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Getting ready to ride

Brendan Walsh

Brendan Walsh

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As mountain resorts across the state all begin to end their winter seasons by stopping their lifts, mountain bikers eagerly await for their trails to dry out so they can ride.

 
Connecticut native and JSC senior Brendan Walsh notes that he gets excited each time the winter season comes to a close.

 
Walsh says that even after snow has visibly melted from the ground, it will usually take several weeks until trails dry out for riding. “I haven’t touched any of the local northern Vermont trail systems like Cady’s Falls, Kingdom Trials or Perry Hill because they are either too wet to ride or their trail system hasn’t opened to the public for riding yet,” says Walsh. With this in mind, riding on wet trails isn’t recommended because bikes can cause damage to the trail system by causing ruts and other various damages.

 
Prior to heading out for his first ride, Walsh has usually enjoyed a winter of snowshoeing and winter hiking to maintain some sort of active drive during the off season. He will also do a rundown on all of his gear to make sure it is good to go for the first weeks of spring riding.

 
He says that he will usually check his bike over and preform the maintenance and service necessities early on so that there are no delays when the weather gets nice.

 
As road bikers have the luxury of hopping onto their steeds once the roads are clear, Walsh notes that there are a number of lesser known trails around JSC that dry out fairly quick. “I go for rides on these trails whenever I get time, too,” said Walsh. “However, the ongoing logging operations on campus have destroyed some of the areas that I enjoyed riding.”

 
While waiting for more trails to dry up, Walsh says that urban riding is great in the spring time. “There’re a lot of neat places to ride around here,” says Walsh. “When I was in Connecticut over spring break, I was able to ride most of the single-track at the Rockland trails in Madison Connecticut.”

 
Once things end up drying out in Vermont, Walsh says that Cady’s Falls in Morrisville is one of his favorite trail systems near JSC. “The trail network is huge, and there is not real right direction to ride when on these trails, although a few are most definitely made to be ridden in one direction,” said Walsh. “Cady’s Falls is one of the many trail networks around the state that will post their openings online, people really need to respect opening dates and be patient to wait for things to dry out.”

 
When he is home in Connecticut, Walsh says that his favorite trails are the single-tracks of Rockland. “It’s a huge parcel of land with dedicated mountain bike trails that have all been voluntarily built,” says Walsh. “There is a diverse mixture of technical riding with flow as well.”

 
When in Vermont, he says that there is a good mixture of flow to technical trails. “I personally prefer to ride the technical stuff,” said Walsh. “I know some bike parks are opening soon once ski season winds down. This summer I am looking forward to riding at Burke as much as possible once they open.”

 
As everyone continues to put away their favorite winter sport activities and jump on their bikes, the most important thing to do is respect opening dates and dry trail policies. Don’t let your eagerness to ride bring you to wet trails before they have has the proper amount of time to dry up.

 
Simply spend some extra time putting in some road or urban rides until trails are able to dry out. You may also find it fun and helpful to yourself if you do as much maintenance to your bike as you can before the season is fully underway. You will give yourself enough time to get into better shape, as well as have the best performing bike that you can for when you take your first day ride with your friends.

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Getting ready to ride