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Benefits of cycling
Riding Santos MTB Park with Phil Kmetz

Riding Santos MTB Park with Phil Kmetz


The good thing about staying in a motel is
that it’s easy to wheel your bike in and out, even on the second floor. Although I’m
over 4 hours away from my house, I’m only 10 minutes away from Santos Mountain bike
park. I was invited here by professional mountain biker and fellow YouTuber, Phil Kmetz. We’re
going to do some riding and get some video clips. Phil has ridden in all four corners
of the planet, but chose to drive 10 hours to ride in Ocala FL on spring break. Now I
must admit, when I moved down here I didn’t even expect to see mountain bike trails, let
alone good ones, but I was thrown for a loop. Through sheer ingenuity and perseverance,
Floridians have created some top notch singletrack. A prime example of this is Santos. Today is the Fat Tire Festival. Thousands
of riders have come here from out of town to ride demo bikes, hit the freeride section,
and enjoy miles and miles of singletrack in the main part of the park. At Santos, there’s a particular section
that’s somewhat isolated from all the other trails—a playground for advanced riders,
called Vortex. This sign implies a high possibility of destroying your bike or leaving in an ambulance
so I think we’re in the right place. When you get into the trailhead, the first thing
you see is a small set of dirt jumps with wooden lips. I could ride these all day. Venture a few more yards into the park, and
you’ll see—banana hammock. It’s a good time. Phil and I warmed up around the front of the
park and even played a short lived game of BIKE, which I lost. I got one letter on him
with a tree ride, but that was it. Time to ride some singletrack. The sign at the front of the trailhead warns
you about checking out the trails before you blast through them, but that’s just for
newbs right? Yeah I’ve got this under control. Phil tried to warn me, but I found myself
face to face with an unexpected hairpin turn after this hump. I was warned, by both Phil
and the sign, but luckily I bailed just in time. After the big crowds left the “Vortex Pit”
I got to watch Phil session this double. He’s got exquisite taste in old school BMX tricks. It’s been years since I rode dirt jumps,
so next time I’ll be spending a lot more in this pit. Before the sun set I did manage
to do a real sloppy 360 over this tabletop. Although I did get to ride for an hour the
following morning, this trip was just too short. After seeing what Santos had to offer
I’m really pumped to check out more mountain bike parks, even if it means traveling a few
hours. The locals here in Ocala are some of the coolest, friendliest, and skilled riders
I’ve met. What they’ve built here is incredible, and I can’t wait to come back real soon. Thanks for riding with me today, and I’ll
see you next time.

100 comments on “Riding Santos MTB Park with Phil Kmetz

  1. Santos is the best mountain bike park in Florida, hands down. The very small jumps at the beginning of the vortex are my favorite because i can perfectly jump them on a XC bike.You really need a longer trip for the vortex though because it has so much to offer.

  2. I'm so surprised that we haven't met! Me and my dad do all the vortex jumps work out there and we go down to Gft on the weekends!! Hit me up some days and we will meet up at one of these places!!

  3. Hey Seth, I'm a really big fan and I love your videos. You taught me how to bunny-hop and I'm still learning how to do a manual, the bike I'm using is a cheap bike ($100) from Walmart, I've never actually had a real mountain bike because my parents think I'm not responsible. They said if I save my money I can buy my own bike, the bike is a 26 inch Rallye Descent bike, I have taken a lot of jumps around the city and most of them are around 2-2.5 feet. I don't know how but the bike seems to be able to take the jumps but it makes a a really loud sound when I land. If you have any suggestions on a beginner mountain bike that doesn't cost too much, get back to me. Thanks!

  4. Amazing video I hope go there some day, I enjoy making hops everywhere, someone knows which is the name of the music in the minute 2:03?

  5. I was going up a steep hill and I turned to quickly and my bike was heading for traffic and I was trying to turn but it wouldn't and I fell on my side and the chain came off of my bike and after I put it back on it makes a really loud noise when I pedal how do I fix it?

  6. It's unfortunate that Ocala is maintained only once a year I went there recently and I could only ride the first set of jumps.

  7. Probably lame question, but how does everyone meet to go on rides? None of my friends, family,etc ride, plus I'm 45 and most my age are whiners. I usually go to F.A.T.S. near Augusta, GA. But, I want to travel out and check new trails. Thanks for the Video! Santos in on my list for the near future!

