Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Lacking foresight we normally decide to call it a night when it starts to go dark. Without lights this can often cause the ride home to be ‘eventful’. Last night, once out of the trees it was still reasonably light and the ride home passed without incident. We’ll be up there again on Thursday so try not to be disturbed if you hear monkey noises echoing around in the trees.
Monday, 29 June 2009
A big thanks to the four riders who interupted their ride for a few minutes to cart a couple of barrows of surfacing today. I didn't get the names of the first two gents (many apologies) as my brain wasn't in gear, but Clive and Daniel were a little surprised by my Paparazzi style photography ... thank you all for your time gents, i hope to see you all at the big build day!
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Monday, 22 June 2009
The diversion starts just before the new boardwalk, runs along the heritage trail, turns left though the ford and end at the bottom of the fireroad climb. It’s all signed and there is even a map at the start of the diversion. The diversion is on shared tracks so please be considerate of user users especially when it is busy at weekends.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
I think it looks good. It looked huge on the plans but looks about right in place. When the timber has weathered it will look more natural. It definitely looks better than the banners it replaced and artificial type of Trail Header … like the giant forks at CyB. [but we are biased! - Ed]
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
In complete contrast to last week, the sun was out but we all ended up a bit soggy - this time with sweat!
Thanks to Jez and Jay who joined the usual rabble!
Some minor maintenace on Follow the Dog also took place, resolving some drainage issues that had developed from all the rain in the week.
Next week will see more work on the same section with some foundations for wood work being installed.
By the time we arrived on site the single volunteer had swelled to a good handful and they had already been briefed and started work on the trail. The combination of torrential rain and poor ground conditions make the digging pretty hard going but chatting to Lynsey kept my enthusiasm high and we had to hit some good surface at some point, didn’t we? Well no, it looks like we were digging though old mining spoil meaning that at least part of this trail will need additional surfacing to be imported. As I squelched my way along the trail to check everyone was alright things didn’t seem much better until suddenly I hit solid ground and looked down to see the familiar sight of orangey-brown cannock gravel and those much loved shiny pebbles.
Just as moral was starting to flag, Dale and Sharon arrived which could only mean it was lunchtime. Dale’s bad back had pre-empted a change from our normal BBQ to a spread of sandwiched and cakes. This was a really nice change and tasted great. As always we fired the generator up to ‘run the kettle’! Lunchtime also saw our ‘free prize draw’. The odds of winning were pretty high this time and the prizes were great (exclusive Chase Trails grips & headtube badges plus T Shirts). Dave’s daughters Jessica and Charlotte drew the tickets and surprise surprise Dave’s ticket came out first (fix I hear you say, fix!)
After lunch the weather improved and the sun even shone for a few minutes. We continued to build trail and dig out the inevitable tree stumps (I think Dave should have won a prize for the stump he extracted, hold on, he did!). The gravely conditions continued only interrupted by the occasional lump of coal, a reminder of Cannock's mining past. By late afternoon we called it a day, collected up the tools, ate what was left of the food and headed back to the yard.
We may not have had thousands of volunteers but it was quality and not quantity. We got loads done despite the weather and it turned out to be a really enjoyable day. Thanks to everyone who braved the conditions to come and help.
The next Big Build day is on July 12th, but don't forget we meet up every Sunday at 10am outside Swinnertons Cycle Centre.
Monday, 1 June 2009
The sun was shining on us today. We had a good turn out too and got a few key things done - all while not having worked too hard!
We've replaced the rails on the log roll at the end of Section 8 as part of the continued maintenance of Follow the Dog. The new rails are much more slimline and over time will fade from the fresh timber look they currently have to something more appealing.
We also filled in the link on section 11 - It just needs a few weeks to bed in with some rain and warm weather, we should be able to open it very soon.
Over on the Phase II site, some trees were cleared ready for the return of Clixby's this week.
Next week is Build Build Day - Expect Prizes, Barbeque and lots of fab trail built!
10 am outside Swinnerton Cycles Forest Centre at Birches Valley, Sunday 7th June. Bring yourself, be ready to work outside in the weather conditions on the day - we'll supply the tools and the burgers!