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Thread: Mud Season

  1. #1
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    Mud Season

    If you believe the weather report, the good winter riding we are enjoying will be over next week and mud season will be upon us.

    Has anyone found any clear roads and paths to ride?

  2. #2
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    Birchwood Loop is in good shape. Still a bit of gravel at the 90-degree turns, but fine overall.

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    Nice! I forgot to add, most of the hillside bike paths have significant ice on them still, Abbott, Elmore, Birch.. Also the roads have small shoulders.

  4. #4
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    The Seward Highway south of girdwood is generally good for early season riding and the shoulders are wide, but the road, of course is rather mind-numbingly boring. So there's that.
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

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    The airport area is normally clear and swept early. Not scenic, but good road riding. Also, the Kincaid/Jodhpur run is clearing up(You might get a little wet).

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    Out in the Valley
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    anything at Kincaid good enough to ride yet? im itching to get out there!

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    You are not going to sustainably ride any snow-free trail until mid to late May. The Parks usually set a 1 June date. The exception might be Mat Lakes because they dry out fast with the wind.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valhalla View Post
    You are not going to sustainably ride any snow-free trail until mid to late May. The Parks usually set a 1 June date. The exception might be Mat Lakes because they dry out fast with the wind.
    I'm a newb to the MTB scene, does this mean i cant ride out there until june 1, or is that just reccommended?

  10. #10
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    June1 is the rule of thumb, most trails arnt dry until then. If we get a really hot spring with little to no rain, they will dry up faster and some trails could be ready a week or 2 early, all depends, you have to do some recon. The valley is really the 1st place to ride, drys up faster due to the wind and less snow. There will be a lot more spring trail reports very soon!

  11. #11
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    The Ship Creek trail is snow free and dry!

    Chester Creek trail still has a week or 2 worth of snow in most areas.
    Anchorage mountain biking trails: http://2tiredtracks.com

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    Went and ventured out at Kincaid.. took tower power from Kincaid road back to the parking lot. not much fun haha, id say with how much snow is out there it wont be decent for another 3-4 weeks at the soonest. guess ill have to look for some mud and dirt somewhere else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkyak View Post
    Went and ventured out at Kincaid.. took tower power from Kincaid road back to the parking lot. not much fun haha, id say with how much snow is out there it wont be decent for another 3-4 weeks at the soonest. guess ill have to look for some mud and dirt somewhere else!
    Please don't ride the singletrack before it gets hard. In other words, wait, don't go ride in the mud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chugachjed View Post
    Please don't ride the singletrack before it gets hard. In other words, wait, don't go ride in the mud.
    again, i'm new to the mtb scene, so "mud season" is just a figure of speech?

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    There have already been reports of people trying to ride the kincaid trails. Most of the people on this forum understand how labor intensive building and maintaining single track is. Please be patient. Whatever damage is done to the trails by riding (or walking) in the mud and leaving trenches will be there all summer unless some dedicated trail fairy goes out and makes repairs. The Kincaid single track project saw over 240 volunteers and over 2000 man hours. Please think of the impact that one person or a group of bikers will have on the soft muddy trail. They just aren't ready yet. These trails belong to all of us, take responsability for them.
    litespeed's break

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkyak View Post
    again, i'm new to the mtb scene, so "mud season" is just a figure of speech?
    There is a difference between riding the mud in the spring and riding the mud in mid/late summer. In the spring, it tends to be much softer deeper in the ground. when you ride when the trail is fully saturated and soft, you leave "trenches" that will firm up as the trail dries and be left for most of the summer unless, as sk greeff said, someone goes out to repair it manually. This will not only make the riding less enjoyable, but it will also change the drainage characteristics of the trail and typically lead to significant erosion problems requring more work to maintain/repair in the future. Later in the year, the bed of the trail will be firm and the mud more of a surface condition, thus riding it won't leave the same kind of long-term conditions.

    In the past, the June 1st was a set date for riding "soft surface" or "unhardened" trails, so anything like the ski or singletrack trails that had not been built with gravel like some portions of the Tour of Anchorage Trail through BLM. Hardened trails could withstand the earlier season use. More recently, they have backed away from the June 1st date since it does fluctuate as much as a couple weeks either way depending on the specific spring's weather conditions. Now it is a "use your best judgement" type of thing. As the Muni posters say, "Don't Get Stuck in a Rut". If you go out to check and you are leaving a noticeable imprint or "rut", you should probably try to hold off a bit longer for the trail to firm up. This goes for more than just biking. This inlcudes walking/running/horses/etc... While the trail may be in okay shape for one type of use, it may not be quite ready for another.

    Bottom line, it may be fun to play in the mud, we just have to make sure not to be causing damage to the trails in the process, especially if it is going to make it unusable or dangerous to use by others coming after you.

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    Thanks for the explination, i appreciate it. I know how much work goes into the trails, and i definately wasnt trying to cause any trouble.. just trying to get out there and ride!

  18. #18
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    Seems like they might be a ways off still from being totally ready. Kincaid and STA are so well planned that even when it rains the mud puddles are very minimal. Unless of course too many people go rally out there before they are dry. Maybe signs at the start of every access point that says the don't get stuck in a rut thing. Are they already out there?

    Any word on Kepler area? Usually about ready by now aren't they?
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50 View Post

    Any word on Kepler area? Usually about ready by now aren't they?
    Check out the Kepler-Bradley thread just below. There was a report from about 3 days ago. Not ready yet, but hopefully not far off.

    Kepler-Bradley Conditions?

  20. #20
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    Last spring I put up signs with and STA logo that read "Don't Trash Our Trails, Please wait until they are dry" They got torn down and someone called me out here on mtbr saying that the trails don't belong to STA. That wasn't the message I was trying to portray. What I meant was "our" trails, as in yours and mine, everyone's. Anyway I don't know if putting up sign's is worth the effort if they are just going to be torn down. What does work is peer education. Keeping your eyes and ears open, and respectfully educating people you may not know. Just like what is happening on this forum. Thanx guy's.
    litespeed's break

  21. #21
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    I think signs are a valuable tool, and many people just don’t understand how or why damage early on will linger for the entire summer.

    I think a lot of people believe that the mud they are riding on is essentially a liquid and should congeal back together, and those ruts they are creating should fill in and flatten out.

    Early season riders may be put-off by a message telling them pointedly to stay off the trails. Perhaps a little education and a message politely explaining why they should keep off, will keep a few of the more understanding users off the trails until they are ready.

    Something like:

    “Springtime brings recently thawed, wet and muddy trails.

    Unfortunately, these trails are susceptible to damage from foot, bike, and horse travel.

    The tracks from even one trail user, will dry, and harden, creating deep channels and potholes in the trail.

    These hardened ruts will remain, leaving bumpy scars on for the remainder of the summer.

    Please don’t ride wet and muddy trails.

    If you’re not leaving a noticeable imprint or rut your good to go!

    Thanks!

    From all the Anchorage bikers and trail users”
    Anchorage mountain biking trails: http://2tiredtracks.com

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