Video: Are The Trails Dry?

May 23, 2021 at 19:17
by Devon Brown  


BUT SERIOUSLY, ARE THEY DRY?

Not all of us live in magical places where the dirt can handle lots of precipitation and riding wet trails is fine and dandy. Some of us know the game of waiting. Know it all too well.

This video is a funny homage to all of the random phrases, sayings, and attitudes that we've witnessed over the many years of being part of a mountain bike community in a place that's not blessed with nice dirt.

Shout out to all the trail diggers out there who, year after year, week after week, day after day, spend their honest time filling in the ruts and damage from people riding in the mud.


A FILM BY: OXBURGER STUDIOS

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105 Comments

  • 77 0
 Us Californians have 99 problems, wet trails definitely ain’t one
  • 41 0
 number 100 is every berm and jump is literally dust
  • 6 2
 Not having wet trails because it doesn't rain, is unfortunately a problem for Californians
  • 11 0
 In Las Vegas, where we may go 100 plus days without rain, it’s rarely a problem. However, with the rain does come the magic and the mess. If there is standing water, rides are a no go. It will just create ruts that will dry, turn hard as concrete, and be there forever. On the other hand, the day or two after a good rain when there are no puddles leaves wonderfully grippy dirt. Those are must rides days around here.

Unfortunately most of the time it is just dusty blown out hard pack with lots of rocks and pokey plants.
  • 3 0
 @bdub5696: yep all of these are too true
  • 1 1
 Colorado is the same. 300+ days of sunshine and dry trails.
  • 7 0
 Here in SoCal sometimes there is only a one month window of good dirt in the year. And summer is the worst time to ride. IMO
  • 1 0
 @whyyyyy: you say that like its a bad thing
  • 3 0
 @mariomtblt: you go to push in to a berm and it falls apart
  • 1 0
 @mior: foot down baby!!!
  • 2 0
 @mariomtblt: every goddamn time
  • 3 0
 Sadly.... it didn't used to be that way. Remember when Santa Cruz/Northern California used to have a rainy season? And you had months where it felt like it never stopped raining or drizzling, and that was normal???
  • 1 0
 @Lloydmeister: when it does rain, the trails are so dry the water either 1: rolls of because the ground is so hard and dry or 2: soaks in but the soil is so sandy it goes down really deep
  • 44 0
 I live in Squamish and this is literally the first time I've ever considered that people don't just ride in the rain everywhere. For context, riding here in the rain kicks the shit out of riding in the dust... and when it hasn't rained in more than a week, we beg for rain in the forecast "to make the trails good again." We hate the dust. This is so different to that. Thanks for the fresh perspective.
  • 4 0
 Haha, yup it's a different world over here! I mean we do get our fair share of moon dust dry conditions but when it rains hard, boy oh boy it turns into an ugly mess here. We've ridden the goods in Squamish quite a bit over the years and it's nice on a trip to not worry about hitting perfect weather since everything's pretty much good to go no matter what's dropping from the clouds!
  • 10 0
 Western, CO (my location) is a high desert. Hardly any rain in the summer months so we are riding dust all season long. When we do get the occasional storm the trails are unrideable for at least a day, If you do ride them it's an offense worth being tarred and feathered. But, once they do dry the hero dirt is *chef's kiss*.
  • 2 0
 In the interior summer started a month early and we're already into late season conditions. Would welcome some rain.
  • 1 0
 there are a lot of fantastic places to ride that will make your 30lb bike 100lbs from the sticky clay. Areas of Northern BC, eastern slops of the Rockies, K-Country, Crowsness, etc. We are lucky on the coast in this regard :-)
  • 1 0
 Squamish is 'good' in the wet because the soil depth is so shallow here, and people tend to ride in all weathers, so most of it just gets ripped off the trail and you are left with rock and roots. It takes a big effort to keep dirt on the trails and work in drainage to get the water off the trails too. I'd much rather dig than ride in the wet.

