Howdy everyone, hope you had a great summer season of riding! As we come into another beautiful fall, we hope you all can get out on the trails. We’d like to put out a reminder and have you all spread the word for us about the seasonal leaf drop and trail impact. Last year we had several parks that had trails that were prematurely leaf blown. This was done without consideration of its impact or without input from local trail maintainers, land managers, and most importantly – an assessment of the existing tread conditions. We know riding on leaves can be challenging – but it is part of the sport here in the northeast. In some parks this might prove to be a good practice, however in others it’s simply terrible. Take the following example, last season in Ringwood State Park there were multiple trails that were leaf blown by anonymous users. Subsequently those trails endured significant amounts of rainfall erosion over the season. That erosion shortened the usual period where we all could enjoy more of what we love – “hero dirt!” We’ve increasingly seen powerful storms and heavy rainfalls that continue to make trail building and maintenance more difficult. Even though our ongoing trail construction efforts are built to high standards that generally can withstand inclement weather, these storms are making it harder to maintain a trail tread surface that we all love. As most know, leaves biodegrade and turn into that loamy soil we all dream about. It’s that breakdown process that helps lock together and refresh the tread of the trail on an annual basis. The best thing that can happen to leaves is they get compressed, wet, ridden over, and breakdown quickly. This process is what renews the trails that we have in our “rockier” parks and allows for those awesome spring conditions we all love. So, if you’re looking to do something helpful to keep the trails clear – simply get out and ride on those leaves! If you’re tempted to get out there with a leaf blower or a rake, please talk to your local trail maintainers or get permission from the land manager before you do. As a reminder all trail building activity needs to be approved by the local land manager. In summary, clearing the annual leaf fall can have a very deleterious effect on the trail conditions we expect in the future. We appreciate you taking the time to read this message and we appreciate your cooperation. Please spread the word for us in your communities as we know we don’t reach everybody. Have a great fall riding season. We’ll look forward to seeing you out at the next dig day!
JORBA and its army of trail builders!