Sunday, 18 October 2009

Loki the Labradoodle (Trail Building Sunday 18th October)

The day started earlier than usual this week. For some bizarre and masochistic reason, I thought it would be a good idea to go for a ride round before building. For me, this meant a 6am alarm call - it's a 115 mile round trip - to load up the car with bike and gear and head on up to Cannock. So, at 8.09am I was off for my ride. 15 or so miles later and it was time for large amounts of caffeine and chocolate from Swinno's and to meet the rest of the gang to find out where we were working.

There was a choice today to split into two groups to get as much as possible done with precious volunteer time - rocks or digging, both on the Monkey. Transport was assigned and our motley convoy set off. And promptly got stuck unable to get through the barrier off the main road as the FC have put a new padlock on it and not given a copy of the new key to anyone. Much arm waving and head scratching ensued and eventually the decision was made to go to the next barrier along and drive round to get to our destination.

There was plenty of testosterone flowing for the rock moving, so Dave, Petra, Charlotte, Jessica, Josh, New Andy, Jay, Alex and his dog, Loki, set off down the hill to smite the earth with tools. It would appear that silly people who don't understand what no entry signs mean or pay attention to trail closure signs had in fact been riding the section after where we were working backwards (down, instead of up - not some kind of stunt riding). So, once we'd finished building the amendment to the trail, we returned the old exit of the trail back to Mother Nature's sweet embrace, with a large amount of earth and several tons of fallen trees. Greets to the 2 riders who showed up to say Hi. Next time we'll make sure we stop off at Swinno's again just before we go to see if there are any stragglers who want to help us out.

There was still a large amount of muscle flexing going on at rock central [Frank mainly - the rest of us struggle in that area - Ed] so we decided to head back to the log bridge we'd built last week and make a start on bench cutting the trail to the bridge - also known as 'Absinthe'. Bad news is that the entire hill on the other side of the bridge appears to be made of sand. This means that we'll have to bench cut the whole section, which is about 300 yards, and then barrow some imported decent surface in to stop the trail disappearing into a scene from Lawrence of Arabia.

In other news, the young'uns were using the log bridge for some kind of gladiatorial combat, presumably over rights to who got to hold Loki's lead. In the carnage, Josh tried to stop a wheel barrow with his jaw and managed to cut his lip. This was duly administered to from a handy first aid kit. Luckily, the wheel barrow sustained no damage. Late in the afternoon, Martin turned up and walked around with a shovel for a while. He alleged that he'd spent a good part of the day finishing off the construction of the log bridge although we were fairly sure the extra supports and the bolts that had been fitted were just coincidence and could have been put there by anyone.



  1. Back at Swinnertons we found out the real reason Alex had brought Loki out to play as he chatted and posed for photos with admirers (although Loki was getting most of the attention)

  2. After a slight late start and with new recruits Andy and Loki the Labradoodle we split into two groups to get as much as possible done with precious volunteer time.

    Whilst an experienced rock moving team got on with constructing a rock causeway entrance to the new Monkey, we got cracked on with finally removing the old end to the Monkey and joining it up to the newly built climb. A good bit of bench-cut later and we were ready to move on, a short journey later we'd arrived at H2, "Absinthe", where we were working last week. Before finishing up for the day we'd cut about 35 metres of brand new trail into the hillside. Unfortunately the soil conditions are terrible, so we'll be back here again soon to surface it fully with imported material.

    We've still got a lot of work to do here and every hand helps, come and add your hours next week!

  3. Why aren't there any photos of Loki? SHAME ON YOU!

  4. Agreed we need some pictures of Loki.

    I now keep getting google ads popping advertising Labradoodle training!