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  1. #1
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    Wissahickon conditions?

    Anyone know how the wiss is after all of the rain/snow yesterday? Thanks!

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    Might be a little damp, but with this high wind whicking the moisture away, I'd say it'll be fine for tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Might be a little damp, but with this high wind whicking the moisture away, I'd say it'll be fine for tomorrow.
    Great, thanks. I was planning on about 2 tomorrow so sounds like I'll be good.

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    anyone been there since the snow?

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    for the remainder of the week it will be severely f#cked unless frozen...

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    rode wiss today from bells mill up monster, down roxy side, across to mt airy side back to vgi. did not ride chestnut hill/chief section. temp was 31 when I started. conditions were ok, not great. Avoid the meadows area, completely ice covered in exposed areas, muddy in woods although the monster was frozen / good and twisty turny was in good shape for some hill repeats! rest of trails had some mud but rideable if temps are low. if temps get above 33 or 34, it will be a soupy mess. Best to ride early AM for the next few days as it should be in the 20s and frozen between 7 and 9AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrtrailrocky View Post
    rode wiss today from bells mill up monster, down roxy side, across to mt airy side back to vgi. did not ride chestnut hill/chief section. temp was 31 when I started. conditions were ok, not great. Avoid the meadows area, completely ice covered in exposed areas, muddy in woods although the monster was frozen / good and twisty turny was in good shape for some hill repeats! rest of trails had some mud but rideable if temps are low. if temps get above 33 or 34, it will be a soupy mess. Best to ride early AM for the next few days as it should be in the 20s and frozen between 7 and 9AM.
    What he said. Rode this morning and it was perfect. Rock solid and frozen. However, you could see all the ruts from people ridding when it is thawed. Some parts are pretty bad. People need to know when not to ride.

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    rode there sunday morning after the overnight dusting of snow. didn't get there early enough to beat the thaw for the day, so i was delegated to riding forbidden drive (still better than the trainer or the rd bike)

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    was out checking last night (wednesday)

    rode demo1 and it was TERRIBLE.

    all the frozen water in the ground is all coming up and the trails are going to be an absolute mess for the next couple days till they can really dry out.

    judging by what i saw last night i bet the trails will still be pretty wrecked this weekend.

    so for all those with a conscience: if you plan to ride this weekend (yes it is going to be really nice out) please respect the trails and don't ride if the trails are still muddy and greasy.

    there are roadbikes and tons of off the beaten path trail systems to explore at times like this. please don't go out and make the existing ruts even deeper.

  10. #10
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    Cross the river and ride the sandy trails at Camden County College or make the long drive to Batsto.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdinsj View Post
    Cross the river and ride the sandy trails at Camden County College or make the long drive to Batsto.
    yeah i totally agree it would be the perfect time for batsto! those trails are a superfun and wetness only makes them better.

    if your a singlespeeder and haven't been there yet you owe it to yourself to check it out. not a hill in sight but enough twists and turns to keep you constantly bobbing and weaving while grinning from ear to ear.

    not too far from philly... just over an hour if i remember correctly.

  12. #12
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    This weather sucks. Last saturday was so awesome, everything was nice and solid.

    Guess I'll take the road bike off the trainer.

  13. #13
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    With the cold snap recently, 90% of the trails I rode yesterday were frozen and fast.

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    What time did you ride?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rollinrox View Post
    What time did you ride?
    I rode this morning and it was nice and frozen. However, you could see all the ruts from people ridding when it was thawed. Some areas are pretty bad.
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    i was out hiking a little with the kiddies yesterday. the park looks like hell from people riding when they shouldn't be...

    don't make it worse. watch the weather and get out early or late when it is frozen.

    it is not going to dry out anytime soon. so you can assume muddy/****ty conditions anytime it is above freezing.

    what am i riding today? the road bike. not because i want to...

    don't be an ass; give the wiss a break this time of year.

    can't give up the mtb? go down to batsto, i was there last week practically in the rain and it was AWESOME! that's where i'd be if i could!

  17. #17
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    Exactly Max.

