If you like riding mountain bikes in Kamloops, Okanagan, you should hold off for a bit | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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If you like riding mountain bikes in Kamloops, Okanagan, you should hold off for a bit

"Braiding" on muddy trails can cause long-term damage and widen their path.
Image Credit: Kara Triance/NOCS
March 12, 2021 - 6:30 AM

Spring appears to be peeking around the corner, but hold off on pulling the mountain bikes out of storage.

Bike trail associations in the Thompson-Okanagan are warning riders that muddy trail conditions can lead to extensive and time-intensive repair.

"We've been discouraging riders from getting on the trails to keep them in good condition for the season and keep maintenance costs down," vice president of the Kamloops Bike Riders Association, Cam Marshall, said.

The association is one of two Kamloops groups that work with governments to sanction trails for public use. They also maintain trails to keep berms rolling, smooth jump lines and tame brake bumps.

Marshall says he is concerned that with the explosion of outdoor sports over the past year, there's a risk that some newcomers might unknowingly damage trails for other riders in muddy spring conditions.

"With all the new riders out there, it's up to as us veterans to educate them in a productive way."

The North Okanagan Cycling Society in Vernon is hoping trail users will look for the signs of a trail not yet ready for use.

"A trail is not yet ready to ride if you see ruts, footprints deeper than a boot tread, or standing water. Unfortunately, some local mountain bikers, hikers and horse riders have already caused damage that will take a significant amount of volunteer time to repair," they said in a media statement.

Henri Fournier with Kelowna-based trail group MTBco suggests people head to Knox Mountain for early season riding.

Riders in Kelowna can usually take advantage of trails like Shale Trail and Simpson's when conditions are too wet in other areas. It's a low elevation area and south-facing so it melts much sooner than other areas like Crawford or Smith Creek.

Riders in the Thompson Okanagan can click here to get the most up to date trail reports.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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