Back when I first started riding the Munson Hills trail back in a time I call the early 1990’s, I would put some Dinosaur Jr. in the Discman and roll around those woods like it was the edge of the world. If you ventured off of the main loop onto a forest road or motorcycle trail you were taking a chance of spending the next 3 hours trying to find your way back to town. When it rained the trail was fast, and when it didn’t rain the trail was slow and soft.
We wore Hi-Tec soft hiking boots in toe clips, and carried a backpack full of provisions. Day old bagels for energy and water in any container that could hold water.
Now Munson is an artificial race track, very fun, but no longer of the forest. You are separated from the Prana by 7.5 miles of screaming fast red clay. There is still an entire forest to explore, but I don’t think you are supposed to ride bikes beyond the red line. If you want a little taste of the old ways, and almost nobody does, you go slog it around the Twilight trail, then check it off the list for the year.
These folks in Brooksville better keep their 60+ miles of sand and pine needle trail under wraps. Gentrification will not stand for it. If the sport of mountain biking is going to progress we will need to pave away the slow and make the trails more competitive or fun, I’m not sure which is the goal. I’m stuck on mountain biking as a sport. For me that is like calling prayer a sport. Sure, I like to pray as fast as the next guy if I can, but I always wash my feet before entering the temple and I always say amen when I am done.
Crooms is an old-Florida temple. I only saw about 15 miles of it, and I guess I missed the big quarry pit action, but what I rode today was the cinnamon and sugar of my youth. Silent and smooth, with 17 turkeys and a bull fox squirrel as my witness I prayed for each and every one of your souls.