Commentary: Rutting Up Trails Is an Act of Pure Selfishness 

While I have the privilege and the responsibility of serving on the board of Salida Mountain Trails and having a say in how SMT’s money is spent, this wasn’t my $40,000 that was spent on this trail.

This was our $40,000.

by Greg Heil. Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com

The alarm clock squawked obnoxiously at 6am, jerking me rudely from my slumber. I wiped my bleary eyes and tried to figure out what the heck was going on.

“Seriously, what is going on right now? It’s dark outside, why is my alarm going off?” But then I remembered, “Hey, I’m going riding this morning!” It had been four days since my last ride, so I was due for a sanity check, an appointment with the two-wheeled psychiatrist.
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I slurped down some coffee, tossed my gear in the truck, drove into town, ran some errands, and hit the trailhead about 7am. It was colder than I expected it to be: 17 degrees. Yet, the frigid air was part of the plan.

I’ve only lived in Salida for about three and a half years, but I had quickly learned to interpret the local freeze/thaw cycles. In no time I had learned how the trails melt out after a big snow storm, and the fact that, right now, if I didn’t ride while it was frozen, I’d be leaving big ruts every time I turned into the shade. Since I had to log on and get work done later, I had decided to set my alarm for o’dark’thirty to get my much-needed singletrack time in while I wouldn’t be damaging the trails, and before I had to get to my day job.

I decided to sacrifice some precious sleep and suffer through 17-degree weather, because I want to take care of these trails. Because they are my trails–my local trails. Our local trails. The trails built by our community and maintained by our community. Our trail system is truly a community resource, and I wanted to take care of them. So I got up early.

Imagine my surprise when I began pedaling up the trail and in the second corner, I faced a long stretch of ruts. And in the third corner. The 10th corner. The 15th corner.

On and on, for miles and miles, throughout my entire ride: ruts, ruts, ruts.

Source: Over a Beer: Rutting Up Trails Is an Act of Pure Selfishness | Singletracks Mountain Bike News

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