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Trail Builder’s Paradise

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The Latest Trail Map

HydrocutMap

Here is the updated map that reflects the latest changes in the trail’s connectivity. Note that with these changes there aren’t any remaining two-way trails; they all now have ONE-WAY mandatory direction for cyclists. Also keep in mind that the trailhead maps are outdated; they aren’t correctly showing the connectivity of the Landfill side trails.

Please ask for a permission to use and reproduce the map.

Enjoy…

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Norco Demo Day – May 28

DemoDayNorco Demo Day is coming up! Join us on Wednesday, May28th from 5pm – 8pm at the Glasgow entrance for an evening of new bikes, trails, and bbq! Norco factory representatives will be on hand to answer any and all questions about the 2014 Norco line up, and there will be lots of brand new, 2014 Norco bikes to try out on your favourite trails! Been looking to try a carbon hardtail? Maybe a new 650b full suspension? This is YOUR night! Don’t forget your Helmet and pedals (there will be technicians available to install them for you.) This is always a fun, relaxing way to spend a Wednesday night, so we hope to see you there!

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Tree Clearing Finished

IMGP2313 IMGP2316 IMGP2318 IMGP2320 IMGP2321Thanks to buddies Raf and Jim, all the trails are finally cleared from fallen trees, for now at least, till the next wind storm.

Please give it a day or two for the trails to dry up after the latest rain.

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The Gravel Causeway

GravelLevyThis trail section would be under 2′ of water right now, if not for the beautiful gravel causeway that was built last year. Without it, half of the Frankenstein would be cut off, completely inaccessible. Next time you run into Clay, thank him for solving the problem and making the project happen!

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The Latest Trail Counter Data

TrailDataOur Data Man Marty has been diligently tending to the trail counter machines and meticulously collecting, analyzing and displaying the data. This gives a clear picture about how the trail users’ visits, through the two trailheads, are effected by the weather conditions.

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The First TT Result of The 2014 is In!

RickVandermayRick Vandermey has thrown thrown down the gauntlet for the 2014 TT’s!  He is humble in saying that his “leisurely” pace made it more like throwing down an argyle sock than a gauntlet.

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King Street Cycles Wednesday Evening Rides

2014 season King Street Cycles Wednesday Evening MTB Rides starting Wednesday, April 30! Sign up now with KSC ride club to be sure your ready! Every penny of the $20 fee goes to the trails!

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Monkey Boy is Freed

monkey-boy-1 monkey-boy-2 monkey-boy-3After the first shift of fallen tree removers was chased out by falling night, Mike Weinmann couldn’t stand the left behind nasty cluster in a fast section of the Monkey Boy, so he took care of it regardless of the darkness.

There is still an easy to cut little tree on the Bootleg, if someone wants to help with that. We are also waiting to hear is anyone has seen fallen trees on the Adam’s Run?

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All The Trails are Ready for Riding!

IMG_8436 IMG_8441 IMG_8443 IMG_8446 IMG_8447_ IMG_8447 IMG_8448 IMG_8450 IMG_8451 IMG_8453 IMG_8454 IMG_8456 IMG_8459We’ve spent 6 hours on clearing deadfall today. There was so much to do, that after a while we’ve stopped counting and taking pictures.

Frankenstein has been cleared form four impassable clusters of fallen trees, except for one log near the and, that will need hiking in with a two man saw. All other trails are cleared, with only few remaining logs on Bootleg and Monkey Boy trails, and maybe Adam’s Run, which we’ve ran out of time to check.

All the trails are dry, aside from the very few minor wet spots. Enjoy while it last till the next rain.

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Drying Out The Trails

IMG_8413 IMG_8419 IMG_8423 IMG_8424 IMG_8425 IMG_8429 IMG_8434This long weekend was a battle against the persistently wets spots on the Glasgow side of the trails. The worst areas were solved with reroutes, culverts and drainage canals.

The trails are in a pretty good shape now, and most of them are ready for riding. Enjoy!

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Most of The Trails Are READY!

Glasgow side if fine for riding, except Frankenstein, which still has some wet spots and fallen trees.

The Snyder’s side is usually better, so it is assumed it too will be fine, but please use discretion and stay away if it turns out that some trails still need drying time.

Soft ground is okay, as long as the tires are not making ruts…

Enjoy!

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Exciting Notice!

ExcitingNoticeForest thawing in-progress: Summer is coming!

Warning:

Your favourite trails are at risk of rutting from shoes and tires.

You Can Help!

Please Stay off the single-track trails until the ground dries up.

 

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Many Good Friendships Have Been Lost Over The Trails

IMGP2231Trail building is such a passionate thing, that heated arguments often erupt over different opinions. Fortunately the forest always somehow does its magic and makes the best solution win, having us end up with better and better trails, like this latest tweak to the Stinky Girl, that was done tonight by the two clowns from the picture.

 

IMGP2232The rocks are magical too. We could actually hear one calling us to dig it out and place it as a perfect step-off from the new long boardwalk on the Stinky Girl trail.

 

 

 

 

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Life Is Not Fair

IMGP2144IMGP2155IMG_8397After Raf was on his third day of arduous fallen tree clearing, Igor took the fun task of opening up a sweet new section on the Stinky Girl Trail.

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The 2014 Season Near-Opening, Brought To You By Raf Rider!

IMG-20140410-00579 IMGP2122 IMGP2135The snow will eventually melt and the trails will dry up. Once that happens, the riding will be possible only thanks to Raf’s opening the paths for us. Last evening he was still there toiling away with his saw and axe…

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Withdrawal Syndrome

HCTM 140408 - 02 HCTM 140408 - 03 HCTM 140408 - 04 HCTM 140408 - 05 HCTM 140408 - 08 HCTM 140408 - 10 HCTM 140408 - 12 HCTM 140408 - 13 HCTM 140408 - 16IMGP2101 M SMThe trails are nowhere near ready for riding. Raf is treating his withdrawal anxiety with the next best thing to trail riding: the working on the trails! He cleared the Kaitlyn’s Switchbacks from deadfall, and he started working on the exciting changes that have been planned for this trail.

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Nice Weather Doesn’t Mean Nice Trails

No kittens will be killed in the Hydrocut, but the mud-riders will inexorably attract much bad karma onto themselves. Ride in mud and be sure that you and your dried up ruts will be cursed every time other decent riders will have to ride over them…

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The Original Sweet Street

PeteronCatwal02 PeterOnCatwalk01This is wat the Sweet Street was like near the end of the nineties. The trails and features were built with much enthusiasm and offered notoriety and excitement, but they were too extreme and unsustainable to be accepted by the landowners. They did however serve a great purpose in acting like a catalyst, sling-shooting the onset of the Hydrocut’s development into a proper, sanctioned trail park that we enjoy today.

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It’s Coming! This Saturday, April 5th is our 10th Anniversary Sale!

Spring is here just in time, so be sure to check out the King Street Cycles’ amazing deals!

 

They will have 3 “door crashing” feature bikes:

charger9.2

Norco Charger 9.2, reg. $1120.00 sale day $879


indie3

Norco Indie 3, reg. $699.00 sale day $549

 rideau

Norco Rideau, reg.$549.00 sale day $449

 

There will be resentatives from Norco, BMC, Surly, Chromag, Camelbak, Giro on hand to answer any and all questions you might have, as well as some great balloon-popping prizes for the first 50 customers!

Andy is personally really excited to be releasing a brand new, special edition King Street Cycles/BRFC design shirt! He collaborated with one of favorite local artists, Jon Johnson of BRFC Design and come up with a very limited (Only 20!) hand screened, super soft, heathered T-shirt that will be released the morning of the sale! First come first served…

“We are so proud to be celebrating 10 years in this fantastic city and we couldn’t be here without you; the riders that make this such a great region for cycling, so this year we are adding one extra special raffle prize: a brand new bike! Just come in to the store and fill out a ballot on our sale day to enter, for a chance to win a 2014 Norco City Glide 7! We will announce the winner Friday April 11th.”

