While this is definitely a welcomed change (as far as trail conditions go) it will still be maybe a month before truly prime dirt is the norm. For now, head out and enjoy the trails, but remember to try to avoid skidding.
Skidding and riding out-of-control can create problems for the trail surface, namely "stutter bumps" and blown-out berms. It's always good practice to ride in control, but especially when the soil conditions are dry as usual this time of year. Of course some trails are designed for better "flow" (Whoops, Storm-King and Flagline all come immediately to mind) and others are twistier with frequent changes in speed required (such as Mrazek, COD and Farewell trails). Knowing the style of riding you prefer, and therefore what it is you're setting yourself up for are keys to an enjoyable ride.
If you would like to learn more about how trail design can influence the way a trail is ridden, please join us this fall at a work event in the Wanoga Area. The trails COTA is building there are all designed for maximum flow and sustainability (read - smooth lines, good drainage and few, if any abrupt changes in speed) COTA Work Events are open to anyone with an interest in building and maintaining trails. Please see the COTA website (www.cotamtb.com) for a schedule of events and minimum suggested requirements to participate.
Speaking of joining, are you a member of COTA yet? If you've enjoyed the trails around Bend then chances are you're enjoying the fruits of COTA Volunteers' labor. To date COTA volunteers have logged over 3,200 hours doing trail work in 2010. Beyond joining us as a member, we also need your involvement with trail work. By helping maintain and build new trails you'll gain a new appreciation for the trails we have here in Central Oregon. Doing trail work also gives you a new way to look at trail etiquette and riding styles.
Be safe out there and please let COTA know about any trail conditions, concerns and comments you have. Send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.