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  1. #1
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    Riding after heavy rains

    Any need to stay off of the trails after several days of heavy rain as we've just gotten over the past week? In particular, I'm thinking of Grand Ridge & Duthie.

    Thanks! Looks like the sun's out today though

  2. #2
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    The lower part of Grand Ridge above the bog and the new Grand Ridge Bog Bridge (GRBB) will be icky, gooey, slippery yet sticky and messy. The rest of GR will be puddly (stop and drain 'em if you are riding!) but probably ridable. There will be spots that are gonna require some walking probably though (for me anyhow). Steep and slippery on some of those unhardened patches makes it really difficult.

  3. #3
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    I just got back from a ride at PV. Lloyd's and Lloyds Detour were just fine. Cascara was also ok. Southern Traverse near the end of Cedar Run has a Lake across it, extending quite a ways into the wood on either side of the trail, maybe 100' of trail under water.

  4. #4
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    I'll risk a response.

    My opinion is, "it's not the best". Some trail networks are better than others with rain, but I wouldn't say that any (of our) trails benefit from being ridden when soaked. The problem is that when you have ultra-high-traffic routes with less than ideal drainage, that are soaked and being hammered by hundreds of people brake-dragging, skidding, braiding around puddles, etc, it really does make a lot more work for whoever is trying to maintain those trails.
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  5. #5
    Squeaky Wheel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smilely View Post
    I just got back from a ride at PV. Lloyd's and Lloyds Detour were just fine. Cascara was also ok. Southern Traverse near the end of Cedar Run has a Lake across it, extending quite a ways into the wood on either side of the trail, maybe 100' of trail under water.
    A scout will be starting work soon to build a ladder bridge over that section of trail.

    To answer the OP's question - yes, after heavy rains, it's always a good idea to stay off the trails for at least a couple of days. You can do a lot of damage that takes a lot of man-hours to repair.

  6. #6
    Biking Like Crazy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    A scout will be starting work soon to build a ladder bridge over that section of trail.

    To answer the OP's question - yes, after heavy rains, it's always a good idea to stay off the trails for at least a couple of days. You can do a lot of damage that takes a lot of man-hours to repair.
    +1 Who wants or needs to ride that badly.
    Do some isometrics or something at home until it drys out abit!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by r1de View Post
    My opinion is, "it's not the best".
    Pretty much, something to consider is when the tread of the soil is more rocky it has a tendency to hold up better. Trails at Green Mountain, Anacortes.

    Trails at Duthie have a fair amount of loam in the tread which is a mix of basic component in mineral soil. Clay, sand, silt.

    Any use "compacts" the soil, mt. biker wheels will roll in a hard surface after use. If a trail has organic content, it will start mushing out. If a trail is ponding water it will suffer. Water is EXTREMELY erosive and powerful. Now you add high traffic and on higher speed trail like the ones at Duthie, it takes a toll. On higher speed trails there is a tendency for experienced riders to drift their back tires from carrying speed, as there is a tendency for new riders to skid from carrying speed because they're freaking out a little bit, or are just sloppy and not using as much front brake as they should.

    Since we are talking about Duthie, IF you MUST ride on $hitty months, which this month has surely been near record breaking in rain. Be a person that learns, volunteers, and understands drainage. Water runs downhill. And ride smooth, don't shralp, ease back a bit and flow, likewise if you're a bit clunky on your tech skills, if you're skidding around go work on a less popular trail, or one of the many tight twisty models that keep your speed so low it's hard to skid out.

    Of course there are more layers, but that's the basics in a nutshell. The goal of everyone is to be able to ride year round, but in order to get there, we need to continue to get our community on board with having fun helping work on trails.
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  8. #8
    Sweet
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    Not to mention what you're doing to your bike.
    More fun than an open casket funeral

  9. #9
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    I put my bike away a couple weeks ago and have been giving some attention to my favorite trails since few others do. Blow downs, drainage, re-routes, theres always something to do. And is anyone else scared to see what the higher elevation trails are going to look like this spring/summer?

  10. #10
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    Go skiing or do trail work till it dries out a bit.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  11. #11
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    Skookum- I have a question for you since you seem to know soils. On grand ridge, starting from Issaquah, before the (wonderful) bridge over the bog there is a section that is 'greasy' when wet. It has a thicker consistency akin to cream cheese. What causes this? I did some looking but didnt know our soil type etc. This came up during a ride and no one took a geology elective in college.

  12. #12
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    It's a big vein of clay. The WTA has re-routed that section once already to raise it up higher than the old road bed it ws on. (Generically, clay is just compacted silt. Too dense to really drain.)

  13. #13
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    Before I moved out here 4 years ago, I lived near Chicago. Out there, you would literally get your ass kicked for riding when trails were as wet as they are right now, you'd get less grief not wearing a helmet.

    Was always weird seeing so many out here riding when things were wet and sloppy. If anything, I just find it trashes bike parts faster.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    It's a big vein of clay. The WTA has re-routed that section once already to raise it up higher than the old road bed it ws on. (Generically, clay is just compacted silt. Too dense to really drain.)
    Silts are generally defined as non-clay minerals with particle sizes > 2 μm while clays, made of phyllosilicate minerals, are smaller. Where they seem to overlap is that large deposits of both silts and clays occur due to water deposition. Clays come from the acidic weathering of high silicate rocks (like some igneous rocks, eg. basalts). Red clays for instance are generally the result of acid weathering of basalts with lots of iron in them.

    Clay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The definition from Wikipedia shows how different groups of folks define clay vs. silt; some use the 2 μm cutoff, some use 4-5 μm or 1 μm, and geotechnical engineers define it by the plasticity of the soil using something called the Atterberg limits.

    More than you ever needed to know, probably.

    When tranformed into rocks (sedimentary), the gradation of the rock shows the size of the particles as well:

    Sandstone comes from sand.
    Mudstones include siltstone (>50% silt sized particles) and shale or claystone (>50% clay sized particles).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRSpalding View Post
    Silts are generally defined as non-clay minerals with particle sizes > 2 μm while clays, made of phyllosilicate minerals, are smaller. Where they seem to overlap is that large deposits of both silts and clays occur due to water deposition. Clays come from the acidic weathering of high silicate rocks (like some igneous rocks, eg. basalts). Red clays for instance are generally the result of acid weathering of basalts with lots of iron in them.

    Clay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The definition from Wikipedia shows how different groups of folks define clay vs. silt; some use the 2 μm cutoff, some use 4-5 μm or 1 μm, and geotechnical engineers define it by the plasticity of the soil using something called the Atterberg limits.

    More than you ever needed to know, probably.

    When tranformed into rocks (sedimentary), the gradation of the rock shows the size of the particles as well:

    Sandstone comes from sand.
    Mudstones include siltstone (>50% silt sized particles) and shale or claystone (>50% clay sized particles).
    There's a quiz at the end of the week!

  16. #16
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    Compared to last year it's actually relatively dry.
    10 day total from 3/8/2011-3/18/2011 approx 4.5 inches
    10 day total from 3/8/2012-3/18/2012 approx 2.9 inches

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  17. #17
    Squeaky Wheel
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    That's just one weather station. I have a weather station at my house in Woodinville, and over that same period my rain gauge has recorded 4+ inches of rain (almost 5.5 inches for the month of March).

  18. #18
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    Sorry... poor attempt at "dry" humor.
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