Croft Trail Update – Feb 2010

QUIET
Things have gone a bit quiet on the trail building in the last few months. This is because we used up our supplies of MOT grade gravel and also had no funding in place to buy any more.

WEBSITE
The time hasn’t been wasted though; this website has been developed and is attracting a lot of visits. Rafe has done a really good job for us here. Google search for “swindon trails” brings up both the Google map and mbswindon at the top of the page. Together with the Facebook group, Youtube and postings on mountain bike forums we’re working on the publicity. We’ve also got talks ongoing with www.1sw.com about becoming a secondary hub. The new local CTC rep is really keen too.

TRAIL WORK
We’re acutely aware that the trail needs more work on it, both in terms of fixing some damaged sections and getting on with improving the rubbish bits.

The good news is that we have been promised 10 tonnes of material via a donation from Bell Tyres and Exhausts, thanks to Pete for organising this. I’m not sure when it’s being delivered. As soon as that arrives then we can organise some build days with the probation service. They bring 8 people, a trailer and a load of barrows along and are really good at delivering material to the trail. This frees up volunteers to do more creative things.

CLUB
We’ve got a proper CTC affiliated club set up. This will allow us to apply for grants to help with the trail. The club organises rides, plus gives 3rd party insurance and a growing list of discounts.
http://www.mbswindon.co.uk/club/

BUILD DAYS
Two build days have been put on the events list for this coming weekend.

We have an urgent need to fix some sections that have sunk. Some of these are in parts of the trail that we considered to be good trail. The parts that are going to be redeveloped we’re not so worried about.

PLAN
The plan is to build up the sunken sections with bricks and rubble and then surface with the red gravel. This should make the trail capable of surviving more wet winters.

There are several patches of dug out trail that will be surfaced with the help of the probation service:

  • the section near the motorway and the pond
  • the section just after the pond (outward loop)
  • Piper’s hill mudpile and jump
  • New start section

The start section is undergoing changes. The Red and Blue routes are being combined as a way of extending the route. We’re still going to use the section down by the river (near the park and ride) and the woodwork is going to be moved into this area. We’ve got a new downhill marked out that looks like it will turn out better than the existing route.

FUTURE
Our long term plans are still to do more work on the start of Piper’s hill, build a better section down by the motorway and develop the longer loop on the East side of the pitch.

TRAINING
Rafe is now a qualified mountain bike instructor, so training events will be available later in the year.

SPIRIT HILL
I just found out about this place. It might be worth a visit.
http://www.spirthilltrail.uk.com/
It’s located the other side of Lyneham.

RACE EVENT
We’re still talking about running timed laps at the trail. We’ve not looked into all of the aspects (insurance etc) yet, plus, the trail really isn’t up to standard yet. But, it’s still there as an idea.

HOW YOU CAN HELP
-Join the club: http://www.mbswindon.co.uk/club/join/

-Make a donation. If every facebook member donated £2 then we’d have enough money to buy a lorry load of MOT grade gravel.
Click on Donate on the left hand side of every page

-Come on a build day. They’re a lot of fun.

-Come on a club ride.

-Ride the trail. That’s what it’s for.

-Spread the word.

Thanks for supporting Croft trail, we look forwards to seeing you in 2010.

Tom.

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