    Yesterday, I rode down there and hopped in at Hortter and Park Line and headed towards Kitchens. At first it seemed like it might have been OK but as I rode it was obvious it wasn't. I ***** footed it down to Kitchens riding super slow. There were tons of ripped tracks from folks that just can't give two turds about the damage they do. I rode down to meet my wife and son on the other end of Forbidden at that point.

    To the folks that I did see on the very short time I was on the trail, or when riding up Mt. Airy ave. to go home, I'd kindly say to them that it wasn't a good idea to be riding out here. They would look as if that concept was from the moon...Clueless. With no care for getting a clue.

  18. #18
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    On another note...

    Who was the jackass that cut down the small tree (about 7 or 8 inch diameter) on the decent to Kitchens? This was done a while back, about a half year ago, but it irks me every time I go by it. Obviously the tool (or tools) couldn't be bothered to steer their bikes at speed around the tree, so they cut it down. It changed the whole feel of the trail right there. It opened up the overhead canopy, it took away the moderate excitement that came from buzzing the tree. If you can't/couldn't ride past that tree without feeling the need to remove it, exercising unfounded autonomy in the process, then maybe you shouldn't ride at all.

    Now, folks are bleaching the trail even more by riding straight past the stump, and not even following the contour of the trail as it was. I guarantee that these same folks can't bunnyhop, and expect a roller over built, or log cut out every time something lies across the trail.

    Ridership is up in mountain biking, it goes without saying that skill level is clearly down as well...and a good deal of those with no real skill are astoundingly and arrogantly executive about making changes to what they have no business doing.

    Rant over. Sorry folks.

  19. #19
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    We have the same problems in Pennypack and Neshaminy. People riding or altering trails. I have also seen reports from Whiteclay and Fairhill about people riding the trails when it's too muddy or wet. Nox recently closed their trails until conditions improve. I'm not sure if its selfishness or if people just don't know any better. We have been trying to educate riders and get the word out. So far we have had fairly good results but you will always have some people who don't care. The real kicker was 180+ racers riding thru PP sensitive single track during an illegal rogue race a few weeks ago (Jan 6th) and the trails were definitely too wet and muddy. The biggest problem now is equestrians riding trails that are not designed for horses.

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    I agree with the posts above regarding staying off the trails. I've been hiking the trails at Wissahickon for the past month (instead of riding) and it's amazing how quickly they turn to crap. Totally clueless riders out there, like dudes grinning from ear to ear because they're covered in mud.

    As much as it kills me not to ride the trails, and as much as I loathe my road bike, I'm staying off the single track until it dries out. I've been having a bit of fun riding Forbidden and getting some hills in by riding up and down all the various gravel lead-in roads like Rex Ave, Summit Ave, Livezey, etc. It's better than not riding at all.

    Has anyone been to Belmont recently? I've been thinking about doing an all bike path and gravel road loop, like what I used to ride on my cross bike. From Valley Green to Belmont, ride a few loops around there on the fire roads and then head back. Are there any other "off-road" roads or paths around I could add to the route?
    Last edited by always_last; 01-20-2013 at 06:47 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by always_last View Post
    I agree with the posts above regarding staying off the trails. I've been hiking the trails at Wissahickon for the past month (instead of riding) and it's amazing how quickly they turn to crap. Totally clueless riders out there, like dudes grinning from ear to ear because they're covered in mud.

    As much as it kills me not to ride the trails, and as much as I loathe my road bike, I'm staying off the single track until it dries out. I've been having a bit of fun riding Forbidden and getting some hills in by riding up and down all the various gravel lead-in roads like Rex Ave, Summit Ave, Livezey, etc. It's better than not riding at all.

    Has anyone been to Belmont recently? I've been thinking about doing an all bike path and gravel road loop, like what I used to ride on my cross bike. From Valley Green to Belmont, ride a few loops around there on the fire roads and then head back. Are there any other "off-road" roads or paths around I could add to the route?
    Rode belmont a while ago and it was nice. The thing that kills me is that the trails are perfect in the early mornings. They are frozen solid. But seeing those ruts and thorn up trails make me embarrassed for my kind...

