Rakes > Blowers

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
I would like to make a plea this year to use rakes over blowers when removing leaves and gumballs from the trails. While blowers are fast, I believe they lead to more removal ofbthe trail tread compares to using a steel tined leaf rake (not a garden rake).

Blowing is less damaging when used when it is wet, so can give the benefit of a doubt thag they are only used in there conditions. However if the top layer is loose at all, it is blown off the trail.

By raking along the trail tread, small pieces of dirt are left on the trail and help smooth and fill in small gaps/holes. This leads to a stronger tread. It takes longer, yes, however the end product is better.

I did a few hundred feet of the west picnic trail today. Should be ripping tomorrow.
 

mattybfat

The Opinion Police
Team MTBNJ Halter's
thought you didn't do sci-fi?
Well I guess I am not since lost in space series have I stuck. That futureman on hulu has my locked in.

But i digress because its stupider then sci-fi and even more stupider then lost in space.
 

w_b

Well-Known Member
I have yet to see a gumball on the trails. If I do I'm gonna rake it only, fo sho...
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
What is "trail tread"?
The part you ride on:
https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs/htm07232806/page09.htm

@RobW, no, there is rake program other than raking out the nics. I have experimented the last 3 years with when the best time to rake is for the type of soil (high sand %) and have zero’ed in on the spring being the best time. One of the main reasons to rake was the gumballs. Since Mercer is basically only fun to ride if you are going as fast as you can, and since there are roughly 4,000 turns in the park, gumballs make it a lot less fun. Also, removing debris helps create a better trail surface. In any case, I don’t do that much, but I have no doubt that the raking makes Mercer more fun-er.
 

Rusty

Well-Known Member
There is no reason whatsoever to use a blower in MCP. It has ruined a few trails there because it leads to erosion and exposure of roots. The guy doing most of it ignores the fact that he is f'ing up nice trails at Mercer. As someone who occasionally works with the trail crew there, we have never needed to use one. Blowers should be banned. This is my opinion. To top it off, I don't think the offender gives a hoot and does not have permission to perform such work as far as I know. This would be a problem in and of itself, but the selfish care not.
 

Rusty

Well-Known Member
um no...interestingly, I am not against ebikes...just blowers...I don't think a responsible ebike rider is any worse than a responsible mtber.
 

Off The Road Again

Well-Known Member
Here's my $0.02: don't use blowers or rakes, leave the leaves on the trail. Leaves are vital for trails - they decompose to create more soil, feed the worms for fish bait, reduces erosion, protect the trails from hard rain, protect the trails better when trails are wet and morons still continue to ride in wet conditions kinda like a spread footing to disperse weight. If you can't distinguish what is or is not a trail because of leaves, and can't negotiate trail markers, you probably shouldn't be on the trails.
 

rick81721

Lothar
Here's my $0.02: don't use blowers or rakes, leave the leaves on the trail. Leaves are vital for trails - they decompose to create more soil, feed the worms for fish bait, reduces erosion, protect the trails from hard rain, protect the trails better when trails are wet and morons still continue to ride in wet conditions kinda like a spread footing to disperse weight. If you can't distinguish what is or is not a trail because of leaves, and can't negotiate trail markers, you probably shouldn't be on the trails.
I buy your argument re: trail protection but your last sentence is unnecessary. I can think of several trail sections in local parks that I know like the back of my hand (i.e. the sourlands) where the trail can be totally obscured by leaves.
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
Here's my $0.02: don't use blowers or rakes, leave the leaves on the trail. Leaves are vital for trails - they decompose to create more soil, feed the worms for fish bait, reduces erosion, protect the trails from hard rain, protect the trails better when trails are wet and morons still continue to ride in wet conditions kinda like a spread footing to disperse weight. If you can't distinguish what is or is not a trail because of leaves, and can't negotiate trail markers, you probably shouldn't be on the trails.
It is highly dependent on soil type also. Mercer has high sand content and is not particularly susceptible to ruts except for a handful of spots. The reason to zero in on the spring is to let the leaves decompose over the winter / get ridden on and break them down, to add to the soil composition. Raking isn't for everywhere and isn't even for ever trail at mercer.
 

Off The Road Again

Well-Known Member
It is highly dependent on soil type also. Mercer has high sand content and is not particularly susceptible to ruts except for a handful of spots. The reason to zero in on the spring is to let the leaves decompose over the winter / get ridden on and break them down, to add to the soil composition. Raking isn't for everywhere and isn't even for ever trail at mercer.
I can agree with that logic of raking in the spring. Definitely no blowers, and just a quick leaf raking, maybe. Still think its better to let Nature do its job.
 

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