The usual BBQ will be hosted as well, with all proceeds being donated to a great C.P. charity, so bring an appetite!

 “It all promises to be a super fun day here at king Street Cycles, so plan to swing by and join in the fun. We can’t wait to see you here!”

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Raf Is Still At It!

IMG_8385 IMG_8387 IMG_8389 IMG_8390The hardest part of the latest job, was to open the iced in toolshed gate. Raf’s motivation is quite impressive, cause after five months of deep snow cover it is hard to imagine that it will all eventually retreat and reveal the trails.

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Some of Us Didn’t Forget The Trails

IMGP2027 IMGP2030 IMGP2031This exceptionally long, cold and snowy Winter was no deterrence for Raf, who never stopped biking and maintaining the trails!

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10 Years of King Street Cycles!

8345623061_f7a5267fc6_bThe Hydrocut’s important sponsor: King Street Cycles is celebrating 10 years here in the region’s cycling community. Help them celebrate on Saturday, April 5th at their 10 year Anniversary Sale! Once again, everything in the store will be on sale, from 10 – 70% off! There will be representative’s form Norco, Rocky Mountain and Surly Bikes on hand to answer any and all questions about exciting new products. There’ll be several feature bikes, and balloon-popping draw prizes all day long! Be sure to stay tuned for more details as April 5th approaches, as the feature bikes and some great sale pricing in the days to come will be posted. This promises to be a fun day for all involved, so mark the calendar and stop by to take advantage of some amazing deals.

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Parking Troubles

MikesJeepBe wary about all the snow on the parking lots. Even Jeeps get stuck!

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Double R Steel

Last Fall’s trail work was mostly about filling in mud holes with gravel. Then the season got wrapped up with some major rerouting of trails through a swampy area, which required much gravel. The 2014 season will start with projects that will need even more gravel.

All that gravel came form Scott Kalbfleisch and the good people from Double R Steel. On top of donating the gravel, Scott has been going into awful lot of trouble to deliver and dump the gravel onto stashes all over the trail system.

Scott’s Double R Steel Truck can often be noticed at one of the Hydrocut’s parking lots. This means Scott is out riding or working on the trails. It is too bad that most people will not notice all his work, cause the result is simply a nicer and dryer trail surface, without anything unusual to be noticed.

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The Landfill Side Ice Storm Cleanup

IMG_8244The whole Landfill Side, except Frankenstein, has been cleared from the fallen trees.

By the way, the trails are rideable, but they would be even better if more fat-bikes rode them.

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Ice Storm Cleanup Progres

IMGP1765_Edited IMGP1766_Edited IMGP1768_EditedSo far the Multi-Purpose Trail, Creepy Corner, Kamikaze adn Adam’s Run trails have been cleared from the trees fallen by the ice storm. Please report other fallen trees, to help us organize the further cleanup.

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Quality Time

IMAG0164 IMAG0166 IMAG0167 IMAG0168 IMAG0172 IMAG0173 IMAG0174The Jessica / Kamikaze trails were in a complete mess from the ice storm. The Osborne family (Noel, Josh and Eli) decided to clean it up.

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The Ice Storm

059 079unnamed-2unnamed-1We don’t seem to be able to catch a break from cutting and removing fallen trees. The ice storm has made a havoc on the trails; leaving a lot of fallen trees to be cleared away. On the other hand, this is a perfect opportunity/excuse to get out for some good exercise in the outdoors. We are looking for helpers; ether to join in on our outings, or to go out on their own to do the clearing.

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New Trail Connectivity

Earlier in November we’ve considerably changed the way some of the Landfill Side Trails are connected to each other. The beginning of the Stinky Girl has been moved from the end of Kaitlyn’s Switchbacks to the end of Andy’s BBQ Run, like shown on  the Trail Map.

In Springtime a “twin” of Andy’s BBQ Run will be created, to allow separate one-way connections between the Glasgow parking and the rest of the trails. Rokin’ Ronnie will be the way out, starting from the end of the Double Bypass. Kaitlyn’s Switchbacks and Andy’s BBQ Run will become one merged trail, starting at the gate. This brings up a question: should this blended trail’s name be Kaitlyn’s Switchbacks or Andy’s BBQ Run, or something completely new? Please comment with any preferences or suggestions…

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Grand Plans

IMG-20131208-00501IMG-20131208-00498Further trail improvements are in the making. The Andy’s BBQ Run is soon to cease to be the last bit of a two-way traffic trail in the Hydrocut. In the springtime the twin of this trail will be constructed, to offer a completely separate way in and out from the the Glasgow entrance. In addition to the convenience of eliminating the oncoming traffic, some other cool improvements are to be expected as well.

 

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10 Things Every Mountain Biker Should Have Done

10 Things Every Mountain Biker Should Have Done from Filme von Draussen on Vimeo.

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Trail Shirts

TrailShirtsSome awesome MTB trail shirt images are circulating on Facebook. The awesomest one on the picture is the one for our Frankenstein of course! We’ll advertise the source for the sale, as soon as we find it.

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If a tree falls in a forest…

IMG-20131201-00489IMGP1725… and no one is around to take a picture of it being removed, will the trail users be aware of how much ongoing care goes into the trail maintenance and keeping the forest accessible at all times?






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More And More People Keep Coming to The Hydrocut!

According to our latest trail usage data, in fair weather we often hit days with about 300 visitors in a single day! We had weeks with over 1000 visitors, and months with over 4000 visitors!

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More Trees

IMAG0145 IMAG0148 IMAG0153Noel is the latest victim of the compulsive-obsessive Tending to The Trails Disorder. He was out clearing fallen trees for the third nigh in a row. The Jake’s Attack, Jake’s Breakaway and Dead Camel Bend are all passable now. After the Monkey Boy, Scrambler and Twister get cleared, the Pines Side will be finished. We have no reports yet about what needs to be done on the Landfill side…

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Fat Bike Demo!

Andy_131120_214454-800x597This Sunday, November 24, come test ride something different! Check out the 2014 lineup of Surly Fat Bikes! Surly will have bikes on hand from 11:00am to 3:00pm, at the Glasgow Entrance! Come try on of these crazy monsters!







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Tree Cleaning Continues…

IMAG0128 IMAG0134 IMAG0135 IMAG0136 IMGP1608 IMGP1622 IMGP1633Raf and Noel continued with clearing the fallen trees deep into the Tuesday night. Twister, Jessica and Kamikaze are all cleared now, in addition to the Creepy Corner, Bootleg Trail, Adam’s Run and Sweet Street that were done the night before.

Any takers for looking after the Monkey Boy, Scrambler, Jake’s Trails and Dead Camel Bend? Also, can someone check out the situation on the Landfill side?

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The Night Shift

IMAG0127IMAG0125While the trail riding has suffered from a long stretch of bad wether, the trail maintenance never stops. The recent storm’s fallen trees were cleaned out from the Creepy Corner, Bootleg Trail, Adam’s Run and Sweet Street.

Please send in reports if you find fallen trees on other trails.






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The November Trail Day

photo-1photo-4b IMG_8117IMG_00000088 IMG_8128IMG_8126IMG-20131103-00471Wilmot-20131102-03120Wilmot-20131102-03118IMG-20131102-03127IMG_8135IMG_8136IMG_8139IMG_8130IMGP1376IMGP1383 IMGP1379 IMGP1377IMG_8123 IMG_8121 IMG_8120It was amazing to see so many (too many to count) volunteers come out on a rainy day and tirelessly do back breaking work on the flooded ground and and in deep slippery mud.

Incredibly much was accomplished:

 

1. Tool shed moved to a new location, by hands

2. Old trail section closed and replaced with a sweet new one; also greatly improving the trail connectivity

3. 120 feet of boardwalks delivered by a crane and then moved and laid down by hands

4. The Andy’s BBQ Run trail rescued from drowning in mud, by cutting drainage and building up with countless wheelbarrow loads of gravel

Now we need to be patient and let the ground dry out before we rush out for a test ride 😉

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Moving The Shed

IMG_8112 IMG_8114Doe to the Landfill expansion we have to move our tool shed. The base for the new spot is ready.

