Upper Hillside Thawed Yet?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upper Hillside Thawed Yet?

    Anyone know the current condition of the loops above Hill Top?

    I know it is still a few weeks before the "opening date" of June 1.

  2. #2
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    The trails are still too soft and/or muddy to ride yet.

  3. #3
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    Even the Tour trail is still damp on the surface in most areas, but stable enough to support foot and bike traffic in the hardened sections pretty well. Although I didn't check them out direction, based on what I saw on the Tour trail when out running, I would not think even Rover's and Moose Meadow would be okay for another week or two of dry weather at least. The trails higher up will need a good while before they are ready for bike tires.

  4. #4
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    At the risk of stepping in it I will report that I came down Gas Line to Janice's Jive, Queen Bee South and Drone this afternoon, then down multiuse along Abbott out the tour trail to the horse trail just west of BLM, east on the trail along the Science Center access and then out the tour trail until just past it's intersection with Blue Dot. It got muddy there so I turned around. Back up tour trail to Salmon Run back to tour trail all the way to Service and then back up the multiuse along Abbott up Drone, Queen Bee North and Janice's Jive to the Gasline and up to Prospect Heights.

    I got lectured fairly sternly about how it was too early to be on the trails. My answer that I was only riding on dry trails was not received well. She said there were many wet spots around, especially up high, so it was too early! Was I wrong?

    This is what I found: There have definately been a number of people riding when it was soft so there is rutting in a number of spots. I was riding a fat bike so on some spots where it was a little soft still I could smooth out the trail but most were already too hard for me to have any effect. A couple were still to soft even for Fat so I didn't ride there.
    Janice Jive and Queen Bee South is all ridable on a hard packed line, there are a few soft edges but they can be ridden around without going out into the weeds. Drone has one very wet spot, at the bottom, that I stopped and ditched with a stick which let most of the water out. This is like 10' long and is easy to carry around. The multiuse trail along Abbott is the worst, it has some longish sections maybe a couple hundred yards total that have been churned up by horses and bikes that still need to dry out. About 3/4 of these already have a dry packed line through them and the rest can be carried around and will be ridable shortly. Tour trail is great until where I turned around and Salmon Run is great. Queen Bee north is a little wetter than south. If you are riding fat tires you can probably help it by riding it, if not than not.
    So I rode like 15 miles on dirt got 0 mud on my bike and carried it for maybe 25 yards so how am I too early?

  5. #5
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    I guess my response is that your mud free ride is a result of luck as opposed to skill and trail knowledge. I've riddent trails that appear dry after a rain and looked back to see a tire streak due to deep soft mud. Fat tires do less damage than skinnier tires, but where is the cutoff? Are my 2.7 DH tires fat enough?

    Also if someone with less experience on these trails, sees a more experienced person riding the trails, they may assume the trails are ready to go and not take the care to avoid sensitive areas. I'm venting a little as you are not the only one trying to get out on the trails and I definitely understand the sentiment.

    But why not wait 2 weeks and be a shining example of trail stewardship. I take pride in that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeC AK
    I guess my response is that your mud free ride is a result of luck as opposed to skill and trail knowledge. I've riddent trails that appear dry after a rain and looked back to see a tire streak due to deep soft mud. Fat tires do less damage than skinnier tires, but where is the cutoff? Are my 2.7 DH tires fat enough?

    Also if someone with less experience on these trails, sees a more experienced person riding the trails, they may assume the trails are ready to go and not take the care to avoid sensitive areas. I'm venting a little as you are not the only one trying to get out on the trails and I definitely understand the sentiment.

    But why not wait 2 weeks and be a shining example of trail stewardship. I take pride in that.
    Mike, On your first point we will have to agree to disagree, at least to some extent, but I'd like to think I've gained some insight over the years. I only went where I suspected it could be dry. If it got wet I would have, and did, turn around. Maybe it was just luck I picked the trails I did. As to whether 2.7's are wide enough I'd say it depends. If you can ride over part of the trail that is sort of soft and has been wrecked by horses and bikes and even walkers and you make it better than they are wide enough. If not then not. This would so depend on the trail as on my ride yesterday there were areas where I could help, areas where it didn't matter and areas where it was still too soft so I could not ride.

    Your second point is troubling. I do get that monkee see monkee do could be a problem and maybe not riding when only some of the trails are good is a sacrifice we have to make for living in an urban environment. I'd like to think that there might be ways to teach new riders to avoid soft trails some other way than just by a blanket date because that doesn't address all the people that ride Speedway for example when it's way too wet during the summer. Another problem we have is that trails down low or that are hardened dry out and are usuable much sooner than trails up high and yet the signs are generic.

    As to why not wait two weeks I guess it gets back to, absent your second point, there are several trails that are ready to ride and in places it will help to ride them. Given your second point the question gets harder to answer the way I'd like to answer it.

  7. #7
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    I apologize somewhat, I was venting a little after watching my neighbor powerwash cakes of mud off his bike. You, like other experienced and knowledgable locals could likely navigate the drying trails with minimal damage, especiallly with a fat tire(I love mine by the way). Many can't or don't care. Hope you and all have a great season

  8. #8
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    Started up Drone yesterday and gave up almost immediately - IMO it is still too wet to ride.

  9. #9
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    Just getting into mountain biking this year reading your comments about upper hillside i thought i would look for video of the trails you were talking about. Not to throw gas on the fire i came across this video titled "Hillside Riding, 1st day 2011 Season" looks like it was posted Sunday night on Youtube.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRZ3k..._order&list=UL

    I'm excited to get out there but it seems common knowledge the trails aren't quite ready yet.

    Anyhow can't wait to learn to ride better, maybe I'll see you on the trails someday.

  10. #10
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    No Riding Til June 1

    Just kidding.

    I'm with Syrnak. Get out there and poke around. If the trail is soft, don't ride it. It isn't fun riding that mess anyway. That lower part of Drone is a mess every spring, thus the plastic grid plates across the bottom. Use good judgement. People on the forum are probably using good judgement. It's inevitable though, that people willleave 3-4 inch trenches on trails that are still too soft every year. Fat tires are significantly better. I've been out on the trails behind Muldoon flattening rutted up spots on 6 psi. 2.7's still need 20-30 psi to be ridden and they'd leave ruts.

    Syrnak said it right. Use good judgement, and hope that the people that don't realize someday they are jacking up trails, making them wider, leaving low spots that fill with water through the season, etc.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  11. #11
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    The guy in the video needs to learn how to route brake lines. He's going to be disappointed when that line catches a good branch.

  12. #12
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    Rode down sta from prospect a couple days ago... Minus a few wet spots the trails are fairly dry and in good shape! I think all the wind and sun we've had lately has helped a lot.

    Sick vid nojoke! I need to get some different gopro mounts before we head back to Whis

  13. #13
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    Hillside STA is clear to ride from what Ive heard

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