Sunday, 27 June 2010

Rock, Rock and more Rock (Trail Building Sunday 27th June 2010)

After meeting at the container and picking up a new willing volunteer, we decided we would work on some more of our rock features; we made our way over to Rainbow Valley and started to unload the tools. Our work continues with some of the original sections of the monkey where we are in the process of rock armouring certain sections to make it more sustainable because of the high volumes of traffic and to make it nice and technical.

We were joined by another wiling volunteer who was out for a ride “Thanks for the help” Pete was busy bringing down the rocks using his extreme wheel barrow approach whilst the sledge was being prepared to bring down the larger rocks.

Petra, Sally and the girls were clearing away some of the debris from the red rock sections and slowing down riders as the approached the area where we were working.

Ian was busy removing the old berm as the material was not up to the required standard, this will require posts driving in and some substantial timber to be installed before it can support the material required for the new berm.

We continued laying out the rock as they were delivered, some of the rocks made it quite interesting and we kept the width quite narrow, this gave the rocks more of a rock skinny feel to it.

Martin and Jez went to move some of the way marker posts as they needed a little tweak to make them more affective.

All done we headed back to unload and so those that wanted to could go and watch the match, Jez Andrew and myself decided to go for a ride around the FTD. We found Charlotte and Jessica paddling in the ford, as it was such a nice day it only seemed natural that we would ride through and drench the kids who actually enjoyed it.

See you next week.


Sunday, 20 June 2010

Must be summer we have roadworks on the trail (Trail Building Sunday 20th June 2010)

We met up at the container to decide what was on the agenda for the day; we decided that with the volume of traffic that the monkey has seen and our Saturday ride we would do some essential maintenance.

Martin, Pete & Blade went to move some logs from Rainbow valley to a feature that was going to be build on section H and then proceeded to Lower Cliff to repair a piece of fence that had been knocked over.

We made our way over to Rainbow valley where started by taking out some of the breaking bumps at the end of section B before the drop onto the fire road.

We then started working from Klondike Bridge checking the switch backs and working our way to a section part of the way up where the edge of the trail has collapsed. This was due to people riding to wide around an old tree stump, but then it is a mountain bike trail. We decided to reinforce the edge of the trail with some timber and resurface it, Thanks to all of the people taking notice of the signs and dismounting as requested. If you see Warning signs please obey them and slow down or dismount if requested, this is for your safety as well as ours.

We split into two further groups and one team carried on walking the section checking the trail while the others went to Deercote and worked their way back in the opposite direction. We met up at one of the log steps that needed some work on the outside edge again because riders are running wide on the trail, after building up the edge and surfacing the area we watched as some riders were locking up their brakes on the approach and were ripping up the trail. Remember “Skids is for Kids” and for all those that like to skid, they are very welcome to join us every Sunday to see what goes in to repairing the damage to the trails.

Job done, we all made our way back to the container and the cake that Petra had made for her birthday.


Saturday, 19 June 2010

Ladies Ride (Saturday 19th June)

Charlotte, Jessica and I were joined by Sally, Lei, Amanda, Lyndsey and her friend Chrissie. We set off for a gentle warm up around the green route and then onto the causeway and up to the pools – stopping here for Charlotte and Jessica to take pictures of baby geese. We then followed the path to climb up towards Marquis Drive, at the start of section 12 we debated whether or not to do this section and evil route 2. It was decided that we would, we each attempted it and kept going back for another try until we had managed it. Chrissie managed it in her second ever attempt. We then headed for the road and over to Tackeroo campsite. We descend down through Tackeroo and crossed over to the cafĂ©, where, after saying goodbye to Amanda, we all sat and had lunch. It was only 5 miles but we had an enjoyable time. Watch out for news about the next Ladies Ride!


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Forestry Commission Concerts

Forestry Commission Concerts - Trail & Car Park Closures (Thursday 24th to Monday 28 June)

Sections 1 and 2 of the Follow the Dog Trail will be Closed from Thursday 24th to Monday 28 June. Riders are asked to follow the diversion arrow from Swinnerton Cycles to the causeway.

The main Forestry Commission Car Park at Birches Valley will be closed to the General Public from 3.30pm on both Friday 25th and Saturday 26th June. In addition the Upper (GoApe / Overflow) Car Park will be closed all day on both the Friday and Saturday.


Monday, 14 June 2010

Trail Build Sunday 13th June (Caution no line markings and the new "Thinny")

Work was split for the first part of the morning when Martin and Steve went to start work on the new as Bruce called it "the thinny" So called because it's too wide for a skinny and too narrow for a bridge.

The rest of us went to resurface a part of section 7 which was changed back in July 2009

It was decided to make this part of the trail a bit more sustainable, after putting a diversion in place and our warning signs we proceeded with breaking up the old surface and removing the excess spoil.

We started to surface the section and were joined by a few riders who were mid ride. What a grand job they did in barrowing all of the new material into place for while we levelled out the surface, this was promptly whacked to seal the surface this is nearly good enough to put a white line down? "Big Thanks Guys" If you see us working just stop say hello, 10 minutes of you time to give us a helping hand, even if it is just let a builder have a break from pushing the wheel barrow it all helps.

