I guess its where your trail is. Down here in Florida we actually bring more leaves into the trail. We layer the leaves with sand and compact to make soil. The leaves hold in moisture and keep the trail from turning into sugar sand. I lay awake in bed at night dreaming of clay based soil problems.
I was thinkng the same thing..Im in Ohio...and Mohican is the only hilly ride around...it gets alot of use...the state park that is...I dont think they blow the leaves but they do displace from use...and it gets thawed way more than the really fun one around the corner that only a handfull of folks even ride anymore...gotta remove alot of prickers..but never removed leaves.....and its the best riding around, year round....could be part of the reason....
Originally Posted by gmcttr
great debate though...for heavily used areas that will definately have begginers, i would think the safety and fun part would override the other reasons, especially since those folks wont know about the freeze/thaw cycles....the reast of us ride in it all, we just know where to go to ride when all the others are soft and stickey.
In the Pacific Northwest we have plenty of organic and plenty of water. I've noticed that trails void of organic material, which are built on solid mineral soil tend to fair better when it is wet. The trails that aren't down to mineral soil are the "muckiest" and tend to stay wet longer. Wet trails covered in maple leaves are very difficult to navigate. The front tire slides/hydroplanes on the leaves, and makes cornering impossible under speed. When the trails are dry in the summer there isn't much of a difference.
Since, one trail user says that leaves protect the trail and sheet water off the trail I'm leaving a trial section with leaves. However, from what I've seen so far "proper" trail maintenance is better. I may be wrong in the long term. So, I figure it is worth testing.
Here is why not to: Fair Hill leaf blowing - YouTube
The price for a few weeks of fast, leafless mountain bike riding in the fall is about 4 months of poor walking or riding conditions and significant trail degradation throughout the winter and early spring