Dec 14

Guisborough December Dig

Today’s dig saw us heading back up to Les’1 to try and make a little more progress. With a small team of 4 we decided to work from the bottom up, since pushing the wheelbarrow up the muddy bank is challenging at the best of times. The surface was rather slippy today, after a few days of frost has thawed out. We firstly decided to scrape the slop off the bottom berm and get some armor down on that. We put down a nice thick layer which will hopefully hold up.

Bottom berm

Bottom berm

Ghille Kettle in action

Ghille Kettle in action

We also managed to make use of the Ghille Kettle this morning too. It really is a great piece of kit for making a nice hot brew on the trail side.

So post brew we continued to work up the trail. I wanted to get rider coming into the berm on the ‘correct’ side. Its a left hander, so ideally you need to enter on the right of the trail for the best flow. However due to the condition of the trail a lot of riders are being forced over to the left, and then having to cut across the entry of the berm. This has caused the bankside to erode and dragged lots of soft ground into the berm, which was holding water and making a real mess. So with that in mind we have put in an armored line from the centre of the trail back across to the right, to give a better entry into the berm.

Looking up

Looking up

Looking down

Looking down

There’s obviously still a bit of work to do in order to link up with the work we have done further up the trail, but we will get there eventually.

Many thanks to today’s volunteers, Gary, Dan, and Tim.

Nov 09

Patching Up Les

Last month we began work on finishing the bottom section of Les’1 which unfortunately Clixby’s ran out time to complete. The existing line was straight and very slippery with mud. We added an extra corner with the intention of adding more as we worked our way down the trail. Unfortunately some small-minded individuals decided they didn’t like our work, and 2 days later ripped it out, to reinstate the straight line. This was done so they could launch off a set of steps that Clixby’s has added. The ironic thing is that is Clixby’s had finished the trail, there would have been a huge right hand berm in the landing zone, so the steps would only have been rollable. On another note whilst we were working today, the majority of riders actually took the line we had put in. It’s so frustrating that a few individuals ruin things for everyone else.

Anyway onto today’s work. Obviously we had to repair the mess that the idiots had left, which had become a sloppy wet mess. In order to keep things simple the plan was to reinstate the original straight line. We removed the armouring we had laid last month, and used it to create a line around the slop, with a drainage channel underneath. A few rocks here and there and the line was sorted. A few test riders passed through as we worked, with one club member even jumping off the steps and hitting the line perfectly.

Working further down the trail I wanted to make sure the drainage was improved and keep as much water off as possible. We added a channel to the left and armoured the trail on the right. A little further down a rock step was added for some interest, and the drainage then diverted across the trail into an existing drain off that was added by Clixby’s. We will continue this theme down the trail, to hopefully create a more durable, and more importantly safe line down the trail. The current rutted, slippy, muddy mess is far from safe for less experienced riders.

At the bottom of the section there was a bit of a gully forming in the work that Clixby’s had done, but due to a lack of drainage has become wet and soft. We rebuilt the ground up and will added some armour next time.

Anyway thank you to today’s volunteers, Andy, Dan, Gary, and myself.

Here’s the pics:

High quality trail fairy work =/

High quality trail fairy work =/

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Straight line =S

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The section left to complete

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Gully filled

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Added step & drainage

View from above the steps

View from above the steps

Sep 28

Go Snake

Carrying on from our evening session a couple of weeks ago, we cracked on with adding some curves to the ‘Black Track’ today. We had a few returning members join us today too which was great to see. Bill, Matt, Lindsey and Gary all coming along to get involved once more.

The felling is still taking place on sections of the trail but it seems to be a little hit and miss where he is working, but the section we have been working on has no trees left so by that observation I’m considering the work complete. We have therefore taken the opportunity to add some flow to what was a very straight, but fast section.

Before

Before

Bearing this in mind we didn’t want to kill the speed element too much, so changed our original idea a little. We reduced the size of the curves, which also meant we weren’t building into the really soft ground too.

We started by clearing the organic material from the surface until we hit the solid ground below, which fortunately wasn’t too deep. From here we built up with crushed rocks, dusted with some reclaimed aggregate from the original trail, and finally capped with a nice layer of new aggregate.

There's solid ground under here somewhere.

There’s solid ground under here somewhere.

There were some challenging roots to remove along the way, but most of them proved no match for the Silky saw.

Whilst the guys were busy building new trail Lindsey raked off all the felling debris from the rest of the trail. It’s now much clearer, reducing the risk of sticks in wheels and mechs.

 

Taking shape

Taking shape

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Latest Trailbuilding Tech, sticks!

The old line is invisible now

The old line is invisible now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whole area is nice and open now the trees have gone, with some good views across the forest. The only downside is that you lose the sense of speed whilst riding, without the trees whizzing past.

