Mon, 25 Jul 2005

Ride starting Sun Jul 24 19:31:07 2005

24.40 km 80057.46 feet 15.16 mi 4778.00 seconds 79.63 minutes 1.33 hours 11.42 mi/hr

Rode around the big loop including Norwood Pond and the Rutland Trail. On the section of the trail that I rode today just before turning southwest, you can see the damage that ATVs cause. Basically, it works like this: first, you get little puddles as the ATVs kill the grass and compress the soil. The little puddles keep the soil soft and sticky. The ATV wheels go through the puddle and pick up a little bit of mud. That mud is then flung elsewhere on the trail. This makes the puddle deeper. This process, unfortunately, ends when ATVs find the mudhole so deep that they start going around the edge.

Lest ATV riders think I'm picking on them, hikers will find the above process familiar. Exactly the same process happens with hiking trails. There is only one solution: don't hike or ride through mud. Hikers have figured this out and put out alerts about wet trails. People are officially discouraged from hiking during times when a trail is wet, e.g. during mud season (the season between winter and spring).

Unfortunately, the Rutland Trail's drainage ditches are often clogged with debris. The puddles never drain and never dry out, so now there are some serious mudpits near Knapps Station, or as the map below calls it, "North Stockholm." The drainage ditches need to be cleared, and the puddle holes filled with some material which will drain.

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