1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6

    Trail conditions

    Im new to mtb and i had a few questions regarding trail conditions:

    Firstly, ive been researching my local trails and mention was made about "people using the trails when they're not supposed to..."; Im curious what the general feeling about this is. Is considered disrespectful to ride wet/muddy trails?IE:is it wrong if you tear up muddy areas?

    Then, after riding the other day and finding a fresh tree fallen on the path: my locals trails are mantained by CAMBA members, but is it bad if i go out one day and cut the tree out?

    and finally, is it a bad idea to ride alone?

    Id appreciate any help i could get, thanks,

    ThERoCkStAr

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MrMook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    290
    It's sort of an unspoken rule here in the Northeast that you wait until "mud season" is over. The soil is especially soft an muddy at that point, and our knobby tires have a tendency to move mud around. If the trail has a few muddy sections, there's not much to worry about, unless people start riding around the mud....that's bad. Riding off trail results in a wider trail that encroaches on the surrounding vegetation, which leads to erosion.
    Ask around at your local shops to see when the season begins in your area.

    Also ask your local trail organization, or even the property owners, about trail maintenance procedures. Some "hiking only" trails get the log treatment on purpose to discourage bikers, so if you start cutting up the wrong blowdown, you could find yourself in trouble. I have witnessed the log battle between landowners and bikers trying to "poach" their trails. Logs go up in the spring, and sure enough, some bikers come along and cut or move the logs. Can't we all just get along?

    Riding alone is fine, as long as you're prepared. Always carry a tube and a pump, and a multitool, and know how to use them. If you're riding a 20 mile loop, that's not a bad warm up ride, but imagine flatting at the 10 mile mark, and having to walk 10 miles with a wounded bike. Just think ahead, and be careful. At least let someone know where you're going, and when you intend to be back, so if a bear does eat you, it will occur to someone to start looking for you.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6
    Thanks MrMook, advice much appreciated. I actually went up to the trails an hour or so ago and saw some guys there , so i asked. Apparently in our area the mud spots are common, so if its not raining and the whole thing isnt wet, its good to go. and the parks district encourages user provided maintence (i found this out becuase in 36 hours, i found my tree to be broken and removed). thanks for your help!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    457
    since the trails i ride at are in state parks .. i just ask at the front gate for trail conditions ... they will either say 'open' or 'closed' ...

  5. #5
    25-yr old Retrogrouch
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    566
    Great question! Kudos to you for thinking of asking!

    Here in MN we don't ride the trails if they're wet. Wet doesn't mean standing water, either, if the tires make much of an indention in the trail, it's too wet.

    Riding when it's too wet leads to ruts in the trail which collect water which prevents draining which prevents drying which results in lots of holes, berms, etc. which all have to be fixed by volunteers. The time spent fixing usage issues keeps volunteers from adding new trail or trail features.

    It's different everywhere but please, please, please respect the work that people put in to maintaining trails!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,905
    if the sign on the gate doesnt say closed, its ok to ride.

  7. #7
    College Boy
    Reputation: Timeless's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    761
    Quote Originally Posted by tomsmoto
    if the sign on the gate doesnt say closed, its ok to ride.
    No not always. If the trail is all mud it is not ok to ride no mater what the sign says. Many trails do not have a closed sign ever go up. it is up to the riders to make the call. Most riders do not go in the mud because it just tears up the trails and ruins it for every one.

    I have seen very few trails that are ok right after it rains. The ones I rode during the last year the soil just happen to be the type that let you get away with it a day later. Hell it made the trails faster. (all sand)

  8. #8
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Reputation: StompinStu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    249
    I'll take a stab at addressing each of your questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by ThERoCkStAr
    Is considered disrespectful to ride wet/muddy trails?IE:is it wrong if you tear up muddy areas?
    Yes. Many trails are sustained by local MTB clubs, that pour a lot of time and effort into maintain "their" trail. They do this for the greater good of all cyclers who ride on said trails. You tearing it up just means more time for them to work, and less time to ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThERoCkStAr
    is it bad if i go out one day and cut the tree out?
    Why cut it out? Why not leave it in and have another obstacle to challenge your skills with? If it is too difficult for you, just leave it be, and hop off your bike and walk around it, and let the others who want the challenge enjoy themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThERoCkStAr
    is it a bad idea to ride alone?
    That totally depends on your level of skill as compared to the difficulty of the track you ride. I almost always ride alone, but on a trail that almost always has other riders on it, so help is never far away.

