Roaonoke area riders: After it rains, how long do you wait til you ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Roaonoke area riders: After it rains, how long do you wait til you ride?

    Looking for any rules of thumb to use on trail riding after it rains. I know trail conditions/elevations make this different for various trails, but how about for Carvin's upper trails, Carvin's lower trails, Explore Park and Mill Mountain. Personally, I don't like getting muddy, so my current rule of thumb is to wait a week after a lot of rain. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Hey this is my first post here...

    Anyhow I wouldn't ride the lower trails at Carvins for a few days after heavy rain. The upper trails may have a few slick spots, but seem to drain alot better.

    Explore parks intermediate trail also drains well. Not sure about mill mountain.

    So much depends on the conditions after the rain and how much rain and for how long. I have been using a low spot in my yard as a gauge, if I sink in there I wouldn't ride trails that hold water.
    If you Google "Judy Butter" to reminisce on the good ole days, do NOT click on images...

  3. #3
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Mill Mountain drains the best of all Roanoke area trails. Good trail design, something about the soil type and the fact that they are half rock to start out with all help. They are probably good for riding right now. Just a couple of spots that hold water.

  4. #4
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    Agree with CCR - Mill Mountain is the best post-rain trails. Explore isn't too bad unless it was heavy rain that lasted for a while. Carvin's lower trails - poor things... let them dry. As the other people said the uppers dry ok as does 4 gorges. Could also consider Montvale if on the eastern side of things. It seems to do well with rain. =)
    Enjoying the trails one pedal stroke at a time...

  5. #5
    bikeboatbrewski
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    Quote Originally Posted by siis
    Personally, I don't like getting muddy, so my current rule of thumb is to wait a week after a lot of rain. Any thoughts?
    Are you sure you even want to mountain bike?

    They do make fenders and road bikes.

  6. #6
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    Maybe I should just stick to pavement, jk. Surely I'm not the only one who doesn't like biking through slop?

  7. #7
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    Not only is slop not so much fun, it's hard on some trails. The coves lower trails have been patched up and had gravel and sand added in a bunch of places but they still hold water. I've found explore park handles wet really well and the upper trails at the cove do as well. I've yet to ride mill mountain, need to get on that I guess.

  8. #8
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by siis
    Looking for any rules of thumb to use on trail riding after it rains. I know trail conditions/elevations make this different for various trails, but how about for Carvin's upper trails, Carvin's lower trails, Explore Park and Mill Mountain. Personally, I don't like getting muddy, so my current rule of thumb is to wait a week after a lot of rain. Any thoughts?
    Depends on the place, but also the time of year. I'm most familiar with Carvins Cove.

    In the winter, the lowers can stay muddy for a long time during the late winter thaw, and rain on top of that will be a real mess for a while, especially if things are still cold. It varies a lot from winter to winter. This past winter was awful, last year not bad, the winter before that was awful.

    In the summer, the Lowers are not bad. I will ride them right after (or in) rain, except for Enchanted Forest and the really bad part of Tuck-A-Way where it meets Enchanted Forest. I guess if it has been raining a LOT (many days) I might wait a day or two. For at least a few days (or longer) after any rain, you will still hit some pockets of persistent mud, though, so if getting a little muddy is your concern, I am not sure what to say. It has to be near-drought conditions to dry up some spots.

    The uppers are ride-able anytime in the spring/summer/fall, rain or shine, and usually during the winter as well. In the worst winter thaw cycles, some of the newer sections can get soft, as can 1000 foot climb. Rain is not much of an issue, though, it all drains pretty well.

    The warnings you hear about the mud are generally from the standpoint of the well-being of the trails, not the cleanliness of the rider. During the summer you could get pretty dirty riding the lowers after a rain, but it is not a big issue for the trails.

    Getting wet and muddy is just part of the sport around here on flatter trails. You might want to look at some fenders. They do work pretty well. I find down tube fenders work better than the ones that mount on the fork.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #9
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Quote Originally Posted by siis
    Maybe I should just stick to pavement, jk. Surely I'm not the only one who doesn't like biking through slop?
    I'm not crazy about mud riding either. Except for some rides in West Virginia where it goes with the territory. Fenders help over there - a little.

  10. #10
    bikeboatbrewski
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    There are some pretty decient fenders out there, the clip on/clamp on ones can be pretty easy on/off. I use a downtube crud catcher on my Pugs and a custom rack/fender out back. I still get painted but its not so bad.

    When I ride the Stumpy I get a full coating of whatever is on the trail/creek.

    Of course the health of the trails is more important. I find that on our local trails the higher stuff drains quickly and the lower stuff stays wet longer and adjust the riding as appropriate. Then there are those couple of boggy places that seem to stay wet even in the worst drought.
    Last edited by scottybinwv; 04-02-2011 at 10:49 AM.

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