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Thread: Morning Mud

  1. #1
    King of Dorkistan rraabfaber's Avatar
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    Morning Mud

    I took the prodigal K2 for a ride this morning in the Corrales bosque, along the banks of the Rio Grande. We'd had a pretty good rain last night, so there were a lot of nice patches of mud along the single-track. I was pretty early -- the track showed only one other cyclist had been through there since the rain. There was a jogger ahead of me. I took a side path, then cut back gave him an opportunity to get ahead. I think the mud must have discouraged him because after a while, his tracks disappeared. There were a few walkers later, a couple of horses, and one cyclists (who almost hit me) as I was leaving the trail.

    Most of the areas where there was mud left no opportunity to cut around -- you had to go through it. The mud was very clayish, and jammed up my rear derailleur so I was stuck in granny gear. At least I could shift around on the front derailleur, so I had a little variation. Along with the mud, the rain (and some horses) had loosened up the sandy patches, so the low gears were called for most of the time. I didn't go all that far, but I was pedaling hard most of the time to keep upright. A pretty good workout all in all, and nothing beats a morning in the woods.

    ~~~
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    Rick

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Can't see the image- But If you Mountain bike in the UK- Expect to get dirty.
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    jwh
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    I've ridden on the Bosque trails many times.
    We lived along the Bosque near the border of Rio Rancho and Corrales for seven months.
    It is a beautiful place but things didn't work out for us at the time so, "back to Ohio".

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    King of Dorkistan rraabfaber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Can't see the image- But If you Mountain bike in the UK- Expect to get dirty.
    Yes! That was pretty much it. A little more shmutz in the gears though.
    ~~~
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    King of Dorkistan rraabfaber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwh View Post
    I've ridden on the Bosque trails many times.
    We lived along the Bosque near the border of Rio Rancho and Corrales for seven months.
    It is a beautiful place but things didn't work out for us at the time so, "back to Ohio".
    I'm sorry and jealous all at the same time.

    My wife's distant cousin from New Zealand visited last week and I took him for a ride out there. He was quite impressed. Odd thing was it was a Wednesday morning, and it seemed we were running into horses and peds every other turn. We really had to take it kind of slow. As i'm sure you remember, there are a lot of blind turns there.
    ~~~
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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    They close most of the trails around here when conditions are wet. Better for the trails and for the bike not to ride in sloppy mud like that. You can do a lot of damage to a good trail by rutting it up when it is too wet.
    There is a wildlife refuge nearby with miles of hilly crush and run gravel roads that are too dusty when dry, but perfect after a good rain. That is where many of us like to ride our MTBs when the singletrack is too wet to ride.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  7. #7
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    They close most of the trails around here when conditions are wet. Better for the trails and for the bike not to ride in sloppy mud like that. You can do a lot of damage to a good trail by rutting it up when it is too wet.
    There is a wildlife refuge nearby with miles of hilly crush and run gravel roads that are too dusty when dry, but perfect after a good rain. That is where many of us like to ride our MTBs when the singletrack is too wet to ride.
    I live just off the South Downs which is an area of "Outstanding Beauty". It is planned to turn it into a National Park in the near future. Besides the South Downs way- which runs the length of the downs from East to west- There are numerous other "Bridleways" on the downs. Won't confuse but bridleways are for Horses- Pedestrians and Cycles. No motorised vehicles. I know the Downs are based on chalk that is free draining- but plenty of overlying Clay and in the wooded areas- plenty of Humus rich soil aswell.

    The various paths on the Downs get plenty of use- year round. In the summer- those trails are dry and get plenty of erosion by use. It turns into hardpack and very little grass on the paths so they just get eroded by feet- hooves and tyres churning them up. In winter they get wet and turn into Gloop. No other name for it- wet chalk- overlying clay and that gloop can be 6" deep in places where traffic is concentrated into a narrow space through gates or restricted by foliage. Those paths in the narrower areas also gets wider- alternative paths are made round the gloop and overall- You finish up with a 10ft wide path being 20ft wide and muddy. You also finish up with ruts being cut into the chalk on the downhill bits where a lot of rain runs downhill.

