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Thread: Wet trails?

  1. #1
    KRN
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    Wet trails?

    I went to go riding about 3 days ago. The night before we had some really heavy rainfall,when I got to the trail's they were still pretty wet.I stopped riding & turned around & headed back I remembered what I had read & heard about riding wet trails.My question is whats the effect of riding wet trails/ I know that we're not supposed to lock our brakes up & slides around turns I know they effect that has but what about the other? I dont mind missing around to keep the trails in good shape.Any information you guys can give me will me helpful!

  2. #2
    Fat Boy Deluxe
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRN
    I went to go riding about 3 days ago. The night before we had some really heavy rainfall,when I got to the trail's they were still pretty wet.I stopped riding & turned around & headed back I remembered what I had read & heard about riding wet trails.My question is whats the effect of riding wet trails/ I know that we're not supposed to lock our brakes up & slides around turns I know they effect that has but what about the other? I dont mind missing around to keep the trails in good shape.Any information you guys can give me will me helpful!
    Well in particular, I can think of two really big problems with riding wet trails:

    1) mud puddles - riders see puddles and even though they are *mountain biking* they go wide around the puddle. This only widens the trail and makes the spot worse.

    2) ruts - riding on wet trails can also make nasty ruts. These ruts harden when they dry up and the trails become pretty nasty.

    There are lots of others, like contributing to erosion (by loosening up the soil when it's already wet so it can be carried away by the next rain) or tire printing (cause you know we get mad as hell when we see the holes left by horses when they ride in the mud).

    DT

  3. #3
    ceteris paribus
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    When it's wet I usually ride on roads/trails that are also used for cattle. Though some parts are really bad, most of the trail is rideable, and I don't have to worry about damaging the trail; the cows are quite good at it.

  4. #4
    I am the owl
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    We the people ... The effects

    Quote Originally Posted by KRN
    My question is whats the effect of riding wet trails
    This used to be singletrack.

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  5. #5
    featherweight clydesdale
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    This used to be singletrack.

    Nice image. I just wanted to say that the trail looks like it should have been built 15 yards to the left, somewhere on that slope using a nice bench cut. Right now it's in the lowest place around so its naturally going to collect water.

  6. #6
    I am the owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fattirewilly
    Nice image. I just wanted to say that the trail looks like it should have been built 15 yards to the left, somewhere on that slope using a nice bench cut. Right now it's in the lowest place around so its naturally going to collect water.
    Actually, that wouldn't be possible because of terrain that is not visible in the picture.

    What happened recently in this particular area was, we've had so much rain this spring and winter that a brand new spring developed in the side of a hill near the top of the picture. It began feeding water throught the grass and entering the trail at the bend in the top of the picture (see this picture). After the picture was taken, we dug a trench to redirect the water into a low, grassy area. The trail now dries pretty quickly, but still needs 24-48 hrs. after a rain.

    And of course, trail widening is another issue seen in the picture.
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  7. #7
    Tracking up the place
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    Quote Originally Posted by DmofoT

    There are lots of others, like contributing to erosion (by loosening up the soil when it's already wet so it can be carried away by the next rain) or tire printing (cause you know we get mad as hell when we see the holes left by horses when they ride in the mud).

    DT

    Yeah, horses with steel shoes...ATV with irresponsible drivers...and cows.....Dog food, bear food, and people food.....Just venting....Horses and cows though....ughhh
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  8. #8
    Whoaohohohoh
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRN
    I went to go riding about 3 days ago. The night before we had some really heavy rainfall,when I got to the trail's they were still pretty wet.I stopped riding & turned around & headed back I remembered what I had read & heard about riding wet trails.My question is whats the effect of riding wet trails/ I know that we're not supposed to lock our brakes up & slides around turns I know they effect that has but what about the other? I dont mind missing around to keep the trails in good shape.Any information you guys can give me will me helpful!
    I just want to thank you for doing that, and for everyone else that does that as well.

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    Wow, I'm curious.... Kinda Knew here, but a couple of times visited a mtn-bike newsgroup; I couldn't BELIEVE the amount of b1tching I saw! I mean I'd be a lot more worried about campers, motorcycles, etc. LITTERING or POLLUTING than a bike rider making a rut in some dirt. I don't see mtn biking as damaging overall. I've made litterers pick it up. I hate a55holes who toss trash. They know they won't have to see it after they turn their back & maybe they like looking at other peoples trash? Whatever, but mtn-bikes seem to catch a lot more flack than they deserve.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Listen! Not bad for a chain-smokin poofter

    Here's what some pansy I ride with said on the subject, when another rider asked about going riding in the SoCal mud:

    " It all depends on the area. Places like ____ take forever to
    dry because of the clay, so after big storms it's best to stay out for a
    week or more. Even when it's mostly dry, the areas that are still wet or
    have puddles get ballooned out from guys going around the wet spots or
    thrashed by the razor cuts from going through the middle (the razor cuts
    turn into razor Ruts when it rains again ,because all the mud that
    crumbled when it dried gets washed away-end result is a bigger mud
    pit/puddle after the next rain.)