    With that said, this is a perfect week to ride! Go out and enjoy the trails.
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  22. #22
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    Got up and out in the dark saturday morning so I could get a good ride in before it started thawing. There were some small areas that had some pretty bad damage but overall it didn't look that horrible. Small modifications to allow better drainage would fix many of the spots permanently.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by always_last View Post
    I agree with the posts above regarding staying off the trails. I've been hiking the trails at Wissahickon for the past month (instead of riding) and it's amazing how quickly they turn to crap. Totally clueless riders out there, like dudes grinning from ear to ear because they're covered in mud.

    As much as it kills me not to ride the trails, and as much as I loathe my road bike, I'm staying off the single track until it dries out. I've been having a bit of fun riding Forbidden and getting some hills in by riding up and down all the various gravel lead-in roads like Rex Ave, Summit Ave, Livezey, etc. It's better than not riding at all.

    Has anyone been to Belmont recently? I've been thinking about doing an all bike path and gravel road loop, like what I used to ride on my cross bike. From Valley Green to Belmont, ride a few loops around there on the fire roads and then head back. Are there any other "off-road" roads or paths around I could add to the route?

    Do you ride a Stumpjumper Expert HT? Blue jersey? I think I might have seen you on Forbidden on Saturday. Me...all black, bit of beard going, Stumpjumper leaning against the park bench, while hanging with the wife and son. We nodded at each other...?

  24. #24
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    Trails were either frozen or tacky today. Most of the trails were smooth, with only few rutted sections that froze requiring precise line selection.

    Plus lots of horse apples.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2x9x29 View Post
    We have the same problems in Pennypack and Neshaminy. People riding or altering trails. I have also seen reports from Whiteclay and Fairhill about people riding the trails when it's too muddy or wet. Nox recently closed their trails until conditions improve. I'm not sure if its selfishness or if people just don't know any better. We have been trying to educate riders and get the word out. So far we have had fairly good results but you will always have some people who don't care. The real kicker was 180+ racers riding thru PP sensitive single track during an illegal rogue race a few weeks ago (Jan 6th) and the trails were definitely too wet and muddy. The biggest problem now is equestrians riding trails that are not designed for horses.
    in my experience living in a lot of different places on the east coast... both attitudes definitely exist, but by and far its people just not knowing any better. A little courtesy goes a long way when informing them, and I always mention that the less damage that gets created now, the less trail maintenance has to be done in the spring.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonkranked View Post
    in my experience living in a lot of different places on the east coast... both attitudes definitely exist, but by and far its people just not knowing any better. A little courtesy goes a long way when informing them, and I always mention that the less damage that gets created now, the less trail maintenance has to be done in the spring.
    Absolutely. Being snarky or condescending about it is just going to strengthen opposition.

    But the idea of less trail maintenance might be lost on them as well, because the notion probably isn't even a glimmer in their minds, and the chance of them contributing to it is probably a losing mans bet too.

    But I agree with you, just don't have much hope for people thinking about this stuff, unless they're forced to in some way or another.

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    I hesitate to ask, but... anyone scoped out the Wiss and/or Belmont after the thaw (last night/today)? I'm assuming it's all mushy but am finishing up work and wishfully thinking of *not* riding my road bike today.

    On a semi-related note, what is up with the PMBA website? I was using that to get trail updates on the "shout box," but it seems, er... kaput.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camster3000 View Post
    I hesitate to ask, but... anyone scoped out the Wiss and/or Belmont after the thaw (last night/today)? I'm assuming it's all mushy but am finishing up work and wishfully thinking of *not* riding my road bike today.

    On a semi-related note, what is up with the PMBA website? I was using that to get trail updates on the "shout box," but it seems, er... kaput.
    Drove through today and stopped off at the valley green to look. Mush. Total mush. Need to wait for the temps to drop below freezing.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camster3000 View Post
    I hesitate to ask, but... anyone scoped out the Wiss and/or Belmont after the thaw (last night/today)? I'm assuming it's all mushy but am finishing up work and wishfully thinking of *not* riding my road bike today.

