Maintaining snow biking trails is so much work!- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 29 of 29
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,279

    Maintaining snow biking trails is so much work!

    We got this local single track trail system, it's newish, doesn't see too many users, 1 mile on the lower section and another 2 miles on the upper section, it has great flow, banked turns, winds through the trees, most of the snow season it's above the freeze line, it's perfect for snow biking after work, but I just can't keep it open by myself!

    I can't get up there during the week except at night, so I was out there until 9pm last night boot packing and wheel "walking", completed two loops on the lower section and I was cooked.

    What I really need is a fat bike posse, but we live in a small town and all the riders here go into ski/board mode during the winter.

    I'm going to hit up the local bike shops and see if they can organize a weekly night ride.

    I added a thread on the Washington State MTBR forum.

    Any other throughts?

    I'm kinda' bummed out because my goal was keep at the lower section of the trail "open" for riding, but it really takes more than one person.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1,891
    If a snowmobile with a drag won't work in your area, put on some snow shoes and drag a tire.

    This is one of my local trails that is done doing just that.


  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    204
    sounds like my trails two years ago, last year there where a lot more riders and that helped, late in the year we made two groomers so this year should be dialed if we ever get any snow. A groomer is key to making the trails real nice, especially if you get lots of snow. get yourself a Rokon and be the local hero.
    Mongoose product development

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    6,279
    State Park trails, nothing motorized allowed; though I swear if I had a snowmobile!

    Snowshoes and a tire drag, that sounds tough, but they may be the ticket, walking a bike is not getting it done.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,242
    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    State Park trails, nothing motorized allowed; though I swear if I had a snowmobile!

    Snowshoes and a tire drag, that sounds tough, but they may be the ticket, walking a bike is not getting it done.
    Have you checked to make sure that motorized isn't allowed for maintenance purposes? several places around Anchorage are generally closed to motorized vehicles but they are allowed for grooming. You might be able to make a good case to the Parks people. Good Luck
    Latitude 61

  6. #6
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    26,551
    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    Have you checked to make sure that motorized isn't allowed for maintenance purposes? several places around Anchorage are generally closed to motorized vehicles but they are allowed for grooming. You might be able to make a good case to the Parks people. Good Luck
    Yep, this can be an option. A club in the northern part of my state has enough snow for long enough to warrant grooming. They got a Rokon last year, and they use it on nonmotorized trails, for maintenance purposes. Most of their trails are on local parks, so the bureaucracy is different than what you get to deal with. The club in my area owns an ATV for maintenance. We've got a trailer for it and use it to haul rock and gravel among other things. It mostly gets used on state land.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ADKMTNBIKER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    727
    I wish we had snow to drag something on

  8. #8
    aka bOb
    Reputation: bdundee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    8,678
    We groom ours with a sled in a non motorized area but got an exemption for maintenance. That being said I agree with above, snowshoes and pulling something or even enough snowshoes to a great job. We have actually invited the local shoe club to come pack our trails in the past.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2,142
    If it's a multi-use trail it will probably get chopped up/post-holed even if you regularly groom it. Unless you can get the park management to designate it as fatbike only (or maybe XC ski, too), you're going to have a hard time.

  10. #10
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    Welcome to winter riding. First 5 to ten passes after a decent storm will require hiking/pushing. It's a good workout, enjoy it. You don't need grooming. Grooming = road biking on snow.

  11. #11
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    26,551
    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    Welcome to winter riding. First 5 to ten passes after a decent storm will require hiking/pushing. It's a good workout, enjoy it. You don't need grooming. Grooming = road biking on snow.
    What's a "decent storm" for you? Seriously curious. I don't exactly live in a snow belt, so 8-12 inches of heavy, wet snow is a decent storm. That heavy, wet stuff packs very easily, so one or two passes (even riding solo) will usually get it packed well, and so far that sort of stuff up to about 7 inches hasn't required much walking to negotiate.

