’s so it’s a good, at least a good hour. By the looks
of this we’ll probably have a little bit more sand than expected so that’s going
to probably slow us down a bit. laughs nerd A little over an hour and 13 miles later
we arrived in Paisley at the Dollar General – the only store for miles in any
direction. Here the riders restocked with water, drinks, and snacks. After what was around a 20-minute stop
at the store we resumed progress on what was the final leg of the day’s ride: 12
miles of singletrack on the Paisley trail. “All right we are taking a quick break
here to regroup, we are still waiting on I think two riders that are falling back
a little bit. We’re basically almost in the middle of nowhere. And here they come!”
“All right breaks over let’s go!” “All right we just made it to Alexander
Springs!” About 33 miles and several hours after the day start we arrived at our
destination: Alexander Springs. “So here we are at Alexander Springs and
we just grabbed a couple picnic tables and grilling some hamburgers hotdogs,
have some food it was driven up for us.” A couple of the riders had someone meet
us there with a grill and some great food. “I’m about to go take a shower over that
way facilities might take a swim in the spring. Yeah we’re all here and we’ve
just eaten so in a little bit get cleaned up and then go to camp.” “So I’m walking down to the spring over
there apologies if the video quality isn’t optimal because I have my phone in
a plastic bag right now because I’m trying to try to get an underwater view
of the spring itself. It looks like this awesome crater.” Well that didn’t work too well… I had my
phone and closed in a sealed plastic ziplock bag for waterproofing but the
pressure of the water up against the touchscreen pressed the stop record
button so this is all I was able to get. “Alright here we are we just left the
springs park proper and we’re a little bit across the street in this wooded
area, you can see everybody is about to set up camp,
everybody’s clearing their spot. This is gonna be home sweet home for the
night. Matt here’s testing out his new hammock,
already got it set up, just about two stragglers just rolling in.” So I should
mention that most of the riders in our group hadn’t planned on camping or
riding back and so had made arrangements to be picked up at the picnic site. That
left the following eight that you see here plus myself. “So we are here
I think everybody’s, uh, as you can see behind me everybody’s pretty much got
their sleeping arrangements fully set up. Most of us are in tents as you can see,
except for the three guys here in hammocks but we’re basically set up for
the evening and we started a fire which will be adding wood to here in a little
bit. So we’re fixing to have a pretty cool night we should have fantastic
weather. It’s gonna be awesome. “What time is it? All right here we are morning two,
7:08 am and everybody’s packing up ready to hit the trail in a little bit.” “I think we’re all getting ready to make a deposit” “In
the safety deposit box?” “So this turned out to be a fantastic campsite got a
fantastic campfire we’ve all eaten breakfast and we’re about ready to rock
and roll here in probably 20 or 30 minutes more or less so we will be
making the trip homeward bound.” “That spring did a great job” “It did, it did.” “Cleanest water you could find.” “So were you sleeping in a t-shirt?” “Next time you’ll bring more stuff right?
So Speedy Gonzales wasn’t so… all of the lightweight approach wasn’t so much the way
to go on this was it?” “Alright this is what’s left of our campsite this area
here is we where we had two tents and two hammocks set up over here there was
another guy with a hammock over there and some tents over that way. We
extinguished the campfire, we had a nice fire going on right here and that’s
taken care of.” “All right we are packed up and ready to
roll we’re waiting on one rider who went to get some water.” “All right we’re back here at the Dollar
General on the return leg home we just finished the Paisley bike trail and there’s the rest of the group waiting for
us we’re here at the basically the almost halfway stop on the way back at the
Dollar General. We stopped here yesterday on the way up and this is the only store
around for a miles in this area so it’s kind of like an Oasis in the middle of nowhere.” This was the point where we lost two
more riders. One of the guys lives in an area that’s in the opposite direction to
where we were heading and so he broke off from the group here and rode home.
The other rider was becoming a victim of fatigue and decided it best if he hung
back at this location and had his wife come pick him up. “I don’t know I think we may have a
slight holdup here I don’t know what’s going on we got a rider back there
whistling for us oh okay so one of our riders left his backpack at the store
and he’s gotta…. he’s got to run back to get it.” So while we waited for Dean to
retrieve his backpack this rather unique and interesting vehicle drove by and we
were trying to figure out exactly what it was. “Is that a new model of something? I didn’t get a good look at it just the
side in the back. What kind of car was it?” “Yeah that ain’t an Exursion though. An
excursion it was longer than that.” “That sounded like a Ford engine
though GM diesels don’t sound like that.” “All right we just pulled into the Cassia
trailhead now we’re at the north end of the Seminole State Forest now so we only
have about less than 14, 15 miles to go to complete this ride. We just came up a
section of paved road over there which was pretty challenging because it’s an
uphill and into the wind and we’re starting to get tired and we stopped
here to regroup eaten a little bit of snacks here. What say there Tony?” “It was,
that was good that was good thanks to Speedy Gonzales over here. I’m gonna
start call you t-shirt guy. How’s that? This guy didn’t bring ****. He brought like a
he he brought like a silk sock to go bike packing, meanwhile everybody else is
it’s pretty loaded, Frank here wussed out, dropped his bag off with somebody so a
car is gonna come get him… I’m just giving you crap Frank. No it’s all good.
Yeah we’re almost done.” “All right guys we’re on the homestretch. Bear Pond Trailhead. And
how many miles is it to your place from here?” “You come here all the time! It’s
gotta be like probably about five miles…” “…five miles?” “Seven? All right
home stretch. Almost there!!” “Let’s do it” “Alright we’re here on the home stretch
on the Markham woods single track we’ve got like just a couple miles to
go when you ran into some people from yesterday that rode up with us. They’re
out here riding their Sunday ride.” “You did something when you did something like
that.” “This is it man we’re done.” “Great weekend, great ride, great times great
weather, pretty much great everything.” “Suck it up guys.” “Here we are.” “We made it.”
“Ride completed!” “Strike a mean pose like a total badass or something.” “Yeah you
mean that mean pose no no no no no I need I need you to stand up man.”

11 thoughts on “Bikepacking Documentary: Mountain Bike Camping & MTB Touring in Florida to Alexander Springs

  1. Great video John. Looks like a lot of fun. Never been there before. I'm going to check out all your videos. Could you do a wheelie for me on the next one and for all military veterans. Take it easy.

  2. Nice edit man. Looks like fun .A John Moorhouse adventure …. noun
    an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.

  3. Great video. Looked like it was an awesome out and back overnight trip. I'm not very familiar with that part of Florida. Pretty uneventful. No rattlesnakes, water moccasins or gators? 🙂

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