A Celebration of Mountain Biking in Florida
If you are looking for a warm Spring event, consider the Santos Fat Tire Festival, one of the largest MTB festivals in the Southeast, let alone Florida. The event is hosted annually each March by the Ocala Mountain Bike Association (OMBA) in partnership with the Florida State Parks and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; the festival features a variety of activities for riders of all levels and ages. Strambecco rates the event as one of the Best Cycling Events in Florida and one of the Best MTB Events in the Southeast.
The highlight of the Santos Fat Tire Festival is the EPIC 50 RIDE, a 50-mile challenge that takes riders through some of the best trails in the Santos Trail System, a network of over 80 miles of singletrack trails ranging from beginner to expert level. The EPIC 50 RIDE is not a race but a self-paced adventure showcasing the terrain's diversity and beauty, from rolling hills and pine forests to rocky drops and jumps. Riders who complete the EPIC 50 RIDE receive a commemorative medal and a sense of accomplishment.
But the festival is not only about the EPIC 50 RIDE. There are also plenty of other activities to enjoy, such as camping at the adjacent Santos Campground, a huge vendor village with bike booths and food trucks, and skills clinics led by professional instructors. The festival also hosts a family jump jam at the Vortex, a freeride area with a pump track, dirt jumps, and wooden features. The jump jam is open to riders of all ages and abilities, and prizes are awarded for the youngest, oldest, most fun, and most air.
The Santos Fat Tire Festival is more than just a bike event. It is also a fundraiser for OMBA, a non-profit organization that maintains and builds the trails, provides safety patrol training and equipment, and promotes mountain biking in the community. OMBA relies on volunteers, donations, and memberships to keep the trails in top condition and advocate for more riders' access and opportunities. By attending the festival, you are having a great time and supporting a worthy cause.
So what are you waiting for? Mark your calendar for the next Santos Fat Tire Festival, and get ready for an unforgettable experience. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, a solo adventurer, or a family, you will find something to suit your taste and challenge your skills. The Santos Fat Tire Festival is the ultimate celebration of mountain biking in Florida, and you don't want to miss it.
Another great Spring option in the road cycling category is the Gran Fondo Florida, which takes place in Dade City, FL. Also taking place in March Fran Fondo Florida is the first event in the prestigious 10+ event Gran Fondo National Series. With routes traversing through serene horse farms, lush orange groves, and the potential tracks of an Olympic road race course, the event offers a unique blend of picturesque landscapes and challenging hills, making it a highly popular early-season event for competitive athletes and enthusiasts alike. The team at Strambecco has chosen it as one of the best road cycling events in the Southeast.