Sunday, 27 February 2011

Starting at the end (Trail building – Sunday 27th February)

The last couple of Sundays has seen us making a start on much needed maintenance to section 11 of the Dog. The trails on the Chase suffer during hard winter frosts – the frost penetrates deep into the ground so when the top layer starts to defrost, the water trapped in the sandy surface has nowhere to go so hence turning into sloppy goo. The trail surface does recover has it dries out but we’re left with ruts and holes.

We started with resurfacing the end of the section which had suffered the worst after the area was clear felled in the autumn. We’ve had our eye on an area of road stone that had been laid for one of the stands at last year’s APF show. The plan was to retrieve this and lay it on the existing trail bed. So with that in mind, a few cleared the muck off the trails whilst others ferried the material back in a trailer.

After much extreme wheel barrowing, the results look quite impressive. The light coloured surface will so tone down after a few tyres have rolled over it.

Working our way back along the section, resorting the trail, we’ve got a few ideas to revamp what is a fairly unexciting section – watch this space!

The diversion will be in place for a few weeks so please follow the arrows. The results should be worth the wait ….


Friday, 25 February 2011

Monkey Tree Hugging

Chase Trails Big Build Day - Sunday 6th March

Not all Trail Pixies are this good looking but they are friendly and welcoming so why not join them on Sunday 6th March and help them build some trail. As always we'll provide the food and tools, all you need to do is turn up at Swinnertons at 10am prepared to work outdoors and have some fun...

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Follow The Dog - section 11 closed

We have started resurfacing the end of section 11 (near Marquis Drive Visitor Centre). Please follow the signed diversion along the fireroads around this section.

The section will remain closed for a few weeks while the new surface settles - please don't ride it until it's ready.


Monday, 7 February 2011

Date for your diary - Next Big Build Day on Sunday 6th March

Just to let you all know that our next Big Build Day will be on Sunday 6th March - meet at 10 am outside Swinnerton's Cycle Centre (Birches Valley Visitor Centre) for a day of digging, free food and fun.

More details to follow.


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Toad and a few holes (Trail Building – Sunday 6th February)

Today, a few maintenance jobs were on the cards so Martin and I planned to sort those out while the rest of the crew soldiered on cutting new trail over on section D.
With several holes in the trail between the forestry bridge and plank bridge on section 6 needing attention, Martin trundled off with the wheelbarrow to get a few loads of surfacing material, while I scraped off the clag, cleared out the drainage gullies and tamped down Martin’s deliveries. As long as the rest of the winter weather remains favourable, these repairs should last awhile.

We’ve concluded that Alex likes to vent his frustrations wielding an axe ... Petra had wisely opted for the easy route around a stump but no Alex decided it must come out saying the trail wouldn’t flow right. Shall we say it took him a while to beat the offending root into submission. In the mean time, Sally unearthed a friend ... Mr Toad (or it could have been Ms Toad – we’re not sure how to tell the difference).

There was one last job for the maintenance crew – replace a missing waymarker post at the start of section 12, the clearfelled area below Marquis Drive. Even though the ground was a little stony, it didn’t take us long to have the post in and square – we’ve planted the odd post or twenty in the run up to opening The Monkey last year.

After that it was time to call it a day and “hit the urn” back at base.