Sunday, 25 November 2012

Christmas Tree Sales - Impact on Car Parking

It's that time of the year again. Christmas Trees are on sale at Birches Valley from Saturday 1st December daily from 10am - 5pm. While the trails are all open as normal parking arrangements are a little different to normal. The top car park by Go Ape / Swinnertons will be used solely for Christmas Tree sales & Santa’s Grotto so unless you are buying a Christmas Tree you’ll need to park in the lower car park during December.

Buying a Real Tree from the Forestry Commission is a great way to show your support for the trails and the work that Chase Trails and the Forestry Commission do so why not take a tree home after your next ride? More details here.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Work on Upper Cliff - Sunday 25th November

As a “heads up”, we will be doing maintenance on Upper Cliff over on the Monkey Trail. The plan is to install a pipe in the first left hand berm and do general repairs on the trail. Rather than closing the complete section, we will erect a temporary local diversion – please observe the warning signs.

The ‘Black Rocks’ may also be closed while we tidy up and cut back the trees on the lower section – again please observe the signage.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Blame the weather – Tackeroo Berms Diversion still in place

OK, I said that the diversion would be in place for just one week but I lied - the section needs to be kept closed for another week whilst the newly laid surface dries out. I’m blaming the wrong type of weather … a week on unbroken sunshine and temperatures in the high twenties and we’d have been sorted!

This week, we’ve completed the last berm repairs thanks to the Bruces, Frank and Steve plus some help from Bertie the dog. Jez and Martin beavered away filling braking bumps while Petra, Ben, Dave and William installed yet another pipe – this time on the first berm.

After a good dose of wackering, the section now looks mint – a bit like rolling the clock back 3 years … here’s hoping it will stay that way.

The diversion should be lifted next weekend before we head up to give the Upper Cliff descent some TLC.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

For one week only - Diversion on Tackeroo Berms

To get back on schedule of fixing two berms each Sunday, with a good turnout, we hit three of the Tackeroo Berms simultaneously. Ben, Martin and Steve worked on the last one before the fire road crossing while Dave and Matt fettled the next one leaving Peter, William and I on the first one. Bruce and Jez headed off with the trailer in tow for a load of the surfacing material dropped by the quarry a few weeks ago.  

Trenches were cut, pipes laid and berms reshaped in time honoured fashion. While we worked on the berms, Frank swung a pick into action and set about removing the worst section of braking bumps and shaping the berm into a sort of low wall ride – we’ll see how that one works in time.

As the material in the last berm was very soft and boggy, the decision was made to leave the section closed for the week as further work and material is needed. We’ll be back up there this coming Sunday to finish off and sort out the first corner, so in the mean time please follow the red diversion signs along the fire road.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Another one bites the dust - Trail building

Today’s mission was to fix the final berm on the first section of the Dog by installing another drainage pipe. A Halloween ride by Dave and me in torrential rain proved that our work adding pipes to the berms was working a treat.

As usual, we started by taping and signing a diversion before Petra, Ben, Dave, Jez and Steve started worked on the berm. A sump on the inside of the berm was dug, along with the trench for the pipe and another sump for the overflow.

In parallel, Martin dug out the existing waymarker post at the end of the trail and swapped it with a replacement complete with new signs before spending time felling dead trees close to the trail. The Bruces and William turned their attentions to a corner that regularly puddles. They brought the level up with material from a borrow pit* and dug a drainage channel rather than adding a pipe.

Petra and I worked my way along the trail de-berming the edges and digging drainage channels. To finish, Ben put a couple of rocks found in the undergrowth to good use by adding a small step down between two trees.

Next weekend we’re back to last of the seven berms on Tackeroo so there will be a temporary diversion along the fire road while we work.


* - a borrow pit is a means of obtaining surfacing material close to where it is required. By digging off the top surface of pine needles and peaty soil, the material underneath can ideal for surfacing – that’s assuming it’s not too sandy.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Birches Valley Visitor Centre Car Park

Now the clocks have gone back and winter is on the way, the gates for the car park at Birches Valley will close at 5pm.

Be careful that you don't get locked in if your afternoon ride takes a little longer than expected.


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Downhill Trail Building - Sunday 4th November

Next big build session at the Cop will be Sunday 4th November.

10am - 2pm. As usual we'll bring the tools and free refreshments. Meet at the bottom of the Red Course.

Plan is to work on the bottom sections of the Red & Black courses. We will need a good turnout to get all the work done so please spread the word.

Black course needs some maintenance after the wet summer we've had and for the Red, we want to reintroduce the pumpy flow form when the course was first built. The last straight-ish section will be pimped, buffed and polished to get it riding sweet again!
This will mean that the lowers sections of both courses will be closed throughout the day.