I was away recovering last week (I won't bother you with the details, but pain and handlebar acrobatics were involved) so my belief that work had started on the Werewolf Drop bypass had to be recalibrated when it turned out that a different bypass had been undertaken. The feeling was that Evil Slab (the Evil formerly known as Root 2) was turning out a bit too evil, and most people just couldn't or wouldn't manage it. So in the spirit of having a slightly friendlier trail, with fewer naughty words so near the Visitor Centre, a bypass was in order. This week we would finish the job.
Because it is Charlotte's birthday (Happy Birthday Charlotte) Petra arrived with trays of home-made fairy cakes for hungry trail pixies. So we had some cake and loaded the trailer with tools, and all the usual crew plus returnee Dave set off to the scene of action. All that is except Dave (another one) and Andrew of Chase Trails and Gary and Andrew (another one) of the FC. They set off to do prospecting and long-range thinking stuff not realising that cakes were going somewhere else.
Last week a chicken run (oops) by-pass had been carved out to the right of the approach to Evil Slab. This week we ate fairy cake (mmmm), unloaded some larch logs and laid them out and secured them as kerbs to keep riders on the straight and narrow, Last week’s surfacing looked a bit untough so after some more cake, we re-cycled gravel surfacing from a nearby disused hard standing and barrowed it in as an extra solid running surface. The pleasure we may have had at this point was somewhat marred by the horizontal rain sweeping across the Chase and dampening our enthusiasm and trousers.
In the meantime we amused ourselves by observing passing riders attempting Evil Slab. Many avoided it on an unofficial alternative (now under logs and brashing placed to make it less attractive); lots failed valiantly; and the remainder conquered with varying degrees of elegance. We pointed out to those who failed that they would have won cake if successful, but forgot to mention this to those who rode over and away, thus we had to eat their cake too.
After Martin had wackered surfacing to his hearts content, and Frank had installed a marker post (can you find him in the picture?) we decided it was just too late enough to be able to go start something else and went back to base and stashed the gear. Then to the magicial tea urn and a final cake (or two).
Big thanks to Matt who came by, got off his bike, worked like stink for half an hour and then rode on his way with a clean conscience having done his bit. Boo to all those riders who seem to think a hi-viz vest is a Harry Potter invisibility cloak, and don't even say 'Hi' or 'Thanks' to people trail building a yard away. In future follow Matt's example, get off your bike and pitch in for half an hour. The trail needs it.
And as for Dave and Andrew x 2 and Gary... we never saw or heard from them again!!!