I'm totally generalizing, but I found that the dirt in the UK to be deeper, so yeah you end up with trenches and the like in the wet, but least it doesn't all wash away, and as it dries out it settles back to how it was before. I'll be happy to never see clay again though Smile
  • 4 0
 @wallheater: The soil in Squamish is a relatively coarse mineral soil, which lets water pass through it. There was an article by some grad student a few years ago that broke down the mineral soil types and rock types in Squamish and how it changes from area to area. It was pretty cool.
  • 1 0
 @paulwatt: yep. I was thinking more of the duff layer (or 'loam' as we seem to call it). In the area that I build, it's largely big slab of rock so it's a challenge to find the mineral soil. So partly because of people riding in all conditions, I end up putting in a lot of time having to dig in rock armouring and then try and hide it for a bit with 'gold'.
  • 1 1
 @mediocre-bike-person: Fellow high desert western colorado rider. You hit the nail on the head.
  • 1 0
 i would rather ride in pouring rain than the dry ass socal bullshit
  • 1 0
 @the-lorax: Nice! You hit the Plunge yet?? I went Sunday. Incredible trail but still pretty soft ATM.
  • 1 0
 @mediocre-bike-person: Nice! You take a shuttle? I Couldn't find anyone to go with this weekend. I'm in the RF Valley, so probably not as west as you. Can't wait to check it out!
  • 1 0
 @the-lorax: Shuttled and camped with some friends. Definitely check it out. May be wait for a rain though haha
  • 47 0
 I feel personally attacked.
  • 11 0
 Yeah, I heve those kind of trails where you need at least two days after any heavier rain to ride them comfortably. There is a thick mud which clogs everything, and there are lots of steep sections with zero grip when wet. So yeah, you check the weather forecast every day and if it's going to rain next day, you leave work earlier and go straight to the trails Wink
  • 14 0
 @lkubica: Two days to ride them after a heavy rain?, you lucky bastard.
  • 26 0
 Here in the south of Chile I can confirm we have some WAT (wet ass trails) going on!!
  • 1 0
 Lucky you. I just have a wet ass.
  • 29 7
 the extreme dry can often be worse than the wet. Ultimately, If everyone just did their fair share of maintenance, none of this would be a big deal.
  • 12 2
 not sure why some downvotes... you can tell who #justridenodig
  • 4 2
 @jaydawg69: probably because some places would require 10 hours of repair for an hour of riding.
You're comment is 100% wrong for my local trails. I didn't downvote you, and agree we probably all need more shovel time though.
  • 1 0
 The freerides we ride in heer hardly need any maintenance, try to ride them when really wet..HAHA..
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Yup, I would assume your dirt in Illinois is pretty similar to our dirt in MN. Ruts set up like concrete as soon as the trail dries. They're almost impossible to remove without power equipment, which means trail volunteer hours not spent improving or building new trails.
  • 1 0
 @BlackVR: yup, and when its wet its so slippery and slow it isnt even worth trying to ride.
  • 14 2
 It must be an absolute hoor to live and ride in a place where riding wet trails isn’t the done thing. We’d be totally buggered here if we couldn’t ride on a soft day.
  • 2 0
 I’d beyond aggravating…
  • 3 0
 You can't ride in Boise, Idaho when the trails are wet. The thing is, they dry really quickly outside of winter and it hardly ever rains.
  • 2 0
 I love seeing this flag beside this comment
  • 1 0
 I haven't had open trails for three weeks. I ride on a stationary in the basement with YouTube.
  • 2 0
 We unfortunately don't get soft days here. Our soil is mostly clay so it basically goes from completely soaked straight to hardpack. The dirt dries really hard, too, so any ruts put in the trail while it was wet don't get ridden out, they just stay there until the dirt gets wet again.
  • 7 0
 I rode Highland in the cold ass rain today, my bike is hating it but the trails were wonderful. Places in New England where it’s okay to ride in the wet are rare but they’re lovely when you can. Watch out for the sniper roots and slate slabs though!
  • 7 0
 Western Massachusetts. Pine needle bedded trails, slick roots and grippy rocks equal spicy fun times in the wet.
  • 2 0
 New England is a terrifyingly good time in the wet. grippy granite loose pine needles slick oak leaves all on a bed of loam you could sleep on is way too fun.
  • 6 0
 What makes Euro dirt different to US dirt? In the rain the UK trails get bogged or slippery, then it takes a few days for the ruts to get bashed out, and then it's smooth again. Do US trails get permanently wrecked or do the majority prefer consistent flow?
  • 6 0
 It just depends on the soil content. Some places you can ride in the rain (coastal PNW) while other places have too much clay content to do so.
  • 1 0
 Some places have more clay content than others. Think Chilterns and not the Peak. Also the big difference is spring thaw in Canada. The top 3ft is a defrosting mess of ice and dirt which is super soft for a period in spring.
  • 8 0
 US dirt? The soil is completely different if you drive basically 45 minutes in any direction from me. I live by hardpack clay forest, I can get to sand dunes faster than I could cook a pizza.
  • 4 0
 I lived in Vermont for a year and this was a big deal. Growing up in Oregon I couldn't understand why you wouldn't be able to ride trails after a heavy week of rain or during the spring when the snow had melted. The trails did get wrecked in Vermont during those times and did leave some heavy ruts. This was a huge bummer considering the riding season is already so short due to the snow.
  • 6 1
 @HB208: we ride clay all year round, yes it's very slippy and hard riding and it makes mad ruts but they get fixed when it's dry enough, or left as its just made the corners deeper and actually better for riding in the wet.
  • 1 0
 @filryan: people here love to complain about ruts that make the trails a little bumpier for a week or two. They eventually flatten out naturally, but for some reason everyone thinks it's necessary to go and repair them with shovels and more dirt. I think the only places where it's a big problem are actually where it rains less frequently, since the ruts turn to almost concrete after the trails dry out.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: this is basically my point, we have clay, chalk, loam, gravel, and the UK crowd just rides. The impression I get is that there are areas of the US which are labelled as no-go in the wet, but aren't actually that bad.

