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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are many different factors involving this question ( like soil differences), but what is standard wait time after a rain before it's kosher to hit the trails? We've had some pretty constant moisture over the weekend, but today would be a 3rd dry day.
 

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International Lover
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Why wait?

You're right re: the many factors that can/should be taken into account when making this decision.
Personally, I consider myself an inhabitant of this earth, just like any other living creature. Based upon this belief, I find myself at odds with those mtbers who look upon a tire track in the mud as some sort of vandalism/trail damage/blight upon nature. My "guilt" is lessened by the fact that practically all of the trails I ride can get wet/used/dried repeatedly with nary a lingering effect from year to year.
If you're willing to deal with the mud during the ride and the additional cleaning afterwards, go for it.

-C
 

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I have to agree and disagree with Chip. Yes, it does depend on a lot of factors. But being a "citizen of this earth" doesn't give you the right to screw up the trails for everyone else. I'm glad his trails can take it, but I've seen plenty of trails that got badly rutted and widened from being ridden on when they were too soft.

That said, it really depends. A trail that will dry out in one long, hot summer day may take a week or two to dry out during the short, cold days of winter. Terrrain and soil type make a big difference too. Best bet might be to ask about that partcular trail in the forum for your state, there really isn't a hard and fast rule.
 

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No good in rock gardens..
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fanghasyou said:
Seems like the mentallity here is if everyone is messing it up then why shouldn't I? Seems like thats how kids get started on drugs...not exaclty a good thing.
I don't think my XC rides over rocky, sandy, gravelly tracks do a lot of damage, truth be told. In fact the water runoff does more damage than anything else. Should I also refrain from riding because the soil is dry and loose?
 

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i drink shower water
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12 hrs for every inch is the standard rule. if you live in a place that is really dry like Colorado or AZ then you might be able to get away with less than 12 hrs. there has been times its rained the night before and by noon here in CO the trails were dry enough to ride.

Dont ride them if your gonne rut them out, thats not cool.
 

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~I Ride In Circles ~
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If the ground is soup.. don't ride. Unless you do the work on the trail and feel like fixing it later. If it's wet but not so much that your sink you should be ok.. just don't nail the brakes all the time.


Everyone has different feelings about this so you're going to get more answers than you ever felt possible...
 

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I'll wait until a trail dries up as much as possible. It's usually the horses that tear up the trails with their hooves after it rains.
It usually depends on the soil and most of the trails I ride on are pretty good in wet weather and I'll ride around a puddle most of the time unless I know the area well.
Riding on muddy trails sucks anyways.Once the wheels pack up,you have to push the bike and deal with your shoes being pulled off your feet because of sticky mud so I don't see the point in riding extremely muddy trails.
 

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International Lover
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You ride around the puddles??

Get ready....the trail nazis will be here any minute now.

Enjoy.

-C
 

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Loser
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Exactly

Sideknob said:
... In fact the water runoff does more damage than anything else...
That's exactly how it works. You go and ride while the soil is soft creating an impression in the dirt. When it rains the water flows down that impression, making it grow wider and deeper. So while your initial ride over the dirt did only a little damage, the resulting damage can be huge.

There's a place I ride that 4x4 trucks drive around in. There's a enbankment that's moved back 10 to 15 feet over the time I've been riding there. Its all washed away down the dirt road next to it. All this is from the tire tracks left on soft dirt.

John
 

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Chip said:
Get ready....the trail nazis will be here any minute now.

Enjoy.

-C
Trail Nazi here to tell you that riding around puddles is about the worst thing you can do. Why is it that people buy mt bikes thinking they can go anywhere, but when it comes to getting their feet wet they decide it's better to go around puddles? Doing so means you're a trail destroying wuss.

I've spent countless hours rerouting "trails around puddles" back to trails through puddles. At best a braid around a puddle widens the singletrack. At worst, it becomes a true braid, a distinct trail that parallels the original.

Look, there are some trails that will simply not drain. You either have to get out there with your shovel and make some drains or learn to ride through six inches of mud.
 
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