Nearly there

Nearly there

 

 

 

 

Job done. Now to see how it settles in.

Job done. Now to see how it settles in.

 

A really productive day once again. Many thanks to the team today for their hard work, and to Sean for suggesting the idea in the first place. Cheers Bill, Matt, Sean, Mark, Lindsey, Gary and Andy.

Next stop will hopefully be Les’1.

Sep 12

Guisborough Evening Session

We held our 1st evening trailbuilding session in a long time last night. The hope was to get some new faces along as lots of people claim not to be able to make a weekend dig due to family, work, etc. There were no new faces. So a crew of usual suspects cracked on with some repair work from felling along the ‘Black Track’.

Where's the trail gone?Looking betterOne contractor has already been and felled over the Black Track, but they didn’t fell the gulley section of the trail. Another contractor has now moved in to do this. However he doesn’t appear quite as considerate to the cycle trail as the previous crew. We have been along and cleared branches and loose debris a couple of times now to keep the trail going. This isn’t a major issue, more of an annoyance.

One section of the trail has taken a bit of a beating where the machinery has rubbed out the trail. Fortunately it was only a short section which we managed to clear, and hopefully guide riders in the right direction.

With the route now clear and some work done on our armoured section at the end of the trail, we moved backward towards Highcliffe, where we would like to add some more interest to the trail. The section runs fairly straight until it reaches a small drop. From here it hits a left hand berm, but then its a straight run to a corner, followed by another straight run. Our plan is to add some flowing curves to these sections to make it much more interesting. So with that in mind we set about adjusting the existing berm, making it a little tighter, to flow into the next flowing curve we have planned.

 

New bermAdding FlowIt was actually a really nice evening to be up there working, reasonably warm, no wind, and a bit of sun. We started to mark out the new curvy line, and will continue at our next evening session on the 25th September, and again on our next weekend session on the 28th.

Hopefully next time we might get some fresh new faces to feed in some more new ideas, and put their mark on our trails.

For now thanks to Andy, Sean, and Ram for their work. Its really nice to be adding new features to the trails, and with the work currently being done by Clixby’s on Les’1 its happy days at Guisborough.

Aug 10

Guisborough August Maintenance Day

Its August but that’s not scaring the rain away. With possible storms due for this months dig day a few people were put off coming along. In the end it was just myself and Sean, but as always I was suprised at just how much we got done. Due to the lack of volunteers we were forced to focus on clearing the rampantly growing vegetation and a bit of clearing the trail.

The recent logging on the Black Track has done no damage to the actual trail, but it was littered with loose bark and sticks. As there are less trees the grass has really shot up next to the trail so we started by cutting the edges around the rock steps on the first section of the Black Track. We then worked our way along, cutting back grass and brambles as we went. We raked off some of the loose bark and checked some drainage.

Black Track - GuisboroughI only remembered to take one picture so there it is.

We eventually got to the end of the Black Track and tidied up the loose rocks. We will get back to that section before winter hits and finish it off. Just after the rocks we removed some overhanging branches, so the whole trail should once again be nice and fast.

We then had a wander over the new section we will be starting soon, and discussed some ideas. It is a nice long section of trail and there are loads of options.

The undergrowth was also taking over on the Secret Path Climb, so we hacked that back as we made our way up to the fallen tree over the rooty section. This was easier to remove than expected so the roots are once again clear, opening up all the lines.

By this point the rain was coming down so we made out way back down. Huge thanks to Sean once again. Im sure our efforts will be appreciated by many, even if they dont realise it.

Next months dig day will not be the 2nd Sunday (14th September) as we will be at the Guisborough Forest Festival, hopefully signing up some new volunteers. I’m hoping to maybe reschedule for the 28th September, at which point harvesting should be finished over the new section.

As always thanks to Orange Bikes for there continued support. By default Sean wins this months raffle prize.

 

Jul 20

Sweating it out in the Sauna at the Dalby dig day

2014_July_puddle

We knew at before we started today that it would be a small crew as we move into the summer holidays. But it just goes to show its not the numbers that matter but the dedication. So in what can only be described as a sauna it was an amazing effort from Stuart, Steve, Robert, John, Paul and me of course to make some significant changes to section 2 today.

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We started with a rather damp section puddles everywhere and what can only be described as a tired section. First job was to clear out the drains and get rid of the water, we don’t want Standing water on the trail.

Then it was time to start on the working on the big job of the day creating a berm close to the bottom of the section. This was made a trickier by a) we couldn’t get the stone right to the berm so it had barrowed the last 30m and b) we decided it would need a drain so had to dig a channel through the trail. No problem except we had to dig through solid rock, typical some sections have Dalby don’t have any stone to speak and here we are digging it out. But at least it came in handy latter when forming the berm.