The comment above about thawing frost or snow on clay is dead right though, that's a nightmare to ride in
  • 1 0
 @srjacobs: hahahaha people need to realise that we ride bikes with suspension so we don't need to ride flat goomed trails. We end up in 4 like 4 inch of clay slope. It's loads of fun, trust the ruts and stay off the front break. Takes a couple runs to get used to it but it's sick.
  • 3 0
 @HankHank: Of course if a trail never gets dry to begin with there’s no point in protecting it to ride on. And if the end point is that everyone gets used to rutted out trails and that becomes the local character then so be it.

I rode a heavily trafficked system a few weeks ago that had apparently been blown out by people riding wet. The experience left me thinking we should encourage wet riding on some trails, because the resulting root steps were super fun to ride. In both directions. I wouldn’t want every trail to be like that, but it was a nice change of pace.

Guess it comes down to what type of trails people think are normal and good, and whether your weather even gives the luxury to close trails in certain conditions. But yeah, us dry weather folks may be a bit over sensitive to some mild damage from wet riding.
  • 2 0
 The US is huge so you'll find a variety of soil types, as well as regulatory climates. Up in my neck of the woods the trails need to be babied in the early season due to clay content and the spring freeze-thaw cycle. If folks respect that the trails will be near bulletproof the rest of the season (when properly built).
  • 5 0
 @filryan: Lol, people trying to argue that because you can ride "clay" in your neck of the woods you can ride it everywhere. The issue where I live is that the clay doesn't just "get flattened out" because most of the year we have almost no moisture.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Saw Wee Kee is my go to after a rain, though not all trails are advisable after more than an inch. But, Anaconda is fine 24 hrs after an inch of rain, while Palos may take a week to recover to recover from 1/2”.
  • 1 0
 @HankHank: False. Got caught out in a sudden thunderstorm in the Dallas, TX area years back and had to walk out carrying my bike. The tires were so caked with mud (heavy clay soil) that they wouldn't even roll anymore.
  • 1 0
 @texag: It rains in Texas? Smile Good point though, it does happen, a bit like the DH World Champs last year.
  • 1 0
 @Whiskeytownz: As a part-time Vermonter I can say it definitely depends on where in the state you're riding, and what type of trails. If you're riding Cady Hill (in Stowe) or another place that's got a bunch of machine built berms and jumps and stuff then yeah, totally stay off until they dry out. However, if you stick to the rugged, natural trails deep in the woods and away from the major trail centers, you should be just fine.
  • 7 0
 Here where I live, constant rain for over 2 months. I dont recall being this rainy through April and May, like ever.
  • 1 0
 I almost gave this a downvote for too much rain, but really I mean an upvote
  • 1 0
 Can not agree more. Is it ever going to stop raining?
  • 4 0
 I’m on the East Coast and curse all the rain, but have family and spend time out West where rain is severely lacking. What a funny relationship…
  • 4 0
 I would love love love to get some rain the trails here
  • 2 0
 Anytime it rains where I live you have to get out on them while wet if you want a good ride.
  • 2 0
 Moving from the far Northeastern US to the south western US has definitely increased my seat time as the trails stay mostly dry here year round and there's no harsh winters to wait out where you're off your bike for months at a time. Yes it gets a little hot in the summer months however we usually get the monsoon rains which cool things off at least 2 or 3 days a week which is really nice.
  • 2 0
