Slip Slidin on AoT – Trail Building 1st November 2009

2 November, 2009 at 08:57

Wet… Thats how the day started for me. I got up early to get a ride in before trailbuilding but the journey to Birches Valley suggested that it was going to be a very wet ride! After negotiating with minor flood on the A449, i wondered how much of the Chase would be under water – the answer was most of it! From the start of section 2, to the last blat on 17 to the causeway there was water and grit and mud everywhere – but it was brilliant!

I pulled up in the yard with grit grinding in the disc rotors to find most people had arrived and started loading up. By now it had stopped raining which is great news! After a quick chat i got changed out of my soaking clothes, then we all headed up to Five Ways to do some more on the trail from the last Big Build Day.

Now, this section hasn’t been named yet, but the conditions on it in places are treacherous when its wet. We’re going to need lots of surface materil here – LOTS! This slippery beast has lead to it’s second name so far – AoT (I won’t expand the reasoning on this name) – the first was just daft. Others were mentioned, like ‘Face Brake’, but AoT is the best so far.

Today was about progressing the trail further down the hill and making some tweaks and adjustments. Dave and Jez found a couple of stumps that needed removing and while ‘trimming’ the roots of one tree at the edge of the trail ‘it fell over’ …

Fortunately for us, Silver Birch are classed as a weed by the Forestry Commission, so this wasn’t much of an issue. It also means the long corner works so much better.

Further up the trail, Bruce, Sally & Phil were hard working some sculptural magic on two left hand berms … Photos don’t give the size, shape and depth of Berms … thats when i had an idea. I had seen some photos that create 3D images … so i thought i’d have a go …

The trick is to go a bit cross eyed, so that the two images merge into 1. Then you need to focus on the middle image, and suddenly it all fits! I need to work on it to make them better, but it gives you an idea…

While we were digging, the weather was good to us. Apart from the odd nock on a tree which releases a mini shower, it remained dry. But as we were loading up the tools, the rain started to fall again – timed it just right!