Tackling the Trails and getting time to ride with the winter we have had has not been the easiest of years. Its been great for our snow sports and optimal for the drought but trickier for trail time. Although,when you can swing it rain, snow or shine there is something to be said about the adventure of getting out on the trail in the wet rainy muddy conditions. It can be really really fun!
It has been a while since a winter like this has made its grand appearance in California. In some parts of the world rainy weather riding is a regular occurrence. For others from dryer climates it is a rarity. Never the less it can be super fun to get out there in the inclement weather and charge. The wet weather brings tacky grippy trails that are the “brown pow” of winter. Wet riding allows us to get absolutely filthy, and not get in trouble for it. The inner child comes out to play, and will guide you through those muddy banks and deep puddles. It can leave your cheeks sore from smiling from the adventure and adrenaline of the experience. Slippery wet trails can also help perfect those sweet stunts you’ve been working on. For the more reckless and experimental riders, you can get some fun sliding action done in the mud. Although be prepared for some potential unexpected wrecks from the unpredictable trails and hidden obstacles as well.
Although, there is a fine line though between sweet tacky fun wet riding and flooded thick muddy singletrack with extreme trail erosion. Before you head out for your ride check the trail conditions by calling the park ranger, or looking at the open space or park website. And, if need be head to a trail where the soil is less affected by the crazy excessive rain. Some dirt is more favorable in rain to ride then others. And a rule of thumb is if you are moving too much soil around it is a good sign to stop or relocate your ride.
A few years back when I was antsy to take my bike out in the thick of winter and out of the snow (where I live); I headed to a nearby trail system and had the stickiest messiest stuck in the mud ride of my life. After having my tires gridlocked from the thick clay I absolutely couldn’t go any further. Having to carry my bike back to the truck, power wash it to get the glue like mud off I realized that trail system was a no go in conditions like this.
It may take a few trial and errors, research, talking to others, but it is worth the effort regardless. Its about having fun. Its about being outside, and the adventure and overall experience. Don’t let the cloudy wet weather completely deter you. Let it motivate you to ride beyond your norm and to come home with a smile but grateful you have a hot shower awaiting.