2014_Julyt_berm

So we spread ourselves out and cracked on. John created a couple of steps around some tree stumps that were looking a little tired, not any more. There is now a small roller above the drop into the berm to stop the water washing the berm out. The berm while maybe not fully formed we will have to see how it rides over the next month, is now ridable. There is no longer a hole at the top of one humps and another step further back up the slope. Lets just say section 2 is now a lot more ridable and hopefully more fun than it was at the start of the day. Wait until next month it will be even better!

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Jul 13

A Great Day For Ducks

Having looked at the weather forecast beforehand I was expecting rain around dinnertime at Guisborough, so that would give us plenty of time to sort the last berm on Les’ 2. The weather gods had different plans however. As we arrived on-site just before 10am the light drizzle started. Not too bad we thought, we can cope with this. We cracked on and started work on the berm. Upon investigation we discovered the undergrowth had stolen nearly a foot off the top of the berm, and along with riders line choice along the trail, was causing some issues with a stump at the end of the berm. So we set about clearing the ground at the top of the berm ready to be resurfaced. We are hoping that by claiming back the top of the berm it will change the line through the turn and solve the issue at the exit of the berm.

Les'2 bermAfter clearing we started resurfacing the berm and filling some small braking bumps. As we worked the rain got heavier and heavier. A couple of the guys headed further up Les’ 2 to cut back the undergrowth again. Its amazing how much it has grown since cutting it only a month ago!

We managed to get the resurfacing completed by the time the rain became overbearing, but the new hardcore was very wet by the time we were done so some further work may be needed shortly.

Les'2 exit

 

 

 

Unfortunately because of the rain I didn’t get any after pics, but we managed to resurface right up to the rocks on the left at the exit of the berm.

With the main job for the day done we collected our gear and headed done to Les’ 3 to cut back the foliage there. The usual killer brambles were overhanging the trail and a holly bush which was also encroaching a little too much. These were all cut back and the trail opened up a little.

With these two sections sorted we can hopefully begin work on our new section from the end of the ‘Black Track’ next month. This is going to be a big project and lots of fun, with plenty to get our teeth into. Ideas on a postcard please! Or in the appropriate thread in the trailbuilding section of the MTB Guisborough forums.

I can’t say thank you enough to the team that came out in the rain today, Mark, Andy, Sean, and Al. Huge respect for your efforts today guys. I don’t think we could have gotten any wetter by jumping in a river!

Jun 15

Forget the footie, get trail building

2014_Dalby_June_rakeWe weren’t expecting a huge turnout for the June dig day at Dalby when we realised that the first England game of the world cup would be shown late the night before.

So it was no surprise that there were only 6 volunteers. Mind you I’m sure it can’t all be blamed on the World Cup it is the summer after all and folks might also want to ride their bikes. But that didn’t stop us getting stuck in to Section 1.

It was quite surprising how much organic crud had built up on the trail and how far the line had started to drift down the slope. But after a good bit of graft there is now a much more defined climb up through the trees and hopefully any rain will now shed off the trail stopping it getting too muddy.

We also manage to redefine the 1st step on section 2 and hopefully block up all the little bypassing runs. What can we say either ride the steps or get off and walk, its a Red trail!

Whinge over, enjoy the trails.

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Jun 08

SingletrAction Guisborough June Dig Day

Well it was a bit of a solo effort at Guisborough today. Wandered up with a nice lady who is interested in joining us at some future digs, but being only me there wasn’t much for me to show her, so we had a good chat and she left me to it.

The undergrowth is taking over once again due to the wet and warm weather so I cut back the foliage around the bottom berm on Les’ 2. I had planned on sorting that berm as it lost a bit of shape and height, but that’s now a job for another day.

Befores:

Afters:

Would have loved to have got the berm sorted especially since the materials are right next to it now after we moved a load last Wednesday.

May 18

Anyone for Oblivion?

2014_May_Dalby_berm

It was the monthly dig day up at Dalby today and while it was slightly cut short by the SingletrAction AGM and the track barrow running out of fuel we still managed to get so good work done.

Section 31 also known as Oblivion was the target for the day carrying on from where we left off last month. We started by adding a roller at the bottom of the berm  where we finished last month this should shed the water and stop any gullying.

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Before and after the vegetation cut back

There was a fair bit of vegetation cut back as well, its amazing how much it encroaches at this time of year.

2014_May_Dalby_whackerWe then carried on down the trail sorting out two more berms adding rollers to the bottom of both of them again to aid drainage.

Finally we edged the straight before the last berm cutting back the vegetation to re-align the trail back to its original line as it had moved a good foot down the slope.

The test bike was out just before we left and the feedback was good.

Not a bad days work and we managed to get the AGM in as well!

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