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Old 2017-02-08, 01:26 PM   #1
Siddhartha Valmont
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Trail grooming

Hi everbody,

as this winter get generous with some snow here and there (quantity may differ based on location), I started to think about grooming while walking in a deep snow section.

To my limited understanding, there is two types of grooming techniques:
  1. direct grooming: where it is the equipment used to travel that do the grooming (i.e. snowshoeing, snowmobiles...)
  2. grooming with accessories: where it is an accessory (mostly a roller) that is pulled by somebody going through the area (can be a bike, motorcycle...)

I was wondering about the requirements to a successful grooming with a "roller". Would it be possible to groom with a uni by pushing a roller for a first-layer of grooming ?

I tried to sketch something with paint to illustrate even though the result should not require to be bent forward like that
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Last edited by Siddhartha Valmont; 2017-02-08 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 2017-02-08, 02:12 PM   #2
juggleaddict
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unfortunately, I doubt anything you could push with a unicycle could remotely groom a trail. Trails around us use AWD motorbikes and snowmobiles that pull either large heavy cylinders, or steel sleds loaded down with weights. This would be something very difficult to pull through snow just on foot, much less on a unicycle. Personally I'd let the trail groomers groom the trails. We have some people try to be good samaritans by doing what they think is right to clean up or modify a trail and end up doing damage to it one way or another.

For a start, grab another unicycle and push it in front of you. Depending on the snow you have you may not even pack down that little bit of snow well, but you'll definitely find it difficult to push if it's through deep snow. That would be a few inches worth of grooming. Usually the groomers around here clear a >24" path for cycling.

edit: https://fat-bike.com/2015/02/camba-f...nd-techniques/ this is the type of equipment that's usually used. I can't imagine trying to drag that thing around by hand through deep snow.
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Old 2017-02-08, 02:35 PM   #3
Siddhartha Valmont
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So pretty much, for singletrack not part of a grooming plan, the obvious solution is to walk through it with snowshoes and then ride it :/

I see that perfect grooming requires weight and an engine. However, I have seen some good-enough grooming done by snowshoers and I though there could be some rolling equivalent without resorting to an engine.

Thanks for the link it was very interesting !
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Old 2017-02-08, 04:07 PM   #4
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If people are thinking of the wheel trail as they tromp it down (with snowshoes) then it works.
The more packers the better.
People staggering their steps to pack every little ridge down.
A nice heat wave to solidify everything helps a lot too.

Nice 5km ride yesterday at -16C and the trail is like concrete.
Still no KH29 yet though...
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Old 2017-02-08, 05:39 PM   #5
MuniOrBust
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Snow comes in so many varieties. Sometimes more walkers/riders passing through makes it packed, sometimes it becomes very fluid. I think the deeper the fresh snow is, the harder it is to pack. Snow shoes were invented to not sink into the snow. The more they pack, the less their doing their job right. What might seem packed to snow shoes might not be to a unicycle with all weight on a 4"x6" or smaller patch. Long story short, packing helps, but your mileage may vary... in the literal sense too!
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