    On a semi-related note, what is up with the PMBA website? I was using that to get trail updates on the "shout box," but it seems, er... kaput.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Drove through today and stopped off at the valley green to look. Mush. Total mush. Need to wait for the temps to drop below freezing.
    Yeah, and considering that we're going to get absolutely drenched tomorrow, combined with the moderate temps forecasted, I think it's gonna be untouchable for a bit of time.

  30. #30
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    100% chance trails are a disaster until everything refreezes...

    maybe rideable again this weekend but only if it gets cold enough.

    would be awesome if it snowed a little friday and froze up for another awesome snow ride weekend like the last one.

    in PMBA related news; i think that website is going away and PMBA as we know it is heading in a new direction. I am sure you'll see something about the changes on the web soon but yeah i doubt the trail conditions thing over there is going to work again (hasn't been regularly updated for quite sometime). if you want trail updates you can always post here. i live minutes from the trail and ride forbidden drive home from work most days so i am in the park a lot to see what it looks like.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    100% chance trails are a disaster until everything refreezes...

    maybe rideable again this weekend but only if it gets cold enough.

    would be awesome if it snowed a little friday and froze up for another awesome snow ride weekend like the last one.

    in PMBA related news; i think that website is going away and PMBA as we know it is heading in a new direction. I am sure you'll see something about the changes on the web soon but yeah i doubt the trail conditions thing over there is going to work again (hasn't been regularly updated for quite sometime). if you want trail updates you can always post here. i live minutes from the trail and ride forbidden drive home from work most days so i am in the park a lot to see what it looks like.

    Thanks for the info, both re: Wiss conditions and PMBA. I've actually been outta town for a while so I wasn't aware of PMBA changes.

  32. #32
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    The trails this morning were perfect. Solid and covered in about 0.5" of snow. A little chilly but otherwise absolutely fantastic. With the sub-freezing nighttime temperatures, the morning riding should be great this week.
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  33. #33
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    Belmont was quite nice yesterday after the snow, very grippy and hard. Plus it was interesting to see the (few) tire tracks showing the lines that other people take.

    But there were sooo many goose turds on the SRT between Wiss and Belmont, yuck.

  34. #34
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    I was out at brandywine yesterday at about 8. It was awesome. I love when we get that rare day when the snow is only an inch or a half inch deep.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2x9x29 View Post
    We have the same problems in Pennypack and Neshaminy. People riding or altering trails. I have also seen reports from Whiteclay and Fairhill about people riding the trails when it's too muddy or wet. Nox recently closed their trails until conditions improve. I'm not sure if its selfishness or if people just don't know any better. We have been trying to educate riders and get the word out. So far we have had fairly good results but you will always have some people who don't care. The real kicker was 180+ racers riding thru PP sensitive single track during an illegal rogue race a few weeks ago (Jan 6th) and the trails were definitely too wet and muddy. The biggest problem now is equestrians riding trails that are not designed for horses.
    Wa have the same problems at Valley Forge, people riding and rutting up the trails really badly. The Equestrians are the worst, though. The trails were really badly post-holed in sections from the damn horses! <grrrrr> The group I ride with start around 8am when it's frozen. By the time we finish our 12 mile loop, the frost is starting to melt, but a=other riders are just showing up. Suggesting that the conditions are'nt good for riding from freeze/thaw does little.

    Quote Originally Posted by always_last View Post
    I agree with the posts above regarding staying off the trails. I've been hiking the trails at Wissahickon for the past month (instead of riding) and it's amazing how quickly they turn to crap. Totally clueless riders out there, like dudes grinning from ear to ear because they're covered in mud.

    As much as it kills me not to ride the trails, and as much as I loathe my road bike, I'm staying off the single track until it dries out. I've been having a bit of fun riding Forbidden and getting some hills in by riding up and down all the various gravel lead-in roads like Rex Ave, Summit Ave, Livezey, etc. It's better than not riding at all.

