Staying off the Trails in the NY & NJ Area
2018 has been one of the wettest years to date in the New York area and Mid Atlantic region. We received a steady amount of precipitation throughout the year, with heavy snowfall early and torrential rains throughout the summer and fall months, many areas saw 60-70+ inches of rain. It is now early 2019 and it is still raining so what does this mean for the trail conditions? If you do find yourself on the trails, tread lightly and do a little maintenance while you are out there.
The good thing is that there are plenty of peaceful roads and woods roads in our area to explore that can handle the traffic, with some trails as well so plan your route properly to have minimal impact. It will be another couple of weeks or more before the weather is consistently cold enough to freeze the trails for safe travel by bike so be patient. This is a crucial time for the trail system, damage now will just be made worse as the trails thaw out in the spring. Many of our local trails in Sterling State Forest and Ringwood State Park are particularly vulnerable because they were just built this year.
Here is a quick video from a ride we did last week in the Harriman State Park area. This was a good time for us to revisit our positions on the bike and make some adjustments. I left the proper tools on the porch and it become comical trying to adjust the saddles fore/aft and tilt.
If you are a mountain biker and need your trail fix, head north or embrace the many gravel and woods roads in the area but still tread lightly where necessary. You can also help with fixing some of the trails and reinforcing them for later use. Also, don’t forget that there are plenty of other things that you can do then just ride a bike. Go skiing, strength train, walk, jog, run, hike when conditions are right, chop some wood or build a house.