Wet, Don't Ride

9:23 PM


 The three worst words you can see on the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) website: Wet, Don’t Ride.  Spring in Minnesota means rain, and rain means wet trials, and wet trails means mud, and mud means no riding.  It gets to the point where you turn into a little baby – what, they closed the trails again?!  It’s not that wet, really!  That’s not a puddle, there’s just a few drops, really, I think there is some blue sky over there, can’t you see it?  No, you have to squint, but if you squint and hold your head to the side and look out of the corner of your eye you can see some blue…


You have to respect the MORC folks – they are the awesome people who have created some of the best single track around.  Within an hour of my home I have access to over a dozen trails that range in skill from beginner to advanced.  I can try jumps, rock gardens, skinnies, pump tracks, and downhill runs.  All of these trails are the result of hours of planning, negotiating with local officials and land managers, and back-breaking labor.  Even though they incorporate sustainable design into the trails, heavy use by big tires destroys the trial.  So when they say wet, don’t ride, you have to listen. 

Still, it can be difficult.  We read the sky in the spring like tea leaves, always looking to divine whether it will be a day for riding or if the green blob floating across the radar will hit the local trail.  And after a rain we debate local geological features and their influence on drainage and drying patterns.  Whitetail Ridge faces east, that means it will dry better in the morning, right?  Though you know they mean well, you begin to get resentful of the MORC overlords, keeping you away from the dirt.  You know that poaching a trail will only hurt mountain biking in the long run…but you just want to ride…
 
Blerg.  No riding today.  Maybe tomorrow out at Afton – they never close…

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