    Has anyone been to Belmont recently? I've been thinking about doing an all bike path and gravel road loop, like what I used to ride on my cross bike. From Valley Green to Belmont, ride a few loops around there on the fire roads and then head back. Are there any other "off-road" roads or paths around I could add to the route?
    I rode Belmont this AM, it was in remarkably good condition, only minor rutting from what I saw. Looks like the weather is about to turn everything greasy again, though.

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    what's the latest on wiss? its sunny and almost 60 right now over in conshy. if nothing else it'll help to start dry the trails out.

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    It's in pretty good shape. some spots are a little wet still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike001 View Post
    It's in pretty good shape. some spots are a little wet still.
    Thanks for the update...I kept listening to all the people with chips on their shoulder and didn't get out this weekend for fear of mud. I forgot, everyone likes to tell people when NOT to ride the wiss, but they never say when it's better again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4130 View Post
    I forgot, everyone likes to tell people when NOT to ride the wiss, but they never say when it's better again.
    That's awesome because its true.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    That's awesome because its true.
    I'm beginning to feel that the Friends of the Wiss secretly want to keep the mtb's off the trails.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4130 View Post
    I'm beginning to feel that the Friends of the Wiss secretly want to keep the mtb's off the trails.
    No...well maybe some of them, but they've been infiltrated by enough mountain bikers that its not the case anymore.

    Wiss is a funny place and evokes strange and extreme reactions from people - from the don't ride if a dew drop is on the trails nazis, to the mud is fun and magical to ride in knuckleheads. This thread's been pretty good though and there are enough regulars who will tell you what the real conditions are if you post up.

    The one constant is that 90% of the trail system drains well and once the freeze/thaw cycle of winter is over the trails are generally good to go 24hrs after the rain has stopped.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    No...well maybe some of them, but they've been infiltrated by enough mountain bikers that its not the case anymore.

    Wiss is a funny place and evokes strange and extreme reactions from people - from the don't ride if a dew drop is on the trails nazis, to the mud is fun and magical to ride in knuckleheads. This thread's been pretty good though and there are enough regulars who will tell you what the real conditions are if you post up.

    The one constant is that 90% of the trail system drains well and once the freeze/thaw cycle of winter is over the trails are generally good to go 24hrs after the rain has stopped.
    Thanks for the feedback, I'll try and post the true wiss conditions here as much as I can.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4130 View Post
    Thanks for the update...I kept listening to all the people with chips on their shoulder and didn't get out this weekend for fear of mud. I forgot, everyone likes to tell people when NOT to ride the wiss, but they never say when it's better again.
    Dude, come on.

    I don't think it's fair to blame others for you not getting out on a ride, and I don't agree that people here have chips on their shoulders. Watch the weather, deduct the past conditions, possibility of draining and or drying, and make the call yourself. If you show up and the conditions are cruddy, be responsible and don't ride. It's that simple.

    And that's where I think you're gathering a 'chip' on people shoulders, my shoulder included. I think it's common sense and people shouldn't need their hands held in regards as to when they really should know better about giving the trails a rest. It gets aggravating seeing people ride when they really shouldn't.

    A number of folks in here have made really good mentions about riding the trails EARLY while they are frozen, during the times that drying is slow, and it's a no brainer that moisture on the trails is gonna be abundant.

    If you ride at Wiss even moderately regularly, it shouldn't be too hard to make an educated guess about what the conditions are going to be like, gathering you are paying attention to the weather. By that, I mean that we all have a good understanding of the way the soil there works and handles water.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Dude, come on.

    If you ride at Wiss even moderately regularly, it shouldn't be too hard to make an educated guess about what the conditions are going to be like, gathering you are paying attention to the weather.
    So what if they're someone who doesn't ride there moderately regularly?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    So what if they're someone who doesn't ride there moderately regularly?
    According to jochribs we are not supposed to listen to the stewards of the wiss and deduct for yourself.

    I for one do not have a fully functioning brain on rainy days and may deduce that it is safe to ride.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by gt4130 View Post
    I'm beginning to feel that the Friends of the Wiss secretly want to keep the mtb's off the trails.
    Look, there's no secret conspiracy here. There always has been a community of folks who hate MTBs in the Wiss, and there always will be.

