Mud riding - OK or totally inconsiderate?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mud riding - OK or totally inconsiderate?

    What do you think? I've always been told you should not ride trails for 2-3 days after any significant rain, but obviously people do. I always end up hitting their ruts when it drys a little and I go out. Am I wasting riding time waiting for it to dry or are these others jerks for riding in the mud. I'm in So Cal where it probably rains 10-20 days a year.
    Obviosly if you live in snow country, or the northwest you wouldn't get to ride much if you did not ride in mud, so this topic may be veiwed very differently in your area. It's supposed to rain here for the next 5 days and my buddy was just told by his Dr. he could ride this weekend after 12 weeks off the bike from an injury, (he took delivery of a new custom bike 10 weeks ago and has been tortured looking at it). I'm afraid he'll die of frustration if we don't go get his bike dirty.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  2. #2
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    The answer, as with all important questions, is ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattman
    What do you think? I've always been told you should not ride trails for 2-3 days after any significant rain, but obviously people do. I always end up hitting their ruts when it drys a little and I go out. Am I wasting riding time waiting for it to dry or are these others jerks for riding in the mud. I'm in So Cal where it probably rains 10-20 days a year.
    Obviosly if you live in snow country, or the northwest you wouldn't get to ride much if you did not ride in mud, so this topic may be veiwed very differently in your area. It's supposed to rain here for the next 5 days and my buddy was just told by his Dr. he could ride this weekend after 12 weeks off the bike from an injury, (he took delivery of a new custom bike 10 weeks ago and has been tortured looking at it). I'm afraid he'll die of frustration if we don't go get his bike dirty.
    It depends.

    On the soil, drainage, trail width, level of use and lots of other stuff. Here in the Northwest there are trails that are closed all winter, and others that get substantial use all winter without noticeable damage. If your trails are get significantly rutted from people riding them when they're muddy, it's probably not a good idea.

    A couple weeks ago I posted a message about a recent mud ride, and someone questioned whether I should have been out riding in those conditions, based on the widely held misconception that riding in mud is always bad. Here's my long-winded reply:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...36583#poststop

  3. #3
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    depends on the area

    In my opinion, I think you've hit the nail on the head about it being an issue that depends on your local environment. Here in MD/DC area, trail access for bikers is an issue and one of the biggest pieces of evidence presented against bikers is trail damage that bikes cause.

    Riding in muddy conditions definitely adversely effects the way other trail users view us. They see all the trail damage and all the bike treads riding through it (sidenote: for some reason they can't see all the friggin horse craters in the same area!). Unfortunately after seeing this many conclude "bikes are bad" and want to limit or ban our access to trails.

    So, for our area, I feel it is definitely in our best interest to stay off the trails after big rains (or melts as the case may be). Give the trails 24, 48 hours or longer as necessary to dry out before riding.

    And volunteer to do some maintenance to fix the damage the other guys cause. A couple hours on a weekend can go a long way.

    Just my $.02.

    Kevin

  4. #4
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    Yes and no I guess.

    My personal rule is to respect riding places so that I can ride them for years to come.

    I generally don't ride a trail if it is going to be really muddy and I know that I could cause damage. If the trail is going to be 100% mud dont bother riding it, however if there is going to be a little mud here and there give it a big miss.

    That all being said, some trails don't get effected by the rain etc, its really dependent on the terrain. I live in an Area that has all sorts of riding, from sandy loamy stuff to really horrid torrential muddy terrain to rocks and alike, so I usually give the terrontial stuff a miss and go hit some of the loamy type stuff that generally just hardens up in rain..

    Trevor!

  5. #5
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    dito...

    I live and ride in Northern CA. We get some here. We just had a storm that dropped almost 5 inches in two days. I plan to hit the pavement and work on hill climbs. I personally try to avoid damaging the trail when it is super muddy. I usually give it a couple of days to dry and when I get to really sloshy sections of the trails, I often dismount and find a path and walk around it to avoid further damage.

    Another reason I avoid the mud is because of the wear and tear on my drivetrain. I know the SS is pretty easy to clean compared to my geary but it takes time nonetheless.

