Tips for riding really muddy Wisconsin singletrack. (contains extreme sarcasm)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tips for riding really muddy Wisconsin singletrack. (contains extreme sarcasm)

    Apparently I've been missing out on some really good riding this winter. I found this out on Saturday after bundling up for my first ride in several weeks because I was waiting for the ground to freeze (what an idiot I am). We had about an inch of fresh snow, so I couldn't clearly see the trail surface, but I was feeling a lot of deep ruts. Then I was able to get out again today (Monday) and about half of the snow was gone so I could now clearly see significant deep ruts throughout almost the entire trail system.

    So people had been riding these trails in the deep mud of the previous weeks?

    At first I was angry because I was under the impression you shouldn't ride muddy trails. I mean, I've been one of those guys that even if the trails are dry but there is an occasionally little muddy spot, I'll hike-a-bike through the muddy spot just so I don't leave tire marks on the trail. But then I started thinking about it a little more.

    In previous years, I'd see this kind of stuff in spring after the first warm days, but I'd write it off to noobs that didn't know any better. But noobs don't typically ride mid winter, and a lot of these tracks were on trails that weren't well known to anyone but the regular riders of this system. So why would a regular rider of these trails do this kind of damage to his own local trail system? He wouldn't, right?

    So if a regular rider wouldn't damage his own trails, and regular riders were clearly riding in the deep mud and leaving these ruts, then these deep ruts must not really be damage. Wow, it makes so much sense now.

    Maybe I was thinking the glass was half empty, instead of it being half full. I had been thinking the deep ruts were bad for the trail and were interfering with my ride, but they were actually just making the trail a little more technical, which makes me a better rider. Sections that were previously nice and flowy, are now challenging now that the deep ruts are frozen solid. In addition, some uphill features that were difficult, but I could regularly clear, now seem impossible. But that too will just force me to enhance my skills.

    And I had worried that other trail users (hikers) seeing these deep ruts, might get mad and start complaining, possibly getting the trails closed to bikes. But in reality, the deep ruts were helping to avoid user conflicts by clearly showing hikers that bikes use these trails. No more issues with hikers being surprised by a mountain biker because they didn't expect them on the trails. When they see those deep ruts, they'll be regularly checking over their shoulders as they hike, or they may even just chose to hike somewhere else.

    Plus, when the hikers see these deep ruts made by mountain bike tires, they will probably be impressed by the capabilities of modern mountain bikes, and want to get one for themselves so they can ride in the mud too.

    OK, so now that I've seen the light, I need some tips on riding in deep mud on Wisconsin singletrack. Though I'm a very experienced rider in dry firm conditions, I haven't ridden in mud since I was a noob about 20 years ago. So what tires work best? what PSI do you run? 29er or 26er? geared or SS? hardtail, FS, or rigid? spandex or baggies? will shaving my legs make it harder for the mud to stick to me? do I still need to wear a helmet? how do you clean all that mud off the bike after the ride? what technique do you use when you know you're going to skid all the way down the hill? where do you post your hero pics (the ones where you and your bike are all covered in mud)?

    I want to know everything. I feel like a noob again, this is going to open up a whole new world to me. March is going to be awesome.
    Last edited by trailville; 02-13-2012 at 04:47 PM.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  2. #2
    clown question, bro
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    I award you, good sir, with 100 internets for your excellent use of sarcasm.

  3. #3
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    Carbon fiber winch?

    Things have softened up nicely over the past few days and I'm excited about getting out, but I was a little concerned about getting completely stuck in this really deep winter-thaw mud. Does anyone know where I can get a lightweight (preferable CF) small hand winch or rope pulley deal that I can use to pull the bike out if I get too stuck?

    And what's a good technique for pulling it out? Do you just pull the whole bike out from the frame, or remove the frame from the wheels and pull each wheel out separately?
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  4. #4
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    DUHH you don't pull it out you push it ...leaves more traction for others

  5. #5
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    I'm finding a lot of help on mud riding on Youtube.

    These guys in this video are obviously pro riders.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/d1el-sXXEAw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  6. #6
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    Looks like I'm gonna need a Snorkel.



    And maybe a paddle, or a pole.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ip9B67nu3iM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Last edited by trailville; 02-17-2012 at 04:16 PM.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  7. #7
    Ride More, Work Less
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    There really is no joy like riding mud up to your axles. From the way the mud creeps into all the greased spots on the bike to the way it destroys chains and cassettes, the thrill and expense is second to none.

    In an semi-related manner, in the three days I could actually cross country ski this winter, I went out on a freshly groomed and marked cross country ski trail only to find that a fat bike had torn up the trail. There was a perfectly good and marked mtb trail that was untouched. I suppose the biker wanted to ride with plenty of shoulder room on pristine snow.

  8. #8
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    I'm thinking that suppliers and manufacturers may want to get in on this. After all, we regularly see pictures of mud covered racers used to promote the sport. Why not get a racing sponsorship from Pam, the cooking utensil lubricant?

    "I shed enough mud on my last ride to fill a swimming pool! And you can too."

    Brown Ride Biking Shorts: When you don't want people wondering what's filling yours. "It's mud, [email protected]!"

    More magazine feature stories of survival in the wilderness. "My harrowing epic: 24 grueling hours covering 5 miles of singletrack in the rain"

    Walt

  9. #9
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    Perfect application for the 69er. Small wheel in back gets you good acceleration out of the ruts; large tire up front acts as a plow to push away the mud and create a fresh rut. I wonder which frame material has better mud shedding capabilities?

    This will, of course, be great for the industry because we will need a whole new batch of mud-friendly products: self-cleaning chain systems, or, better yet, piston drivetrains; suspension forks that take mud instead of oil...the thicker the better; spiked tires; mudder helmets...the possibilities are endless.
    Veni Vidi Biki

    I came, I saw, I biked.

  10. #10
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    We could even create a special kind of race for these conditions; with bonus points awarded for the deepest ruts. Oh wait..............
    Veni Vidi Biki

    I came, I saw, I biked.

  11. #11
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    I'm thinking an event similar to highmarking done by snowmobiles.
    Yeah, and we can have our own forum dedicated to mudbiking or all-mudding or XM (cross mudding) or downskidding or . . .
    It'll be a great place where we can get together and all feel superior to those "other" mountain bikers that ride around on dry dirt.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  12. #12
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    Good humor!

  13. #13
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    At least the dolts above seem to be riding on either ATV or four-wheeling trails, not destroying nice singletrack.
    On the bright side they are probable doing a lot less damage to the trails than the primary users, and are increasing the sales of bike replacement parts

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMayor1 View Post
    At least the dolts above seem to be riding on either ATV or four-wheeling trails, not destroying nice singletrack.
    Destroying? Don't you mean Enhancing? Clearly you still haven't seen the light.

    And I don't think you're giving proper credit to those mud riders. It probably took them several seasons of dedicated riding to get their singletrack to look like that. And you just go assuming it took ATVs or Jeeps to do that. You must be one of those college snobs they've been talking about on the news.

    Those trails are pretty sweet now. Nice and wide so you can get plenty of speed up before going SPLAT through the big mudholes sending mud out 20 feet in every direction. This allows the mudholes to get bigger with even deeper ruts that will help to hold the water (and mud) well into the Dry season. It just sucks that someone else has been putting gravel on that really wide section they made. Some people just don't get it.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

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