Tag Archives: maintenance

Build Day! Fix red section berm and other jobs

Come down and help out if you can, we’ll be focusing on fixing the first berm into the first red section that is collapsing, but will also be looking at sorting other tasks such as filling pot holes, resurfacing the first section of trail and general maintenance around the whole trail.

For some history of build day activities take a look at our Croft Trail build diary 

Woodwork repairs in the triangle section

If you ride the trail regularly you should have spotted that the raised woodwork section within the triangle section has had to be closed due to instability of the supporting wooden frame. For those of you not part of our Facebook group you will not have seen the photos and discussion about the extent of the deterioration of the wood used to build the structure.

Below are some of the key extracts from these discussions (to read the full conversation the linked dates will take you to the Facebook posts within the closed group):

Steffan James
15 January
If you go down to the woods today… don’t use the woodwork section! As you can see, there is a pretty big broken section, making it unusable. I have nailed a sign to the start of the raised section and blocked off the entrance with logs. If you go down there and see that anyone has removed these, please let one of the committee know.

The majority of this was repaired by Jason and Pete on a wet 21 January, with it reopening the following week.

Jason Rodger
16 March
Tomorrow Morning (Saturday 17th March.) I will be doing some work to repair and replace sections of one of the bridges at Croft. It’s in a poor state and close to failure. Please take heed of any diversion notices you see – once I start work the bridge will be impassable for a time. Hopefully I will be done by 11 and normal service will be resumed.

Gabriel Gray
23 May
Saw this at the start of the wooden pump track. Don’t know if you guys were aware of it?

Initial plan to look at it ahead of the Hargoves demo day on Sunday 27 May 2018

Jason Rodger
27 May

Sad day I am afraid, after several reports of broken sections and a couple of inspections I have had no choice but to close the triangle woodwork section. Parts of it are now very rotten and some parts have actually broken. I have cut away the entry ramp, but please don’t attempt to ride any part of it. Discussions are underway with several people/groups to decide the future of this feature.

As can be seen from this post on the day of the demo day, the amount of repairs required were too great to do in a couple of hours so the decision was made to close it indefinitely while a plan was made of how best to repair and replace.

Justin Wilkinson
9 June

Just an FYI, I’m going down to the Croft trail in a few mins to do a walk of it and take some notes down of any issues. Want to get a list of problems so that we can start to work through them in a planned way on each maintenance day.

Just in case anyone comes across me and wonders what on earth I’m doing with a clipboard and pen!

Justin Wilkinson
9 June

Just so everyone is aware, people have been making their own bodge repairs to the woodwork section and then riding it in reverse. All the signs and blocks that were in place are nowhere to be seen.

Jason Rodger
12 June
Woodwork Update.

It may seem like things have gone quiet, but in the background we have been working hard to get things moving. First priority has been to gather materials – there is little point in getting a build day together if we have nothing to use. Wood from the diy stores doesn’t seem to last long so I have been looking at reclaimed wood, which as well as being cheaper is much better quality. We are well on the way to having everything we need. Thanks to Justin Wilkinson, Dave Bates and Jez, the original builder of the feature for your help so far. The wood is taking up valuable space in my garage, so I am keen to keep things moving

In response to most of these posts lots of comments were received, some with offers of help and others with suggestions of how to get it sorted as quickly as possible. There also seemed to be some level of frustration about why the work was taking so long to happen. To help people understand why there appeared to be delays the following statement was made:

Kat Ratcliffe
3 July

Across a couple of posts, I have seen people asking why their offers of help and support to repair/replace the woodwork have not been taken up. Whilst we try to run the club and maintenance of the trail in as simplistic a way as possible unfortunately sometimes things take time to happen. In this instance there are various reasons why there doesn’t appear to be much progress. Firstly we are all volunteers that have demanding day jobs, secondly we have personal lives that also take priority over the club and thirdly the maintenance tasks need to be planned out and prioritised. These plans have been started and some of the materials required have been purchased.

