Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path

I enjoy taking the occasional detour onto a dirt trail this time of year. Most are too muddy in the winter, and they’re chock full of thorns on the summer, but in the spring and fall I find it a nice diversion to do a little off-pavement commuting away from the distractions of dog walkers, roller bladers, and automobiles.

How about you? Does your commute provide any opportunities for a little dirt riding?

How often are dirt trails included as part of your commute?

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6 Responses to “Off the Beaten Path”

  • clever-title says:

    What kind of tires (& pressure) do you run for a comfortable ride on the dirt trails?

  • Alan says:

    I typically run 32mm-37mm tires at around 60-65psi, dirt or pavement.

  • Tim says:

    I especially like trails I’m not familiar with as it adds another dimension to the ride.You know thoughts of where does this lead or how long is this trail and the biggy,is this private property?

    Thats something you cant get riding your familiar paved rides.Happy biking!

  • doug in seattle says:

    I live in the city and work in the city, so there isn’t a lot of dirt nearby. However, I take a short-cut through a small park, riding for about 1/8th of a mile on a gravel path. So I put, “every day”! Maybe I’m stretching it?

  • Matt DeBlass says:

    I’m fortunate to live near an old canal, the former towpath of which has been converted to a greenway path. Because the canal originally connected a series of major population centers, it ends up being a surprisingly useful “bike highway.”
    It’s not an especially technical ride along most of its length, particularly in the last few years as the state has done its best to keep it well groomed and leveled. The funny thing is that this dirt and crushed rock path often offers a smoother ride than a lot of NJ’s asphalt streets, which are in pretty bad repair along most of my routes.

    As far as tire choice, by the way, I’ve ridden singletrack on everything from 26×2.1″ knobbies to 700x23c slicks (on a fixie… I was bored) and found that unless it’s really muddy most of the tires made for commuting or touring will handle moderate off-roading with no problem at all.

  • Don In Portland says:

    I discovered a dirt path, an old easement, that runs along the Willamette river for about a mile. I very seldom see more than 1 or 2 people if any. It skirts a farmer’s field then into a grove of trees before popping out on to a MUP that I can take home. I take it about once or twice a week year around and regulary see a variety of wildlife , herons and hawks hunting in the fields, coyotes, an occasional fox and deer. It really does add another enjoyable aspect to my commute. I mostly use my roadbike with 35C cross tires with no issues.

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