Trail build report: weekend 15th & 16th May 2010

The original aim was to spend the weekend finishing the new Red loop. However, things didn’t go to plan. The 20 tonne delivery of crushed concrete turned out to be more like demolition waste. This would be ideal for the hardcore base of a track, but not suitable to surface a mountain bike trail. It contained bits of glass, plastic, cans and other detritus.

We had laid a test area with the new material, but the final group decision was that this was unacceptable. So we dug that back up and used the material as additional hardcore.

After a bit of angst it was decided that we would have the entire 20 tonne load removed from the site. We would then buy in some more of the crushed concrete that we knew would work.

It turned out that what we has previously called crushed concrete was in fact Limestone chippings. Crushed concrete usually contains building waste such as bricks, bits of tarmac and plastic and glass and is unsuitable for trail surfacing.

The probation service community payback group were booked in for Sunday and we needed something for them to do. So we decided to do another job from the list. This was the building of a set of mud berms on the hill just before the pond. We spend the afternoon marking these out and digging out the grass. Later in the evening Phil and myself cut a new line into the triangle via dense scrub. We worked out the locations for the entrance and exit bridges. The long term plan here is that the triangle will become a non-optional part of the Red loop and will be accessed via the bridges rather than using the existing track. We were pleased to discover an interesting line along the edge of the ditch that we plan to use on the return route.

Present on the day at various times were Phil Mayger, Simon Morgan, Pete Radcliffe, our anonymous trail builder and myself (Tom).

On Sunday we had the probation service on site with ten people. Our task for them was moving mud from the pile to various locations. In the morning we built up the two new berms near the pond. We also built a mini-table top. In the afternoon we built a berm on the pond corner (South side of pitch, near end of trail). We also built up a section called “Pete’s hill”, a difficult climb that short cuts the start of Piper’s hill area.

By this time we had six of us present: Phil Mayger, Gary Lee, Andy Miles, Chris Hopkinson, anonymous and myself (Tom).

We finished off the day by digging up a load more of the old trail near the start. Not the most glamorous job, but one that needs doing. We believe that it’s responsible to leave unused sections in a state where they can grow back over and return to nature.

Berm no2 marked out.
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Wheel barrow fleet.
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Berm no1.
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Various bits of old trail filled in. Originally there was a pointless S shape here which came in from the left. People avoided this by using one of two short cuts. Then we changed the layout to come in from the trees at the back. Finally we put the new berms in, so by this time there were 5 routes through the area.
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Location of the entrance bridge. Taken from the triangle.
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Filling in old trail.
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Berm no2.
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Berm after pond (South side of pitch).
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Uphill section.

Digging up old trail near start.
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