It’s still too soft
Yesterday the HAFTA trail-crew was out removing the winter-loop signage and bucking-up the trees reported to us on TrailForks.
On our hike, we discovered many sections of our single-track are still very soft. Today’s rainstorm will be a further set-back for us giving the “thumbs up to ride” with a clear conscious. Speaking of riding, we ran into dozens of riders out enjoying the warm weather and soft trails. Some on high-end carbon bikes who’ve been riding the trails for 20 years and joeys on entry-level bikes who “couldn’t-even” due to mud at Kelso (hey, lets try the AF)
We mention these details, not to single out somebody, but to point out there isn’t really a ‘type’ of person who rides soft and muddy trail. Perhaps the only thing they shared in common is some sort of misunderstanding about the realities of riding trail that hasn’t dried enough.
Riding a trail in that state depicted below accelerates its transfiguration into a mud-pit and when a trail makes it to mud-pit status it’s major surgery. We wonder if there might be a misconception; that people think riding in the mud only means riding in a mud-pit – Truth is, it’s too late for the mud-pit (don’t ride around them and widen trail).
The damage really hurts trail when riders create ruts or excavate soil on what would have otherwise been a stable trail if it were given a chance to dry after the melt. During the spring-thaw water is everywhere and people can easily churn a trail’s tread into a slurry of soil or create a depression aka rut on the tread that allows water to pool on it.
When a trail loses its ability to shed water you will slowly get a mud-pit. Not good.
For an example, take a look at the ruts on Boundary Trail A in the photos below. Probably 10 meters of trail is slowly on it’s way to mud-pit. We like that trail, it’s got Gnome Rock on it. This isn’t a future state we’d pick for the trails in our network or elsewhere.
Thanks for reading, we hope you learned something about caring for the trails!
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