The section was cleared of tools and it was time to join Martin and Steve, when we arrived they had been very busy and were nearly finished. A few more hands make lighter work so we all chipped in to get the Thinny finished. In the normal tradition, if you have your bike we have a test rider well volunteered Ian [didn't have much choice!]. Ian tested the section and another fine job done.

Time to put the tools away and just in time to as it started to rain, see you next week? Outside Swinno's 10:00am


Sunday Trail Building 06-06-2010 - Back to them Rocks

Today was going to be a hard day not only because on Saturday we played a game of rounders and had a BBQ with the Forestry Commission, but because we were returning to part of the original monkey to continue with one of the Black Rock Features.

After setting out our work signs and with the combined efforts of the trail builders (not mystical trail pixies) we started moving the rocks from a pile at the top of the fire road down the trail where they were needed, before too long we had laid quite a lot of rocks and the feature was really starting to take shape. Pete and Nigel were becoming experts in the trail building art of "Extreme Wheel Barrowing" and were delivering quite a lot of rocks, which allows a lot more choice when trying to put our picture-less jigsaw together.

Scruff came to join in all of the fun, riders are always welcome to stop and give a hand even for 10 minutes.

The time seemed to simply disappear but we decided as we were so close to finishing this feature we would carry on until we fitted the last rock.

Jessica swept off the rocks clearing all of the loose material that had been used to pack between the rocks.

After the rocks had been cleared it was time for a test ride, good job that Scruff was here with his bike! We asked if he would test the section. Scruff agreed and the feature appeared to work very well. I look forward to riders comments when it is open!

A good days work done by all and it was time to go home. Remember you can always help 10 minutes while on a ride every bit helps or meet us at 10:00am on Sundays outside Swinnerton Cycles Forest Centre.


The Junior Trail Builders!! 06-06-2010

Today Charlotte, Abbie, Alexander, Josh and I were doing loads of things.
First Abbie and I were helping Petra to rake the black monkey whilst Alexander was helping his Dad and Phil dig a hole for a HUGE, MASSIVE rock to fit in. It took at least ten people to tug it in.
Charlotte and Josh took Blade for a walk and made him bark like mad. We helped Josh build a den for a minute then Charlotte said she has a half built den we could finish, so we went up to do that. It was really fun. Abbie decided to make some nests for the birds so they wouldn’t have to make their own. She made three and wanted me to help her make a den but she only had five minutes until she went home. Josh and Alexander made a den that wasn’t strong and kept falling down and just put some pine needles over the top of it to blend in.

I swept the steps that the trail builders did and had loads of fun that day; I think every junior trail builder did. Everyone deserves a treat for today.

Jessica, Aged 9
Junior Trail Builder

Welsh Trails – And Welsh Weather! - Saturday 29th May 2010 Group Ride

On Saturday we went to Cwm Carn in South Wales. There were nine of us altogether, Andrew, Ian, Jez, Julian (Jez' work friend), Sally, Petra, David, Jessica and myself (Charlotte).
We arrived at 9:45. The first half of the ride was uphill and Ian, Jez and Julian led the pack, at the back was Petra and Sally. The uphill bits were quite tiring and we had to stop at the top of almost every hill, but when it came to the downhill, it was superb! As well as the ups and downs there were rocks and about nine hundred odd EVIL ROOTS!
As it was, the uphill efforts were well rewarded with fast downs. The last downhill had an amazing drop but unfortunately David pre-jumped it without even realising it was there.
Of course, as it was Wales, it rained for the whole ride and we were glad when we reached the visitors centre – well all apart from Sally. She had thrown as she put it, a right tantrum on the uphills but was eager to go back up
and do the downhill again.
After that we went to the town to get some fish and chips, and sat inside munching away.
Then we departed and left ready for Trail Building the next day.
Don't forget that you can come and meet us at Swinno's at 10:00 am on Sunday's for Trail Building.
By Charlotte, Aged 11
Junior Trail Builder

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Rain Starts Play

Over the last few weeks, we've had a good amount of rain ... just what the trails needed!

I had a leisurely trundle around Follow The Dog and The Monkey Trail today and it's looking and riding very good! The corners that were loose and crumbly have firmed up, the sections that had been suffering from the dry are now happy.

In fact, the trails have bedded in so well, it was hard not to ride flat out! Lots of grip, some serious G on the turns and even the ups roll nicely!

Over the last few weeks, the Clixby and Chase Trails Pixies have been busy 'upgrading' some sections and continued building others. There is now a mini Stegasaurus before the board walk on Follow The Dog (you wanted more rocks ... you got more rocks!), one section has had a surfacing upgrade and on The Monkey, Section H (known in some circles as The Lady of The Rake), is coming along nicely with surfacing and a new bridge!

It may only be a few weeks since the launch, but there is still work being done. Even today, the Clixby crew were upgrading the start of the Stegasaurus. There is plenty still to do and plenty of opportunity to lend a hand.

If you would like to help out, even for just one day, we would be happy to meet you. More information is to the right, or visit