  8. Just wondering how do these trail ratings rate up to lift access parks up north. I've seen a lot of your videos and a Diamond in some of these looks like what we'd see on a beginner track on a mountain. Looks fun though, just not as technical as some of the signs seem to point out.

  9. It looks like i would be able to hit that except for the wooden table tops the long jumps and maybe the huge elevation change last time i jumped my bar ends ripped off and the handle bar ends had a nice taste of me left a 4 scare

  10. Seth ride rays mountain bike park in Cleveland Phil did too a while back and I think he really liked it. It's a lot of jumps, but it has an advanced section I think you would really enjoy.

  11. i have a question seth. i have a dirt jumper diamond back syncr right now, i do trail ridding up in arizona at a trail park but for my next bike i was not sure if i should get rear suspension, i love my hard tails though. im not sure if i will do down hill riding in the future yet but i dont want to buy a hard tail and end up going to do down hill. which bike would be best for me a diamond back syncr pro or a diamond back mission 2?

  12. I just started riding….I'm out there everyday almost now that my lawncare business isn't doing much work now….your apart of my reason to get better….bxxc,phil,singletrack, Seth….the 4 horseman

  13. I took a trip to Ocala to visit family and rode Vortex for 2 days. Was sooo much fun, and a nice break from Illinois weather. Thanks for making this video, or I would have never known that my grandparents lived 10 minutes from the trailhead lol

  14. Hey Seth what's the best place to rent a bike in Florida?Heading down there during spring break and want to rip up santos

  15. It's crazy seeing some of the same stuff from AdamLZ. If you subscribe to him and ride bmx you get what I'm saying.

  16. I hear you use the term "session" a lot. What exactly does that mean? Is it like saying "trying it out"? Thx. I love your channel, Bro.

  17. I know I'll probably never be able to go there because I live in Phoenix as but are the dirt/wood jumps suitable for a bmx?(I know this is a late comment but help me)?

  18. Try switchbacks over switchbacks more bar Handling on Crazy zig Zag berm over berm over berm zig zag like skills on Mtb and Singletracks

  19. he seth i need yout help
    hen i ride for a while my kenn starts to pain i dont know why can you pleas help me with this ??

  20. Just moved here from Miami. Went to Mt Dora. What a waste. That place was trash. This looks more like what I'm used to at Markham Park. Take a trip down there. You won't be disappointed.

  21. Thats in Ocala? i used to live in Ocala about 6 years ago and and i never knew about this. I live in Colorado now so im not lacking on mountain bike trails though

  22. Seth my grandparents and my hole dads side of the family live in Okala. We have a cow farm there. I have been dieing to ride Santos. I hope it's ok after Irma.

  23. I left vortex with a broken collarbone 🙂 still, loved it. Practicing my jumps, or better said, my landings, to go back

  24. I saw the picture of Phil bunny hopping it looked like at least 3 ft I know that takes a lot of skill but is he extremely strong for his weight? ??

  25. Bugger. Now I really want to ride on our family trip from the UK to Florida in August 2018. Any tips on where I can hire a decent bike and some kit for the day would be much appreciated. Re the weather/heat – better to ride early morning or into the evening?

  26. Thank you so much for the footage was looking into this park but was questioning weither they had any dirt jumps. Very helpful to me. Thanks again ✌👍💪

  27. sign: "there's a high chance of leaving in an ambulance and f*cking up your probably $2000 bike."
    Seth: "yep, this is the place."

  28. Awesome vid! I live on the West end of the Santos trail, my back gate opens to Tricycle Trail. I'm about 20mins from the Vortex pit and I'm usually out there every weekend, especially with the crazy heat and humidity, I'd rather hit the jumps (which are going to be expanded soon as well as a flow trail being built) over riding the trails, at least until it gets cooler out. Next time you should try the Nayles Trail loop (about 10mi), it's pretty damn fun. Hoping you come back to make some more content at Santos!

  29. Lived in Inverness (24 miles from trailhead) for 6 months and have yet to go. Planning a trip now. Going to ride there and camp over night.

  30. When are you coming back to santos, would love to ride with you. I'm 20 min down the road and there every chance I get.

  31. "even if it means traveling a few hours" oh what he didnt know was in his future of packing bikes on planes and flying across the country

  32. You know what would be super cool, Seth? If you could show which gear you are in, at a given moment. Hahaha i still have a difficult time choosing a right gear and when to be shifting to be most efficient. Just a thought and keep up the good work.

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