Effect of riding wet trails- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    112

    Effect of riding wet trails

    Are there any public/rouge trails that you know of that don't abide by the protocol to not ride the trail wet?

    Windrock allows wet riding, however if you ride a wet trail anywhere else people will crucify you.

    I understand wet trail riding makes the trail erode more, which leads to roughness etc..

    What effects does wet riding truly have on a trail system if everyone just rides whenever and does decent trail upkeep? I am not advocating wet riding and think if you don't dig, you shouldn't have a say. But I am curiouse if it has as much of an impact as.people think.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Cycologist
    Reputation: chazpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    6,479
    It's not really that it causes erosion. It creates ruts in the mud. These then dry and the trail then has ruts with hard ridges that are not fun to ride across (and think of the term "stuck in a rut", I'm sure that's where the term came from in the old days of dirt roads. if your tires are in a rut, they are staying there and can easily cause you to crash as you can't correct your balance thru steering) and the ruts collect and hold water when it rains again, the trail doesn't drain properly. Then people ride around the big puddles, widening the trail.

    It's difficult to repair the damage. Once the ground has been disturbed, you can't really just knock down the ridges and fill in the ruts, it will remain vulnerable to erosion at that point as it is difficult to pack it as hard as it was.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  3. #3
    EAT MORE GRIME
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    5,270
    logging roads, abandoned 150 year old town roads, powerlines, quarries
    got tons of that round my parts

    all that is anyones game any season wet or dry or mud... no matter, can't hurt 'em
    sure does eat up bike parts though when hammering mud and sand
    (chain, cogs, brakes just don't last long)

    for things like actual parks, conservation land, trail systems, we stay off them in the wet as best we can

    what happens over the years ? it gets down to bedrock and boulders eventually in many spots
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  4. #4
    Out spokin'
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Posts
    10,530
    A lot depends on soil type. Here in Oregon, the state is split down the center by the Cascades Mtn Range. West side gets lots of rain, has rich, loamy soil. East side is arid and has completely different soil type.

    Itís okay to ride mud over here on the west side. As things begin to dry out in late spring, the trails get smooth and stay that way all summer. But on the east side of the Cascades, they have soil that dries like concrete. If someone leaves ruts (or cows leave hoof prints or hikers leave boot prints, etc.), these ruts & prints stay rock solid for the remainder of the season.

    So whether itís cool or not to ride in mud depends on where you live & ride.
    =sParty
    disciplesofdirt.org

    We don't quit riding because we get old.
    We get old because we quit riding.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,752
    All use displaces material. A certain level of saturation greatly increases this activity. Once the tread becomes dished it holds water increasing the time the trail is wet and accelerates this activity even more. If a trail is so wet it is SOFT, then catastrophic damage can be done in a very shirt period of time.

    Very dry conditions are also very destructive. The "Moon Dust" that is sometimes encountered in the North East is the most fragile, and most easily displaced, or loosened, and the next gully washed will move a LOT of material off trail, and also fill water bars and grade reversals quickly causing them to fail.

    Being aware of your personal impact is all we can really ask. When use becomes commercial level, or industrial level use where access for thousands of users is facilitated, use during times when the trail is sensitive exponentially increases impact.

    Will the trail always be there? Sure, it's not going anywhere but it may become a U shaped rain gutter and eventually a V shaped gash. Rough terrain is fun to ride, but erosion should not be a trail feature.

    The Aesthetics of a trail are what really is lost quickly. The idea of riding narrow trail on a MTB as the IDEAL trail experience may be a thing that is going away. As lift served and machine built trails become more a part of what riding is for a larger cross section of MTBers, an entire generation of users are being introduced to Mountain Biking without this prime experience. As a result, I see more and more evidence of users being less aware of their impacts, and have a different set a values in regard to what "Good Trail" is.

    At the end of the day, what is seen as the ideal of the MTB experience comes from media first, and foremost. Particularly as a beginner entering the sport, the images in magazines and on video most shape perception of what it means to be a good rider, and what good riding is.

    There are a lot of variables. Number of users is the biggest, and has the most profound impact. Conditions, soil types, management also have affects. My experience is in the north east as a paid builder and volunteer for over 20 years. It's different elsewhere.

    What I find myself asking more and more lately is do MTBers really care about their personal impacts on the trails anymore. Back in 1988, there weren't enough of us to ruin anything. By 2005 there were, and behaviors shifted. Now the control freaks opening and closing trails have relieved individual users of their personal accountability. If it's open they ride. If it's wet, the trail workers will fix it. This model seems to be failing in my neck of the woods.

