Trail build report: Sun 5th Feb Final triangle surfacing

Large sack of gravel at trail build day.Whacker plate at trail build day.

It snowed on the previous day and then thawed out on Sunday morning. This was good in terms being able to dig the ground, but not good in terms of water levels.

We had planned on resurfacing the back straight using material that we’d already moved. In the ideal world then new trail should be be left for a few months to consolidate before tyres touch it. This isn’t possible when resurfacing trail and we usually get away with it. However, with melt water in big puddles on the surface then it would have been a total disaster.

So we moved to the triangle entrance area and filled in the start section using the material that we’d moved on the previous day.

Present were Phil, Chris, Kristian, Tony La Porte, Gary Yeates and myself (Tom). This area had been dug out in May 2011 so the three new berms were well settled. The straight bits were a bit too narrow and deep so we widened them and used the mud to fill the holes in a bit. A lot of material was swallowed up on this section. Skimping on the width and depth of the trail makes for more work in the long run because the path that riders follow never matches the line that’s been cut out. Shallow trails sink and wheels off the edge bring mud onto the track.

The warmer weather actually gave us less pleasant working conditions; the ground was very damp and the sacks of rubble were all covered with thawing snow. We were still lucky with the weather in that we were able to progress with the building on both days.

Within a few hours the start section was done and attention moved to finishing the exit straight. This was a pretty simple job – just a few metres of straight trail joining up the end of the triangle section with the existing trail. Jerome and Gary Lee joined us on this job. We moved some material from the pile in the corner of the triangle to allow us to finish the job off properly.

Then Sarah delivered a box of her cup cakes. We’re not sure how many the box started with but there were two spaces in the box when Chris brought them down to us. Big thanks to Sarah for these.

Finished berm at Croft Trail in Swindon.
Missing link is finished at mountain bike trail.
Another load of chippings tipped onto mountain bike trail.
Cup cakes in Swindon.

With that done and dusted (literally) we then moved into the triangle and finished off the last berm. This already had a mound of material at the start waiting to be used and more was added from the nearby pile.

Because it wasn’t dark yet we decided to do a fun job. The last few rocks in the far corner were shifted to build a rock ramp option. The rocks were heavy and we beasted a rickety barrow in the process – the tyre was squashed near flat when we rolled the barrow up with the rock in it. It’s a good job that Nigel did such a good job of fixing them for us.

Another really productive day. We’re in great shape now for our March build days and the opening of the new section in April – see the events page.

Rock feature at Croft Trail in Swindon.
Croft Trail mountain bike track progress Feb 2012.

A big moment – no more yellow lines on the map. That means that all of the trail has had some sort of surfacing.

Full trail build diary.

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