There will be quite a workload for the trail move next weekend; we are hoping to get as many volunteers as possible.






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Trail Day – Sat. Nov. 2

StinkyGirlIMG_8076The little corner of the bush at the beginning of the Stinky Girl is scheduled for cutting down in November, for the expansion of The Landfill site. This is quite distressing, but there didn’t seem to be any way for us to stop it from happening. Apparently this was planned a long time ago, before the existence of the trails. The good news is that we were assured that this is the last phase of the Landfill’s expansion, with no more intrusions into the forest to be expected.

The Stinky Girl trailhead and beginning has to be moved to a different spot. The new layout will actually have a much better connectivity, with the addition of some thrilling descents and a long boardwalk feature.

It would be quite a pity not to take part in such a significant trail change! We’ll need a lot of help with some difficult trail building and the installing of 9 boardwalk sections through a swamp.

Please consider volunteering to help from 8:30 till 12:30 pm. As customary, the shift finishes with a King Street BBQ lunch, not far from the construction site. To help us plan the work and the food amount, the participants are asked to signup by email ahead of time. If possible bring water proof boots, a shovel and a rake.

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The War on Mud Holes Continues….

IMG_8104A weekend ago the mud holes on Bypass Trails got eliminated. This weekend the entire Stinky Girl on this side of the boardwalk was taken care off. The mud holes were so many; too difficult to keep count, but they were all taken care of with gravel fill or slight trail reroutes. The Frankenstein is next on the list.

With such repairs the trails will quickly dry and be ready for riding soon after the rains, but unfortunately many people are inpatient to allow even a shortest drying period, so they will continue to create new mud holes and the war will never end. Even in the most awful trail conditions over the weekend, some people were seen happily slipping and sliding all over the place on their mud covered bikes…

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Thanksgiving

IMG_8080IMG_8078When reminding yourself about what to be thankful for, don’t forget the Hydrocut forest; a precious piece of wildernes that is still surviving so close to the sprawling city.

The most appropriate way to celebrate this, was to use the long weekend for a trail work binge. Many mud holes were filled in with gravel and some sweet berms were built.

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Trail Day CANCELLED!

We’ve just got informed about a new expansion of the Landfill into the trails. Not much trail will be lost, but the effected area is exactly where the Trail Day projects were planned for. It is too late now for change of plans and to prepare a different project, so the scheduled October 5th Trail Day had to be cancelled.

The area in question is the little square bush lot at the beginning of the Stinky Girl Trail, and the clearing after it (see the diagram). The forest cutting is scheduled for the beginning of November, and the pond in the clearing will be made sometime later. In the meantime we need to remove our tool shed and reroute the trails. At this time we are not sure yet where can the Stinky Girl be rerouted to. Judging from their map/diagram, only the swampy, low lying areas will be spared, thus the Stinky Girl Trail will have to stay clear from the remaining trees and hopefully find a dry alternative.

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Good TT Times

IMG04436-20130920-0128Recently there has been some impressive breaking of personal records in the Hydrocut Time Trials competitions. Is it simply good training and fitness peaking, or the trail conditions were ideal? Either way, there is only a short window of time to chase glory, before fallen leaves impede the speed.

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The Funday Was Fun

1239330_656119857741359_543186685_oThe cold and damp weather couldn’t dampen the fun we had on the Funday. Unfortunately the Scramble Run had to be cancelled doe to the muddy trails, but there were still good burgers, draw prizes, and new edition Hydrocut shirts to buy. It was hard to choose from all the test bikes that McPhail’s, Ziggy’s and King Street Cycles had available for testing. Yours truly fell in love with his test bike, and will most likely end up purchasing it…

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Getting Lost In The Dark With Igor

NightCrossRideThe Fall time’s dwindling of the road rides and the Hydrocut access interruptions from rain and snow, are just an opportunity for a different kind of riding: The Tuesday Evening Cross Rides!

These rides are a pure adventure, brought on by straying off the beaten path in search of hidden trails and gravel roads, from an altered perspective under the cloak of night. There is no higher motivator than camaraderie and competitive stubbornness, that’s unyielding to the weather conditions. Along with building true cyclist character, the persistent riding through Winter is the BEST way to keep in shape and come out strong in the Spring. Most importantly, this is a salvation from the insufferable torture of indoor training!

Starting from Tuesday, October 1st, the rides leave at 6:30 pm from the St. Jacobs Outlet Mall parking. For insurance reasons, a membership in King Street Cycles or Waterloo Cycling Club is required. Cyclocross bikes are ideal, but mountain bikes can work too. Lights are mandatory. Fenders must be used in rain, snow, or wet ground conditions. Weather appropriate clothing is important, although the steady pace and the mostly sheltered routes make the cold surprisingly well tolerable. The trips usually last 2 – 3 hours. The pace is very subdued, till sometime in mid January when purposeful training starts taking shape, incrementally increasing the intensity. People are not left behind, but if stragglers have to be waited for too often, they should shorten their trips or organize a second slower group.

Looking forward to record numbers of participants! Please comment bellow with questions and/or intentions to join in.

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Yet Another Tree

photoThe cutting of fallen trees seems to have turned into a full time job. Last night a big cluster of thick branches had to be removed from the beginning of Sweet Street. The leftover logs were arranged into a nice log pile.

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The Chain Gang

CoolHandLuke CoolHandLukeGangThe chain gang toiled deep into the night again; moving seven full truckloads of gravel to four stashes along the hydro corridor. The big mud quagmire near the the exit, along the railway, was also filled with gravel.

The gravel stashes will be used for filling the mud holes that keep appearing on the trails. All this work wouldn’t be necessary of course, if people were to be more patient and hold off their riding, just a day or two after the rains. It is a great injustice that all the “chain gang convicts” were innocent, while the real perpetrators keep going free and unpunished.

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Trail Day – Sat. Oct.5

StinkyBermIt’s time for the early Fall Trail Day! We’ll be gathering at the Glasgow parking at 8:30 am, and finishing in time for the King Street Cycles’ BBQ lunch at 12:30 pm.

The volunteers should bring their own shovels an rakes if possible. Let us know if you can come, to help us prepare for the exact number of participants.

This Trail Day will be all about berms. Appropriate spots will be picked to replicate the success of the recently created berms at the bridge in the Stinky Girl gully. Berms are lot of fun to ride, but they also help reduce erosion by allowing riders to get through corners without braking.

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The Flying Culvert

The falling apart green culvert on the Andy’s BBQ Run got replaced with a visually less intrusive black one. The jagged rocky ride over the the old culvert has been turned into a smooth surface. Enjoy, and let us how you like it…

Quality Control Inspector from Ronnie on Vimeo.

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Gateman Milloy

gatemanmilloyThe good people from Gateman Milloy just delivered a full big truckload of culverts to our stash in the forest!

Using culverts has been proven to be an excellent way to dry out wet areas on the trails. The Gateman Milloy’s stash will allow us to take the war against mud to a whole new level.

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Trail Toll

IMGP1231 IMGP1232 IMGP1234 IMGP1236The Hydrocut Trails’ riders should always be prepared and expect to be randomly stopped and asked for a trail toll, just like these guys from last night that had to “pay” for their passage with aiding the removal of big fallen trees.

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Time to Ride!

The trails are perfect right now. If you haven’t been out lately, this is what you are missing:

 

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Gaelen is on a Mountain Bike!

20130504_Dragons_Circuit_Gaelen1Gaelen Merritt – the absolute shining star of road racing in the Waterloo region, finally got a mountain bike. On his first Hydrocut ride he did a full lap in 1:27:05!

Follow his progress here, and use the opportunity (which won’t last long) to try to clock a faster time than the fastest cyclist in the town.

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“Top mountain bike trail in our own backyard”

SportsX-logo-w-slogan+mwsA local sports magazine published an article about the Hydrocut Trails.

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The Hydrocut Popularity Reaching New Records!

