2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.

    Hey everybody, it's March 20, spring 2016 Equinox!

    Just starting a thread to see if we can gauge when Durham Forest will be ridable this spring in 2016. If you've been there and peered down the trails, or gone for a walk, or a ride provided the trail conditions are very good, ie, somewhat dry, report your findings here. Please DO NOT ride or even walk or run the trails if they are wet and muddy. We want to maintain the trails in the best condition that we can.

    thanks in advance for any feedback,

    :)

  2. #2
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    It is still quite wet and damage would be extensive from riding. Please watch the durham mountain biking association facebook page for updates.
    Lots of people looking forward to an early season of riding.

  3. #3
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    I took advantage of a cold Saturday night (-10 C) and hit a bunch of trail systems Sunday morning, including Durham Forest. The ground was totally frozen and I enjoyed a great ride on the trails without causing any damage. I noticed walking the dog in Uxbridge at noon though that the ground had thawed, so the trails would have been very sensitive then. There were very few bike tracks in the mud, so people are respecting the trails so far.

    I don't expect that I'll get that chance again for several weeks, especially with the forecast showing significant snow this week and next.

  4. #4
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    Took a gravel ride up to the Forest earlier today and thought I'd update this thread with some pictures as they are worth a thousand words and some people are visual learners.

    One thing I sure wish I did do was put on those fenders I picked up for a smokin deal last year, sure would have made a difference, particularly with that gravel/sand on Concession 4/Sideline 7, that stuff is thick.

    The road itself in the tree covered sections (just north of 3 Rock) I think still has some frost in it, a soupy thick mess.

    Before the pictures, my guess is we won't be enjoying the trails for another 2 weeks there is just no way it will dry out enough, but I'm sure the DMBA Executive will keep us informed for sure.

    I saw a few cars with bike racks, got passed by one as well but also saw a few people riding the gravel as well so I'm hoping those were the same people from the cars.

    Without further adieu...

    3 Rock

    Standing in the parking lot leaking over the fence south.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1583-l.jpg

    The old access road looking West - I didn't even want to walk this far in to take the picture, this section is typically wet anyway but that was a lot.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1584-l.jpg

    The old single track from the lot heading up the hill. It looks dry but it is greasy, that is at the bottom where most people tend to be hard on the brakes coming around those final corners, it would get chewed up bad by 1 or 2 riders easily.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1586-l.jpg

    This is the newer double track that was cut 2yrs ago.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1585-l.jpg

    Continuing north this is from that Fence opening about 500m south of the Bell Tower Lot on the west side of the road. I don't have a fat bike but I think even on a Fatty it might be too soft.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1587-l.jpg

    Down by the Main Lot - taken looking into the Access Road on the east side that is just south of the Main lot.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1588-l.jpg

    The main lot itself had lots of slushy/icy/snow.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1592-l.jpg

    The main single track trail heading south.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1590-l.jpg

    Lastly the clearing that is immediately east of the main lot.

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1591-l.jpg

    So... put your fenders on and ride the gravel! or as Adam said in his video on the trails last week, Go Bowling!

    Happy Easter!!!

    Dennis
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  5. #5
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    There was a video by Adam of Chico Racing posted yesterday on the conditions of DF ... I hate to be the bearer of not great news but still too wet guys, at least for this weekend (Apr 16th). I'm actually going up tomorrow to blow the leaves off the trail (leaf blower) so hopefully that will quicken the drying. I'll post tomorrow evening what it was like.

    D
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  6. #6
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    Hey Guys/Girls

    I was up at DF later this afternoon with the leaf blower trying to clear off some of the trails to help them dry a little faster and thought it a good idea to share what I found as far as the conditions are concerned. Unfortunately the trails are generally still a bit wet and the signs from the land owners/managers are still asking the trails not to be used.

    The reality is that the forecast is calling for a stellar weekend and we all know how hard it will be to resist the call of the woods.

    My efforts today started at the Main Lot, and I cleared Burnt Toast/Big Butter/Baby Butter, Stone Soup, then Lickity Split and then back to the Main Lot. Some of those sections are nice and dry, but some are still quite wet with Baby Butter being the worst of them all and I actually blocked it off at both entrances.

    Some pictures below.

    I had a chance to speak with the DMBA president about what i was going to say in this message and our thoughts were the same. It is unrealistic to say that no one will go riding this weekend so if you do happen to go try to wait for Sunday and give the trails at least another day as I'm sure tomorrow should do some good. If you do happen to go, please respect the trails. If you go down a trail and you hit a really wet and muddy section, it's best to stop and walk, until you hit solid ground again.

    I saw some pretty deep ruts from bike tires, stomping on them did not seem to help them much even with a leaf blower and a gas can attached to my hip hopefully they get packed down in due time.

    As for the new Dagmar Trails - they are still CLOSED. The signs are still up, the entrances are blocked off please do not enter. There was a fair bit of work done in there today and near every low spot was either mud of had ice - yes there is still ice up there, I saw the pictures.

    Baby Butter

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1623-l.jpg

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1624-l.jpg

    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1622-l.jpg

    Top of Burnt Toast
    2016 Spring Durham conditions. Report your thoughts/findings here.-img_1621-l.jpg

    D
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the thorough information. I will certainly hold off for another week or two. Not long now. May is a safe bet and it gives me time to get in shape
    :)

  8. #8
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    Thanks osteo for the update and for blowing the trails.

  9. #9
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    The single track in Durham Forest and EDH (Glen Major, Walker Woods) is good to go.

    Dagmar is still closed though.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Mike - I went through a bit as well today, near 95% I'd say.

