Trail build report: Sat 3rd March – gravel shifting and resurfacing

These special artistic effects were produced by using a very low spec camera on a phone (Nokia C1-01).

Big pile of gravel at Wiltshire mountain bike trail. Digging out a path at the Croft Trail in Swindon.

It was finally looking like spring on Saturday morning at 9am when Brandon Hire delivered the compactor (whacker). Jez brought the tools round and I kept myself entertained fixing the puncture on one of the wheel barrows and doing a quick recce of the gravel sack situation.

The first trail build volunteer was Gary Palmer who arrived at 9:30am after spotting my gravel cam pictures on the Facebook group. We started on the job of bagging up the first of the 20 tonnes of limestone chippings from the pile.

Next on site were Robin, Kristian, Pete Toop, Tony La Porte, Nigel Gregson and new recruit Tim.

Rafe arrived at 10:30am with his Land Rover

11am update on Facebook: “It’s all happening now. Richard, Rafe and Chris are here too. I make that 12. Gravel being shifted. Bricks being shifted. Start path dug out.”

When Gary and Sharon Yeates arrived then that gave us 14 people working on the trail.

With this many people present then we were able do another job at the same time as filling sacks for the Land Rover. We dug out the path from the car park to the trail entrance. The mud was moved to the last section of trail where it was going to be used to build a berm.

The Land Rover crew filled a massive (2 x 2m) Hippo sack with gravel at the triangle entrance and brought bricks back to be used in the new berm. Cunning.

New trail start at the Croft Trail in Swindon.
New start path.
Resurfaced trail in Swindon.
Resurfaced section.
Fixing muddy section at Croft Trail in Swindon.
Fixing a corner near the start.
Loading Land Rover with gravel.
Loading Land Rover with gravel.

The trail on the west side from the tennis courts down to the trail exit was resurfaced plus the exit was extended by a few more metres. This trail had been built in 2008!

The Land Rover crew then moved to a second Hippo bag down near the motorway whilst the local crew fixed a few minor muddy areas near the start of the trail.

By 11am the 20 tonne pile was at less than half its original size. An amazing result. Facebook update from 11am “Start path done. Bricks and mud for berm moved. Land rover shifting material. Hand filling west side with 6 barrows.”

The Land Rover crew now switched attention to Piper’s Hill where they built a stash of sacks to allow the line from the first rock garden to be fixed, resurfaced the following alley and then resurfaced the climb from the switch back. They also collected stray bricks for use in the new berm.

Youngest club member!
Resurfaced section at the Croft Trail.
Back straight resurfaced.
Resurfacing trail in Wiltshire.
Resurfacing Piper’s Hill climb.

Reinforcements arrived during the afternoon. From Facebook: “Gary Lee, Lee Morgan, Pete, Kat, Jerome, Jo Page, James and Jame’s mate have also been here today. Must be more than 20 people in total. Excellent result.”

New berm taking shape at Wiltshire moutain bike trail.
New berm taking shape.
Test riding new berm at Wilsthire mountain bike trail.
Jo test riding the new berm.

As evening drew closer then one team resurfaced the back straight near the start using a large pile of sacks from the previous build weekend. Meanwhile the other team tidied up the verge in the car park.

Another new berm at the Croft Trail in Swindon.
Another new berm.
Car park tidy up.
Car park tidy up.

We surfaced 240m of trail in a day!

Phil was on site from midday, so that makes 23 volunteers present – a record!

Full list:

Croft Trail progress map March 3rd 2012.

  1. Tom Stickland
  2. Jez
  3. Gary Palmer
  4. Robin Steward
  5. Kristian Price
  6. Pete Toop
  7. Tony La Porte
  8. Tim
  9. Richard Barnett
  10. Rafe Aldridge
  11. Chris Hopkinson
  12. Nigel Gregson
  13. Gary Yeates
  14. Sharon Yeates
  15. Phil Mayger
  16. Gary Lee
  17. Lee Morgan
  18. Pete Ratcliffe
  19. Kat Beeston
  20. Jerome Crametz
  21. Jo Page
  22. James
  23. Jame’s mate

Full trail build diary.

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