Sunday, 30 January 2011

Déjà vu (Trail Building - Sunday 30th January)

This week seemed to be a re-run of last week – a bit like watching TV these days. Dave fancied doing some more routing, Ian and Jez rode off to do a spot of “trail inspecting” and the rest of us resumed digging on section ‘D’.

With eight volunteers eager to keep warm and easy digging, progress was swift this week - the dug trail grew by 60 “Martins”. For those that don’t know, we believe a “Martin” is around one yard - his stride length … being one of the older members of the group, he hasn’t been “metrified” yet.

By 2 pm, with weary limbs, we called it a day and returned back to base. Dave had stepped up his game and gone to town with a new design – in fact he was still creating saw dust when we arrived … can you work out what he used as a template this time?


Sunday, 23 January 2011

Dave’s New Toy (Trail Building - Sunday 23rd January)

This week, Dave demonstrated his artistic bent with a router by creating a striking design based on a chainring and our Chase Trails logo on a log off-cut. We intend to knock up a few of these and dot them around the trails.

With last week’s trail inspection of The Monkey turning up a damaged sign - Ian, Jez and the rest of the Pearson family saddled up and rode off to replace it. Personally, I think it was just an excuse to ride rather than dig ….. can’t blame them though!

The rest of the crew tooled up and headed off to continue work on Section ‘D’ – the singletrack climb we started on the last Big Build Day. Walking up what had already been dug on the BBD, it’s surprising just how much had been cut. Whilst Bruce, Liam, Phil, Steph and me carried on digging from where we’d left off last week, Martin started cutting a swath for us to follow.

A little later he came back with a suggestion to modify the original route. We discussed his ideas and it was seemed sound, especially as the existing flagging cut straight through a swampy area. After reflagging the trail, we called it a day and returned to inspect Dave’s impressive handiwork.


Sunday, 16 January 2011

Building Cakes (Trail Building Sunday 16th January 2011)

Today we split into two groups Bruce, Martin, Ian and Steph went over to section 11 to check out reports of a fallen tree on the trail.

The rest of us, The Pearson Family, Phil, Pete and Blade, set out to Deercote valley to continue on the trail that was started on the Big Build Day. The weather was warm and dry and we soon got stuck in to clearing some more trail. Bruce and Steph joined a little while later. We stopped for cakes provided by Sally, thanks Sally and Happy Birthday. We carried on a little longer until it started to rain we cleared a good section of trail before heading back to Birches Valley for a cuppa.


Sunday, 9 January 2011

“Wedge and Feathers” (Trail Building - Sunday 9th January)

No, it’s not the name of a local hostelry but a tool for splitting rocks. Most of the rocks left over from our escapades on the Black Monkey are a little on the large side so we’ve been looking for a quick and easy way to break them into smaller chunks – unfortunately dynamite was out of the question! The idea with the wedge and feathers is that you drill a hole in the rock, insert the tool and hit it with a lump hammer. The wedge forces the feathers apart and splits the rock in two …. well, that’s the theory so this Sunday we decided to have a play on the surplus pile of rocks at the start of the Steg.

Our first attempts were very successful – much easier than chain drilling and splitting them with a chisel as we’ve tried in the past. Watch out for more evil slab steps in the future!


Sunday, 2 January 2011

Big Build Day – Sunday 2nd January

Happy New Year to everyone.

A big thanks to everyone that turned up on Sunday – with 33 volunteers, we made a start on the singletrack trail that will replace the long fireroad climb in Deercote Valley.

We started by shifting the brash before digging off the top surface until exposing the sand/stone material below. This will form the trail surface when it has bedded down. Some areas will need additional surfacing material as the ground was either too sandy or soggy clay.

At lunchtime, we broke for hot food, drinks and a chat. Dale and Sharon did a splendid job of feeding the masses – jacket potatoes with a choice of curry, chilli or beans followed by cake and chocolates all washed down with tea or coffee.

As a thank you for everyone’s help, we held a raffle – prizes ranged from Chase Trails mugs and T-shirts to free and half price training sessions with Bike Thanks to Harry for offering the training.

After lunch, we continued digging until around 3 pm – a total of around 200 metres of trail has been cut – well done everyone!

We even had a photographer from the 'Express & Star' turn up to take a few snaps - those that read the newspaper may have seen the article and this photo.