    D
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  11. #11
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    My gf and I are beginner mountain bikers. Are there any specific trails/lines you guys can recommend? Also, how busy does it get at Durham Forest? Is it recommended to arrive really early for parking?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanza View Post
    My gf and I are beginner mountain bikers. Are there any specific trails/lines you guys can recommend? Also, how busy does it get at Durham Forest? Is it recommended to arrive really early for parking?
    Hey Stanza my first suggestion is to go to the Durham Mountian Bike Assoc website, download and print off the trail map. Here is the link: http://http://durhammountainbiking.c.../durham-forest

    Stick a copy in both your pocket and hers. The map is really accurate but unfortuantely there are only a few trail markers out there and those are at the main junctions but with the map if you do happen to get lost and come across someone hopefully they can locate you on the map and help give directions back out.

    I know in a couple weeks the DMBA will be starting their Beginner/Intermdiate rides Sat mornings something you may find of interest but for that you would ideally need to be a member. Going for the first Sat or so without is fine but joining is a good thing!

    As for parking and how busy... It seems the forest is getting busier every year both with bikes and people on foot (and occasional horse). I've noticed that the weekends between 9-12 is probably the busiest and that main parking lot can be jammed with cars, but there are plenty of places to park and once out on the trails you don't actually see that many people.

    As for trails... Being beginners (ironically I am looking at a map right now) I'd suggest sticking to the main double track for a bit to get a feel of the woods putter around those for a while. It is quite easy to take a single track trail and follow it along and end up quite a bit farther away that you may have expected.

    You're question is timely though, I am involved in a Group Leader Clinic this weekend which will be going over just this, where to take the groups, different abilities, etc...

    Download the map and give it a look if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM and I can maybe offer some suggestions... Or go explore and have fun!!

    D
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by osteo View Post
    Hey Stanza my first suggestion is to go to the Durham Mountian Bike Assoc website, download and print off the trail map. Here is the link: http://http://durhammountainbiking.c.../durham-forest

    Stick a copy in both your pocket and hers. The map is really accurate but unfortuantely there are only a few trail markers out there and those are at the main junctions but with the map if you do happen to get lost and come across someone hopefully they can locate you on the map and help give directions back out.

    I know in a couple weeks the DMBA will be starting their Beginner/Intermdiate rides Sat mornings something you may find of interest but for that you would ideally need to be a member. Going for the first Sat or so without is fine but joining is a good thing!

    As for parking and how busy... It seems the forest is getting busier every year both with bikes and people on foot (and occasional horse). I've noticed that the weekends between 9-12 is probably the busiest and that main parking lot can be jammed with cars, but there are plenty of places to park and once out on the trails you don't actually see that many people.

    As for trails... Being beginners (ironically I am looking at a map right now) I'd suggest sticking to the main double track for a bit to get a feel of the woods putter around those for a while. It is quite easy to take a single track trail and follow it along and end up quite a bit farther away that you may have expected.

    You're question is timely though, I am involved in a Group Leader Clinic this weekend which will be going over just this, where to take the groups, different abilities, etc...

    Download the map and give it a look if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM and I can maybe offer some suggestions... Or go explore and have fun!!

    D
    Thanks so much for this! I'll definitely look into joining the association if we do some of the group rides.

    Just a quick question about interpreting the map - how do we identify the difficulty of each trail?

  14. #14
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    I will chime in here too. There are a couple of apps that you can use on your phone that have fairly accurate trail maps. One is Maprika, once you load the app in you go to their website and download the maps for the trail system that you are riding. The other one is Trailforks which has the maps installed. Both will show your location with a blue dot so you can see what trail you are on.

    As far as trail difficulty in Durham, there are no markers letting you know how difficult a trail is. Other than Superfly, which has some steep ups and downs and some exposed roots and Lunartic Way which also has some exposed roots, the most difficulty that you will encounter will be log overs. If you are just starting out they can look intimidating but you can always walk over them until you work on your skills.

    There is a raised boardwalk on Naughty But Nice as well that can be intimidating for new mountain bikers.

    You will probably see more than a few riders with green and black jerseys which are DMBA members. If you do get turned around in there don't be afraid to ask one of them for directions.

    Like osteo said, go explore and have fun!!

  15. #15
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    Good suggestion Mike with Maprika, I had mentioned it to someone I saw on Sunday. As Mike said it is a pretty good app, it does not use Data but traingulates your location using the GPS and Bell Towers so it is totally free! (I don't have data on my phone and can use it). The nice thing with it is if you are in an area that it does not already have the map loaded it will prompt you to install that map and give the options so if you are sitting at the DF lot and don't have the maps aleady installed it will give those options.

    As Mike said, keep your eye out for those green/black jerseys most of us know the forest like the back of our hands or better!
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

  16. #16
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    Woohoo!! Dagmar Trails are officially OPEN!!

    Here is a copy and paste from the DMBA:

    DAGMAR IS OPEN, ENJOY
    Submitted by John Fisher on Thu, 2016/04/21 - 9:47am
    .
    DAGMAR IS OPEN,
    The SINGLE TRACT TRAILS are blown, dry and ready to ride.
    Dagmar is less than a year old and the trails are still breaking in. Please don't ride them after a rain until the trails dry out as they are still susceptible to damage.
    Please park at approved parking areas and not on the road at either entrance to the property. This will keep you and your car safe and keep the neighbours from complaining.
    Enjoy


    D

    p.s - remember - complaining neighbours is bad, if they complain loud enough they can cause lots of problems access/use of the trails.
    Somewhere lost in the Bush!

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