What do you do when it's too wet to ride… ?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum What do you do when it's too wet to ride… ?


This topic contains 48 replies, has 46 voices, and was last updated by  TwiceHorn 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #177829

    I found this question on the Facebook page today:

    What do you do when it’s too wet to ride, but you had your hopes up for getting outside and getting sweaty?”

    My short answer is that I find something else that gets me outside and sweaty, without destroying the trails. If it’s not currently a down pour, I might bust out the road bike. If it is really cold and rainy, I may run instead (less windchill factor, less water spray).

    But what do you guys say? What do you do when you want to get outside, but the trails are soaked?

  • #177833

    I live in Maine where we have a vast area of dirt roads, so I’ll quite often ride there on a wet day. If it’s too wet for that, then perhaps I’ll hop on the trainer or do something else entirely.


  • #177843

    I live in Northern California and it NEVER rains here…….I think if it did get to wet to ride I would watch my lawn grow.

  • #177866

    On the days that it’s too wet to ride my bike, I ride my bike.  We’ve got a trail system here (hanging dog) that have a great bed of leaf and pine needle litter.  There’s trails in it’s network that literally ride the same regardless of whether it’s wet or not.

    If it’s pouring out and I don’t want to get that wet, I’ll hit my elliptical.

  • #177867

    Yeah, I’ve been known to ride in the rain. As I get older (and more pressed for ride time, frankly) I’ve had to ditch my old excuses. Now it’s never too cold and rarely too wet to ride.

    That being said, I do modify my rain rides to avoid places I know are going to be muddy. Gravel roads are top choice as are rocky trails that I know drain really well.

  • #177877

    Like Greg, I usually hit the road. Or if it’s raining really hard, I’ll go for a run.

  • #177998

    the only roads around my house are dirt so they get really muddy. I just wait.

  • #178003

    Tucson has the Tucson Mountains which are very hard rock and it never turns to mud other than some arroyos. At least 40 and maybe 70 miles of trails from Sweetwater to Robles Pass.

  • #178100

    I like cross-training, so if I had my heart set on riding and can’t, I’m normally into the gym for weight lifting or will spend some extra dedicated time with my drum set.

    Or go to a bar.

  • #178170

    ride the fat bike in the rain, hit the gym or take rest  day or play guitar and do work on the bikes if needed.

  • #178225

    I live in a part of the country where we get all 4 seasons. We are also lucky enough to have a variety of trails, some can only be ridden when dry, others are ridable year round. The year round trails tend to be more sand and rocks than clay.  When we get really nasty conditions I tend to hit the gym. I’ve been known to attend a spin class now and then.  It’s not ideal, but it’s not the couch either!

  • #178245

    I am experiancing that very problem as we speak. I could finish rebuilding my motorcycle forks, or give the MTB a good cleaning and oiling… but so far I am drinking coffee and reading about what you guys are doing on days like today.

    Man, I feel lazy just reading about what I am doing…. Im not going to melt… time to hit the road.

  • #178332

    I might go to the gym but will typically mope around and pout about not being able to ride.

  • #178345

    I tried going for a ride the other day (a day after a serious downpour). It was way too slippery and almost had the bike slide from under me a couple of times.  I like running in the rain or if it’s a non-riding day, I’ll stay in and do a hard kettle bell workout.

  • #178769

    Since I fall off my bike and get hurt when I riding in  wet road,Maybe I will sleep at home now …

  • #178783

    I ride the fatty in the streets and dirt roads.  Always a blast.  Keeps you off the Twinkies…..

  • #179108

    I usually take a break or go to the gym.

  • #179109

    I usually will go for a Nordic skate ski or skin up a hill on touring equip and swerve back down.  The road riding in the high country on snowy days like today isn’t worth it and I don’t have a phat tire bike.  I can crush myself skating or skinning and it’s really quite fun and relaxing.

  • #179110

    What’s this “too wet to ride”??? Most of our local trails hold up very well to riding in the rain, the roots do get slippery which adds to the challenge.  Being in Seattle we get used to the rain.  My last 5 rides have been 40ish degrees and rain.  All this rain is making snow in the mountains, so pretty soon it will be skiing on weekends, and night rides during the week.

  • #180739

    Gravel paths are usually in good shape when everything else is too wet, good opportunity to just work on cardio!

  • #182195

    I’ll ride the gravel roads in my area or hike the trails and note any areas that need maintenance. Trim back limbs, look for areas that drain poorly, etc. Being outside and getting exercise beats moping around. Lastly I’ll use this time to do a little bike maintenance. And drink a beer!

