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  1. #1
    Just Wanna Ride!
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    Leaves - Should They Stay or Should They Go?

    We have a debate on our local trails. We have a great network of trails in the area and plenty of folks volunteering to help maintain. The grades are relatively flowy with some flat areas that don't always drain well.

    Always a debate about whether to let the leaves stay on the trail or to get the off. In my opinion the leaves can stay on 75% of the trail and really only need to be removed from areas that are having trouble draining or areas that can't dry out.

    Is there anything published that gives guidance on leave cover? Any guidance on whether they should stay or go?

  2. #2
    featherweight clydesdale
    Reputation: Fattirewilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthrnfat
    We have a debate on our local trails. We have a great network of trails in the area and plenty of folks volunteering to help maintain. The grades are relatively flowy with some flat areas that don't always drain well.

    Always a debate about whether to let the leaves stay on the trail or to get the off. In my opinion the leaves can stay on 75% of the trail and really only need to be removed from areas that are having trouble draining or areas that can't dry out.

    Is there anything published that gives guidance on leave cover? Any guidance on whether they should stay or go?
    Start here

    Blow Job


    Every case is different. If you've narrowed it down to blowing on 25%, sounds like you've though about it a bit and have it figured out.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Our trail group takes care of almost 15 miles of trail. We try to get the leaf and stick debris off the trail.The blowers don't work well for us. So we rake. We clear the trail to keep the organic off the trail,and to save our rear derailleurs.Here in NW Washington we get lots of wind and rain. Keeping the trail clear makes for much better drainage.
    Our members agree that it needs to be done,but very few want to help do it.
    We contacted a parole officer with juvenille services. He has kids that need to do community service. They have a lot more fun clearing trail than picking up garbage on the side of the road.And that gives us more time for building TTFs and new trail.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    If want to read the great debate on this go to the "Blow Job" post in this forum.
    Trail Builder, Trail Rider,and Trail Protector

  5. #5
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    I blow my dh trails clean down past the mulchy topsoil. Better traction, better drainage, better line selection.

  6. #6
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    i participated in the blowjob thread and was on the blow side... haha... that sound funny.

    Anyways, i was talking with another rider about it. He raised the issue that it's just one way for persons to sanitize a trail. That it's a slippery slope, that next you want to take all the rocks out of the trail. This argument was raised in that thread as well.

    i dunno about that. But the debate is interesting. And if i learned anything from that thread is it not only depends on the area where you live, but each trail really. So really i suppose you have to take it on a trail to trail basis.

    After thinking about this subject, i think if anything the labor that is used to blow leaves could be better served.

    For instance if there are low areas that are really mucky is there a way to take that labor and either re-route the trail, or build it high with rock and mineral soil harvested from elsewhere, or building a sturdy bridge.

    On the other hand, if someone wants to take time to get rid of the leaves, at least they're busy doing trail work.

    So after all this to answer your question, i guess you'll get an official "i dunno"....
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