Over the last week contractor Hugh Clixby has been busy working on the causeway area between section 2 & 6 (sections 3, 4 & 5 are now officially classed as ‘lost’). The main impetus for this work was to help control the speed and flow of mtb’ers through the causeway and to make it generally safer for everyone.
Near the entry to the bridge a line of tall pointy stones has been built to divide the mtb trail from the heritage trail (replacing the temporary fence). These large flat lumps of gritstone have also been used to create the trail surface and have created a really good rocky stepped entry onto the bridge. The end of section 2 has also been altered and the old log humps have been replace by a low speed rock step exit onto the heritage trail. From here you make a tight turn (watch your rear mechs) onto the start of the new trail.
First thing on Saturday morning, Andrew, Alex and myself met Jason from the FC to check, de-brash and open the trail. There were soon lots of bikes circling around like vultures or bees round a honey pot. We told everyone that it would be open in about an hour to buy ourselves some time to perform a few final tweaks and carry out the all important ‘test rides’. Ian magically appeared on his bike [Tadaa!] just as we were ready for testing and Alex quickly disappeared back to the yard to fetch his bike (Andrew was too busy getting the trail ready and I had already changed out of my riding gear but we would get to have our fun later on [meaning you didn't want to be the Crash Test Dummy! Ed]). Alex and Ian rode each bit while posing for photos, Alex had to ride deliberately slowly so my photos didn't blur! Once we were ready Jason drove round to open the start of section 2 and let the first riders onto the trail.
After a couple of hours of doing other bits and piece (this included eating ice cream) Andrew and myself were ready to give the new trail our seals of approval. Just as we were about to leave we met two stray children (Charlotte and Jessica) riding round the carpark and they offered to ‘show us how it is done’. Mum and Dad were more than happy for us to kidnap their children (Andrew and myself being the responsible adults that we are!) Charlotte and Jessica rode really well and were putting lots of adults to shame, I think by their own count they had ridden the rocks ‘a million’ times by the end of the day. We then bumped into Jez, Al and Lynsey (you can read Missus Toast’s thoughts in her blog). After telling Lynsey that she was more than capable of riding the rockery it was great to see the ease with which she conquered it. Dale and Josh also appeared and I think Josh nearly did as many laps as the girls. At one point I suddenly remembered that I was meant to be looking after Charlotte and Jess but had no idea where they were, fortunately Andrew was keeping them in check and I guess we learnt who the ‘responsible one’ was after all. Soon most people continued their rides or headed off home, children were returned to parents and the rocks were given a rest, until tomorrow at least...