If you are new to dirt trail riding or need a refresher, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read this.
Trail use is up 200% this year, so there are bound to be folks who are not educated in the proper trail riding etiquette, how trail conditions change and how many passionate volunteer hours is take a year to build and maintain 34+ dirt trails (350+ miles) in little 'ol Iowa or how easily a trail can be ruined in a few hours on a nice November day .
It takes hundreds of volunteer hours a year to keep each of the dirt trails maintained. A trail can be RUINED in a couple of hours with foot and bike traffic if used after a thaw or in wet conditions. If your tires are leaving a mark, Stop riding. See the "Only You Can Prevent Trail Rut" PSA flyer.
Most trails have trail signage at the trailheads and they are being ignored. These photos were taken a couple of hours after the thaw on the Sycamore Trail in Des Moines.
Are the trails dry/open? We are getting this question a lot lately. It's winter(ish) and we're in the midst of the dreaded freeze/thaw cycle. The general rule is to ride the trails in the morning when temps are still below freezing and use your best judgement. Trail conditions depend on how warm the ground gets during the day and how fast/far the temp drops after the sunsets. During this time of the year, it's best to wait until the temps during the day stay below freezing or we get snow to reflect the light, insulate, and keep the ground frozen. If you're picking up mud or leaving ruts, turn around.
PLEASE SHARE and if you see someone riding where/when they aren't supposed to, educate them.
THANKS for listening!!