The trails have thawed and so have the wintery souls of Michigan. The sun is shining and drying out those bike trails that have been barren since the fall of the winter and before the rains come.
There are so many reasons not to ride in the winter, some of us brave the cold and bundle up, without a fat tire bike, for most, the winter is the off season. The fat tires give so much more traction in the ice and snow, although the wind and the chill can’t be fought.
“I just moved to this area and I haven’t been biking since,” said Koby Conrad, a motocross racer and mountain biker. “I’m excited to try some trails out here.”
The first day of the sunshine in spring season by Mother Nature’s standards, it’s hard not to hit the trail in a hurry when it’s been seemingly dry and nice. The weather is warming up, and there will be good weather days with bad trail days that a ride should be skipped.
Careful of the wet trail days
“Human Erosion,” is the term that is used when the trails are ridden when it’s too wet, explained Jeff Stowers an employee at Tree Fort Bikes in Ypsilanti, a former geology-minor at Eastern Michigan University.
“The top layer of frozen soil holds moisture,” Stowers said, “Luckily our trails dry out fairly fast because of the glacial sediment.” The frozen soil is easy to break up and cause human erosion, so riding in the wet and muddy conditions can really harm the trail.
So keep in mind in the upcoming rainy spring season.
“Riding a wet trail wrecks it, and if a trail’s wrecked, a couple of things happen,” mountain biker Laura Rossitter, author of The Mountain Bike Guide to Summit County, Colorado and Mountain Biking Colorado’s Historic Mining Districts says. “First, other groups look negatively on mountain bikers, which is the last thing we need in our quest as legitimate trail users. Second, it destroys the trail to the point where it’s no longer rideable,” in an article published by Claire Martin on the American Trails Training Partnership website.
ATTP reccommends taking a dirt road ride on those muddy days instead, they can with stand the tread of the bike tires and can be an endurance ride.
Taking in account there hasn’t been rain and Michigan trails dry out fairly quickly, it is the the time to hit them before the rain comes again, hopefully.
It’s the first time that it’s been really nice since that one day in January, mentioned Juan Osorno on Friday, an employee at Tree Fort Bikes on Whittaker.
There are lots of trails in the SE Mich. Area, for the flat topographical lands that are present.
Here are a few to check out if you haven’t already.
This is a 17-mile loop, in the Pinckney Recreation Area, that is highly rated and is claimed to be one of the best trails in the state according to the MMBA, or Michigan Mountain Bikers Association.
Even though it is a long trail it there are big climbs and down-hills, and it is more challenging mentioned Stowers, and it dries quickly because of the sand in the soil.
There are some great trails in Brighton Recreational Area, they have a great range from beginner trails like the Appleton Trail to their very advanced trail, Torn Shirt.
So, catch the sunshine, and check the weather to make sure the trails are good, and get out there!