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Ididaride 2022

Linda Rathje | Published on 1/29/2022

I did a ride 2022 Linda Ratje and Liz King
For the past 15 or so years my January off-road riding has included a trip to White Springs, Florida to participate in the Ididaride. This marked the 28th year for this annual ride put on by the Suwannee Bicycle Club (SBC). This year I had the company of many Sorellas on the trails – Liz King, Pilar Hernandez, Carol Lipinski, Jody LeCraw Oshaughnessy, Jean Patrice Miller, and first time Ididariders, Alyssa Krasinskas and Stacey Kalberman.

The SBC announces the date for the ride and opens registration in October. In years past we marked our calendar in anticipation of the announcement, as registration sold out in a matter of hours. More recently this has not been the case, but a camping site or chance to get one of the 5 cabins in Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park does (not the same as Stephen Foster State Park, which is in Georgia). I snagged the last available camp site this year.

The ride starts in the cute little town of White Springs which is right next to the state park. SBC has a nice Clubhouse there for its members, in an old brick mercantile building, complete with wood burning stove, kitchen facilities and a shower. If I lived closer, I would join their club just to have free access to this amenity. The SBC does a fabulous job of running this event - from early check-in option on Friday, breakfast if you want/need it Saturday morning, well-marked trails, “themed” sag stops with plenty to eat run by friendly costumed support, a lunch stop, and Korean BBQ bowls at the end of the ride – they have thought of everything.


I did a ride 2022 group
Many people have asked, why a ride in Florida? There are no mountains, let alone hills. Maybe for that reason I first thought it might actually be possible to ride my mountain bike for 50 miles in one day. But this ride is deceptively challenging. The trails weave back and forth requiring constant focus and go in and out of sink holes requiring quick bursts of energy. The ride is made up of a series of loops through surrounding woods. In all there are 6 different loops, with a short ride back to town if you decide to cut your ride short. My favorite loops are those that skirt along the Suwannee or thru low palmettos. It’s beautiful! (Note however that this is not the same as a newly cut trail thru palmettos, which is often brutal…and we have had sections of this in the past.) The weather also played a factor in our day. This year it rained all day Friday, continuing for most of the night. Several of us opted out of riding the first loop. Without nearly enough training and because I still have memories of that trail being flooded years ago, I knew this was the right decision for me. Temperatures started out cold and hovered around 39 degrees all day. Everyone was thankful that they had fires at several of the rest stops to warm up a bit before continuing.

By the time I reached the finish line I was so tired, but smiling to myself that I had ridden 43 miles, and so happy to have escaped a cold January weekend in ATL – even if the temps were only 7 degrees warmer. It was a full day of fun!