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  1. #1
    Heavylegs
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    A Good Muddy Trail???

    I will start by saying I am from northeastern Ohio and I do like it here even if we do not have big mountains, unlimited amount of land, and for sure it is not because our less than perfect weather. That being said we get our fair share of rain matched with alot of overcast days present us with the opportunity for MUD that tends to stick around. So when growing up in this neck of the woods as kids we develop a liking for the stuff. There lies the problem with many of the grown children wanting to ride thier bicycles in poor conditions on well maintained trails leaving behind less than desirable trails for others when it does dry out. In comes my idea for trails or trail systems to support this kind of passion for the wet slick drivetrain eating soil. I am guessing this would have to take place on private land seeing how most land managers and public land users would frown upon it as would I.M.B.A.. I also think that it would provide a great teaching experience for those who love to ride in mud and for local clubs to educate their members on appropropriate trail practices and also for the clubs to experiment with new ways to solve drainage and other assorted soil issues they may have in thier area Please feel free let me have it as I know you all will so thank you ahead for your feed back!

  2. #2
    Delirious Tuck
    Reputation: thefriar's Avatar
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    Tread lightly...

    A trail just for mudding tosses us squarely in the Mt Dew stereotype. Could be fun if you're rocking a fat bike, but otherwise, mud is a pain to bike, rider, and the land. I think if you do it, private land all the way, otherwise the haters will hate hard and its just poor environmental responsibility (erosion/run off/trail widening/etc).

    A good sustainable trail isn't muddy and is fun in all conditions...

  3. #3
    trail rat
    Reputation: slocaus's Avatar
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    Move to the UK where they have no choice.
    CCCMB web - Facebook
    SLO trail maps - conditions

    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    In the UK they also armor the hell out of the muddy/boggy sections with tons of rock.

    A Good Muddy Trail???-7stanes-glentrool.jpg

  5. #5
    Delirious Tuck
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    That armor makes me so happy inside.

  6. #6
    Tre1nt
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    IMBA resources: Designing and Building All-Weather Trails

    Authors:

    Woody Keen, Trail Dynamics; President, Professional Trailbuilders Association; Dan Hudson, IMBA Trail Specialist; Rich Edwards, IMBA Trail Solutions Manager

    The speakers discussed the best way to build trails for all-weather riding, and focused on how to prevent damage to trails that are typically dry, with occasional periods of wetness. In the ideal world, trail users would avoid using trails when they are wet, whether from rain or snow melt during the spring. Since keeping all users off the trail is unlikely, land managers and trailbuilders need to take measures to prevent damage, without negatively affecting trails when they are dry.

    If youíve modified a trail to be wet-weather friendly, spread the word in your local club and around the community. That way, if people decide to ride in the rain, they can choose the trail thatís most appropriate for the weather, and let the others dry out.

    Following IMBAís trailbuilding guidelines is the best way to create trails that manage water and dry out quickly. However, there are situations where you cannot move existing trails or want to create trails that can be ridden while wet. If thatís the case, consider the following options:

    Microtopography Modification

    This method involves modifying the landscape using on-site materials to create raised tread, causeways, basins and mounds.
    The goals is to manipulate the topography to maximize drainage.
    This is a great approach for flatter areas with otherwise good soils.

    Foundation Modification

    This method requires trailbuilders to excavate the area to be reinforced, install a layer of stone, and then cover the stone foundation with native soil.
    Stone foundations improve drainage beneath the trail and provide a hard under-layer, while maintaining the look and feel of the local surroundings.
    You may need to bring in stone from a quarry for foundation. Rock size depends on trail user weight.
    Put rocks close together to create an interlocking puzzle.
    The foundation should be wide enough to accommodate drift in the trail, as riders find the true line.

    Surface Modification

    Surfacing creates a trail tread using stone-based material (i.e. road-base gravel, fines, flagstones, or a combination of materials).
    The goal is a result that flows like a trail, but is built like a road.
    When surfacing an entire loop, donít skip areas that seem to be dry. After some usage, seemingly dry areas may not be.

    Elevated Wooden Structures

    These structures are also known as boardwalks, log rides and puncheons.
    Elevated wooden structures can be used to change the challenge and/or character of the trail.
    Repairs/rebuilding needs to happen every about five years. Even rot-resistant materials have a limited life.
    Wooden structures carry a higher duty of care to make sure they stay in good condition.
    Wood needs to be ground-contact rated.
    When using treated wood, keep in mind that preservatives will eat away at nails and other fasteners. Whenever the wood is cut or drilled, the newly exposed portions will require additional treatment.

    Extreme Options

    Ditch and culvert: This method captures water and directs it under the trail using large half-culverts. Itís like building a road, and will likely require the trail corridor to be re-contoured.
    Geotextiles: When there are no other options, Geocloth and other similar measures may be used.
    This method is very costly to install, even more expensive to remove after failure, and will not remedy poor trail layouts (such as fall-line grades).

    Download PDF Presentation

  7. #7
    Unpredictable
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    Sorry to sort of hijack your thread redd, but here is a cross-post from an Aussie website. You guys are into frozen trail right now, while where I live it is just getting damp after a late start to our Summer, wet season.

    I like your fun on muddy trails idea. It takes me back to my childhood. Sliding down muddy grass on our backsides, riding bicycles through slop in the local bush, making grenades out of fireworks encased in wet clay and later, blasting through muddy trail on motos in bush so shitty no-one could value it, all the time thinking we were doing no harm (even if we did blast each other with grenades).

