We are ready to roll
So what do you get with 2 dogs, 5 kids and 13 adults an unbelievably great dig day. It’s been a long while since we have had such a large turn out for a dig day at Stainburn, and its was quite surprising given the rather poor weather forecast. Drizzly showers first thing followed by lots of cloud and then heavy rain from early afternoon. But no one was put off and we were soon heading off to the red climb.
Johnny’s nadgery corner
We made a beeline for the trees well we might as well get a bit of cover if its going to rain. The plan, to sort out a few of the short cuts riders have been taking on some of the corners on the climb. So on the first corner John decided to build a rather nadgery little rocky walkway close to the corner tree, nice, cut the corner now if you dare!
Posh setting out
At the next corner knacker got the little orange flags out and Johnny got the pink paint out very posh. We were soon digging out the organic and getting down to solid ground.
Knacker goes mad with flags
At this point Guy Kesteven and Knacker seemed to get their heads together and went mad with the little orangey flags. They laid out a whole new trail cutting off a whole switchback corner. Great that will make the climb a little easier won’t it, no chance, its going to be black with a steeper climb and a few rock steps. As soon as the red flags where placed the Kesteven family, along with a few little helpers, went into overdrive and the trail bed was cleared in no time.
We need more rock!
While all this was going on the rock scavengers where hard at work trying to dig out enough stone to keep three bits of new trail going. But they came up with the goods and found large quantities of rock of all shapes and sizes. It was quickly being delivered to where it was needed and while it took its toll on the bodies of those digging out and delivering, it was the barrows that were taking a hammering. One died when it snapped in half another needed to have a number of sheared bolts replace and another was resurrected from the barrow graveyard with bits cannibalised from the broken one. We may need to invest in a few new barrows, what spending more money! that will not be good for Tim’s nerves.
Barrow repair and cannibalisation
After a restorative brew and a bit of lunch it was back to it. Soon we had two corner short cuts completed and ready to ride. The second one has a nice evil step up, that should eat a few big rings and scratch the odd paint job, whoops.
Under normal circumstances we would have considered two features to be a good days work but not today. The Kesteven trail had been moving on a pace as well and by the end of the day over 30m of trail bed had been cleared and something like 25 metres of trail laid. It’s not completed yet so please no riding it until the whole thing is finished.
An interesting step up
By the end of the day there were just 5 diehards left to put the tools and barrows away. Everyone else had left to do more important things or possibly because we had broken them. Then it was time to head home for a nice relaxing bath, lots of food and maybe an odd drink or two.
So a short car journey later and something strange happened. I had walked to the car at Stainburn but when I try to get out at home I am suddenly a paraplegic! I have to roll out of the car and drag myself up using the door. Luckily after a little physio, read bashing and shaking the legs, life returned and I could unload the tools out of the car.
Into the house, prep food for tea, then its time for a quick bath to relieve those aching muscles. The only way I could get the grime off my forearms was to scrub them with a nail brush and that lead to the final revelation of the day, shock horror my skin is not rock resistant! So after some uncomfortable scrubbing my forearms now look like I had developed something akin to a cross between nettle rash and eczema.
But what can I say it was well worth it, a great day with a huge amount of trail built. Let’s hope it carries on for the rest of 2014.
That’s a lot of trail