Those people that have been in touch offering their time and skills have been noted and once we have a more defined plan we will be in touch. We will then advertise the build days so that all who want to help will know when they are happening.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Please also be aware that as a Committee we are down 2 people as no-one stood for the Chair or Women’s Officer positions. Jason has been standing in as Chair but this is not sustainable and I would ask you to consider whether you can help support the club moving forwards by offering your help on the Committee. Further details of all the Committee positions are available on the website http://www.mbswindon.co.uk/club/constitution/

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via private message or email kat@mbswindon.co.uk

Ladies Maintenance Evening

Mark Sealey, manager of Hargroves Swindon, has kindly offered to do a mountain bike maintenance evening on the above date. He will cover things you are unsure of, but also that all important winter servicing ready for summer riding .

Don’t forget to put the date in the diary, this will be the only such evening for us in 2017.

Please note that this evening is for MB Swindon female members only and membership cards are required. They will also be needed to take advantage of the club discount arranged with Hargroves.

Photos from our last ladies maintenance evening

New Club Member Discount with Green Oil

If you’re reading this then it’s fair to assume you’re a mountain biker or at least have an interest in mountain biking. That being the case you’ll almost definitely have a keen interest in the great outdoors and care about it’s protection. Now we all know that the bicycle is the most environmentally friendly transport known to man. However, chain lube, grease, cleaning products – they all have an impact on our eco system. Enter Green Oil and their eco friendly range of products.

Now I know what you’re thinking, putting the words ‘eco friendly’ in front of any maintenance product is just code for ‘not very good’ right? – Wrong! Green Oil products don’t just work, they work really well! I first discovered their chain lube when I got a sample bottle in a free goody bag at a 24 hour event in 2011 and I’ve been using it ever since.

It’s not just lube though, they also have a great range of environmentally friendly cleaning products. A particular favourite is the chain degreaser jelly. Use it as part of your preferred chain cleaning system and it does the job a treat, diluted with water it makes a litre of bike cleaner to rival any of the more popular products out there.

As a paid up member of MBSWINDON you can now get 20% of their full range of products by using the Web link on our members only page.


Ladies maintenance evening at Hargroves

Update from Debbie on the plans for the evening:

Ladies, just an update and a little more info before Friday evening.

You don’t need to bring your bike, I shall be supplying one road and one mountain bike for you to work with and some spare wheels to practice tyre changes on.

If you have a small bike tool kit that you put in your backpack etc feel free to bring it with you for Mark to advise on, if there are things you should or needn’t carry.

Remember to bring your MB Swindon membership card with you for your club discount should you wish to buy anything on the night.

Kat, our Club / Membership secretary, will be attending. So if any of you would like to join on the night, she will be able to guide you through the process and you will be able to take advantage of the discount straight away. You can join the club in advance by using the Join Club page of the website, in the notes section make sure you let us know that you will be attending this event so we can make sure your card is ready for you.

One last thing, Mark and his team have put this event on for us for free.

Each year Hargroves gets involved in fundraising for a charity, the details of this years are below. I would love it if we might be able to help with this in a small way at the end of our evening and would ask if you might consider donating a pound or two towards their goal.




Hargroves Cycles Swindon will be holding a ladies only maintenance session from 6pm on Friday 11 March 2016 .

We will cover all of the on-the-trail basics as well as what to look for when cleaning and just some handy tips. We expect this session to last approx 2 hours.
Mark Sealey – Hargroves Swindon Manager

Debbie Davies – MB Swindon Ladies Office, has kindly organised this event for female MB Swindon members and says:

To any ladies that would like to join I shall be bringing my bike so there is one you can use to practice on too . Don’t despair if you cant change a tyre or repair an inner tube , this will sort things out for you.
Debbie Davies – MB Swindon Ladies Officer

She goes on to explain further about the idea behind the evening:

It will be very basic trail maintenance, something to give people confidence to ride on their own and not worry about getting a puncture etc, Hargroves sometimes hold excellent more in depth courses too for the more adventurous tinkerer!
Debbie Davies

If you are interested in attending please show your interest on the MB Swindon Events page post so that Mark and Debbie have an idea of how many to expect.

Trail build report: pothole filling motorway 2, alley and triangle

Pothole fixing.After a bit of warm rain on Saturday it was promising to have a dry and sunny morning. Arriving just after 10am I found Stewart Mackay, Paul Kidd, Finlay Kidd and Wayne Brown ready and raring to go. We got stuck straight into the first task for the day: fixing a load of potholes in an area we call “motorway1” and “motorway2”. 

