Huracan 300 – 2014

Last March a bunch of Atlanta folks and Loose Nuts Cycles crew decided to head down to Florida for Singletrack Samurai’s HuRaCaN 300, a 300+ mile (mostly) off road endurance race. The ITT event is a loop, starting and finishing at Greenway Cycles in Ocala. It was rumored to have it all: sugar-sand riding, gators, panthers, swamp crossings, meth-head trailer parks. We were totally sold. We got rained out on day 3 but manage maybe 270 miles total. Day 1 was 110 miles, day 2 135 miles. Crazy fun times.

The play by play:

Day 1…After not so much sleep at Santos campground we headed over to Greenway Cycles for the dark 6am start. Most headed counter-clockwise which meant beginning with Santos in the dark. After losing someone not 2 miles in, we regrouped and finally got our bearings as the sun came up.

Post-Santos Sunrise

Post-Santos Sunrise

Soon enough we hit the sugar sand. Definitely takes a minute to get used to riding this stuff. Exhausting.

Sugar Sand Florida

Not for the faint of heart, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the SAND

So so so many barbwire fence hops! Careful of that rubber…

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Gorgeous Cypress forest. Tough riding through this terrain…like a minefield.

Cypress

Cypress forest

At the end we were so hungry we detoured some 10 miles for Mexican, and then camped on some property of folks met at a gas station. Hammocks and beer, it was early to bed.

The sweet camping hookup

The sweet camping hookup

Day 2 through the Green Swamp. My ass was sore because I’m the kind of jackass that likes to try out a new seat on a 300 mile bike ride.

Approaching the Green Swamp

Approaching the Green Swamp

Creek Crossing

Creek Crossing

This place is purdy.

This place is purdy.

After the swamp we had a whole lot of road and dirt road to get to Apopka.

The dirty peleton of 3

The dirty peleton of 3

the fun begins after the pavement ends

the fun begins after the pavement ends

After dark, nearing Apopka we had another stretch of sand offroad nonsense that was incredibly difficult. Scary moment too as upon entering this path from the road some woman yelled “DON’T GO IN THERE!”

Scariest but perhaps most fun night riding evah

Scariest but perhaps most fun night riding evah

After some seriously fast pedaling though the swamp dirt roads outside of Apopka, we had made it…135 miles, and straight to pizza, beer and a shitty hotel. Day 2 was over.

Day 3

We got a late start and the group was down to Chris, Paul and myself. Weather called for horrible rain but we wanted to try. There was some tough slow going riding. I managed to lose my SPOT today, but someone found it later.

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More Sand, Please.

More Sand, Please.

Yours truly at the infamous creek crossing everyone was worried about. We didn’t know how deep it would be, or what would lurk below. Turns out it was barely waist deep, and nary a gator in sight.

The infamous creek crossing. No gators to battle.

The infamous creek crossing. No gators to battle.

We carried on until Maggie Jones road, and then the rain really came. We took cover in some really nice dude’s garage who gave us Cokes and couldn’t wrap his head around what we were attempting. Haha. One last futile attempt at Maggie Jones which was just the slowest sticky clay ever and we turned back after a mile or so. We decided to call it since at the rate we were going we wouldn’t have gotten back until 3am. Oh, and tornadoes.