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  1. #1
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    the NOVA freeze-thaw blues

    I went riding at Wakefield yesterday. I thought the trails would be plenty dry after a good week of no rain. I was wrong. Mud mud everywhere. Not that I mind getting muddy, I just don't want to tear up the trails, (which clearly other people don't have the same concern based on all the ruts). I wish it would either warm up and dry out or get cold and stay cold so the ground stays frozen. This mid-Atlantic freeze-thaw, freeze-thaw stuff is killing me. Do any of the nearby trails like Meadowood or Laurel Hill dry out quicker or am I done til the cherries bloom?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd View Post
    I went riding at Wakefield yesterday. I thought the trails would be plenty dry after a good week of no rain. I was wrong. Mud mud everywhere. Not that I mind getting muddy, I just don't want to tear up the trails, (which clearly other people don't have the same concern based on all the ruts). I wish it would either warm up and dry out or get cold and stay cold so the ground stays frozen. This mid-Atlantic freeze-thaw, freeze-thaw stuff is killing me. Do any of the nearby trails like Meadowood or Laurel Hill dry out quicker or am I done til the cherries bloom?
    I was going to ask the same thing. The roller coaster temperatures really are maddening. I've been waiting for Fountainhead to dry out for weeks. I'm wondering if the rockier trails like Gambrill are faring any better. I'll certainly make the drive up if they are.
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  3. #3
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    That's just how it goes around here during this time of year. Wakefield is pretty notorious for taking its time to dry. For NoVA trails, Lake Fairfax and Laurel Hill usually fair better. Fountainhead I feel is a crap shoot, just because it has a lot of trouble spots (but at least the park is pretty solid about posting updates on their facebook page). Points up north dry much better but I'd still scrounge around for some recent reports first.

  4. #4
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    Laurel Hill is pretty much the go-to trail for this uber depressing time of the year. The Giles loop usually stays pretty muddy, but everything on the other side of the street dries out super fast. There may be a couple puddles here and there but it's 90% ridable during any weather.

  5. #5
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    I really thought I was the only one that thought fountainhead was muddy. I'm a fairly new rider, but there were guys on full suspension bikes going out like the trails were perfect. I'll admit, I went about 100 yards last weekend and stopped. I was definitely ruining the trail from sliding off the trail sideways. I walked my bike out and went home. Not worth messing them up.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gofastgt View Post
    I really thought I was the only one that thought fountainhead was muddy. I'm a fairly new rider, but there were guys on full suspension bikes going out like the trails were perfect. I'll admit, I went about 100 yards last weekend and stopped. I was definitely ruining the trail from sliding off the trail sideways. I walked my bike out and went home. Not worth messing them up.

    I'm done snowboarding for one season... bring on the warm weather again!!
    You definitely are not the only one. I don't think they should have even opened Fountainhead last weekend. I saw people coming out covered in mud and another person that rode a few yards in and came back out covered in mud, so I didn't even try it. I can only imagine what a rutted mess it will be when it finally does stay dry for any length of time. I appreciate the park staff trying to open it whenever they can, but it seems like this time of year is a lost cause, at least for that trail.
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  7. #7
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    Who has a road bike? In NorCal, we'd have these great road rides with the mtbr folks. Maybe we get something like that going. I'd call one, but I don't exactly know my way around yet.

    Doesn't seem that roadbike review forums are as active in MD / VA / DC. Ride your road bike or do something else when it's wet, but then again, I'm preaching to the choir here.

  8. #8
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    Some people opt to do some gravel grinding this time of year. One of the MORE guys has a database of dirt roads in Loudoun county and a blog detailing some gravel/dirt rides in Loudoun and Frederick.

    Grinding Gravel

    I'd be up for something like this

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    ... I saw people coming out covered in mud and another person that rode a few yards in and came back out covered in mud, so I didn't even try it.
    I wonder if I was the one that rode a few yards in and came back out covered in mud. Did that guy stop and warn you about the muddy trails? If so, that was me

    J, road bike is definitely the way to go this time of year. I don't own one, but have been taking my mountain bike on some sidewalk rides to keep the legs and heart pumping. Do what ya gotta do.
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  10. #10
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    NoVA drivers + road bike = No Fing way.

    I bought a spin bike. Mixed feelings about it because it's about as boring as it gets...but it's hella good workout.

  11. #11
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    I get that about the drivers, but surely there must be places to ride a road bike.

    For the NoVas: My brother lives next to Prince William Forest Park, and we had some great times riding road back there with virtually no traffic - and it's a low speed limit for them in the park, too.

    Go check it out if you want to be in the woods but don't want to be on the trails. I'll probably call a ride there in the next few weeks, because I'm going to keep the tandem at his place and will definitely want to take it there.

    But oh I can't wait to tear it up at Fountainhead on it.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the replys. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

    I got out to Laurel Hill today. Y'all were right on. The main loops were quite dry. There were a few muddy spots, but nothing I couldn't bunny hop over. Actually, it added a little challenge to otherwise very tame trails.

    I hear you about the roadbiking. I do ride my road bike alot this time of year. And every other time of year, for that matter. This area is blessed with lots of off-street paved bike trails. I happen to live right next to the Mount Vernon Trail, so I could ride to all the way to Pittsburg from my front door, if I want, without dealing with a single car. One of these days, I will.
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  13. #13
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    I ride in Clifton on my road bike on a 1 a month of so basis. Lots of good climbs pavement is in decent shape. Drivers will give you room surprisingly. You can link up a good 50-60 mile loop with a chunk of climbing out there. Keep up the pace and stick to the white line on the side and your good.

  14. #14
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    yup, it sucks! I'm in MD and VA, and haven't done a good ride in weeks. Mainly my fault but the weather gives me someone else to blame!

    I guess there's always C&O cruises, as I can't stand road rides (re: the above drivers) and won't get on a trainer....

    I guess its the gym for now

  15. #15
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    I took my kids out to Laurel Hills yesterday. Tame trails, but good to do some speed work, a few jumps and get some saddle time in on dirt. Like others have said, it dries out very quickly so it should be good to go by the weekend. Fountainhead might even be ok by Saturday if it doesn't go below freezing the next few nights.



    Quote Originally Posted by rob1035 View Post
    yup, it sucks! I'm in MD and VA, and haven't done a good ride in weeks. Mainly my fault but the weather gives me someone else to blame!

    I guess there's always C&O cruises, as I can't stand road rides (re: the above drivers) and won't get on a trainer....

    I guess its the gym for now
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