The Heartbreaker Loop

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Heartbreaker5While everyone else in Gainesville was sleeping in, not riding, racing, or creating ruts in the same paved roads they ride over and over and over, JOM and three other gravel / dirt / limerock fans, were out enjoying the mahhhvelous weather.  For the next three months, cycling in Gainesville, Florida is pretty close to paradise.  The humidity is uber low, and the temperatures are much cooler than the misery of July and August.


The Heartbreaker Loop

Herd of cattle doing a runner.
Herd of cattle doing a runner.

Inspired by Gainesvillite Tom Petty and his band, The Heartbreakers, I (JOM) organized a pirate limerock / dirt road “race” that first happened in 2012 – The Heartbreaker Cycling Invitational.  The local dirt mongers love this loop so much, that we ride it somewhat regularly.  Expect an article soon about the Heartbreaker Invitational.

The 2012 route is about 60 miles of awesome fun, taking in some of the primo, low traffic limerock and dirt roads, North and West of Gainesville.

Part of the route includes the famous Bellamy Road, the first major US Highway, in early territorial Florida.  Bellamy Road is tree lined all the way.


The FLAppalachians

Jimbo close to puking on Peak #3.

Bellamy Road also features the famous FLAppalachian mountain chain.  It is a distant extension of the real Appalachian mountain chain, but nowhere near as hilly, mountainous, or anything like that.

Rather, it’s three limerock / dirt / gravel lumps on a road about three miles in length.

Rubbish at the store stop. Twanger, aka jerkoff, wanker, etc, as we say in Australia.

In Gainesville, Florida, you have a sense of humour about this stuff, and enjoy any elevation changes you can find!  FYI, the 2nd lump in the mountain chain peaks at about 12%, which is tough stuff! 🙂

The FLAppalachians are a fixture on the winter limerock / gravel nighttime training rides.  Typically, riders will sandbag until this Florida mountain chain rears its head, and miraculously, drop anybody who has been towing their lazy arse around all night.  Not that I would sandbag…


Photo Gallery

Move your mouse over each image to see a larger version.  Alternatively, click on an image to see it Full Size from Flickr, which will also start the gallery view.

There are a few blurry photos in here, but this saves the viewing public from seeing the pain on rider’s faces.

Jimbo, Matt and yours truly, were all collateral damage, caused by the legs of Mr Pfaff… who will be joining us at select Ultra CX races in 2015.  Can’t wait!

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