Trail build report: Sat 19th & Sun 20th Feb 2011

Saturday 19th Feb 2011

After a week of heavy rain and with many key members away on the Saturday the viability of the weekend had been questioned. In the end Phil booked the power barrow and compactor from Brandon hire and decided that the section had to be finished by the end of the weekend. To do this meant building up the berm before the log drop, the following berm, building the bypass round the log bridge and surfacing all of that. Because it’s a boggy area the whole lot has to be filled with rubble to stop it sinking.

The barrow was delivered by 9am and Phil got cracking moving mud for the berms. He was joined later by Jez, Kristian, Kate and someone who’s name we didn’t catch (contact us if it was you and we’ll amend the report). By lunch time the first berm and drop were taking shape, with rubble, mud and limestone chippings in place.

We all like to hear about someone else’s misfortune, so as I was finishing my last day of skiing Phil was looking at a barrow with two square tyres on it (only flat at the bottom though).

Belle Group dumper with flat tyre.
Artist's impression of muck truck.

Rather than chancing the local tyre place the problem was solved by pumping the tyres with puncture repair gel. This worked well and by 6pm Phil had surfaced from the log bridge to the first berm.

Sunday 20th Feb 2011

The puncture repair of the previous day was a partial success – the main wheel was still full of air but the jockey wheel was flat again. This meant that the barrow could only operate in two wheel drive mode which meant moving it when empty a bit of a problem.

Not long after 10am we were transporting mixed loads of chippings and rubble down the bypass round the log crossing. Present were Phil, Richard, Gary Yeates, Sharon, Jez, Nigel, me (Tom) and someone else who’s name we’ve forgotten (sorry).

The power barrow seemed to be holding up well after the trials of the previous day. Things were going well. Maybe too well. We all hate to hear of easy success so you’ll be pleased to know that we had more barrow problems: the left handle seemed a bit loose. Closer inspection showed that a crack was forming where the handle met the main frame. We also noticed that the right handle had been welded up at some stage in the past.

Luckily we had a man who could fix it for us: Nigel took the barrow home in his van and welded it back up, returning in just over an hour later.

Whilst he was gone we built up the final berm with a large amount of clay.

With the barrow back in action we were able to finish the bypass. We were then left with about two hours to finish the surfacing of the last berm.

By this time Gary, Sharon, Jez, Nigel and unknown had gone and had been replaced by Ben and Chris. The power barrow plus two acoustic barrows were put into serious service to try and complete the section before the sun went down.

The hard work paid off – we not only finished the section we also patched up the damage that the power barrow had done to the following trail.

A big thank you to the people who turned up on the weekend – it’s great to have this section finished. This frees us up to fix another section on the March build day.

Trail build progress at Croft Trails 20th Feb 2011.
Build progress 20th Feb 2011.

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