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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867

    Trail Conditions

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    What are mountain biking trails like in your area? I'm interested in the condition of the surface you ride on.

    I live in the Arkansas Ozarks, and so I have to contend with large flat rocks lurking just below the surface, along with the usual roots and mud and leaf litter.

    In one new state park (Hobbs, if anyone's interested), the trail consists mostly of naturally occurring gravel--except the rocks are golfball-to-baseball sized! There were lots of quick little dips into gullies, and the gravel collects in the bottom and it was just too dangerous for me. The rocks moved and then you lost momentum to get up the other side. That was my first ride on my new Trek 4500, but I just didn't like it (I was also sick with the cold from he** that week, so that could be a factor).

    At Devil's Den SP, the trails are rocky, but the rocks are buried in dirt, mostly not moveable, and then there are boulders, and rocks that form steps. The occasional giant root, then the shallow root networks that spread on the trail near the tops of the mountains.

    I went to Vermont last summer and rode some trails on Mt. Snow. It was rooty, but not rocky. Nice riding. I've seen pictures of trails out west where the surface may have a boulder or two, or a root or two, but mostly it's sand or soft dirt. Of course those pictures are just one little portion of the trail.

    I'll be in Albuquerque this September, and will probably take my bike. I'm looking forward to a different type of trail surface, just for the change of it. I'd like to be able to go long distances off-road, but that's impossible for me at my level of fitness if the trail is too technical. I may never get to ABQ again, so I want to enjoy any biking I do there (or on the way).

    I have a feeling that we here may be having different experiences of MTB'ing in different parts of the country, based on the geological features of the area (of course!). But we might tend to assume that all trails are like the ones we know. I'd just like to hear other's trail surfaces described.

    Karen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    the foggy wetlands,los osos,ca
    Posts
    2,863
    I live on the central coast of california. The trails here range from dirt fire roads to nasty small gravel. My husband is always getting scrapped up. He always does this single track route by our house, I don't like it cause it is really rutty (is that a word?) And the ticks are so bad this year. I picked 8 off of him the other day. And there is a lot of poisen oak as well. I tend to like the wider trails.
    I have also put road tires on my bike so I can do raod as well. I don't go as fast as the other road bikes but i am more stable then them. But I think our trails and what not are probably not to much different around here from you. We have alot of volcanic rock as well. Huge rocks under us as well.
    Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.
    > Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Off eating cake.
    Posts
    1,700
    Muddy.

    I hate the ten character rule.
    Drink coffee and do stupid things faster with more energy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    111

    Eastern Washington State

    Our usual trails vary, but in general it's a sandy-type soil here that dries out quickly and is loose and dusty in the summer. More rocky sections than lots of roots. DH rode on the west side of the state and said the trails have many more roots and are much more wet. Higher elevation and forested areas don't get quite as dry. It's hard to generalize, though, as we have such a variety of places to go within a couple hours depending on which direction you head. We've been on two very diverse trails conditions in the same day while riding the Plains of Abraham and Ape Canyon trails near Mt. Saint Helens a couple years ago. Volcanic rock plains to tree-covered forested singletrack. Scablands to densely covered forest...it's a MTB playground here with lots of opportunity to climb.
    Plays in dirt!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,139
    North of town at the Underdown it's sandy with pea gravel and it's in a swamp so if it rains it stays wet. It's logged a lot and ridden by horses and ATV's so it's a soft course. Mostly ski trails but they've been building single track since spring. Hoping to get about 20 miles of it in this year.

    South of us at Nine Mile it's fast, well-groomed trails. Several trails are rocky but starting to erode so they're building new trails that are soft and rocky. We're hoping Madisongirl and her entourage will pack it down for us this weekend at the Big Ring race I believe it's clay in there.
    Dar
    _____________________________________________
    “Minds are like parachutes...they only function when they are open. - Thomas Dewar"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    Are the trails built by volunteers, or are government entities building them?

    I was remembering today that my friend from Vermont suggested I ride down country back roads when I can't get to the trails. I thought she must be crazy. When I went to meet her in Vermont, I saw that she had a very different idea of what a country road was. Around here, a country road is a graded and gravelled road that is maintained by the county. Around her place in Vermont, a country road is a shaded, quaint little lane, populated by people who are used to bikes. So yeah, the difference can be stark.

    Karen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ventura County CA
    Posts
    605
    Fire roads- can be loose, sandy, or hardpack with gravel/ sand on top. Single track- hard pack, rock, gravel on sandstone, slippery! Almost never muddy except at a stream crossing. A lot of technical single track around. Oh and LOTS of sunshine unless you drop into a canyon with trees.

    Brandi!!!! Tell your DH to wear repellent. Lyme disease is alive and growing in California. I know four people w/ Lyme and it is probably an STD.

 

 

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