    Can't wait for Spring!

    stoom

  6. #6
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    Waiting for dryness

    I know you guys are saying this poor guy from SoCal worried about a little rain, when you ride in snow all Winter. I'd ride in the rain or snow, but I don't want to do damage and I'm sensing a trend in the responses. I think we'll hit the road or bomb around the park in the wet grass a little.

    I may go over to try to fix on eroded section that caused me to crash after the last rain on a night ride. I can probably figure the problem out better if I see how the water is actually flowing there.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  7. #7
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    It all depends......

    where you are is the real answer.

    In my experience.......
    England - Bikers = 'Lycra Louts'
    Belgium - Bikers are ace.

    I think the problem is the tyre/tire prints we leave..... this is viewed as unnatural by most other trail users, whereas the hoof print is viewed as more natural and therefore more acceptable, despite the fact that hooves + mud causes greater trail destruction than tyres + mud.(IMHO)

  8. #8
    Jed Peters
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    Depends on a lot of things. (As everyone else here has said.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corky3
    where you are is the real answer.

    In my experience.......
    England - Bikers = 'Lycra Louts'
    Belgium - Bikers are ace.

    I think the problem is the tyre/tire prints we leave..... this is viewed as unnatural by most other trail users, whereas the hoof print is viewed as more natural and therefore more acceptable, despite the fact that hooves + mud causes greater trail destruction than tyres + mud.(IMHO)

    Hmmm. I don't think that trail conflict in the UK has anything to do with tyre tracks in the mud. People aren't that stupid. I've probably misunderstood your point. Conflict has everything to do with people being discourteous on the trail and nothing to do with erosion or trail conditions.

    Riding in the mud is a fact of life here. Trails are muddy at this time of year and dry and dusty in Summer/Fall. The only time it is an issue is where there is some genuine purpose built singletrack where people avoid puddles/mud and widen the trail or create new lines. Otherwise, come summer the trails will be almost identical to the previous summer and the growth at the side of the trail will have reappeared, making wide trails narrow again.
    Wibble

  10. #10
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    Well I went out last weekend, and asked the same question. The group I was riding with is the one in charge of maintaining the trails, and they said not to worry. Keep in mind this is Florida, and although we had gotten 24 hours of rain the day before, the trails weren't too bad.
    SB

  11. #11
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    The trails are so rocky here in northern Italy that the mud doesn't really matter. In Colorado though I'd let it dry before going out. I usually got my mud fix during CX season anyway.

  12. #12
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    Smile Seb...

    [QUOTE=scorcher seb]Hmmm. I don't think that trail conflict in the UK has anything to do with tyre tracks in the mud. People aren't that stupid. I've probably misunderstood your point. Conflict has everything to do with people being discourteous on the trail and nothing to do with erosion or trail conditions.

    I don't think it's just (dis)courtesy, it is an attitude problem. My point (clumsily made maybe) is that it's partly cultural.... The average Brit looks down on cyclists(IMHO), the average Belgian admires Cyclists.

    In the countryside, horses are considered part of the infrastructure, being as they've been around for centuries, therefore the damage is tolerated, whereas bikes have certainly not been ridden off-road in any great numbers until relatively recently. Therefore the perception is that any damage being done is by bikes. The fact that it maybe a general increase in trail usage in recent years has caused greater 'wear & tear', escapes most people...IMHO

  13. #13
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    Of course it's inconsiderate

    Look what "riding" after rain will do.


  14. #14
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    Good job! I think the key word here is "mud"

    I been riding all winter and a few times it was in rain. Many of the trails here in Santa Cruz, Wilder especially, are so sandy that there is no mud only wet sand. I really don't even enjoy riding in mud, but getting a little wet and taking advantage of my disc brakes adds to the challenge. Saying that, there are some Wilder trails that can be torn up in the rain and the Rangers are pretty good at closing them down. Any one with half a brain can see when they are tearing up a trail and hopefully will stay off. But just because the conditions are wet doesn't mean "mud".

    1G1G, Brad

  15. #15
    Master of the Obvious
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    Public or private??

    we all like to get a little bit muddy, but if it's total mud or soupy ask yourself whose land is it?
    if it's yours or your families ride it like you stole it!!
    but if it's a public access trail especially one shared with Non-Biker's I would stay the F@#k off of it, I have seen to many a good trail closed due to carelessness.

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