How might we better avoid riding on wet trails?

threefour

Member
I see this as an interesting design problem and wondering if anyone wants to brainstorm solutions here with me?

The problem: We wait a day or two after a rainy day, but it’s a challenge knowing if the trails are dry or not (and one reason we use these forums). And new riders may not even know they shouldn’t ride on wet trails.

One idea is having some way to know the trails are wet before we ride them. I’m imagining a device, like a gauge, that could be placed at a trailhead and measures wetness (and ideally is connected to the Internet too so we can check it remotely). Maybe its a shallow tray that fills up when it rains, but lets the water evaporate over time. If a biker shows up to ride and there’s water in the tray, the trails are too wet to ride. The depth of the tray could match the absorption rate of the trail. Perhaps the tray has a cover with holes on top to avoid tampering and becoming a bird feeder.

How else could we make it easier to avoid riding on wet trails?
 

Patrick

Overthinking the draft from the basement already
Staff member
I think it is more of a local knowledge thing.
Consider Six Mile Run - it is 28 degrees out at 9am, and sunshine.
everything is frozen at 7 am, by 9 it is a mess in the open areas.

There is an effort for local 'reporters' to update conditions right now. I'll be adding more trail conditions info here.
I haven't looked to see if trailforks has push notifications yet. - that might be interesting. might also create a trail dashboard
to quickly look what trails are rated as rideable.

what would really be interesting is watching how much it is ridden and the trend - but tough to get the data.
 

pooriggy

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I’m imagining a device, like a gauge, that could be placed at a trailhead and measures wetness (and ideally is connected to the Internet too so we can check it remotely).
NJ set up weather stations throughout the State to measure wetness and environmental conditions. This lets the mountain bike community know what conditions are like at there local trails. It's really handy and easy to use.

Let's assume you want to ride 6 mile. I just click the Somerset County area and get all this useful data. Furthermore from this you can calculate ET, which will tell you when the soil will be dry enough to ride. I included the handy formula for ET as well.

Here is a 3 day average to help make an informed decision.
Screenshot_20200316-063126.png

This simple formula for evapotranspiration let's you know when things will dry out.
Screenshot_20200316-062937.png

If you don't feel like going through this data and doing ET calculations, you can also post on MTBNJ.com asking locals if 6mile is ready to ride. We have a team on standby constantly pouring over data to give the most up to date accurate info regarding trail conditions.
 

qclabrat

Well-Known Member
I see this as an interesting design problem and wondering if anyone wants to brainstorm solutions here with me?

The problem: We wait a day or two after a rainy day, but it’s a challenge knowing if the trails are dry or not (and one reason we use these forums). And new riders may not even know they shouldn’t ride on wet trails.

One idea is having some way to know the trails are wet before we ride them. I’m imagining a device, like a gauge, that could be placed at a trailhead and measures wetness (and ideally is connected to the Internet too so we can check it remotely). Maybe its a shallow tray that fills up when it rains, but lets the water evaporate over time. If a biker shows up to ride and there’s water in the tray, the trails are too wet to ride. The depth of the tray could match the absorption rate of the trail. Perhaps the tray has a cover with holes on top to avoid tampering and becoming a bird feeder.

How else could we make it easier to avoid riding on wet trails?
In all seriousness most who responded here deal with this every year and work with organizations to educate and get the word out. There are basically two groups riding wet trails (1) the underinformed and (2) the I pay taxes and riding in all conditions is my birth right. We are continuing to message the population in #1, but short of fines or some sort of ban will never get through to #2.

I like your ideas but trails are hard to gauge by a simple water meter and best assessed through first hand observations by locals. Some trails are built to shed moisture regardless of rainfall or thaw, others can't be ridden a week after a significant storm. If you have a local park, report frequently on it's condition. Those who care will listen.
 
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Patrick

Overthinking the draft from the basement already
Staff member
NJ set up weather stations throughout the State to measure wetness and environmental conditions. This lets the mountain bike community know what conditions are like at there local trails. It's really handy and easy to use.

Let's assume you want to ride 6 mile. I just click the Somerset County area and get all this useful data. Furthermore from this you can calculate ET, which will tell you when the soil will be dry enough to ride. I included the handy formula for ET as well.

Here is a 3 day average to help make an informed decision.
View attachment 121793

This simple formula for evapotranspiration let's you know when things will dry out.
View attachment 121794

If you don't feel like going through this data and doing ET calculations, you can also post on MTBNJ.com asking locals if 6mile is ready to ride. We have a team on standby constantly pouring over data to give the most up to date accurate info regarding trail conditions.
Not bad @pooriggy !

we just need the constants for each park, and we can plug them in....
wunderground has the PWS network, can probably find someone right next to the park, rather than bedminster. ;)

 

Juggernaut

Master of the Metaphor
NJ set up weather stations throughout the State to measure wetness and environmental conditions. This lets the mountain bike community know what conditions are like at there local trails. It's really handy and easy to use.

Let's assume you want to ride 6 mile. I just click the Somerset County area and get all this useful data. Furthermore from this you can calculate ET, which will tell you when the soil will be dry enough to ride. I included the handy formula for ET as well.

Here is a 3 day average to help make an informed decision.
View attachment 121793

This simple formula for evapotranspiration let's you know when things will dry out.
View attachment 121794

If you don't feel like going through this data and doing ET calculations, you can also post on MTBNJ.com asking locals if 6mile is ready to ride. We have a team on standby constantly pouring over data to give the most up to date accurate info regarding trail conditions.
Oh, my f*king head! Iggy got da Corona and it turn’t him into Bill Nye! 🤯

we’re doomed! 😱
 
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