Avoid Riding or Running in the “Freeze/Thaw” Cycles

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Avoid Riding or Running in the “Freeze/Thaw” Cycles

When soil freezes all the moisture turns to ice crystals between the particles of the soil, and in clay or loam soil they are tightly packed together. As the moisture freezes the crystals expand and tear the clay apart which shatters it, then as it thaws the soil becomes more porous and allows more moisture in. This is repeated with every successive thaw. In Indiana or Michigan we can get as many as 100 freeze thaw cycles in a season. Please be very careful when trying to ride the trails in the winter. The best time to ride is when the trail is frozen solid. On days when the temperature goes below freezing at night, the worst thing you can do is wait for the sun to come out and warm up the trail before riding. The trails can be very soft even if it hasn’t rained recently. Even if the temperature stays below freezing South facing trails can defrost in sunlight and turn to mush. IF YOU ARE LEAVING RUTS IN THE TRAIL WHERE YOU HAVE JUST RIDDEN PLEASE ABANDON YOUR RIDE. The ruts will allow even more water to remain on the trail and make it even worse. If people see you riding they will want to ride too, so very soon the trail reaches a point of meltdown. If you would like to find out the trail conditions on your particular trail before driving there please visit this page often or each individual trails Facebook page. All of these trails are maintained by the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance and all the design, maintenance and building work is done voluntarily by local mountain bikers. If you would like to find out more about the WMMBA and how you can help please visit wmmba.org.

Bottom line: only ride the trails when temps are below 30 degrees this time of year unless trail coordinators give us the green light. Yankee for example is so sandy the soil can handle the freeze thaw without damage.

Cannonsburg skills area extreme country short track race / fundraiser

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So as most people know we have been working on the skills area at cannonsburg all year and we are pretty proud of what we have done so now its time to show it off and try and make some money to make it even better. The problem we have had is trying to come up with a race format that highlights the skills area. If we did a DH race it would be too short, if we did an enduro it would be chaos in there so this is what I came up with.

Format: entry fees a nice working bike part. When you register there will be a donation bucket that we encourage you to throw some money in that will be used for future expansion. We then will race and I am thinking of doing a couple classes depending on how many people show up. Probably like Men’s and then a combined women’s and kids. The winner gets first pick of the bike parts.

The course will start at the beginning of the IMBA berms and follow the xc trail into the main skills area, you will then be given a choice of hitting the large step up or doing the ride around. you will then climb up next to the cork screw and little drop and along the ridge to the top of the skills area. Then you will drop into the roller double and turn to the progressive drop zone. You get to pick what ever drop looks best for you and head down to the little step up / ride around. Once you get up there you get the choice of hitting the boner log or going under the flag and heading all the way to the bottom of the skills area. Once you get to the bottom you will turn and ride up the xc trail back to the top, make the turn at the top and then head down the cinder block hill to the finish. This whole thing is just over a mile and no bike is perfect for it. I have tried it on my xc bike my dj bike and my slope and none of them are ideal.

Also the hardest mandatory thing on the course is the xc climb from bottom to top. There is one drop that is also mandatory but it’s about the size of a parking curb.

Machines make trail work so much easier!

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Please welcome our newest sponsor Kent Equipment!

kent equip

Membership list updated

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Our membership list tab was just updated for the first time in 3 years and we current have 337 members in the WMMBA. Please help us reach 400 members for the first time ever! Sign up at IMBA and select WMMBA as your local chapter for only $30 a year.