The thaw is here so consider all WMMBA trails closed for the foreseeable future. It’s looking like an early spring so if we’re patient, we’ll be on awesome dirt before you know it.
Kicking off the CPS race schedule once again is the Yankee Springs Time Trial. The Time Trail is not only a great race, it is a great fund raiser for the WMMBA and the trails.
We got a few upgrades lined up for the race, which is now in its 27th year. To find out the details and get registered check out the link below.
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.