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suvlako
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I thought about this question while riding on Saturday out at 50 yr trail. It was pretty muddy and appeared that many people had ridden it when it was wet and muddy. Is there trail etiquette that says dont ride after it rains so as to not tear up the trail? There were parts of the trail that looked completely mangled!! I know that the dirt gets nice and all, but it seems like waiting a day or two would help the sichaayshun... Any input?
 

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re: Riding after rains

I ride the Brownlow (sp?) to work. After a rain, my tire track makes me sick. So, I stopped riding on that trac until the trail drys a bit more. However, sure miss the dirt vs riding Pioneer Parkway. I would encourage others to think again before riding a popular trac when the surface is muddy and soft. I consider it rude and crude.
 

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I was out on south mountain christmas morning and I got caught in rain on my way out of the park and I was surprised by the amount of people getting ready to start thier ride in the rain. Its a total no no to ride in the rain or wet conditions back in the DC area.
 

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Pivotal figure
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It really depends on the terrain. Some areas are mainly sand and rock so riding them wet doesn't create the deep ruts that you get with muddy areas. National Trail at SoMtn is generally OK since it's almost all rock. Lower trails like DC or the Loops by the golf course can get pretty soft and need a day or more to dry out enough to ride. A good rule of thumb; if your tires are picking up dirt and leaving ruts, don't ride it.
 

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Too many Sedonuts...
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kenbentit said:
It really depends on the terrain. Some areas are mainly sand and rock so riding them wet doesn't create the deep ruts that you get with muddy areas. National Trail at SoMtn is generally OK since it's almost all rock. Lower trails like DC or the Loops by the golf course can get pretty soft and need a day or more to dry out enough to ride. A good rule of thumb; if your tires are picking up dirt and leaving ruts, don't ride it.
In other parts of the country where the ground is always wet to begin with, you'd get drawn and quartered by the locals if you were riding right after a major downpour. It's mostly different in AZ, however. The trails drain within minutes, sometime hours, after the rain. It rarely rains here like it does in in the rest of the country, so you are mostly good.

So Ken's advice is probably the best for the sonoran desert part of AZ...watch your tires, and decide accordingly.
 

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suvlako said:
There were parts of the trail that looked completely mangled!!
Let's put this into perspective please. For example, there are a handful of spots on Desert Classic (somo) that puddle with water and would appear mangled should everyone ride down the middle of each little pool. Let's say EVERYONE did. There would be a total of 20ish feet out of 15ish miles of trail. Looks bad...yes. Wildlife impact...no.

I suppose the dirt/soil is different around the Catalinas but how much trail is really messed up in the grand scheme of things? Will it be back to normal after the next overnight rain? Not flaming, just asking. I love the Catalina area but don't get out there very often from Phoenix.
 

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caninus xerophilous
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50 Year is generally fine after rain.

suvlako said:
I thought about this question while riding on Saturday out at 50 yr trail. It was pretty muddy and appeared that many people had ridden it when it was wet and muddy. Is there trail etiquette that says dont ride after it rains so as to not tear up the trail? There were parts of the trail that looked completely mangled!! I know that the dirt gets nice and all, but it seems like waiting a day or two would help the sichaayshun... Any input?
About 99.9% of the trail is fine after or even during a rain. The terrain and soil are for the most part the type that dains well. However there are several spots of red clay and water puddles that cause most of the problem.

It is recommended to ride strait through the clay or puddles as riding around them causes unsightly trail widening that can only be blamed on MTB'ers. Or you could just stop and walk around. Any wear from riding through the clay or puddles is gone in a week, but the trail going around the clay or puddles will remain for a long time.

The days following a good rain are the best time to get out and ride the tacky soil and pack it in before the onset of more dry weather. The only time I curtail riding at the 50 Year is after a several day long heavy saturation rain. This is when the other 99.9% of the trail beging to get saturated with water and is obviously not riding freindly.
 
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