    Sadly, times change. There are now homes and pools and tennis courts where we used to dig trenches and throw roost in the mud and I wouldn't encourage my son to blow someone's ear off with a well-aimed bomb.

    I'm not saying our kids shouldn't get loose and have fun in the mud, but I suspect it's time adults stood back and considered the bigger picture. Little kids don't have a big impact in the long term unless they grow into big kids. These days, to make a fun mud trail you better have your own property, lots of time to deal with your neighbours, councils and other environmentalists and a big wad of cash to pay for the insurance you can't purchase.

    I think it is better if you help build and ride dry trail. Check this thread from downunda

    Riding in the wet. Here we go again

  8. #8
    I build my own.
    Reputation: Trail Ninja's Avatar
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    There is always the option to "find" a mud trail. In my area on Vancouver Island there are plenty of them. 4X4 and ATV are very popular here.

    A Good Muddy Trail???-bikeclub02132h.jpg

    Yes, we could easily drain this hole & ride it dry most of the time. Where's the fun in that?

    A Good Muddy Trail???-bikeclub02132g.jpg
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  9. #9
    Rep Power: Infinity
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    Quote Originally Posted by redd4573 View Post
    I will start by saying I am from northeastern Ohio and I do like it here even if we do not have big mountains, unlimited amount of land, and for sure it is not because our less than perfect weather. That being said we get our fair share of rain matched with alot of overcast days present us with the opportunity for MUD that tends to stick around. So when growing up in this neck of the woods as kids we develop a liking for the stuff. There lies the problem with many of the grown children wanting to ride thier bicycles in poor conditions on well maintained trails leaving behind less than desirable trails for others when it does dry out. In comes my idea for trails or trail systems to support this kind of passion for the wet slick drivetrain eating soil. I am guessing this would have to take place on private land seeing how most land managers and public land users would frown upon it as would I.M.B.A.. I also think that it would provide a great teaching experience for those who love to ride in mud and for local clubs to educate their members on appropropriate trail practices and also for the clubs to experiment with new ways to solve drainage and other assorted soil issues they may have in thier area Please feel free let me have it as I know you all will so thank you ahead for your feed back!
    It just wouldn't work. Regardless of what IMBA or anyone else thinks about the prospect of such a mud-friendly bike park, it won't last. Being as familiar with the area as I am and the soils and geology, I can tell you this. if you set some private land aside for mud riding, people might ride it for a little while enjoying the fact that they can get out and ride on warm spells after a cold snap, or early in the spring, but within a couple of seasons it will be so thrashed that it won't be fun to ride anymore. I know the kind of persistent ruts you get in those heavy clay soils and how they will just go on forever if you don't do something about them. You'll wind up with userless trails in short order.

    The only way to pull it off would be to make extensive use of rocks (that would have to be purchased and transported to the site) or woodwork (that would also have to be purchased and transported to the site). There's just not enough rock available to make that option financially feasible. I could potentially see extensive use of wooden boardwalks (maybe partially using small amounts of native logs that aren't rotten yet) in the midwest. The problem becomes the cost of that much lumber and the labor/engineering required to make something interesting out of it. And I don't see any of the clubs in the midwest having the sort of budget to handle that kind of project.

  10. #10
    Team Livemedium
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    Riding in mud is fun!!


    Until your cassette gets clogged up, your derailleur cage wont spring back, the hangar snaps and you push out with a broken chain.
    This all happens about a mile or two from your car. I do like creek crossings and they can be real fun also, but try a sixty miler on a muddy
    day, oh boy. A couple muddy sections might not be too bad but isn't great either.
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  11. #11
    Heavylegs
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    Thanks guys the response has been more kind than I expected it to be. Like I said it is just an idea of mine that may or may not work someday. I may not have been completely clear in that I do not want an entire trail of mud but a type of trail not unlike our normal trails. Only thing different would be to not maintain it nearly as much as normal just letting the trail develop with riding and time allowing the natural puddles and mud pits to develope. I think this would be great way to show the local club members why there volunteer hours on properly building and maintaining trails is so inportant. I completely agree with bamwa1 I have found this out the hard way in my youth. I do not like riding muddy trails now, but I know some do and having the abillity to encorage those who do a place to ride in the mud and not on the nice trails would benifit all trail users.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark E View Post
    Geotextiles: When there are no other options, Geocloth and other similar measures may be used.
    I found a deal on some flexgrid Products | Checkmate Geosynthetics at a really good price, I think. It is made to hold up retaining walls. Seems to me it would be better than a solid fabric as it will let water go through. I am dealing with a seep and want to lay this down then cover with rock and dirt to build the tread surface up. Any opinions?

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    One could build a purpose built mud bog, kind of like a pond with a liner or a clay subsurface. Use a thick liner that would not puncture. Line that with material that would not erode fast (like gravel), protecting the subsurface. Provide a dry escape route like a bridge for those who did not want to get wet. If water stands in the pond, it becomes a Moskie zoo and an algae trap. If water runs through, where does it go? Hopefully not across the street to the nature conservancy. Cost of the purpose built mud bog would be very expensive (a ten by ten landscape pond with pumps and filters and prettiness installed is about three grand. The trail user would only try it once (for they have to now clean and repair their bike). I see it as a novelty, but sure could provide some laughs for the day.
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

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