  • #182246

    I usually give trails a couple of days to run off this time of year. They don’t totally dry in the winter, ground just stays too cold and shaded. There are trails I just won’t ride because I know they can stay muddy. I do have a couple of trails I will ride that drain better and get some sun.

    If I am needing to get a burn in I will either run some of the trails that have good traction in the rain, or head to a good hiking trail in the Smoky’s or Cherokee National Forest to get in a good hike. I love hiking during a good rain, not a downpour mind you, but a nice light rain. Something about it just awakens the senses.

  • #182365

    Ride higher, rockier trails that don’t get damaged. I also do trail maintenance on days that are just miserable.

  • #182392

    That’s funny, a friend of mine does the same thing–he builds trail in the rain! I wouldn’t think that working with wet dirt would produce good results but so far it seems to be working out…

  • #182394

    Having school 5 days a week trails being too wet or rainy really isn’t a option. It’s always raining here in the PNW so I’m pretty used to it. Looking into getting a trainer any suggestions??

  • #182637

    During wet periods or freeze-thaw is a good time for trail maintenance. In fact, when it is wet is a great time to address drainage issues. The state park where I ride a lot has miles and miles fire roads, so that’s always an option. Or, like CCR noted, higher elevation trails with a rocky base that drain well are a good choice. I’ve had a few memorable wet rides in the mountains.

  • #182649

    My local trails happen to be right next to the best local surf break which is a nice bonus

  • #182927


  • #182983

    Usually work on trials skills around my house and hit a few sidewalk jump sections over driveways and what not. Always a good time and those sessions always seem to translate to increased skill on the trails.

    Also glad I wasn’t the first to say drink a beer.

  • #183196

    Here in the Channel Islands it pretty much rains everyday in the winter, so wet rides just become the norm. Try to stick to the the rockier paths or trails that drain well. If it’s just to wet or you’ve had enough of the rain, I hit the gym do some rounds (boxing) and then off to the pub.

  • #183232

    do tapatas for exercise

    then drink mucho liqour

    then ride my mtb set up with slicks and slay the sidewalks/greenways

    can’t lose!

    oh wait, lost my helmet…..

  • #229996

    Go for a trail run or a hike on trails that won’t be adversely impacted, i.e. rocky or well covered by leaf litter. Pick up all the litter around the trailhead.

  • #230576

    If it’s too wet to ride I take my hardtail ???? Stick some storm controls on and get to it. I do try  rider fire roads and more armoured trails in the super wet, bonus being they are quieter in the rain. #rule9

    Rule #9

  • #230584

    I live in CO, so I’ve experienced sun, rain, hail, and snow all in the same ride many times. No such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. I do avoid my road bike in the rain though, rim brakes and 25c tires on slick roads are no fun, plus wet roads equal easier flats. Gravel bike with disc brakes is super fun in the rain though because I usually have the fun mountainy roads to myself and I get to practice sliding the bike in more controlled conditions.

  • #230937

    I either stay in and practice keyboard, or take the bike to town for some “urban MTB’ing”. The skate park is usually abandoned when it’s wet out, plus there are lots of places around town to practice techniques on without disturbing anyone.


  • #231037

    I just ride it out!

  • #231042

    Smoke loveboat, shoplift, pinch babies at malls and answer stupid posts like this one.

  • #233511

    Generally running, sometimes climbing, very occasionally stretching !

  • #233525

    Drive around, do power slides. Eat ramen and drink? Usually it’s the drink and marvel at the fact it’s raining.

  • #233527

    Create and/edit YouTube videos. Really depends on how many video’s I have in line to complete.

  • #243336


  • #243360

    Go kayaking

  • #243372

    Ride on the street, which bores me so much.  But I try to do sprint intervals and practice manualing and hopping and stuff.  I can’t stand to ride on the road for more than 45mins to an hour.

  • #243855

    If the singletrack trails are too muddy; I ride fire access roads, or do some urban MTB (hop on and off sidewalks, down short stairs, ride parking lot curbs, practice manuals & hops).

    If it is pouring rain/snow outside, or crazy hot out, or stupid cold; I do my treadmill (cardio) or Bowflex (weight training).

  • #243860

    I love to ride the road bike in dirt & rain. when here in Washington raining I get out from home with my monster. I ride to the very slippery road. But it is very risky.

  • #243861

    But new rider doesn’t take the risk to ride the bike in the wet road.

    • #243916

      When trails are closed due to rain and mud… I pray to the Sun and drought Gods…

    • #243940

      Insofar as I have gathered that you are in Texas, please stop.  Although I suppose you haven’t had much opportunity to pray lately.


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