TrailUsageChart_130904Our latest trail usage data has revealed new records. We had days with 350+ visitors in a single day and an average of 1300+ in a week!

More detailed data can be found here.

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Funday at The Hydrocut

HydrocutMapTShirt

Mark your calendars! The fourth annual Trail Funday and Scramble is just around the corner. Come on out to the Glasgow Trailheadon Sunday, September 22 from 11 am to 3 pm and show your support for the Hydro Cut Trails. Highlights this year include:

– Prizes and swag

– A new, limited edition 2013 Hydrocut tee
– A barbecue from King Street Cycles
– Demo bikes from McPhail’s, King Street Cycles and Ziggy’s
– The first annual Fun Day Trail Scramble, an invigorating course with a Le Mans-style start. All and any WCC members are welcome to participate. Start time: high noon, entry fee $2 (Registration closes at 11:45- don’t be late!). There will, of course, be prizes!

Be sure to bring cash for lunch or simply to make a donation! Proceeds go toward maintaining and expanding the trails.

We look forward to seeing you there! Special thanks, as always, to our local cycle shops for their generous support.

 

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Ride, Build, Ride…

Santa Cruz Bantam from santa cruz bikes on Vimeo.

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Ride The Rocks

There are many thrilling rock features all over the Hydrocut. Here’s how much fun it is to master the riding over the most difficult ones:

On the Rocks from Ronnie on Vimeo.

 

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Jack’s TT

JacksTTNot even 10 years old and did his first ENTIRE Hydrocut lap, in only 2:30:00 time!

Timetrialists, saver your glory while you can, before you get run over by the upcoming star.

 

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The Tree Cutting Never Stops

IMG_7992After so many fallen trees in this year’s storms, we though that all the trees that could fall, did fall already, and that we’d get a break from fallen tree removing, for the next little while at least. But the trees keep falling, so it is becoming obvious that this lumberjack business will be an ongoing perpetual occupation.

Over the weekend the Stinky Girl and the Back 40 trails were free from the fallen trees. While we were at it, an ugly shortcut on Rockin’ Ronnie was was blocked off too.

The trails are superb right now; it would be a pity not to ride them as much as possible while the perfect conditions last.

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No Earphones

Rule #62 – No earphones: “Cycling is about getting outside and into the elements and you don’t need to be listening to Queen or Slayer in order to experience that. Immerse yourself in the rhythm and pain, not in whatever 80′s hair band you call “music”.”

On the trails, the same goes for running.

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2nd Annual Show & Shine

Show & Shine_pstr 2013 V3What is the point of having a beautiful two wheeled stead, but limit its exposure just to few people that might see it for a split second on the trails? Why not display it in a show for the world to see it and appreciate it, and maybe even get a prize for it?

Here’s the opportunity: in the 2nd Annual Uptown Waterloo SHOW & SHINE! Take pride in your ride on August 21st, 20013 at Waterloo Public Square from 6:30pm till 8:30. Categories include MTB, Road, BMX, Pre-1980 Dekerf. For more information contact show-n-shine@live.ca .

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The Hydrocut on Google

HydrocutGoogleIt is on Google Maps, therefore it exists! There is no going back now, it is permanently etched into the all-knowing oracle.

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Fermon Construction

IMG_7964 IMG_7974 IMG_7976 IMG_7979Remember the awfully rutted, bumpy, muddy parking lot at the Glasgow trailhead? And the nearly impassable deep gouge through the gate? It is easy to get spoiled and forget how bad things were in the past.

In July of 2013, a great effort was made to reconstruct the parking lot by carefully grading the surface and covering it with a layer of gravel. All around the parking’s edges a trench was dug out and filled with river stone for proper drainage. The hollow, water collecting spots at the gate were also filled with gravel. An additional gate was opened and a stone wall erected, to separate the entrance and the exit; greatly improving the traffic flow and the kiosk/map visibility.

It took multiple days of labour, heavy machinery use, and large quantities of material, to get this job done. All of it was donated by the good people from Fermon Construction and their mountain biking friends!

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The Pines’ Connection to The Hydro Corridor

HydroExit IMG_7967 IMG_7969 IMG_7971The recently created connection between the Multi-Purpose Trail loop in the Petersburg Forest (The Pines) and the Hydro corridor, is now clearly marked with signs and shown in dashed orange on the Trail Map. This path is in the North-West (upper-left on the map) corner of the Petersburg Forest.

Over the weekend we’ve cleared some fallen trees and vegetation that was obstructing this path. We’ve also blocked off the old spontaneous shortcut across the Dead Camel Bend trail, that people used to access the Hydro corridor.

Like with any other trails, all the trail users are required to stay only on the designated paths and never create/use unauthorized shortcuts.

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JWS Woodworking & Design Inc.

6879383920_a4a3bb3c95_o7025476143_e67b6c28bb_oAll the 25 kilometres of the Hydrocut trails are actually packed into a very small area. One of the ways we were able to utilize the limited space so well, was by using many bridges and boardwalks for getting over wet and swampy areas that would otherwise be impenetrable. Most of these very useful structures were built with donated labour from our longtime supporter JWS Woodworking and Design Inc. Their superbly crafted, beautiful creations will be appreciated and enjoyed for many years to come.

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New Signage

IMG_7929 IMG_7931 IMG_7935 IMG_7939 IMG_7942As is to be expected with unpaid work, we like to complain a lot about it, but the last night’s project had the hardest and toughest task for one man. Raf, with only little help from Igor, carried three heavy 9′ steel sign posts from the Snyder’s parking, all the way to the farthest corner of the forest. Personal witnessing is the only way to believe it!

As usual, the job stretched into the night, but now we have a full set of new kiosk signs and maps. The recently made connection between the Petersburg Forest Multi-Purpose trail and the Hydro corridor has also been properly marked.

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Simpson Print

SimpsonLogoA big part of Hydrocut’s success comes from how well the whole trail system is laid-out, connected and marked with signs and onsite maps. The Simpson Print has been our kind supplier and donor of all the signage from the very beginning. They have the best technical ability to produce durable, colourfast prints, that can withstand the exposure to the elements. Very appropriately, Simpson Print has the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, ensuring the highest environmental standards in the manufacturing process. They’ve also always been very prompt in satisfying the many sign orders, that are often required doe to the ever expanding and changing nature of the Hydrocut Trails.

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Virtual Tour

VirtualTourWhile waiting for the trails to dry up enough for riding, enjoy a virtual ride of the (somewhat outdated) full Hydrout lap. Here’s also a video of the (also somewhat outdated) full lap ride with a a map overlay, always showing the exact position of the rider.

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The Bride is Repaired

IMG_7923 IMG_7926 IMG_7928This exceptionally rainy Summer was hard on the end of the Bride trail. It took two outings and countless wheelbarrow loads of gravel to fill all the mud holes in that area. As the gravel settles over time, some touching up might be required, but for now the problem has been eliminated.

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Break The Rules If You Dare

IMG-20130728-00328 IMG-20130728-00331Some kind of a trail work crew is nearly ever-present on the trails, especially when mud makes the riding inadvisable. The crew from the pictures was clearing the overgrown grass on the Stinky Girl yesterday. Despite their benign, friendly appearance, these trail guardians are not to be taken lightly; getting caught when riding in mud, can be made very unpleasant by their piercing, judgemental, accusatory looks…

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All Done!

IMG_2419_2 IMG_2422_2 IMG_2424_2 photoThe insanity is over, for now at least, till the next storm.

We’ve been asking the forest managers not to do the usual thinning the forest, to let it mature instead, so we can enjoy and appreciate an unspoiled old forest environment. We’ve got what we asked for: a forest full of big old trees that keep falling with every storm.

A crew of 10 managed last night to finally clear all the massive deadfall from the Glasgow (Landfill) side. Keep in mind that we are not allowed to use chainsaws, so everything was done by hand! As hard as doing so much work is, it is fun too; it makes one feel powerful and close to the forest. The best part is getting to love these magnificent trees, and having pride in allowing them natural deaths.

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King Street Cycles

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Way back in 1997 and 1998, Andy, the King Street Cycles‘ owner, was one of the kids that created the first single-track trails in the Hydrocut. Those first shorter incarnations of Adam’s Run and Sweet Street was all that the Hydrocut had, till the 2001, when few trail building enthusiasts started adding more trails and slowly shaping the fragments into a thought out trail system. Very soon though they reached the maximum capacity of what a small group of people can do. Then in 2004 Andy came back and raised the Hydrocut phenomenon to the next level. His idea to organize official Trail Days, and support them with King Street Cycles BBQ lunches, started attracting more volunteers, empowering us to tackle grandiose projects, at a scale unimaginable in the early days. The established routine of 2-3 Trail Days per year has served us immeasurably well.

In addition to feeding the trail workers, the King Street Cycles store is the base for the trail management meetings, and a hub for the local MTB community; the best place to go to for all the latest Hydrocut Trails related info and gossip.

Through periodically organizing successful Hydrocut fundraising events, the King Street Cycles has also been a regular contributor to the trail maintenance budget.

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Crazy Lumberjack Nights

IMG_2413 IMG_2416 IMG-20130722-00315 IMGP0947 IMGP0948 IMGP0954 IMGP0956Last night we had 21 people spread all over the trails, franticly clearing the fallen trees. The Pines (Snyder’s) side is completely clean now, but the Landfill (Glasgow) side still has a lot more to be done.

We are trying to get organized for getting a work crew out tonight (Tuesday). We’ll need volunteers and group leaders. The departure should happen at 6:00pm from the Glasgow parking, or the workers can be found later, starting from the upper Stinky Girl and from there following the proper riding order. Please let us know if you can help.

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Recognizing The Friends of The Hydrocut

We’ve started a page for recognizing people and companies who make extraordinary contributions to our beloved Hydrocut Trails.

Scott SimpsonThe first such donor is our webmaster, the Watsys company. Thanks to them, we have this perfect tool for promoting and organizing the Hydrocut community. Scott Simpson, the Watsys’s owner, has had many years of active involvement with the development and maintenance of the Hydrocut. Scott’s love of mountain biking and the Hydrocut Trails, his intimate knowledge and understanding of their history, issues and potential, combined with his unsurpassed web/social media developer expertise, is a crucial ingredient of our success.

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Wind Storm Damage, What a Mess!

IMGP0908IMGP0898 IMG-20130721-00311The recent storm has made a havoc in the trails. Since Friday we had crews clearing up the many fallen trees, and there is a lot more to be done. The next crew is heading out tonight (Monday) from the Snyder’s parking at 6:00pm. Please feel invited to join us. Bring your own handsaw if possible.

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New Trail Counter Locations

IMG_0766 IMG_0768The trail users might notice our Trail Counters that have been repositioned to new locations that will provide easier access for data retrieval and maintenance. These gadgets collect useful information; very helpful in trail maintenance and advocacy efforts.

The following should be noted:

  • These are Trail Traffic Counters
  • There are no cameras or displays inside the enclosure
  • Data can be retrieved only with a separate, off-site docking station
  • Hardware inside these enclosures is useless without the docking station and license
  • All hardware and software is licensed to the Waterloo Cycling Club
  • Please no tampering or vandalism
  • The trail traffic data is used to support trail maintenance and advocacy
  • All the collected trail traffic data can be viewed at: waterloocyclingclub.ca or hydrocut.ca/trail-usage-data/
  • Please report any misuse/vandalism to: waterloocyclingclub.ca/contact
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Bad Mud / Good People

IMG_0765Few days ago our “trail warden” Marty encountered a group of cyclists, just about to ride from the Glasgow parking lot. He explained the reasons why they should not ride in the muddy conditions of that day, and asked them to let their conscience decide. Despite the fact they came all the way from Toronto, they decided to load up and not ride to save the trails.  They were also explained the website trail status posts where conditions can be checked before deciding to head to the Hydrocut.

To recognize this group for their decision Marty offered to take their photo, so we can post it on “the wall of fame” and he told them they are all welcome back.  Nice to see that people understand.

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The Latest Achievement

IMG_2364 IMG_2365 IMG_2367 IMG_2368 IMG-20130706-00291 photoThe last Trail Day was probably the hardest one we ever did. Basically we were wheelbarrowing countless loads of gravel, through the whole day in a sweltering heat! It was well worth it though, cause now we have a nice, solid, lasting solution for the Spring flood area in the Frankenstein. This means Frankenstein will now be ready for riding in Spring time, as oppose to having to keep it closed for weeks, or even a month, after all the other trails become rideable.

While we had all the eager labourers with their wheelbarrows, we used the opportunity to gravel-fill/repair many wet spots in the Stinky Girl and Bride trails. We also constructed a small wooden bridge over a problem spot in the Rockin’ Ronnie.

There is no better way to finish such a hard day of work, than with the King Street Cycles’ BBQ lunch!

More photos can be seen in the Trail Work Gallery.

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New Glasgow Parking Lot

BOV3NdMCUAAENyA.jpg-largeThe Glasgow parking lot is under reconstruction into a properly graded and gravel covered surface. The Glasgow gate will also be changed to having a separate entrance and exit gate.

All the work and material is graciously donated by the Fermon Construction.

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We Are Ready For The Trail Day

IMG-20130704-00280 IMG-20130704-00283Everything is ready for the tomorrow’s Trail Day. All these rocks will have to be wheelbarrowed over the distance shown in the pictures, and then some more. The trail riding is completely out for the weekend, because of all the rain, so what better to do than join us in the trail work.

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The Trail Condition Reports

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With all the recent rain we keep getting enquiries about the trail conditions. The latest reported conditions are always displayed in the “Trail Status” box in the upper righthand corner of the this website. The same reports also get Tweeted and posted on our Facebook Page.

Obviously, during a rainy period volunteers don’t bother going to The Trails, just to confirm that the rain results in mud, but as soon as some ground drying becomes possible, fresh reports will start arriving.

And once again, a reminder that the trail conditions depend from the ground saturation in the past, and not from the present weather. People often make a wrong assumption that a nice weather must mean good riding too.

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More Trail Day Prep Work

Kitchener-20130623-00233 Waterloo-20130623-00246 Waterloo-20130623-00257As our projects are becoming more and more complex, we often have to do preparation work, before the Trail Day. Everything must be ready for the final, larger crew of volunteers, to avoid making them wait and waste their time.

Clay and Elliot have spent this HOT Sunday on preparing the wire “fence” for bracing the retaining wall that’s to be built. This is work in progress, till July the 6th. For the meantime the construction site is well protected and marked (like shown in the pictures). Still, the riders are asked to use extra caution while riding through that area.

The rocks for the wall will be delivered next week; all we need now is more volunteers to sign up for helping us complete the project.

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Hydrocut Reviews

The Singletracks.com seems to be becoming the website to go to for finding mountain bike trails all over the world, and to read user reviews of the listed trails. All our trail building/maintenance volunteers should take pride in reading the many positive reviews about The Hydrocut. It is especially rewarding to see how many reviewers recognize that this is a well thought through, managed and maintained trail system.

It would be also nice if people would start writing reviews on the Hydrocut site’s own review page, to help the site audience get a better idea of what to expect from visiting The Trails. Be the first one to write a review!

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Frankenstein “Waterfront Development”

The prep work for the upcoming Trail Day has commenced. The ground has been flattened and prepared for the next stage of the build.

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Trail Day – Saturday, July 6

The annual Spring flooding of Frankenstein’s South-East corner is such a nuisance, especially at that time of the year when people are eager to end the long Winter abstinence from enjoying the trails. This problem could be dealt with by rerouting/shortening the trail, but that would be a cowardly defeat, so let’s attack it full-on instead! The plan is to build up the shore with loads of rocks and gravel, to create an elevated dry passage along the lake’s edge.

This grandiose project will require many helping hands. The crew will be departing from the Glasgow parking at 8:30am, and return by 12:30pm, for the traditional King Street Cycles BBQ lunch. Please RSVP via email or by commenting bellow. Bring your own shovel, rake and wheelbarrow if possible.

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The Stinky Bridge

After a crazy trail work evening, there are no old cobbled up log-bridges left in the whole Hydrocut! The last bridge to be modernized was the one across the creek in the Stinky Girl trail. In addition to installing the new bridge, we’ve reinforced the eroding shores with huge rocks and logs, to stop the creek from washing out the trail. The earlier washout forced a change in the new bridge’s position, so the approach – the downhill berm, hat to be changed and rebuilt as well. The new smoother/faster layout then had to be compensated by transforming the exit bend into an impressive berm.

Enjoy this new thrill, and please comment bellow to let us know how you liked it…

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Rocky Mountain Bicycles 2013 Demo Day

Wednesday, June 5th, Glasgow trailhead at the Hydrocut, from 5:30 -8:00pm – Come out and try the newest models from this legendary Canadian bike company! As usual, King Street Cycles will be cooking up the burgers and dogs, with all the proceeds going toward the Hydrocut Trails. Bring your helmet and your favourite pedals, and we’ll set you up with a sweet ride!

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2013 BikeKitchener Cycling Survey

Lets participate in the Cycling Survey to show the City of Kitchener how many cyclists they have and what are our cycling habits and needs.

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Help With Trail Conditions Updates

The Last Reported Trail Conditions can be found in the upper right corner of the Hydrocut website (see the pic). The emphasis is on the “Last”, meaning this is not a real-time update/reflection of the actual conditions in the field; it’s only a report from the volunteers’ latest opportunity to check the trail surface. Changed conditions will of course always develop in the field, but a new update can only appear after someone bothers to go to the trails and report the observed.

With more frequent and fresh updates, the reports can become more relevant, consulted and obeyed by the trail users. To achieve this, we need more volunteer helpers. Submitting reports is very quick and easy; a simple email (from a mobile phone) is automatically and immediately posted on the website. If you’d like to become one of the authorized reporters, please send an email or make a comment bellow.

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Trail Usage

This year’s trail riding season had an awful late start, but according to our trail usage data, a lot of riders did exercise commendable constraint to stay away until the conditions became better. It is also interesting to see how the entering from the Glasgow side significantly dropped during the wet period, while at the same time the entering from the Snyder’s side actually increased. This is exactly how it is supposed to work! More about the trail counters and the collected data can be found here.

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Rock Restauration

Everybody relax now; the rock has been brought back to its former glory (as close as possible).

This exercise was a throwback to few years back when we had to spend a full day and 8 cans of camouflage spray to cover up someone’s brilliant idea to define the trail by neon-orange spraying every tree along the Stinky Girl and Frankenstein.

A note to people with ideas and will to improve the trails: please contact us, we can give you useful tasks to do. It is much better to work on improvements that will be appreciated, instead of waisting your time and energy on unauthorized things that will always and promptly end up being neutralized anyway.

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Help Is Help Only If It’s Asked For

Obviously very many people take advantage to freely enjoy the easily accessible 25+ km of supreme single-track mountain biking trails, in a beautiful nature that is miraculously still preserved so close to a big sprawling city.

To any Hydrocut visitor it should be obvious that the trails are very well designed and taken care of, with a lot of thought and work invested into achieving a top level of quality. However, probably because this is a public place, managed an maintained with volunteer work only, some people give themselves the freedom to perform trail “improvements” on their own, as they deem fit. Such actions might be well meant, but are quite inconsiderate. Members of the public are gladly invited to participate in trail work, but ONLY through a proper coordination with the official supervisors, as described here.

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People Are Stupid!

Some jerk that’s unappreciative of the opportunity to enjoy nature so close to the city, has decided to “beautify” one of the Pointer Sisters Rocks on the Rockin’ Ronnie Trail, by painting it neon pink.

Or some brilliant parents have let loose their dimwitted spoiled brat child. The unfortunate kid’s brain is probably so overstimulated from computer games, he must have had an urge to liven up the “dullness” of the nature.

Or even worse; riding on this type of trails is so out of someone’s comfort zone, they thought they will make it “safer” by pointing out the “dangerous” rock. There are many other obstacles, similar to this one; they too will have to be painted then. Wouldn’t it be much simpler though if people would get the hell away from where they so clearly don’t belong?

Either way, here we are again, forced to spend time and money for reverting dumb actions, as if we don’t have better things to do…

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Good Times!

Swarms of cyclists have been taking advantage of the perfect trail conditions that we’ve been having lately. Just as a reminder of how good we have it, check out the pictures of the trails, taken ONLY a month ago!

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Fresh Map

The Hydrocut is in a permanent state of flux; the trails are constantly changing. All the trail changes are always promptly reflected on the Trail Map. The latest trail distances are updated as well.

Note the names beside the rock features. Please feel free to make suggestions for naming all the rocks without a name.

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Insect Traps

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has placed a number of insect traps in trees in the Landfill Woodlands portion of the Hydrocut Trails. These are flexible plastic funnel traps (like the one on the picture) that are suspended from tree branches and contain chemical insect lures. There will be a couple of students working for the CFIA who will be coming out on a regular basis throughout the summer to inspect the traps for undesirable insect critters. This is for research purposes and it shouldn’t be interfered with as the CFIA is collecting information about potential insect pests in our woodlands. They don’t want to end up with another Emerald Ash Borer situation, or worse, so they are trying find out what’s out there before it gets too far out of hand.

 

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Do Not Touch The Logs!

Last night (May 24 weekend Monday) we removed the big fallen tree from The Bride, just after the bridge with handrails. The log on the Stinky Girl was left in place, with a slight modification (shown on the picture). Whenever trees fall onto the trails, we try to keep them as naturally occurring hurdles. Such features make the trails more interesting and greatly help with skill development.

Recently we had problems with someone dumbing down and even removing the deliberately spared obstacles. The Hydrocut trail users need to understand that this is a well managed trail system, by highly experienced trail builders. All the trail maintenance, including the deadfall removal, is always very promptly done. The public is welcomed and encouraged to join in the work, but ONLY with authorization from the Waterloo Cycling Club’s Trail Committee.

Please contact us if you have ideas, comments, or wish to perform any type of trail work. Also please help us keep an eye on people that perform unauthorized work.

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The Quest for Supremacy

The games have begun and we have a steady stream of TT result submissions from competitors trying to outperform themselves and others. A new dominance niche can be found in doing double TT laps. Yesterday we had interesting results from Trevor who beat Morten in the first lap, but then Morten beat Trevor in the second lap. It would be nice to see people try to achieve consistent lap times.

For the ones that prefer skill over speed, there is an opportunity to prove themselves by mastering the riding over the rock features.

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Frankenstein Touchups

The changes to the Frankenstein exit have been wrapped up with installing the trail sign.

We’ve also blocked off the UNAUTHORIZED path that was created by people shortcutting from the flood in Frankenstein to the exit of the trail. Once such shortcuts get established, it is very hard to brake people’s habits. Combating shortcuts is of a paramount importance, cause otherwise we’d end up with a confusing maze of cris-crossing trails all over the place. It is a pity to divert our time on such unnecessary tasks, instead of spending it on improving the trail system.

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The First Trail Day in 2013

40+ volunteers showed up on the April 20th Trail Day, despite the cold and snow! This is the first Trail Day we ever had in snow, but from it we learned that the snow does not matter at all. All the people that signed up did show up, and then some others unexpected ones too. Coming unannounced is actually a problem cause it disturbs our planning, but at the end it all turned out great. We finished everything that was planned and had time to throw in an additional project as well.

The result:

– An impressive barrier erected to block an erosion and confusion creating shortcutting passage

– Adam’s Run made longer by adding some fun sections and features

– A path established from the Multi-Use Trail in the Pines to the hydro corridor; giving hikers and cyclists a proper connection passage and thus eliminating the need for unsanctioned and confusing shortcuts.

