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  1. #1
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    How long do you wait after rain?

    Probably been asked many times before but I'm just curious....Is there a rule of thumb? How long do you usually wait to ride? I'm talking about a fairly good soaking. We just had one on Sunday in my area and I'm jonzn already.....

  2. #2
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    It really depends on the general soil type of your region or riding area. Best to check in with your local IMBA club or trail organization for guidelines for your particular location.
    Last edited by formica; 09-26-2006 at 09:00 AM.

  3. #3
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Ditto. Local conditions vary widely. We have some trails that are better ridden during the rain storm.

    It can also depend on how long it has been raining and the weather after it stops.

    No hard and fast rules.
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  4. #4
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    Around here its just a matter of trail selection and go ride. Sorry about the doubles??
    Last edited by jeffscott; 09-26-2006 at 09:21 AM.

  5. #5
    Dorkimus Prime
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    Hey Jeff

    Is your "Enter" key working?

  6. #6
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    I pretty much realize it's all about using good judgment.... I was just a little irritated the other day when I saw these 2guys unloading their gear and bikes not even 12 Hrs after a heavy rain. Was wondering if they planned on stickin to the parking lot but I doubt it..
    I shoulda asked them I guess...

  7. #7
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    I dont know if this is bad etiqite (sp?) or not, but I like to ride in the mud. I think its fun.

  8. #8
    Perfecting my endos...
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    Nucmedjim, where do you live? In my neck of the woods our soil is good and muddy and it seems to take a day or two to dry it up sufficiently. If it's nice and hot you might be good 24 hours later. If it's getting into fall and winter then you're waiting... When we visit my in-laws in North Carolina and I head to Pisgah or Dupont, it could've rained two hours ago and you'd be good to go because the sandy soil and well maintained trails shed water so well (I realize I'm exagerating a bit with two hours, but it's quick).

    So how hot is it there? How much sun? What's your soil like? These are the kind of things you should be thinking about. My friends don't mind getting muddy but I cringe thinking about the possible damage we're doing. It's good to hear you have the same concerns.
    I do not know myself, and God forbid I should...

  9. #9
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    No waiting up here. Ride before the rain, during it, and after it.

    But I love the fact that most people wait... for something... for some reason. They heard someone say one time that it is not a good idea to ride after the rain, so they all stay off the trails. I get them to myself.

    I love the masses being supplied gross generalization. They just suck it up and obey.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender
    I dont know if this is bad etiqite (sp?) or not, but I like to ride in the mud. I think its fun.
    I don't know if you're trolling or not, but you should check out IMBA's "rules of the trail."

    Riding in mud may be fun, but it does a lot of damage.

  11. #11
    Ride Instigator
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    A pretty general rule of thumb is to wait 24 hrs for every inch of rainfall although a few other factors come into play....soil composition and weather there's been much rainfall in the last week or two are a couple of things that come to mind. If you've had a lot of rain lately, 1" of rain is going to take longer to soak in then if it's been bone dry for the last few weeks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadwimp
    Nucmedjim, where do you live? In my neck of the woods our soil is good and muddy and it seems to take a day or two to dry it up sufficiently. If it's nice and hot you might be good 24 hours later. If it's getting into fall and winter then you're waiting... When we visit my in-laws in North Carolina and I head to Pisgah or Dupont, it could've rained two hours ago and you'd be good to go because the sandy soil and well maintained trails shed water so well (I realize I'm exagerating a bit with two hours, but it's quick).

    So how hot is it there? How much sun? What's your soil like? These are the kind of things you should be thinking about. My friends don't mind getting muddy but I cringe thinking about the possible damage we're doing. It's good to hear you have the same concerns.

    I'm in Newark, DE. We ride all over DE, PA, and MD... The DelawareTrail Spinners suggest 24 hrs after significant rain... But like I said I was just more irritated at seeing these dudes gettin ready to ride literally right after a big storm... It may be fun for some but it does screw up the trails that are so well kept otherwise. You've gotta use your nuggit.

