Spring fever hits mountain bikers hard! Everyone wants to hit the trails as soon as possible, however there are problems with biking during the thaw. Here's my reasoning to stay OFF the trails in early spring.
1. It wrecks them.
Simply put when there is frost in the ground it doesn't allow drainage. The top layer melts first, and the frost creates a barrier. It might as well be a swimming pool! You ride it and you break up the top layer creating more erosion and damage to the trails than thousands of riders when the conditions permit.
2. It makes all mountain bikers look bad.
Carve up the local trails in the spring doesn't just do harm to the trails, it hurts mountain bikers reputations. Do you like having more trails to ride, and have more places open to mountain bikers? If you answer yes to that, then stay off the trails when they are thawing.
3. You'll wreck your bike.
To be frank I don't care about your bicycle, I didn't purchase it and it's not my money. But getting your bike caked in mud isn't good for it or your wallet.
4. Ride the roads
You know how I can tell someone only mountain bike on trails? They can't pedal very well. I get it some of you don't care about a proper pedal stroke, but if you hit the road (or gravel roads) this spring you'll get one. You'll figure cadence and it will make you smoother, faster and more efficient on your mountain bike.
Let's work together as a community to let riders know it isn't cool. Be respectful as a number of people new to this sport might not know. However mountain bikers who don't care about wrecking our trails, reputations and work to build this sport up should know they don't have our support. And we should all speak up and be vocal about it. Look forward to seeing you all this spring when the trails have thawed out!