    Hope these help. Ride and have fun

  9. #9
    Vaginatarian
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,685
    heres some trail etiquette rules to live by
    Attached Files Attached Files

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: McDowell_Matt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    188
    Don't ride the mud, it will leave ruts in the trail... and if you look down and see that you're cutting ruts... please stop riding... That's the general rule here.

    Our local Trail Boss gets to determine if a fallen tree becomes an obstacle, or gets removed... probably the same for CAMBA, so, let them decide that, or let them know your thoughts and then let them decide that...

    Riding alone is fine... Just don't push yourself to new limits without knowing how to get out of a situation... Like, can you still dial a cell phone while laying in the trail knocked out??? Probably not, so ride up to your limits, but not beyond unless you have a buddy along.

    Just my 2 cents...

  11. #11
    Loading...
    Reputation: agm2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    119
    Hey the Rockstar,

    Good to see another Northeast ohio person on this forums. I'm glad your interested and also took the time to ask this question. We've been hit hard by rain lately, as you know, so the trails have been hit hard. With that being said there's many factors involved in your question. I'll use Quail Hollow as my first example. This is our beginner trail but it's prone to being wet and staying wet. Most of the trail will be dry but there are sections because of a old farm field crossing that will stay wet will stay wet longer. The same is also true for West Branch, these two trails seem to stay wet, not because of bad trail design but because of soil conditions. The soil just takes longer to dry out. Other trails like the Ohio Erie Canal Trail in Cleveland and Mohican state park shed water real well. Best bet is to try one of these trails when you aren't sure if it's going to be wet.

    With that being said, if you haven't found the trail conditions page on camba.us check it out. If you're not sure check out this page and it will give you the latest trail conditions. These are updated by the members and most riders have gotten in the practice of updating trail conditions after they've been on the trail. If you follow this you'll be fine.

    Now to the question of when to ride. As I said trails like Quails Hollow if we waited for a completely dry track we could never ride it. What we try to look for is the majority of the trail is dry with only the usual sections wet. For the most part though we would like riders to ride only when it's dry. If you ride when it's wet it makes more work for us because we have to go back an fix the ruts and makes the trail not as fun to ride. It also takes away time that could be spent building new trails or updating trails so we have more mileage to ride.

    Now to the question of tree's being down. I suspect you were riding the ohio and erie canal trail on sunday, I was there also. For a tree like that, were it's mainly thin branches across the trail, it's ok to cut them out of the way. I carry a small cutting tool in my camelback for that purpose. It was also a kind Camba member that cut it down. Now, anything that is say more than 6 inches wide I would recommend posting it on the Camba forums and let one of the trail stewards take care of it, they have insurance for any injuries while working on the trail and you wouldn't not be covered. For safeties sake let them take care of it.

    Now riding alone is fine, I do it all the time. Just know your abilities and be cautious and always look ahead. If it's the first time on a trail then take it slow until you know the trail well enough so you know what's coming next. You'll also find the more the ride you'll find more people to ride with. My riding partner who I ride the most with, just happened to be a guy that was always at the trails when I was. We would run into each other all the time and we'd end up just riding together. Other times I've showed up at a trail just as someone about to start. A little small talk as I get ready and then we'd ride the trail together. And if you ever see anyone with Camba sticker on their bike, car or jersey stop and talk to them. We are some of the nicest people I've met. Each person I've met is more than happy to spend time talking to you, and if it's your first time on the trail they'd be more than willing to show you around. Also check out one of the Camba group rides we offer. We won't leave you behind and it will help you get better as a biker. The first time I rode with someone I saw how my tires didn't have enough grip. My friend kept pulling away on the tight turns and rock gardens. When I got the new tires I was able to keep up. I know there's tomorrow (weds July 2) at Medina Reagan Park. I'll be out there I hope to see you there

    Andrew
    Camba Member

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •