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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7 Responses to Mud Riders

  1. Ron Head says:

    It’s no mystery. Some people are just selfish.
    The trails at the hydro cut are prone to damage from riding in wet conditions. There are other trail systems in the area that have a different soil base and these trails can withstand wet conditions. I rode Pushlinch yesterday and found the trail conditions to be good even after all the rain.
    If a rider is in doubt about trail conditons
    go for a road ride
    ride somewhere else
    or just stay home!

  2. Rafael Fox says:

    We shouldn’t blame the selfish, inconsiderate “trail criminals” for being disrespectful to our hard working volunteer trail crews and for wrecking our awesome trails… it’s not their fault for being too dumb to know any better LMAO 🙂 I tried many times but unfortunately you just can’t fix “stupid” 🙁

  3. jlv54 says:

    Why was one gate open and the other closed? You will answer that the Pines side was OK, but where on the trail did it indicate not to cross over? Why only show one person in three photos on your blog? I was there watching Igor take photos. There were many people riding the trails, both sides. A better explanation in the signage would help prevent this ‘too wet’ trail useage. Also, the legal ramifications for a trespass would help prevent useage.
    This is the first mountain bike trail I have ever went to that was closed on a dry beautiful warm day [and open on a second gate].
    Wouldn’t it be better to close the trail for the season by this late in the year? Then everyone would be in tune by Thanksgiving, and not show up on a day like last Thursday, only to be disappointed [and wondering why it was closed when the weather was so good].

  4. Igor says:

    Actually closing the trails for the season is a good idea! Since there are rains and mud in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter the trails would have to be closed year around, but then we surely wouldn’t have an issue with mud riders spoiling them.

    Another approach is to keep the trails open, but CHARGE people for riding them. That would be a source for a budget to PAY people for repairing the damage. What do you think of that?

  5. I went to the glasgow entrance on thursday, when i saw the closed sign and turned to leave, i was reassured by another rider that i could simply “go to the snyders parking, its always open.” When i asked the other rider what would make him think that only one side would be closed, he replied “i dont know, but i dont have to hop a chain over there.”
    My only suggestion would be to put a different type of barrier up to stop people from simply hopping it, maybe a gate would be a better deterant, something that you cant just duck under.

  6. Igor says:

    The Snyder’s entrance is “always open” because the Snyder’s side (Petersburg Forest) is on sandy soil, thus usually dryer. Still this does not mean the riders should not use discretion and not ride that side either when it’s too muddy. That entrance does not have a fence, thus making it impossible to chain off an non existing gate. A proper lockable gate is in the plans for the Glasgow entrance and possibly for the Snyder’s one as well. Then we will need even more volunteers to tend to the closings/openings of the gates. All this would be much simpler if people would accept a very basic thing: do not ride in mud. In most cases the mud rides are only a day too early. The drying process would be even faster without the mud holes that were created by few mud riders.

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