Jonathan Poston's Aug. 12 article in the Xpress Outdoors section, "All Wet" — the story of a barely evaded rainstorm at Bent Creek — was a familiar account to many mountain bikers. We've all got "caught out" stories that are funny only in retrospect; mine involves hail! Riding wet trails, however, has more serious effects than mud up your britches and a crunchy drive train.
Natural-surface trails become extremely vulnerable to damage in wet weather. Left alone, they will dry out with minor impact. But the passage of boots, tires and paws in muddy conditions accelerates trail wear dramatically. Fortunately, Mr. Poston seems to have taken pains to stay mostly on gravel roads, which is the best possible choice in wet conditions. This is an excellent example to follow, although ideally the entire ride could have stayed off trails.
So: You rode in the mud and want to ease your troubled conscience? The Bent Creek trails are maintained by the local mountain bike club, Pisgah Area SORBA. Volunteer workers meet for "Dirty Thursdays" on the first and second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. No experience is required, and you don't even have to be a biker — all trail users are welcome. There is also a larger, weekend workday scheduled for Sept. 27. For more information, you can check the PAS Web site: www.pisgahareasorba.org.
Thanks for doing your part to keep our local trails intact!
— Jerud Crandall and Shaun Moore,
PAS trail coordinators for Bent Creek Recreation Area