The potholes received gabion rocks and a topping of limestone before being compacted (once we had the whacker plate running). A fence was constructed to close off an annoying short cut on the bottom switchback. As the morning progressed we were joined by Matt Dobson, Pawel, Gary Yeates and Phil Mayger.

A club ladies ride was taking place at the trail so we spotted a few riders as they came past.

Birds on Bikes mountain biking club

Birds on bikes cycling club.

Trail drainage.

This area was first dug out on 27th Sept 2009 (not uploaded yet), first surfaced in Oct 2009 and then properly in  Sept 2010. A section was rebuilt in Dec 2010 . More surfacing was done in Jan 2011 (more) and March 2011,  gaps filled on 4th and 10th of March 2012 and then patched in September and December 2012.

Two more short cut obstructing fences were built in the area at the end of the trail near the tennis court.

Short cut blocking at a mountain bike trail.

With all the material used up from the first pile we had to barrow more in from the triangle until everything was fixed to our satisfaction.

With that done we moved onto a second major job of the day: fixing potholes in the alley. This was first surfaced in Oct 2010, exit mods were made in Dec 2010 and more surfacing was done in  Jan 2011 plus the final link in Dec 2011. The first part was topped up in May 2012. Our first surprise visitors for the afternoon were Ben Rukin and Kate Bevan. They arrived in time for Sharon Bassingdale’s cakes.

Shifting material at a trail build day.

Social and cakes at a trail build day.

Our second surprise visitor of the day was Andy Matthews. Old time trail builder, not seen for a while.

The last of the material was used to fill potholes in the triangle: a small hole after the rock feature, some bigger ones after that and the whole of the back straight. We were running very low on material by this stage and some areas only received puddle drainage. This area will be reinforced during 2013 once we’ve had some material delivered to the area.

Short cuts blocked with logs.

The triangle was dug out in June, July and August 2011 surfaced in September & October 2011, January 2012 and then topped up in Sept 2012 (more).

The final job of the day was blocking various short cuts on Pete’s steps on Piper’s hill.

Thanks to everyone who came along and, once again, made a massive difference to the trail.

  • 1) Tom Stickland
  • 2) Phil Mayger
  • 3) Stewart Mackay
  • 4) Paul Kidd
  • 5) Finaly Kidd
  • 6) Wayne Brown
  • 7) Matt Dobson
  • 8) Pawel Kotowski
  • 9) Gary Yeates
  • 10) Kate Bevan
  • 11) Ben Rukin
  • 12) Andy Matthews
  • 13) Richard Ford lookalike (sorry, don’t know name!)
  • 14) Dan Westron

Trail build progress is shown in the map below.

 See the complete build diary.

Croft Trail build progress April 2013

Free MTB Maintenance course at Hargoves Cycles (women only)

Hargroves Cycles in Swindon are running this free MTB maintenance course for MBSwindon club members. This evening is women only – there is another course on Wednesday the 14th of September that’s open to all. They’ve also put together an “essentials kit” for a very good price. If you would like to book a place then email phil at mbswindon dot co dot uk.

Bike maintenance evening with Hargroves Cycles

Bike maintenance training session at Hargroves Cycles in Swindon.

This was a bike maintenance tips session organised by Hargroves Cycles in Swindon, Wiltshire for MBSwindon club members.

During a 90 minute session the most common areas of bike maintenance were covered with practical demonstrations and useful advice. This covered things like gear set up, gear cable renewal, chain life, lubrication, suspension maintenance, brake set up, cleaning products and how to prolong the life of various components.

There was a 25% discount on items in the shop too.

Thanks to Hargrove Cycles for organising this event. A women-only session is taking place on Wednesday 21st September. There’s also a club night on Thursday 20th October 2011.

Free MTB Maintenance course at Hargoves Cycles

Hargroves Cycles in Swindon are running this free MTB maintenance course for MBSwindon club members. They’re also running an all-women session on the 21st September. Hargroves have put together an “essentials kit” for a very good price. If you would like to book a place then email phil at mbswindon dot co dot uk.