I got out on Sunday for a solid 3+ hours of singlespeed hammering with Marc and Scott. We started about 8:30, went for an "extended" North loop, and then headed to the South foothills for another very long loop. Managed to get to the Tram tower and down to I-40 in one ride, on the singlespeed. Hopefully I can get a couple more rides in like that before Old Pueblo, and find some kind of fitness good enough to see me through 'til the end of the race.
I was a little upset about the conditions of the North foothills though. I was surprised at how much moisture there was on the trail, considering it hadn't rained or snowed in quite some time. Nevertheless, by 10am, the trail was thawed, and definitely heading towards muddy.
In several places the trail had become seriously rutted out by countless mountain bikers slogging through the mud over the past few weeks. In some spots the ruts were seriously deep, and the trail just looked destroyed. I was just a little surprised and dismayed at the fact that so many of our Mtb. brethren are willing to completely ignore the damage they are doing to a trail while riding it during muddy conditions. It's not as if the North foothills are the only possible option right now, South foothills are always less muddy than the north, Placitas is in fine condition, and of course there is White and Red Mesa (if you have the time).
It really strikes me as irresponsible to go out and trudge through the deep mud, leaving serious scars on the trail, just because it Wednesday night, and every Wednesday you and your buddies right in the North foothills. I can only imagine that any trail users who are not on bikes see us bikers as extremely destructive right now, and I can't blame them, the trails look destroyed, and it's clearly because of bikes.
So, my recommendation (especially considering last nights precipitation) is to give the North Foothills a break for a little while. If you really want to ride there, try to get out early enough so that the trail is still frozen solid, and that way you won't make any new ruts. South Foothills is always noticeably drier than the North, and as I mentioned earlier, Placitas seems to be drying out more quickly as well.
That's my little rant for the day. If you want to hear me complain about anything else, just give the shop a ring or stop by, I'm sure to be bitchy about something at the moment. Grumble grumble frizzle frazzle robble robble mumble mumble.