  13. #13
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    On my ride yesterday, I started out with it raining, and then it stopped half way through my ride. By the time I got back to the parking lot my bike was covered in mud, as was I. isnít that half the fun of mountain biking? You canít experience things like that when you stick to the road.

  14. #14
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    Here in the North Vancouver evergreen rainforest, we ride no matter what the weather. Our organic soil doesn't seem to mind.
    Get over it!

  15. #15
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    Depends on local soil conditions. What season is it. Can trail stand up to use when wet. If it is a pay for use groomed trail use immediately.
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

  16. #16
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    Bad advice.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricko
    A pretty general rule of thumb is to wait 24 hrs for every inch of rainfall although a few other factors come into play....soil composition and weather there's been much rainfall in the last week or two are a couple of things that come to mind. If you've had a lot of rain lately, 1" of rain is going to take longer to soak in then if it's been bone dry for the last few weeks.
    The length of time you wait depends entirely on where you're located and the specific soil of the region.

    For example, riding in the Pacific NW would never happen based on your timeline.

    Riding in Moab on Slickrock could happen during a 10" rainstorm without affecting the trail.

  17. #17
    Vaginatarian
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    if you can ride on your lawn without damaging it then the trails should be ok

  18. #18
    just along for the ride
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    I can't wait for some rain, its a Cali thing if you live in sandy/shaleville

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nucmedjim
    PHow long do you usually wait to ride? I'm talking about a fairly good soaking. We just had one on Sunday in my area and I'm jonzn already.....
    Who said anything about waiting? I ride when it rains, after whenever. I love riding in the rain... tons of fun, and makes things interesting... but wear your armour because you will fall

  20. #20
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    use your head

    if its been dry for 2 weeks you might still hit a patch where riding will cause too much erosion and walking will be a good idea (happens to me all the time), yet it might be raining and you can ride without tearing up the trails... soil composition, current weather, past weather, trail drainage, ect. all come into play, just use your head... if you causing excess erosion STOP!... don't cause unneeded damage to trails and the respectability of our sport.
    yet it might seem like a bad time to ride and actually be ok.... just use good judgement and keep an eye on the trail and your effect on it... if you do this you should be ok

  21. #21
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    It depends on the local conditions and the types of trails. We've had a good deluge here in the last while. The lower elevation (down in the bottom of a river valley) trails can be muddy for days while the upper ones are ready to go the next.

    I agree fully, though....use common sense to decide when to ride so that your trails will last.
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  22. #22
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    About 3 days I've seen hikers start to complain about MTBers tearing the trails up so I try not to give them a excuse.

  23. #23
    SP Singletrack rocks
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    if hard and just slick due to rain I will ride during the rain.

    If its soft and squishy and I am rutting I will stop(i have done this twice).

    Pine forest help out a good bit.

  24. #24
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    Hoo boy am I torn on this issue...

    Personally, I would like to see people exercise restraint when it comes to riding on soggy multi-use trails. On bike-only trails, I say ride in all conditions!

    PROs of riding in rain:
    First, I think about how fun it is to ride when wet and muddy.
    Second, I think that riding when wet build up skills that can be used during races or when I get stuck in a shower - do they ever cancel races due to a light/moderate rain within the past 24hrs?

    CONs of riding in rain (besides the obvious increased risk of crashing and getting mud in your car):
    "Rip up the trail" - true, I guess. I suppose it has a lot to do with the local soil, as other have stated. But what's more of an eyesore and pain for hikers - a 3'x5' area of mud with tracks OR log piles, drainage ditches, support walls, jumps, see-saws, etc? Also, if a spot is prone to pooling water, perhaps a local bike club could build a small bridge, or route around the low spot? Hikers would probably appreciate that.
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  25. #25
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    depends on saturation.

    Mid summer when it was hot out, and it hadnt rained in a few weeks, if we got a day or two of rain, i found that i could go out the same night or the very next day even in the morning and everything would be perfect, not bone dry but just wet enough to give you grip.

    Now, fall is settling in, rain is more abundant and if it rains half a day i cant go out and ride until the day after, and theres still puddles in sections of trail.

    Its all about ground saturation.

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