    I will agree that trails with lots of multi-use traffic seem pretty futile to try to groom. In my area, there aren't many with snowshoes or xc skis out on winter trails. Most folks are usually just wearing regular hiking boots, and churn up anything you try packing down until you get it REALLY solid.

  12. #12
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    What's a "decent storm" for you? Seriously curious. I don't exactly live in a snow belt, so 8-12 inches of heavy, wet snow is a decent storm. That heavy, wet stuff packs very easily, so one or two passes (even riding solo) will usually get it packed well, and so far that sort of stuff up to about 7 inches hasn't required much walking to negotiate.

    I will agree that trails with lots of multi-use traffic seem pretty futile to try to groom. In my area, there aren't many with snowshoes or xc skis out on winter trails. Most folks are usually just wearing regular hiking boots, and churn up anything you try packing down until you get it REALLY solid.
    It varies. I would say, generally anything more than 8" will require bootpacking on the flats before it's rideable. Sometimes more, sometimes less. A storm that dumps more than 2 feet can take a lot of work to get rideable. I find that if the snow is really deep, a mix of traffic(boots, skiers, snowshoers, dogs, bike pushers) does the quickest job packing it down.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    372
    Put up a posting of what a great snowshoe trail it is and that you will lead a snowshoe hike on it. then require rsvp and limit hike to x number of people. Maybe you'll get 8 or 10 people and it will get packed down in 1 pass. who knows they might even like it.
    We have a trail that gets used by an adventure touring group for snowshoe adventures, it is always well packed after a snow. It is north facing so it also holds the snow well. If only we could get them to go a bit farther ( it's only packed for 2-3 miles usually).
    Seriously good luck keeping things packed. Have you been able to get the tandem on it? That would be tough unless it is either shallow snow or really packed down.

  14. #14
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    13,355
    Quote Originally Posted by mactweek View Post
    If only we could get them to go a bit farther ( it's only packed for 2-3 miles usually).
    This.

    The limitation of snowshoes as groomers is that even the dimmest dullard will eventually realize that snowshoeing sucks. Once the idea of *coasting* down a hill crosses their mind and takes root, they'll be with Ben, at the trailhead, waiting for some other dimwit to go slog around the trail system with anchors attached to their feet, slowly pulling their knees to pieces.


  15. #15
    Frame Building Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: Walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    7,489
    I find that hikers pack things down pretty well after a few days here, but basically everyone here spends significant time on the trails.

    If you're solo, I think honestly you might just have to find somewhere else to ride. No way would I spend my time dragging a tire through the woods, that sounds awful.

    Is the loop skiable on classic/fishscale skis? If so you can have a bit more fun than on snowshoes and pack things to some extent at the same time.

    -Walt

  16. #16
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,624
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    This.

    The limitation of snowshoes as groomers is that even the dimmest dullard will eventually realize that snowshoeing sucks. Once the idea of *coasting* down a hill crosses their mind and takes root, they'll be with Ben, at the trailhead, waiting for some other dimwit to go slog around the trail system with anchors attached to their feet, slowly pulling their knees to pieces.

    You make it sound do glamorous, Mike.
    No moss...

  17. #17
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Reputation: alphazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,941
    I've never had much success with getting others to try it, but I think skis make a better track than snowshoes, at a much quicker pace. The key is to get some Very short (100 cm) approach type skis that are really wide. With snowshoes, you'll either have to make baby steps or have a dozen people or make a dozen trips. With short wide skis, you can make one pass. Even short powder skis aren't bad. It's a smooth track that is consistently packed. Use some small skins on the bottom. There are even a pair that fold and can be put in a backpack. You'll have a nice path that is about a foot wide.

    I do this in a spot that I ride a lot where I've never seen another biker except a couple I've taken there. The other key is Bud and Lou. 5 inch tires pack a trail much quicker than 4 inch tires.

  18. #18
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    13,355
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    You make it sound do glamorous, Mike.
    Spoken from waaaaaaaay too much experience, unfortunately.

  19. #19
    Ambassador of Chub
    Reputation: Smithhammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    2,823
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    This.

