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Monday, March 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Mountain bikers urged to avoid rutting trails

Mountain bikers were champing at the bit to get out on not-quite snow-free trails at BLM's Fishtrap Recreation Area on March 11, 2017. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)
Mountain bikers were champing at the bit to get out on not-quite snow-free trails at BLM's Fishtrap Recreation Area on March 11, 2017. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

Members of a local mountain biking group that devotes a lot of time to trail building and maintenance is asking other cyclists to take the high road in choosing ride routes when the ground is soggy.

“In general, a good guideline is that if you’re leaving a deep rut with one pass it’s still too wet to ride,” said Will Stone of Evergreen East. “It’s not much different with boot prints and hiking.”

“That said, if you see a puddle in the trail the best practice is to ride or hike through the middle – steps or tires on the outskirts only widens the puddle and creates a bigger problem. Don’t create new trails.”

Riders who push the season and leave ruts can set the stage for a season of rough riding and trail erosion. Riding around wet areas can cause damage to foliage.

Early morning riding on some late-winter days allows bikers to make no-impact rides on frozen ground before the trails thaw later in the day.

Stone says there’s a bright side to the record wet February and the recent rains of March.

The infusion of water “helps us identify and fix drainage issues on trails,” he said. “We’ve held several work days recently and our next is at Camp Sekani on Saturday. “We’d love to see people come out and help us tune up our trails.”

Info: evergreeneast.org

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