Thursday, 20 May 2010

Praying for rain (Trail Building Sunday 16th May)

… but only over night! The recent long spell of dry weather has caused the trails to dry out and start to break up – an inevitable drawback of the Chase’s sandy ground. This is limiting the amount of repair work we can do at the mo.

The last but one corner on “The Link” down to the railway crossing was getting badly chewed up as the ground there is predominantly sand. This exposed a particularly nasty root that many riders were riding around so we tooled up and headed over to have a look. After setting up warning signs and a temporary diversion, Phil and Bruce set about hacking out the offending roots.


Whilst Ian and I were watching folk ride the stepped corner, we could see why many were failing to make it round – they were coming into it too straight and having to make a sharp turn mid corner. To make things easier, we removed a couple of roots on the edge of the trail and tweaking the entrance. After making our changes, most riders were negotiating the corner more successfully – job well done.

How to ride the stepped corner tip : Enter at walking pace, well over to the left hand side and steer your front wheel around the outside of the corner. Don’t look at your front wheel but where you want it to go further around the corner. Stand up with your weight slightly back and try to remain relaxed. Don’t use your front brake – just a little back brake to control your speed and you’ll be around before you know.


After finishing our tidying, we joined the rest of the team. They had built a retaining wall on the exit of the corner to support the trail and were just finishing reshaped the corner. The entrance had been lowered about 18” after removing the evil roots and intentionally narrowed to slow riders into the corner. If everyone is gently with their rear brake, then with a bit of luck it should hold up until it beds down. If you see riders skidding around corners, have a quiet word in their ear – “Skids are for kids!”


Dale, Dave, Jez and myself finished the day with a quick lap of the Dog (and it was quick – Dale had orders to be home by 4). We’re still trail building every Sunday, either doing maintenance work or adding new stuff to the Monkey …. come and join us for some fun in the sun.

Andrew

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