    The limitation of snowshoes as groomers is that even the dimmest dullard will eventually realize that snowshoeing sucks.
    Agreed. But I'm amazed that there seem to be those that continue to like snowshoeing, and I encourage those kooks every chance I get. In fact, if it comes down to walking/pushing my bike for 2-3 miles on a newly-dumped trail, or doing a lap with snowshoes first, and then being able to actually ride that trail, I'll take one for the team and strap those silly things on my feet and do my part.

    Our LBS is seriously considering having snowshoes on hand for rent along with a map, and directing people who don't want to bike or ski, to some of the key trails in our area.

    That said, I'm really stoked at how much the fattie scene has grown in our area - generally right after a storm we have a dedicated core group that are out there getting the key trails packed down and rideable again.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  20. #20
    N8R
    N8R is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    629
    A cheaper solution to a Rokon is an old 3 wheeler if you can fabricate a little and make some rear tracks for it. I just picked up a 84 Honda Atc 200s for $200 I'll be slighty modifying. Its a bit wide at 40" so I'm going to make tracks for the rear and narrow the rear track width to around 30". The beauty of the 3 wheeler is the front tire goes between the two rear tires so you get almost complete compaction of the trail in one pass.

    I'll also be putting a ski on the front for deeper snow conditions.



  21. #21
    N8R
    N8R is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    629
    I'll be making tracks and a ski for my 3 wheeler similar to this, but narrower so the total track width will be 30".

    I have a better design, the one in the video isn't very strong the way he made the middle bar.
    It's pretty easy all you need is an extra rear axle with wheels and a couple old snowmobile tracks. The other option is to modify a swingarm on the 3 wheeler and only use one track so it's like a snow motobike but that's more work. Basically, turn the 3 wheeler into a Honda Fat Cat or Yamamaha BW equivalent, and then make a rear track for it. I'm going to make one of these too next year sometime, for narrower snow trails. It'll have much better traction than a Rokon, and be way cheaper, only a few hundred $ to make.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz3KY_H4CuY

  22. #22
    vmk
    vmk is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    149
    The answer for trail maintenance:

  23. #23
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    Quote Originally Posted by N8R View Post
    I'll be making tracks and a ski for my 3 wheeler similar to this, but narrower so the total track width will be 30".

    I have a better design, the one in the video isn't very strong the way he made the middle bar.
    It's pretty easy all you need is an extra rear axle with wheels and a couple old snowmobile tracks. The other option is to modify a swingarm on the 3 wheeler and only use one track so it's like a snow motobike but that's more work. Basically, turn the 3 wheeler into a Honda Fat Cat or Yamamaha BW equivalent, and then make a rear track for it. I'm going to make one of these too next year sometime, for narrower snow trails. It'll have much better traction than a Rokon, and be way cheaper, only a few hundred $ to make.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz3KY_H4CuY
    That thing looked like it was really struggling at anything other than really low speeds(fine for grooming) on really flat ground. Tracks generally add resistance and require a lot more horsepower to turn over. I've used a Polaris Ranger 850 both with and without, and adding the tracks made it work a lot harder. Seems like maybe a vintage snowmobile would be a better bet if you've got the mechanical know how to keep it running. You can probably find one for about as much as the $200 you already have in and the cost of the parts to convert it to tracks.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: masterofnone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,239
    Usually I ride in the MUA's where snowmobiles and atv's already ride. Last year a mountain community an hour from me bought an old snowmobile specifically to pack down the singletrack for fatbiking, what a treat! I hope this catches on. In my experience there are too many hikers without snowshoes that pockmark the singletrack, sometimes making what could have been great packed snow trails into an unrideable mess for cross country skiers and fatbikers. Fortunately hikers venture only so far into the woods, the farther we go in the better the trails get. Now, all we need here is some snow dammit!
    To appreciate the flowers you must also walk among s**t to know the difference

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    256
    I rather not have stuff packed down at all unless snow gets above about a foot and a half , and hasn't been ridden at all. As long as a few people have hit the trail in fresh powder, coupled with the thaw and freeze its all good. Ridding in about of foot of powder is much more satisfying then groomed trails. 2ft is when resistance gets real but is doable if its dry powder.