Most importantly, everyone had a great time, which is obvious from the shown pictures, and more pictures to come in the Gallery.

 

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Muddy Trails

This comes from our neighbouring trail system in Guelph; a perfectly worded wisdom that absolutely applies to the Hydrocut Trails as well:

The trails are extremely wet. Please respect the closure. Damage done to the trails during the wet season means we spend more time maintaining and less time improving the trail system. Spread the word.

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Trail Day – Saturday, April 20th

With all this snow and the never ending Winter, many riders might have forgotten the trails, but the Spring is bound to arrive sooner or later. We will celebrate by finalizing the Adam’s Run changes that were started a year ago. These changes have been well received and, according to the prevailing opinion, have transformed the Adam’s Run from the least popular to the favourite trail in the Hydrocut. The final touches that we are about to make will complete the Adam’s Run reincarnation. Opportunities to participate in something like this don’t come too often.

For those who are looking for an upper body workout, we have a project than involves lifting and moving heavy logs with our favourite tool: the log-movers. The logs will be used for barricading some shortcuts that spoil the neatness of our trail network. Creating an impenetrable barrier, and making a point with it, is sure to provide a most rewarding satisfaction.

The volunteers will met at 8:30am at the Snyder’s Parking. The work day will conclude at 12:30pm, with the traditional King Street Cycles BBQ Lunch for all the participants. Bring your own rakes, shovels and axes, if possible. Please sign up by sending us an email, so we can better plan the work and the amount of food to prepare.

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Trail Day – Saturday, November 10th

Our last Trail Day of this year is on Saturday, November 10th. The volunteers will gather on the Snyder’s parking lot at 8:30am and head to work on the Jessica trail. Some cool features will be added and the total distance will be nearly doubled. The trail will became a loop, starting and ending at the Kamikaze entrance.

Crews of volunteers have already been working and will put more work into laying out the new path and clearing it from brush and fallen trees, to make it easier for the Trail Day crew. The new to be open section is very long; we hope to get many participants and finish the project on that day.

Most of you are surely missing the riding that was made impossible by all the rains at the end of October. Take the Trail Day as a perfect alternative to riding and an excuse to get out to the forest.

The last Trail Day of the season is also a celebration of all the good work that was done in the year. As a tradition at the Trail Day season closing, in addition to preparing the BBQ lunch, King Street Cycles will bring draw prizes for the participants. In the past years many volunteers walked off with some wonderful prizes.

Please let us know if you can join us, so we can better plan the work and the amount of food to be prepared. If possible bring your own rake, shovel, axe and wheelbarrow. At this time of the year it’s important to bring warm clothes, gloves and rain gear.

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Mud Riders

These pictures revel the pretty standard occurrence at the trailhead: In complete disregard to the common trail etiquette, trail rules signs, the trail closure sign, and even a physical barrier, people give them self a right to ride the too-muddy-for-riding trails anyway. We, the trail maintainers, are completely puzzled by this…

– Isn’t it obvious that these rules and signs are implemented for some (very good) reasons?

– Is it so hard to comprehend that riding in mud is harmful to the trails, otherwise why would the trail maintenance staff (which by the way are all 100% VOLUNTEERS and riders) be fighting so hard against it?

– If people come to ride these trails even in mud, then they obviously must enjoy riding them. Then why would they want to destroy something that THEY enjoy so much?

– Some of the perpetrators argue that in their opinion the riding conditions are “just fine”, “not bad at all”, “good enough”, etc. But shouldn’t the deciding on what is or isn’t acceptable, be up to the ones that do the actual maintenance?

– How is this different from tearing up the turf from a soaked baseball diamond, or taking a jackhammer to a hockey ice that someone worked very hard on getting into a good shape?

– Is it hard to imagine what would the trails look like if all the hundreds of daily trail visitors would ride indiscriminately like this?

– Don’t they think that we, the trail maintainers, would like to ride too? Then what gives them the arrogance to allow themselves trail access before the trail-caretakers allow it to themselves?

Wa are sincerely trying to get a better understanding of this phenomenon. Please share your thoughts and ideas about possible ways to deal with this. You can do this by commenting bellow, or sending a private email.

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Closed Means Closed

The Hydrocut Trails are maintained exclusively by volunteer labour. Part of the trail maintenance work is guarding against the destructive activities. Riding in muddy conditions is awfully detrimental to the trail surface, so our dedicated volunteers take a great effort to prevent/stop this from happening. One of the prevention measures are the temporary trail closures with a chain/sign, like shown on the picture.

Despite the very obvious and unavoidable sign, way too many riders completely ignore it, and in a blatant display of disrespect, crawl under the chain to enter the trails. When confronted about this, many come up with imaginative but incredibly ridiculous excuses.

To put it simply: the people in charge of the trail maintenance have taken the effort to close the trails. They are also the only ones that have the authority to reopen them. It is completely at their discretion to decide when that will be done. If anyone wishes to influence the making of these decisions, they are more than welcome to join in the trail maintenance, which will automatically give them the ability to do trail closures and openings.

Of course the majority of trail riders are appreciative of the trails; thus respectful of the rules. From them we ask to use their peer pressure powers to try to turn around as many bad apples as possible.

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Trail Day – Saturday, Oct. 20th

The Adam’s Run, Twister and Jessica trails are getting extended. A lot of work on these sections has already been done, but we need a large crew to finish it all off. The more people we get, the sooner will these sections be opened.

The Trail Day crew is meeting at the Snyder’ Parking, at 8:30am and will be back to the parking for the lunch at 12:30pm. King Street Cycles is preparing their traditional BBQ, pasta, salads, chips and drinks.

Please help us better plan the work and food by letting us know if you can come. If possible bring a rake, shovel and an axe.

Also please note that the final Trail Day in November has been moved from the 17th to 10th.

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Trail Day – Sat. Sep. 22nd

We have a series of projects for making the Pines trail system longer, faster and more interesting. The only limitation is in the amount of available volunteer helpers. So don’t be a limitation and come to join the work crew at 8:30 am on the Syder’s Parking. From there we’ll have a short hike to the Creepy Corner trail. A good portion of work on the trail change is already done and by noon time we will be ready to open a bran new exciting section. Then we’ll head back to the parking lot to enjoy the King Street Cycles’ BBQ lunch.

Please sign up by email to let us know how many people to expect and plan the work and food amount accordingly.

Bring your own shovel, rake and axe if possible.

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The Bridge Embankment

Earlier in the Summer the connection between the Landfill and Petersburg portions of the trail system was changed form a single two-way trail to two much safer separate one-way paths. To do this wee had to install a new bridge over the canal. This is a wonderful bridge, but it took awful lot of work to construct and install the bridge and shape the approach passage through the embankment. With the cooler weather the dirt bikes have started coming out and riding through the Hydro corridor and over our bridge. They ride straight over the the embankment (their path is shown on the picture). This is wrecking the embankment and endangering the cyclist.

We’ve already spent volunteer hours on blocking their passage with deadfall, but it is likely that more hours and considerable expenses will have to be wasted to battle this problem.

The dirt bikes and any other motorized vehicles are illegal on all Regional land (the Hydrocut Trails) and in the Hydro corridor, so please report them to the Waterloo Regional Police whenever you see trespassing in progress. Cal the number (519) 653-7700 and ask the operator for “dispatch”.

 

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Trail Days – Sep. 22, Oct. 20, Nov. 10

There are awesome trail developments lined up for this Fall:

On the September 22nd we will be extending the Creepy Corner Trail; making it longer and faster. Depending on how much help we get, there might be a need for a second phase of Creepy Corner revamp; adding exciting difficult lines through the steep gullies near the end of the trail.

In the October and November the Twister and Jessica trails will be made better connected, longer and more interesting. A construction of a “floating bridge” in Frankenstein is also in the  plans.

