We are keeping the Twitter feed up-to-date but just to let people know (who might not have noticed) there is a 30% chance of thundershowers today and tomorrow and that increases to 50% for Sunday through Tuesday (we really need the rain)!
FATS is really dry right now since it has been over a week since we've had any rain at all. With the higher temps, the dryness of the trail and all the trees leafed out and absorbing water - light rain will often mean perfect trail conditions a few hours later. Heavier rain will probably need that 24 hour window to dry out the trail.
There is another over 100 miles of trail in this area that is very classic singletrack trail that doesn't get nearly the traffic so would be ready to ride a short time after rain - Horn Creek, Turkey Creek, Hickory Knob, Keg Creek, Bartram, etc Check them all out here sorbacsra.org/Trails/Trails.htm and we are happy to get anyone directed to the other trails in this area just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or respond here!
FATS was in great shape yesterday. Rode Skinny, Brown Wave, and Great Wall. Saw 2 snakes (tri-colored snake, small, possibly scarlet king, or coral on Skinny. I didn't slow down enough to look at the colored bands touching), and about a 4 foot eastern king snake at the top of the climb out of Great wall going clockwise. The work that was done on the Skinny power line crossings is doing good. Thanks to all for their hard work that helped on those sections.
Looks like FATS got a light rain this morning between 5:30 and 6:30am and more rain starting at 1:30pm until just after 3pm. Could get even more within about the next hour. These don't appear to be downpours which is good since it should soak in rather than wash away the soil.
All that said (and more is scheduled for tomorrow) it has been the first week in April since we've had any substantial rain. We might have had a quarter of an inch a couple of times since then but the ground and the trees should absorb this rain pretty quickly.
If there is not a deluge tomorrow should be good to go by late Thursday or Friday morning.
Keep an eye on the Twitter feed on the homepage or sign up for Twitter for up to date feeds on FATS! www.sorbacsra.org/
It rained around noontime today out at FATS and then started up again around 3 and other than a few short breaks looks like it has been pretty steady. Looking at radar looks like it will continue to rain until around 8 tonight.
With the approximately 1/2 inch from yesterday the trails will be wet and even though they were bone dry and the plants and trees all leafed out, they will probably not be dry enough to ride until sometime on Friday or Saturday with this additional rain. Sun is predicted for Thursday and Friday!
Best to start with one of the trails that drain a little better (Deep Step, Brown Wave, Big Rock or Tower) to gauge the wetness factor - if those are good then lower Skinny and Great Wall might be okay as well!
Had about a quarter of an inch of rain on Thursday but probably an inch total from Sunday until today. I would say based on the need for water (by the trees and plants) the trails would be pretty good by now on FATS but the temps are cooler so hard to tell. If you have a report on the trails, respond back here or email email@example.com.
If you do ride please start with some of the other loops at FATS first (saving lower Skinny and Great Wall for last since they stay the soggiest the longest) to gauge the trail conditions!
Thank you for helping to keep the single track single!
Ran into someone in the parking lot a couple of weekends back (he was from Florida) and he had noticed we are pretty picky about our trails after it rains. Told him we have plenty of older trails that don't get a lot of wheels that are fine to ride fairly quickly after a rain but FATS gets a lot of wheels and it is new enough that it can't take the abuse. He understood. Everyone loves the way these trails look, we don't want to end up with this -
If the rain continues (and we of course hope that we continue to have rain every week we need it!) we'll probably need to set up a work party the weekend of June 16th or June 23rd - the foliage is growing up and in pretty rapidly.
Looks like FATS had a shower tonight between 9 and 9:40 but by tomorrow evening most of the trails should be fine - minimal chance of rain through the end of the week. Please test the outer loops if riding tomorrow evening before heading down Great Wall!
Beryl came to town today just after 8 and has hung around all day long spinning the rain around like a water sprinkler. Finally slightly off center now so a brief reprieve with more chances for showers before daybreak.
Trails were really dry so the trails might be fine by later in the day on Thursday if we don't get additional rain. Again when you do head back out, please check out the general trail conditions before hitting Great Wall and lower Skinny.
Still some chances of rain on Thursday (30%) and Friday (40%).
Please help keep the singletrack single - don't ride the trails when they are wet and mushy! If the FATS trails are too wet, opt out of FATS and head to any of our older trails - they are older, seasoned and don't get the wheels and there are over 100 miles of them! Thanks
Purposely rode Skinny and Great Wall tonight after testing the water on the upper Skinny - there were no wet, muddy or mushy spots at all on upper Skinny so we plunged on in.
Skinny was perfect (except a new tree is down at the 4 mile point - from the parking lot, if you are going CW - it is a rider for some and not in a dangerous spot so will probably be there for a while) tonight. There were a couple of dark spots but again no wet, muddy or mushy spots.
Great Wall had more of the dark spots but there was only one soft spot along the way.
Both trails were good!
You could tell in several places that a lot of water flowed down some of the trails - in several steep places there was definitely cup holder erosion in the middle of the trail where the water flowed down in force. Most of those should fill in as they are ridden. Just a spot or two could be tweaked the next time we are out there working.
There is a front that is knocking at our door right now and another front that could be nasty moving this way that is in Alabama right now.
There is another tree down on Great Wall, we have identified the location and if we have time to remove it before the work party on Saturday we'll try to get it out.
We have picked up a few more volunteers but still need a few more for the work party on Saturday - pass the word on to others - a lot of people ride and enjoy FATS would love to see some new volunteers signing up to help. Remember lunch there will be lunch after this work party - hot dogs, chips, sports drink and we will draw for a pair of 26 and 29 tires as well. Sign up and bring a friend................. firstname.lastname@example.org
With 150 miles of single track in the inventory we won't have another one at FATS this year to clear the overgrowth - saw someone in the parking lot that had mixed it up with some sticker bushes a couple of days ago. Everything is still growing.
It's not too late to volunteer - thanks to everyone who has stepped up so far. If all the volunteers show up we will have enough to do the tread work, run both DR mowers and hedgers (needed for the power line crossings), and to lop three of the six loops!
Continue to spread the word to other mountain bikers who might be willing to step up. We typically schedule a large work party at FATS just once a year - remainder of the time the work is done by small two and three person work parties as needed.
The work party sent very well yesterday - still have a couple of areas that could use a little more work. There is a weird 50% chance of a thunderstorm showing up right now for about 4pm this afternoon, if this actually materializes please don't ride just after this rain - we have new tread work that was done on upper and lower Skinny and until it gets some showers to "cement" it in, it will be a little fragile. Thanks!
For a recap on the work party, go to the bottom of this thread!