I managed to drag myself out of the house Tuesday for an honest-to-goodness mountain bike ride. First time in a couple of weeks I've ridden (since my flirtation with bike commuting the other week) and first time in I don't know how long that I've ridden the SS. It felt great! Hit the old standby, Wakefield, on my singlespeed. Got there around 4:30pm and planned on taking a few easy laps then maybe hooking up with the Tuesday beginner ride.
Stuck with Wakefield instead of heading over to Accotink. Rode around the racetrack part for a while then headed out further on those trails, hitting some sections that I haven't ridden in years. Now I remember why...man, was it swampy! Puddles abounded. Many inches deep and full of gumbo mud. It was a mess. I did my best not to tear up the mud and get back to dry ground ASAP.
After the swamp riding, I headed over and did the creek trail a couple of times, then headed over to the Bowl for a lap. Spent a total of about 1.5 hours in the saddle. Gotta start doing that more often.
Riding solo, I had a lot of time to observe the area. One thing I noticed about Wakefield is the amount of trail damage happening. I mean, there are mud pits where there were never mud pits before (for the first two years I rode out there). There are also other sections of the trail that used to be smooth dirt that have eroded down to either washboard roots, or rock gardens. And downhill sections that are rutting out so bad they rival some of the hariy-er sections of Colts Neck. I'm not sure why the trails were fine for a couple of years, and are now dying, but it's disturbing. I don't know how we'll be able to convince parks to keep trails open (to bikers, and everybody else!) when they're suffering so badly. Even some of the new trail section over in the Bowl area seems to be eroding/washing out, down hill. Not sure how to fix things, but it's gonna have to be addressed pretty soon, I think.