    Riders who do ignorant sh!t like riding when it's muddy and riding hot-button illegal trails like recoil are just strengthening the hand of the ban-the-bikes crowd. And weakening the hand of MTB'ers who want more and better MTB trails & features in the wiss. It's lame and selfish, and other mountain bikers are the main ones who suffer.

    Back on topic, the trails today are a little soft in spots but overall fine to ride IMO.

  47. #47
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    yeah freeze thaw seems to be over. trails should be good within 48hrs after most rains. if it is a light rain or it is particularly hot and or windy it can be less than 24hrs before it is good to go.

    as stated here (earlier in this thread, by me even i believe) you can always ask. quite a few locals like me look here often and can advise.

    rain/snow coming tonight/tomorrow so conditions are going to be bad tue/wed fo sho. that is the latest from me,

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    Quote Originally Posted by justriding View Post
    So what if they're someone who doesn't ride there moderately regularly?
    I should have said "Even if you aren't"...because again, it isn't rocket science. Really, it can be safely said that if you have been riding on dirt for even a short period of time, you should be able to make a safe judgement call on whether or not the trails are a good thing to make a trip to or not. And then once you do make that trip, that responsibility is on you to make the decision whether the trails are in fact in riding condition or not. Seriously, what are you debating here?

    Quote Originally Posted by gt4130 View Post
    According to jochribs we are not supposed to listen to the stewards of the wiss and deduct for yourself.

    I for one do not have a fully functioning brain on rainy days and may deduce that it is safe to ride.
    I consider myself a steward of Wiss. I've been riding there since before I moved here in '97. I go out there with contractor bags and clean up trash myself. I don't wait for group clean up days. I never ride when it is wet. I don't poach trails. I greet EVERYONE I see on those trails. I ride fast, but I give right of way. I don't own the place, I care for it.

    I am not saying to not listen to 'Stewards of the Wiss'. Schit, I am a 'Steward of the Wiss' and I'm telling you to assume some self-responsibility for giving a crap about the trails and making decisions for yourself.

    Example, what if a 'Steward of the Wiss' incorrectly told you that the trails were a definite go, and you got there and the trails were a wet mess? Would you say, "well, a 'Steward of the Wiss' said that the trails were okay..." and just ride anyway, claiming that you don't have a fully functioning brain?

    Again, to both of you guy's...

    Dude, come on....

    Are we really going to reduce this to making petty, facetious responses in regard to something (Wiss's conditions) that we should all equally give a schit about???

    If you guys wanna keep that up, well, that's a bummer, but it's your decision. I've got better things to do.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Seriously, what are you debating here?


    If you guys wanna keep that up, well, that's a bummer, but it's your decision. I've got better things to do.
    "dude" you're the one that put out the four paragraph rant. I'm not debating sh!t with you. I was pointing out the nonsensical part of it. If you're not from around here and don't ride there much, its legit to ask people how conditions are. I don't ride out to FC much or out toward Harisburg/State College, so I'll post up and ask people who ride there what conditions are.

    Your post is exactly what gt4130 was pissed at - not helpful and ******y. In fact, you are the kind of "dude" that is annoying about the Wiss - "I been riding since 97...I clean up trash...I'm friendly to everyone...I don't ride when its wet...I don't poach..I'll tell you to not ask questions I think are stupid...I've got better things to do" really? because you took a good amount of time to blast away on the forum today. Go have a beer, its almost 5 o'clock.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    Back on topic, the trails today are a little soft in spots but overall fine to ride IMO.
    I thought the same thing yesterday, not bad, couple soft spots in the usual locations.

    Anybody notice that the "go arounds" have really been expanded this winter and worn in - meaning all those little techy rock sections that people can squeek by on the edge of the trail. I noticed a big one when you come head north from the stable road after the uphill rock garden. There is a large pile of rocks at the end you normally crank over, but there is now a pretty well worn trail to the side of it.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

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