    Basically, if you leave tracks in an area that is a park/preserve you shouldn't be there. Just trying to ride at a place you know might be wet is bad news, even if you turn around at
    the first sign of muddy soil, the tracks you leave at the trail head
    convinces others it's o.k. to ride or makes them give the old "see I
    told you people were riding here" excuse to f-things up.
    There are however plenty of places that drain well, _____________ drains
    good, _________ drains o.k., and the route we do around ___________ is good
    after rain plus most of it is canyons that aren't monitored and full of
    finger pointing bike haters. "

    I have to agree.

  11. #11

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    Well that makes sence. In some areas where natural beauty is taking a beating it's understandable. I live in a dry, ugly area with lots of dirt & rocks No natural beauty! But I will always take that into acount & try to be thoughtfull.
    Quote Originally Posted by EBasil
    Here's what some pansy I ride with said on the subject, when another rider asked about going riding in the SoCal mud:

    " It all depends on the area. Places like ____ take forever to
    dry because of the clay, so after big storms it's best to stay out for a
    week or more. Even when it's mostly dry, the areas that are still wet or
    have puddles get ballooned out from guys going around the wet spots or
    thrashed by the razor cuts from going through the middle (the razor cuts
    turn into razor Ruts when it rains again ,because all the mud that
    crumbled when it dried gets washed away-end result is a bigger mud
    pit/puddle after the next rain.)

    Basically, if you leave tracks in an area that is a park/preserve you shouldn't be there. Just trying to ride at a place you know might be wet is bad news, even if you turn around at
    the first sign of muddy soil, the tracks you leave at the trail head
    convinces others it's o.k. to ride or makes them give the old "see I
    told you people were riding here" excuse to f-things up.
    There are however plenty of places that drain well, _____________ drains
    good, _________ drains o.k., and the route we do around ___________ is good
    after rain plus most of it is canyons that aren't monitored and full of
    finger pointing bike haters. "

    I have to agree.

  12. #12
    Make some music
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    Move the trial.....

    IMHO - This trail really looks like it needs to be moved and closed.. Get creative. Once moved let the weeds take over, they will do their job..
    J.O.R.B.A. More than just tm. WWW.JORBA.ORG

  13. #13
    Make some music
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    Or... Dig a nice little ditch, fill it with rocks and put a little bridge over to cross. The trail can remain along side of it. Or go complete North Shore ...
    J.O.R.B.A. More than just tm. WWW.JORBA.ORG

  14. #14
    MTB Rider
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    HOHAS don't want to share ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dramius
    Wow, I'm curious.... Kinda Knew here, but a couple of times visited a mtn-bike newsgroup; I couldn't BELIEVE the amount of b1tching I saw! I mean I'd be a lot more worried about campers, motorcycles, etc. LITTERING or POLLUTING than a bike rider making a rut in some dirt. I don't see mtn biking as damaging overall. I've made litterers pick it up. I hate a55holes who toss trash. They know they won't have to see it after they turn their back & maybe they like looking at other peoples trash? Whatever, but mtn-bikes seem to catch a lot more flack than they deserve.
    The people who have access to those areas often do not wish to share. They like being out there alone. Having too many people around spoils their experience.

    Hikers will rarely see other hikers since they travel at similar speeds. But mountain bikers will see pretty much every hiker on a trail and vice-versa.

    Excessive mountain biking can cause damage to some vulnerable areas. In those cases, it's up to the mtbers to get out and fix and upgrade the trail. But in general, bikers don't harm trail any more than hikers do.

    What is 100% sure is that XC riders are far less likely to go off trail than either hikers or equestrians. Off trail riding just isn't very much fun. Yeah, downhillers will sometimes carve unauthorized trail, but hikers do it ALL the time. Equestrians will ride wherever they like because they CAN!!!!

    The other big complaint I've seen concerns wildlife. Some goofs are doing studies to show that animals that have previously been unexposed to mountain bikes, will react more strongly to them. They claim this harms deer and other ungulates. I think it's BS because deer are perfectly content to live in urban areas surrounded by highways. If they can acclimated to 18 wheelers, they can acclimate to mountain bikes.

    Just remember that you need to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem. That means you need to join your local trail group and help maintain them. There are tons of things you can do to make trails more resilient to riding. The end product is more trail space for everyone thats available for more time throughout the year.

  15. #15
    MTB Rider
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    Widening overhyped ...

    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    Actually, that wouldn't be possible because of terrain that is not visible in the picture.

    What happened recently in this particular area was, we've had so much rain this spring and winter that a brand new spring developed in the side of a hill near the top of the picture. It began feeding water throught the grass and entering the trail at the bend in the top of the picture (see this picture). After the picture was taken, we dug a trench to redirect the water into a low, grassy area. The trail now dries pretty quickly, but still needs 24-48 hrs. after a rain.

    And of course, trail widening is another issue seen in the picture.

    Yeah, trail widening happens in some places. But for singletrack riders, it's often a difference between 1 foot wide and 3 feet wide in some sections. Footpaths are typically 4-8 feet wide depending on circumstances. So I really don't get people *****ing about widened singletrack.

    In any case, the trail pictured looks like a good candidate for boardwalk or armoring.

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