Ran into Hoppe out there leaf blowing the GSC. Trail was very smooth and fast where he had been. It was certainly a lot of work, and he should be thanked for his efforts.
On the older trails, fall leaves provide a protective barrier and a regenerative layer. This regeneration will help protect the hills and gulleys from spring rains. Leaf cover will also allow us to ride when it is more muddy. Wet leaves don't stick to tires, wet dirt does.
On the other hand, it does slow down the riding for a month or two. And, leaf litter does increase the risk of bike damage from hidden sticks and rocks - so it is totally a give and take situation. Hell, last year I went through a couple deraillers because of trail clutter. Sucked.
Anyway, this is a point of contention in other areas of the country, and there are alternative viewpoints - but I'm pretty sure it is the case around here. Other thoughts? Trail Hippie, what do you think?