The local mountain bike trails in the area are finally drying enough to ride. Gone is the freeze/thaw cycle of winter. Now the rainy season of East Tennessee rolls in.

If this spring season is the first time for trail riders, buy a rain jacket.

The first week of Spring was rain, rain and, you guessed it, more rain. Torrential downpours on March 24 saw the trails looking more like creeks. The sun was back out Monday and Tuesday though. It did not help much in shady areas of the dirt. Mud and trail damage still persist at ETSU. Winged Deer Mountain Bike Park still has some trails closed due to damage.

Things may be wet off and on these first few weeks, but it is getting better. Wait until the afternoon to ride. When temperatures rise over 70 degrees, the trails are drying out in sunlight. When the rain is really bad, wait for two consecutive sunny days over 70 to be safe. Make sure to walk the bike around trouble spots to avoid further damage.

Bays Mountain trails have been dry enough to ride. Rescue Racing team members Ryan Graybeal and Sherri Cole rode to the highest peak without much fuss in the park. The gravel trails and roadways are good to go! The Tweetsie Trail has two drainage spots that are still wet but should be drying out.

The last thing is, do not modify trails. If you are not approved to make changes to the trails systems, please refrain from doing so. It is dangerous to mountain bikers, hikers and all who use the trails, to down trees and place fallen branches or said felled tree across trail. Some of this happens naturally as trees age and limbs die. It is easy to tell the difference between naturally felled branches/trees and ones that have been placed.

Some activity like this looked to have taken place on ETSU’s trail system in the off-season. Public Safety has been notified. Be warned that making unapproved changes to the trail is illegal. If intent to cause harm can be proven, those altering the trails may be prosecuted.

Make sure to stay up to date on the group rides. Trek Bicycle Store Johnson City is starting their Taco Trek and Bikin-N-Eggs rides again in April. SORBA Tri-Cities is continuing their Thursday night rides. The rides start and end at Atlantic Ale House and Yee-Haw Brewing downtown.