Mark the dates on your calendar and stay tuned for more details…

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Sign Poetry

The kind of people that this sign is aimed at have always been and still are quite a nuisance and a problem in the Hydrocut. Would a sign like this be an eye opener and/or a deterrent for them? What do you think? Leave a comment…

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Hydrocut Fun Day – Sep. 23, 11am – 3pm

It’s that time of year again! Come out and support the Hydrocut (Waterloo Cycling Club Trails) at the 3rd annual Trail Funday at the Glasgow Parking Lot on Sunday, September 23rd from 11 am to 3 pm.

Once again our local bike shops are banding together for an afternoon of barbecue, draws, prizes, cool MTB gear, swag and, thanks to the success of last year, factory demo bikes!

Don’t forget your cash for the draws, barbecue and donation boxes! All proceeds go to the Waterloo Cycling Club’s Trail Committee to help fund the efforts for the never ending incredible trail improvements and the regular ongoing maintenance that’s performed by countless volunteers that make the Hydrocut such a special place!

Special thanks to King Street Cycles, McPhail’s and Ziggy’s for making this happen. See you on the 23rd!

This might also be the only opportunity to grab a Hydrocut T-shirt for only $15 (all proceeds to the trails).

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Trolls in The Forest

The too often seen sites like this are very confusing. This picture was taken deep in the forest; far away from all access points. A long and demanding trek to such a distance is most likely to be motivated by the beauty of the forest. How is it then that the very attraction of the trip can be treated with such a complete void of appreciation?

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Mickey Mouse Jobs

We have an enthusiastic “helper” on the trails. He/she keeps filling mud holes with sticks and rocks. The intention is surely well meant, but the results are annoying and potentially hazardous. Small sticks and rocks create a too loose, unsteady and impermanent footing. With each tyre passing they move around and can even flip up in to the spokes. Having to keep removing these shabby jobs is not fun. Surprisingly the prompt removals don’t seem to be a clear enough message.

Offers to work on trail improvements are always graciously accepted, but all work must be approved and coordinated with the WCC Trail Committee. Please email the trail work organizers if you wish to take on trail repair tasks.

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Thank You Volunteers!

One more impressive trail project got completed thanks to the dedicated volunteers. This vas a huge task that took countless hours of coming up with a way to squeeze a new trail in to a very limited space, building and transporting intricate bridges, and doing quite a bit of preparation work to make everything ready for the final crew. As usual the Trail Day  was an opportunity for the volunteers to leave their mark, which they did in a glorious way. The result is a greatly improved and safer trail. The new layout will be a more interesting and faster ride, especially after the ground gets properly packed down by the traffic. Also look for the five new exciting rock features. See more pictures here. Continue reading

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Trail Counter Vandalism and Information

This type of vandalism costs us all. Someone’s immature and destructive behavior almost destroyed your trail counters. Maybe it was curiosity? These devices are infrared trail traffic counters purchased with publicly donated money raised through WCC Trail Committee fund raising efforts. Continue reading

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Trail Day – Saturday, June 23rd

The Hydrocut’s cycling traffic is on a steady increase. This is very obvious from the numbers of cars in the parking lot and confirmed with the data from our trail counters. The one-way trail system is the only reason the trails still don’t feel too crowed. The few remaining two-way sections are on the list to be eliminated, starting with the Rocky Mountain trail (the one that runs through the hydro corridor and acrosses the canal). The current two-way path will become westward only and a new eastward path will be added, including a new bridge across the canal.

This will be quite labour intensive so we need as many volunteers as possible. Please sign up here, to help us pan the work and food accordingly to the expected number of helpers. If possible bring your own rakes, shovels and axes. Meet at at the Glasgow parking, at 8:30 am. The traditional King Street Cycles BBQ will be at the actual working site – the canal bridge.

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The Missing Log Piles in Stinky Girl and Frankenstein

This Spring someone took the liberty to cut and remove log-pile features from the trails as they please. Few days ago the THIRD log pile was removed from the Stinky Girl and Frankenstein trails. Their personal dislike of log piles is apparently a good enough reason to go in to all the hard work of removing the features, without any consideration to others. Continue reading

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Norco Demo Day 2012

 

Lots of riders braved a cool and windy spring evening to test ride some brand new 2012 Norco full suspension bikes.  Early afternoon rain gave way to brisk late afternoon riding conditions, and The Norco boys did not disappoint, bringing more than 20 bikes for everyone to try. We had burgers on the go to help raise funds for the trails, and free King Street Cycles water bottles and power bars to all that showed up! Thanks to all that came out, and we hope to see you next week (Wednesday May 16th) for Demo day number two with Rocky Mountain Bikes. The weather is promising to co-operate, so come on out and ride some sweet new bikes!

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Gully Closure

More than a year ago The Region has closed a passage through an eroding gully that was used for shortcutting between sections of the Multi-Use (double-track) Trail. They’ve blocked the passage with big trees and have clearly posted their authority and the reasons for the closure (the signs are visible on the pictures). However, people have started making new shortcuts to bypass the blockade. Continue reading

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The 22 Trail Wreckers

Sunday, April 15th was a rainy and muddy day, yet we were still able to count 22 riders entering from the Glasgow side entrance. Riding in mud creates awful lot of damage, which is especially painful to see now when the trails have just started recovering from the massive amounts of ugly, unpleasant, and erosion prone ruts, left by careless mud-riders in the Winter. Continue reading

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The April Trail Day

“For me this was one of the best trail days ever. It was so amazing to see the new energy and enthusiasm in the trail committee and the trail workers. ” – Ron Head

This means a lot coming from Ron who is one of the initiators and the original builders of the Hydrocut Trails.

This was also the first time ever that we finished early, even with throwing in a side project. Then the only logical conclusion is: next time more work has to be planned! It has become obvious that the volunteers are gaining much skill, enthusiasm and efficiency.

Find more photos here and stay tuned for the announcement of the next Trail Day in May.

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Trail Day – Saturday, April 14th

The Waterloo Cycling Club is kick starting a glorious new season of tail improvement projects, with reworking the Adam’s Run trail. Some sections of this trail will be rearranged in a similar way Frankenstein was changed in the 2009. This will result in a longer, faster and more interesting Adam’s Run.

Volunteers are needed to join the crew at the Snyder’s Road entrance at 8:30am. The day will wrap up at 12:30pm with the traditional BBQ lunch supplied and prepared by King Street Cycles. If you intend to come please sign up so the the amount of work and food can be planned according to the exact number of expected participants. If possible bring your own shovels, rakes, saws, axes and wheel barrows.

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Shortcuts

At first glance the Hydrocut Trails might seem vast, but all 25 km of the trails are tightly packed on very small plots of land. The trails have been very carefully laid out in such a way to have the rider feel like she/he is always deeply remote in the woods, while in fact other trail sections are always very close.

Once in a while people feel compelled to make shortcuts for various reasons. If such shortcuts were to take hold, the forest would quickly become a confusing maze of misleading trails and paths. The trail volunteers guard against the shortcuts becoming permanent by prompt building of blockades from logs (like the one on the picture below).
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Making Unauthorized Trail Changes

The unusually early onset of the trail riding season of 2012, has also brought the nuisance of the self appointed “helpers”. Some people probably mean well by wanting to “tidy up” the trails, but end up doing wrong things, like removing or dumbing down the natural features/obstacles. A typical example is the recent removal of the “tight to squeeze by” rock near the end of the Stinky Girl trail. This rock was adding so much flavour and character to the trail; it should have been obvious that it was left in place on purpose by the trail makers/maintainers. If one doesn’t like a feature, or lacks the skill to ride it, then he/she should dismount the bike and walk over/around the feature, instead of ruining it for everyone else.
Continue reading

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Riding in Mud

The Winter of 2011/2012 has seen unsurpassed levels of rider inflicted damage to the trail surface. The riders without consideration for the trails (and their own bikes) were out wrecking the trails like never before: Such ruts often get smoothed out naturally, but only in favourable drying conditions. However, if the drying occurs too quickly, then the ruts harden up and became rain runoff channels that deepen with every rainfall. The hardened up ruts are also incredibly uncomfortable for riding, and also potentially unsafe.

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