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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a new BMC Fourstroke 03 full suspension and don't have over 15 miles on the bike. It's killin' me to look at it just sit in my basement.

I would like to take at least a couple weekend trip south, but am not sure just how far south I need to travel in order to get away from snow.

It looks like Louisville and Lexington are around 300 - 350 miles from my SE MI house. Considernig I'll probably be sore after riding, a Friday night to Sunday afternoon round trip of 700 miles is about my limit.

Any good trails around / in between Lo. & Le.?? No mountains in SE MI, so most of the trails I ride are full of sharp turns amongst steep little hills. Never really a chance to carry much speed.

Also, just curious about typical trail conditions in January/February - muddy and wet or relatively dry??

thanks!! DH
 

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Sweet ride, dude! I live in Bloomington, IN which is about an hour north of Louisville, and the 6 inches of snow we got last week is almost completely melted. If you give it about a week, I would venture to say that it will be pretty dry here. There are some really good trails in the Bloomington area, namely Brown County State Park. You may want to give that a looksy, as it could save you a couple hours drive - a couple hours you can use to get more riding in! Hope that helps you out, man!
 

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You missed the frozen tundra the past couple of weeks (probably a lot like MI I would guess). Otherwise, it stays wet/sloppy here this year for the most part. Lots of freeze-thaw action where the trail turns to soup when the sun hits even down into the 20's.

So, try further south until at least April, perhaps even May.
 

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LilJr said:
Sweet ride, dude! I live in Bloomington, IN which is about an hour north of Louisville, and the 6 inches of snow we got last week is almost completely melted. If you give it about a week, I would venture to say that it will be pretty dry here. There are some really good trails in the Bloomington area, namely Brown County State Park. You may want to give that a looksy, as it could save you a couple hours drive - a couple hours you can use to get more riding in! Hope that helps you out, man!
Sorry for the hijack. Is that all the time it takes from BCSP to dry out? Up here in Fort Wayne, we have a lot of clay and it can be May or June until the trails are rideable. Nearby Winona drys well though.

What sort of weather should I look for before driving to Nashville this time of year? I wouldn't want to drive 3 hours south to find sloppy trails.
 

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I would try Brown County IN and Versailles IN. Both places are amazing and not as far as Louisville or Lexington
 

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emtnate said:
Sorry for the hijack. Is that all the time it takes from BCSP to dry out? Up here in Fort Wayne, we have a lot of clay and it can be May or June until the trails are rideable. Nearby Winona drys well though.

What sort of weather should I look for before driving to Nashville this time of year? I wouldn't want to drive 3 hours south to find sloppy trails.
I think that individual was incredibly optimistic to be honest. Brown County still takes a while to dry in the spring mainly because of the freeze-thaw and some clay in the soil like Fort Wayne. Best thing to do is to ask for trail status on the forum at http://www.hmba.org
 

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Brown Co does dry out fast.

I think the builders had the benefit of building it, and designing it, from scratch. They could learn the lessons from places like TRTP, (or for us, Rum Village and Franke Park) that have had (and needed) years of constant improvements.

I went for a ride, wow, now about two years ago. The weather just a couple days before was terrible. Rain across the entire state. Rum, Winona, and Outback were a mess, as well as Ft Custer. So went down to Brown Co (if it was terrible, plan was to keep driving. :) )

Stopped and the trails were no worse than 'tacky'.

I'd check the HMBA message boards first, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was rideable far earlier than the trails that are right in my own back yard.

JmZ

emtnate said:
Sorry for the hijack. Is that all the time it takes from BCSP to dry out? Up here in Fort Wayne, we have a lot of clay and it can be May or June until the trails are rideable. Nearby Winona drys well though.

What sort of weather should I look for before driving to Nashville this time of year? I wouldn't want to drive 3 hours south to find sloppy trails.
 

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Bcsp

Brown County State Park will not be ridable any time soon. While it does dry quickly in the summer, it is more susceptible to freeze/thaw that many other trails in the area. With the long hard freeze, the ground is frozen at least 6" deep. With temps going above and below freezing for the fore see able future, the trails will be a mess if ridden. The same elevation that makes BCSP fun and dry quickly in the summer also makes freeze thaw a big issue. Sections that face north stay frozen longer than sections that face south. So unless we have a hard freeze or several weeks straight above freezing, Brown County State Park will not be in shape to be ridden till this spring.

Thanks,

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the advise. If I was still planning to ride my old Woodstock HD, I wouldn't mind the crappy conditions, but I guess I'm a bit particular right now since my bike is still new.

Any further south makes for quite a weekend drive.

Maybe I should wait a few months and still come down. It sounds like there are quite a few exciting trails in the IN / KY area!! I'm only 5 minutes from Highland Rec, one of the best trails in SE MI, but frankly it gets a bit tiring after dozens of times each summer.
 

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indytrekracer said:
Brown County State Park will not be ridable any time soon. While it does dry quickly in the summer, it is more susceptible to freeze/thaw that many other trails in the area. With the long hard freeze, the ground is frozen at least 6" deep. With temps going above and below freezing for the fore see able future, the trails will be a mess if ridden. The same elevation that makes BCSP fun and dry quickly in the summer also makes freeze thaw a big issue. Sections that face north stay frozen longer than sections that face south. So unless we have a hard freeze or several weeks straight above freezing, Brown County State Park will not be in shape to be ridden till this spring.

Thanks,

Paul
+1 Freeze/thaw will kill BCSP for a while.

You might not mind the mud on you and your bike, but those of us that help build and maintain this trail system have seen first hand the damage that is caused by riding during these conditions.

If we get another hard freeze lasting several days, the trails may be OK. 27+degrees and little sunshine and it all turns to mush in the winter.

As others have stated, just ask and you will get an accurate trail condition report here.
 

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I figured BCSP would be too muddy for most of the winter. You guys get more freeze/thaw cycles then we do up here, and it gets bad enough at Franke. Due to the sand, Winona is a good a choice if you avoid a few known trouble spots.

I do think BCSP would be worth the drive from Southern Michigan, if I were you, I'd bring a tent or get a cabin and plan on staying the weekend. There's a lot of very nice trails to explore down there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What were the results of the Cave Run Trail Initiative meeting from Nov. 23rd?? My local trail Highland Rec. has horse trails in the same vicinity, but they merely cross the mtn. bike trail occasionally - never running on top of each other.

I can't imagine a peaceful co-existence. I've ridden enough horse growing up in MT to know that suddenly encountering a mtn biker around a bend would throw most horses into a panic.
 

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redranger said:
Check out NC(Ashville/Pisgah) it's really not that far for a long weekend. I am not sure what the conditions are like this time of the year.
Pisgah trails were snowed-in during Dec. but probably have thawed. Most Forest roads were closed...

Cave Run in KY might be nice soon, but may be the same as Indiana for the next few weeks without a freeze.
 

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Everything is a mess in KY right now. Trails were incredibly slimy at recent trail crew. Couldn't even walk on them.

Most are doing everything but mountain biking here. Doesn't look like it will improve for the foreseeable future either.
 
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