    Folks need to make their own choices, and be educated in trail work...and participate regularly. 30 bros showing up once a month to build a berm and drink session beers while instagraming is not it. Engaged and educated users making good choices for the community resource is an ideal scenario. It exists in pockets. Magazines and media do give respect to builders, but also pay homage to flicking every set of linked turns and bwapping mud holes. While there are times for those experiences, we have not seen an adequate cultivation of considerate trial use in Mountain Biking media in general.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    112
    Very good points and the reason I wanted to make this thread. I am not one to listen to general rules or authority unless I know of a true justification for that rule.

    I've always struggled with not riding a wet trail because I love riding in the rain and rough trails as well and also figure we have 6 inches of travel for a reason. however, unless I personally built the trail or have the builders permission to ride wet, I don't.

    Knowing the true damage that riding wet trails creates helps me to suppress the urge.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tbmaddux's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,164
    When most trails are wet, people tend to lose traction. There are exceptions for some (but not all) solid rock surfaces, some sandy soils tend to be better when wet, as do crushed rock or decomposed granite. Most of the time though, traction decreases, and when people lose traction, they tend to hit the brakes and skid. Or they just slide their shoes down the trail. That will displace more material than a rolling tire or normal walking or running.

    Severely wet trails with water flowing over the surface are going to carry that displaced material in suspension, most likely to a grade reversal (drain) where the material will settle out, which is going to trap water in the drain.

    At this point you've got a saturated trail surface, and the weight of users loading and unloading that surface ó even if it was hardpack dirt when dry ó is going to plasticize it and you'll start seeing the ruts. You wind up with loose gooey soft trail tread and deep ruts. It's difficult difficult to repair ó a classic mistake we see in the coast range in Oregon is people adding dirt to fill the hole, which only turns into peanut butter. The window for repair is narrow. Sometimes requiring armoring with rocks or gravel.

    If you do ride in the wet anyway I recommend giving your time and effort back to the trail system by joining in for maintenance / repair days.

    Hope this helps,

  8. #8
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,682
    just like the quarantine, it is not a flat out true statement for everywhere. Where i live in north idaho, if you didn't ride in the rain, well you don't ride. Our soils are ok with wet rides and have been for many years. soil compostion matters, not human statements when it comes to wet trails.

  9. #9
    Į\_(ツ)_/Į SuperModerator
    Reputation: Klurejr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7,224
    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    A lot depends on soil type. Here in Oregon, the state is split down the center by the Cascades Mtn Range. West side gets lots of rain, has rich, loamy soil. East side is arid and has completely different soil type.

    Itís okay to ride mud over here on the west side. As things begin to dry out in late spring, the trails get smooth and stay that way all summer. But on the east side of the Cascades, they have soil that dries like concrete. If someone leaves ruts (or cows leave hoof prints or hikers leave boot prints, etc.), these ruts & prints stay rock solid for the remainder of the season.

    So whether itís cool or not to ride in mud depends on where you live & ride.
    =sParty
    Sparty is correct. You have to know about the soil at the trail system in question.

    I live in San Diego, we have various soil in different parts of the county, but for the most part the soil is not great when too wet because it tries into a rock hard substance. Even in my local riding area we have different types of soil in different parts of the trail system, and due to elevation changes some area's stay wet much longer than others so some trails are "okay" to ride sooner than others.

    I too have ridden in Western Oregon in the wet and it is freaking amazing compared to SoCal to have a super wet trail that has so much vegetation laid down on it that you finish the trail with no mud on your bike.

    Here is that ride, the trail is called Jedi over at the Taylor Creek recreation area west of Grants Pass:
    https://youtu.be/TOB482Vb_a0

    You can see from the snow on the ground it was very wet, the trail had zero ruts and my bike had no mud on it at the end. That would never happen if the ground was that wet in San Diego.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

    Know these before you post:
    MTBR Posting Guidelines

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-01-2013, 05:31 AM
  2. how wet is too wet at bent creek?
    By grodo in forum North & South Carolina
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-30-2011, 04:03 AM
  3. How wet is too wet?
    By stubecontinued in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-31-2011, 11:40 AM
  4. Wet, wet, wet
    By langen in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 07-06-2007, 06:12 PM
  5. Marta SLs in wet, wet, WET conditions?
    By tscheezy in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 07-29-2004, 10:36 PM

Members who have read this thread: 78

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 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.