    The bikes and horses- keep to the paths. 6" of mud- or a 12" rut down the middle of it? No Problem- this is what crosscountry riding on MTB's or Horses is based on. Peds--- will widen the trails to miss the mud- They will climb the banks and fall down them on the slippery surface so taking the grass off and exposing the bare soil to erosion. By the end of the winter those trails can be in a sorry state.

    But Spring is on the way. The ruts get filled in with other debris- the grass regrows- and the Eroded banks are repaired by work parties -Peds- locals- cyclists and the local stables and horse riders. All ready for the following years hard use by all the thousands of tourists that come to visit our beautifull part of the country.

    Closing the trails to horses and bikes in Inclement weather was tried one year. All the side trail closed- just leaving the main ones. No extra damage to the main trails- but those closed to us had the same problem. Trails filled with gloop and getting wider.

    Nature is a very strong ally. It will self repair. But perhaps the area where the trails are, have evolved over the years into the areas that can take it. And those years----The South downs way has been around since the Saxon times- About 1500 years. And in the 15 years I have been riding those trails- The only time I do not use them is in the summer. When too many tourists getting in the way- too much dust getting dangerous in places and the trails are rock hard- ruining my butt and back.


    Edit---And Rick- if you get alot of muddy conditions- Think about using a mud specific tyre. Panaracer Mud Pro's- Or Continental Cross Country in 1.5 size- They both work in mud and due to the narrower sizing- do not collect as much mud on the tyre to clog up the frame and forks.
    Last edited by stapfam; 09-01-08 at 01:22 PM.
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    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Yes. I understand you do it differently over there. I'm just saying that we do it this way here. I like the way we do it.

    Our terrain here in the eastern US is very different from what you describe. Our trails would never recover from such abuse.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-01-08 at 01:58 PM.
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  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Yes. I understand you do it differently over there. I'm just saying that we do it this way here. I like the way we do it.

    Our terrain here in the eastern US is very different from what you describe. Our trails would never recover from such abuse.
    And thanks to the "Health and safety" Brigade. Our trails are changing too. Where the trails are getting dangerous with too mud mud in Winter- or rocky and rooty underfoot- or loose scree making the trail dangerous--- We are getting the trails turned into the same surface as the Forest Roads. 6" of compacted stone to make it safer for the trail users. Before long- they will be flattening the hills to stop people wearing themselves out going up them.

    But Luckily- "Bridleways" are part of our institution and to close them will cause more than a few problems from the Country Set. (Heirarchy of locals that want to keep up their leisure activities on the same trails and hills their families have been doing for Centuries)
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    jwh
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    My wife's distant cousin from New Zealand visited last week and I took him for a ride out there. He was quite impressed. Odd thing was it was a Wednesday morning, and it seemed we were running into horses and peds every other turn. We really had to take it kind of slow. As i'm sure you remember, there are a lot of blind turns there.

    That's why I usually rode early in the am or even at night occasionally. It was pretty creepy in the dark though, I saw people out there walking by themselves with no flashlight at times.
    It was 1 year ago yesteryday that we got back to Ohio. Time really flies!

  11. #11
    King of Dorkistan rraabfaber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Nature is a very strong ally. It will self repair.....

    Edit---And Rick- if you get alot of muddy conditions- Think about using a mud specific tyre. Panaracer Mud Pro's- Or Continental Cross Country in 1.5 size- They both work in mud and due to the narrower sizing- do not collect as much mud on the tyre to clog up the frame and forks.
    Thanks for the interesting post on the conditions in your neck of the world-woods.

    And BD, I can see why they shut down the trails where you are. Definitely a different environment there, as I recall from growing up in Rochester (NY).

    Fortunately, we don't get much mud here. I think we get something like 3" annual rainfall, so a muddy path is pretty irregular. And we're in the midst of a 10 year drought. I can see why that narrower tire would work better. The interesting thing with the paths I was describing, it that when wet/muddy, they do get churned up by both cycle and horse. Then they dry out. And the horses basically pound the ground back into a loose powder that is there until the next rain. For those of you familiar with caliche, that's what I'm dealing with. Powdered clay when dry and, well, wet clay when wet.
    ~~~
    Namaste, y'all
    Rick

    Life is a foreign language; All men mispronounce it.
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