With the official opening looming ever closer, Saturday saw Bruce, Jez and me adding the finishing touches to the last section of boardwalk over on Upper Cliff. Originally, we had intended to have a rock step off the end but dragging a suitable hunk of gritstone there would be nigh on impossible. Previously, Dale had suggested a short ramp off the end so you can either hop off or roll it if you not quite as confident.
Well versed at carpentry in the rain, I started constructing the ramp whilst Jez screwed down the dozen or so deck boards that were only temporarily fixed last time we were up there. Bruce arrived a little later and in no time we had completed the frame work. A small oversight on my part by not grabbing another box of screws out of the container meant we weren’t able to finish fitting the last four boards – there’s always a next time.
Whilst in the area we spend the last few minutes before “ride o’clock” tidying the start of the descent that Hugh had built, scrapping a layer of sticky mud off the trail.
The afternoon’s ride turned out to be four shorter rides interspersed with mechanical moments …. firstly Bruce’s front brake pad return spring disintegrated, then a mile or so later Jez had a puncture (in a brand new tube). Bruce seized the opportunity to have another look at his brakes whilst I took a few photos.
Continuing with our ride, we slithered down a mud shoot of a “wild trail” into Abraham’s Valley accompanied by the smell of singed brake pads – Jez’s rear pads had expired. I’d got a spare set which soon had us back on the road. As we headed back to base, it was my turn – the return spring in my rear brake broke. It’s my own fault for buying a cheap set of pads off ebay.
The Chase’s winter mud had taken it’s toll on our trusty steeds - needless to say, the bike wash at Swinnos was getting a good hammering when we finally got back.