by Dave Anderson
April 7, 2014
For years, like most UK riders I guess, I’ve always been proud to ride whatever the weather. I even wrote about Embracing the Filth, the joy of keeping on riding whatever the conditions, sucking up the grim to make the good weather feel all the better. It’s the British way right? Knuckle down and slog on through the worst of winter in the hope that summer will bring something better.
Admittedly I’ve always picked my route a it more carefully in the wet season. Not from an earth loving, tree hugging point of view but for far more selfish reasons. Up here the moorland singletrack suffers when it’s wet, the peat is especially susceptible to winter erosion. I’ve watched too many sweet little pristine narrow singletrack sections turn into a mire that by summer means they’re almost fire road width as rider after rider tries to avoid the worst and ends up widening the trail. Little jewels that are beaten into submission by the onslaught of cheater lines and ‘need to keep the bike clean’ diversions. I’d rather restrict my riding to rocky trails through winter in the hope that the moorland singletrack will still be just that in summer; a narrow, hopefully dusty (we can dream right?) trail that takes a bit of skill to ride to get the most out of the flow rather than a wide and rutted trudge.
So riding in Ute Park, Colorado Springs it was interesting to see this sign up here ^^^
A sign that shows that locals care about the condition of their trails too but have done something to help preserve them. Admittedly it’s easier to implement in an area that doesn’t see UK levels of precipitation but if the alternative is the Local Authority remedial trail repair approach of dumping chippings to 2 metre width it may just be something worth exploring hey?
Which would you rather have?
Bland and sanitised trails that have been ‘repaired’ to death?
Rutted and obliterated multi track trails?
Or trails that are good to ride when the conditions are right, at the expense of riding them year round?