With all the rain in the forecast, we wanted to take a minute and visit an issue which seems to plague area trails every winter – soggy trail conditions. Don’t get us wrong, we love tacky dirt as much as anyone, however there is a fine line between brown pow, and wet or muddy trail. Simply, if mud or wet trail is sticking to your shoe or tire, you should turn around. Also, when you encounter a muddy patch, don’t assume the rest of the trail will be any better. More often than not, it only gets worse and you should quit while you’re still ahead.
First off, it’s important to realize, that not all dirt is equal. In regions such as the pacific northwest, wet trail conditions are common and accepted as part of the sport. Whereas, in Georgia's climate, the same conditions can have fairly drastic consequences for the trail and your bike. Secondly, the time of year as well as exposure and elevation will effect how moisture and precipitation impact a trail. Throughout the winter, trails tend to be more saturated and hold more water, taking days to dry out after rain, as opposed to later in the summer and fall where an evening thunderstorm will leave them riding nice and tacky the next morning. With that said, we understand that shit happens. Through either bad circumstance, or poor judgement, we’ve all found ourselves in situations and on trails we shouldn’t have been on. We’re not here to place blame, or be trail nazis, but simply to spread awareness and encourage everyone to be considerate trail users. After all, these are our trails, paid for largely by our donations, some tax dollars, and volunteer labor. It’s up to us to protect and sustain them for years to come.