 I grew up riding on BC's Vancouver Island. We rode all year long. We built trails to handle water. We didn't trash the trails when we rode them wet. I moved to Cariboo Region of BC a few years back, partly because it was one of my favorites riding spots. I found out that it's mostly a big gravel pit, with a few rocky hills that poke through and the occasional floodplain. It's a great place to ride, but you can trash trails pretty quick when they are saturated with water, especially in the spring. I feel Devon's pain. However, if it doesn't rain enough, we get wildfire smoke so...
  • 5 0
 Total washout for Memorial Day weekend here in NY... know the feeling!
  • 4 1
 You can always do a wheelie down 7th Avenue
  • 1 0
 Yep, I'm a few hours south, and we seem to have gotten all of May's rain at once last night. I did a lot of drainage work on my local trails in April though, and at least now that will get a proper test.
  • 2 1
 Most people in and around Vancouver, BC ride in all conditions, problem is some trails can handle it and some can't, i find it very selfish for people to go out and rut up someones hard work because they just have to ride whenever they want. When its raining (quite often here for three of the seasons) i only ride rock armoured trails or jump on zwift for a work out, people that ride dirt in the rain think they are hard core and probably never put in a day digging to make up for it.
  • 1 0
 Here's a useful tool for predicting if the trails will be wet or not. As granular as by the hour, all the way up to three days: www.iweathernet.com/total-rainfall-map-24-hours-to-72-hours. Once you zoom in you can literally click on any particular spot on the map and get to-the-tenth inch data.
  • 4 0
 I heard the PROs in BC always consider the trails to be dry....
  • 3 0
 Rain improves the trails in Florida. “Just rained at Graham. Better get out there whiles it’s good!”
  • 1 0
 same here
  • 3 0
 Athens, a place you can use dry lube all year long. But serious ly the trails are so slippery.
  • 1 0
 Trails are already concrete, thank God it’s raining tomorrow
  • 2 0
 He made a solid point about the races riding in the rain...races never seem to be postponed and seem to inevitably leave the trail 2’ wider afterward.
  • 4 1
 I ride indoors, outside is too scary.
  • 1 0
 Just moved from Vancouver to Kelowna. Here they are too dry! We ask ourselves the opposite! When is the rain going to come? Are the trails a little wet? Lol
  • 2 0
 was there a bell on his bars?
  • 18 3
 That’s the Covid bell. North Americans who have/have had Covid are mandated to ring a bell wherever they go (like the lepers in medieval Europe and Middle East). Unlike the lepers, they’re not required to shout “unclean, unclean” to further warn passers-by.

Since it wouldn’t be practical to ring a bell while riding, they’ve come up with the solution of attaching the bell to the bars.
  • 5 0
 It’s a bylaw here in Edmonton
  • 2 0
 @ODubhslaine: I think you're mixing that up with the grave-diggers who wander the streets with carts, crying "Bring out your dead!"
  • 1 0
 It would be so funny... if it weren't so true. As is, it just makes me want to cry.
  • 2 0
 Looking dry and sunny here for a while :-)
  • 2 0
 That’s gold Jerry. Gold!
  • 1 0
 san diego. "are the trails wet enough to ride or will i fall off of a cliff "
  • 3 0
 E-town Representin
  • 1 0
 Parts of my trails are flooded. I can vouch, water was up to my knees today Smile
  • 2 0
 Southern California day after the rain rides are the best.
  • 1 0
 in wet weather I like to stay at home. and in autumn, when it's damp and cold, I only skate when it's dry.
  • 1 0
 Short and VERY sweet! Thanks!
  • 1 0
 So much truth in this jest.
  • 1 0
 Extreme drought in AZ... Praying for rain to knock down the dust
  • 1 2
 It rained all day yesterday. Half the day today. Will be riding first thing tomorrow. If you do not skid and be dumb, there is nothing wrong with riding wet trails.
  • 1 0
 Story of Colorado front range this spring.
  • 2 1
 mud sweat n gears; baby!
  • 1 1
 There must be some more reasons than that.
  • 1 0
 Rain heheh
  • 1 0
 What's a dry trail?
  • 5 7
 Go ride. But if you do be sure you support your local club and/or volunteer to help maintain.

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