Build progress 28th, 29th, 31st July & 1st Aug 2010 (mway1)

Wednesday 28th July 2010
We were so pleased with our progress on the previous weekend that we set ourselves the ambitious target of digging out and surfacing the first half by the end of the coming weekend.

We spent Wednesday night digging out the second half of the undug first half. Whilst Anthony, Jenny, Lee and Ben were working on that then Pete, Phil and myself (Tom) got chopping on the first section. The line was cut through dense brambles and connected up with the digging area. It looked simple and swoopy.

Personally I wasn’t convinced that a tight kink round a tree was going to work, but the others had faith, so I was prepared to see how it turned out.

July_28_Wed_Trail_Build 001

Thursday 29th July 2010
In another productive night we dug out the remaining part of the section. Present were Anthony, Jodie, Mr Anon, Chris, Phil and myself. The old rock garden was dug up and separated into rocks and concrete. Test rides showed that the kinked corner worked pretty well. Two sets of rock steps are going to be built in the section. Eventually a much steeper Black line is going to be built too.

July_29_Thurs_Trail_Build 002 July_29_Thurs_Trail_Build 014

Friday 30th July 2010
It was our weekly Friday night trail ride and I gave the new section a test ride. It all gets a thumbs up. The start flows really nicely, it swoops round a few trees, up a bit and then down where the rock steps are going to go. The kink in the next section is not a problem since speeds are quite low at that point. The rock step jump works really well too.

After that it’s the switchback, easy climb up, then down the hill with a few rock steps. All we need now is some rain so the material can bed in properly.

Saturday 31st July 2010
The day started at 9am when Chris and Jodie arrived in the car park with the power barrow. This had come from Brandon Hire and they’d given us a very special rate. It was a better design than the previous model we’d hired. Bigger wheels, a gearbox that worked and an exhaust that didn’t exit onto the hopper.

Anthony, his friend Mark and myself (Tom) got started. We moved some rocks in ready for the rock steps. Mark had brought a petrol powered whacker plate which he used to compact all of last week’s trail. This worked really well, bringing the dust to the top and giving a really smooth surface.

Anthony and Mark got surfacing whilst I made a start on the rock steps. Pete arrived a while later and reckoned the steps were looking alright. We built up terraces down the hill using old bits of concrete. Along with the start ramp this gave us four sets of steps down the hill.

Pete went off to lunch and not long later Mr Anon arrived. He added some extra width to the steps, then wood edging using some old bits of tree. Together we made a start on the rock steps down for the future Black option.

Jenny and Lee arrived, followed later by Phil and Rafe. They all liked the new steps, which was a relief. Over the afternoon and evening the surfacing progressed to within a few metres of the start of the section and a lot of the old trail was filled back in.

In the morning we’re going to dig out the straighter start and finish the surfacing.

July_31_Sat_Trail_Build 007 July_31_Sat_Trail_Build 014

Preview video of the rock steps.

Sunday 1st August 2010
We worked out the previous night that a power barrow will fit into the back of a Mk3 Golf Estate, so we started the day by picking it up from its secret storage location. At the trail Pete, Phil and Anthony were ready to go. We dug out the new straighter start and filled it all with the Limestone chippings. Mr Anon arrived during this. Then we filled in the old bit of trail.

In the afternoon it was down to just Phil and myself (Tom) for a while, and then Ben joined us. We filled in the last of the old trail and then did a few odd jobs. The sign posts were sorted, an extra load was tipped on the end, and some minor repairs were done to the berms down on the previous new section (red loop).

It’s fair to say that we were feeling weary and had no qualms about finishing uncharacteristically early at 5pm. We often stay unti it’s dark.

A big thanks to all the people who’ve been turning up over the last two weeks. It’s been a great team effort and a lot of fun.

July_31_Sat_Trail_Build 015 Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 002
Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 007 Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 009
Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 027 Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 035
Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 036 Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 042
Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 019 Aug_01_Sun_Trail_Build 043

Some build stats.

3 thoughts on “Build progress 28th, 29th, 31st July & 1st Aug 2010 (mway1)”

  1. Once again I’m amazed by the effort and dedication going into this, well done chaps. Still having to imagine & watch the vids to get a feel for how much the trail has changed since I lst rode in in January (I think). Still dreaming of when I can ride it again 🙁 Still MRI scan this week so will know what the deal is and if I will fully get my arm/ shoulder strength back.

  2. Me too, riding on towpaths doesn’t quite burn the calories the same, as my scales will testify 😉

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