    Ridding the trails that have been really groomed by snowmobiles leaves the impression of overkill. Its so smooth I might as well be riding on pavement.

    Hikers leave trails all rutted up, which then freezes, and turns it into a suspension test. Snowshoes leave a much nice footprint, and no potholes.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    264
    Here in Western NY.. we usually get a pile of snow. been snowshoeing and cross country skiing to pack the trials look up Marquette skis... almost like gliding snowshoes.... have tried pulling a few things behind.a old pool filter, a tire.etc.. .. last year, bought a Rokon. a lot of work.... honestly I got more tired riding the Rokon than snowshoeing.. but I am sure all of the above work well in many places,

    we had a race at the trails, and got a split of the money,, bought a 1980 ski doo alpine.. twin track mono ski .... snowmobile.. actually more like a snow tractor.... we just got 10 inches of snow last night, but it's slated to be gone by Monday... so will have to wait till the next batch happens to see how the alpine does.. crossing my fingers. I know they don't turn very quickly, but have a few loops plotted out...

    one last idea... find the local hiking club.. many snowshoe in the winter.... leave hot chocolate and cookies for them... I'm trying that for a few of the loops I can't get into...

  27. #27
    This place needs an enema
    Reputation: mikesee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    13,355
    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    Agreed. But I'm amazed that there seem to be those that continue to like snowshoeing, and I encourage those kooks every chance I get. In fact, if it comes down to walking/pushing my bike for 2-3 miles on a newly-dumped trail, or doing a lap with snowshoes first, and then being able to actually ride that trail, I'll take one for the team and strap those silly things on my feet and do my part.

    Our LBS is seriously considering having snowshoes on hand for rent along with a map, and directing people who don't want to bike or ski, to some of the key trails in our area.

    That said, I'm really stoked at how much the fattie scene has grown in our area - generally right after a storm we have a dedicated core group that are out there getting the key trails packed down and rideable again.

    Every year a new batch of saps is gifted snowshoes, and it takes them a few weeks, usually starting on December 26th, to figure it out.

    Your shop would do better to demo the snowshoes for free, and make the $$$ back in repeat bike business down the road.

  28. #28
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    Quote Originally Posted by twright205 View Post
    ......
    we had a race at the trails, and got a split of the money,, bought a 1980 ski doo alpine.. twin track mono ski .... snowmobile.. actually more like a snow tractor.... we just got 10 inches of snow last night, but it's slated to be gone by Monday... so will have to wait till the next batch happens to see how the alpine does.. crossing my fingers. I know they don't turn very quickly, but have a few loops plotted out...

    ....

    That thing is sweet!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj238FA4c3s

  29. #29
    Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
    Reputation: DeeEight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,864
    Maintaining snow biking trails is so much work!-groomer1.jpgMaintaining snow biking trails is so much work!-groomtest1.jpgMaintaining snow biking trails is so much work!-groomtest4.jpg

    I built a drag groomer that works snowshoeing or behind the fat bike last year. It should be pretty obvious the parts involved from the first photo. Cost me $30 to build it. I attach it to my backpack when shoeing or a rear rack on the fat when riding. The flex rubber floor mat has holes and dimples in it that helps to de-aerate the snow so it packs denser and freezes into a firmer base.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

Similar Threads

  1. Sanitizing or maintaining trails
    By Bruce in SoCal in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-13-2015, 09:54 AM
  2. Non-Fat Snow Biking
    By Fleas in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-09-2015, 09:17 PM
  3. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 02-14-2013, 11:12 AM
  4. Snow Biking Down Under
    By twinnie in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-20-2012, 04:49 AM
  5. Snow biking
    By Wasmachineman NL in forum Riding Passion
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 02-05-2012, 11:09 AM

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.