On warmer winter days, it can be tempting to abandon your trainer and take your ‘cross, mountain or fat bike out for a spin. But if you are not careful, you risk doing considerable damage to your local trails, because in many places it is simply too wet to ride.

So how do you know?

First, do your research! Check online, or consult with local riders or shops to find out about current conditions. For those on Facebook, there are several NEMBA-related groups where you can find, and share, trail information. Joining NEMBA  Pay attention to any posted closings, either online or in the park – in some locations riding is prohibited during certain times of year to protect the trails.

Once you get to the trails, pay attention to the conditions. If you are leaving a visible rut or slipping & losing traction, it’s likely too wet to ride. If you do find yourself hitting wet spots on an otherwise dry route, according to SingleTracks.com you should ride carefully through, instead of around, the area. It may sound counter intuitive, but you can help prevent the damage from spreading.

When the sun is shining, and the bike is calling, we know it can be tempting to hit the trails. But be patient – the trails will dry out soon enough!

Are you riding on New England trails? Consider joining the New England Mountain Bike Association.

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