‘There I was a-diggin this hole’ (Trailbuilding – Sunday 24th October)

23 October, 2011 at 20:00

After an entertaining weekend off (some went to Dalby and the Peaks and dislocated fingers whilst I went to Greece and got struck by lightning) we returned to the tranquillity of Tackeroo. We also returned to a pile of enormous rocks kindly provided by the nice Forestry Commission people. The only snag being that they are a little too big to move! However, undaunted we equipped ourselves with all the appliances of modern technology (no, not just big hammers) and set to work.

Dave and Steve focussed on splitting the rocks into handle-able chunks using the ‘wedge and feathers’ method as practiced since ancient Egyptian times (though not by Dave and Steve obviously). See here if you want to know more. It’s a cheap, effective and quick way of cutting boulders down to size. Meanwhile, Martin had been adapting the battered old rock wheelbarrow by removing the bucket and fitting a flat plate. This made moving rocks from our “quarry” to the trail vastly less arduous and finger-risky as he and Jez ferried the newly cut blocks to their future resting place.

The rest of us were engaged in more traditional trail-building activities – digging holes. Between each “Rollers” is a dip where water accumulates and turns to mud in the winter. To defeat this problem we are armouring the bottom of the dips with the rock and digging big, I mean BIG, sumps to the side as drains. Everyone not “rocking” started digging – Petra, Frank, Matt, Andrew, another Matt, Peter and Ellie. A really big thanks to Ellie who was hard at work digging a hole while her dad sat and gave her advice (so we believe). When we struck good sub-soil, it was barrowed off to build up the final berm. Special thanks to Paul, Trevor and the two other riders, who stopped, got stuck in, and then went to finish their ride. Sorry I didn’t get all of your names guys but thanks for your help – please come again.

Later, and further up the trail, the sump hole-digging continued with talk of repairing berms and possibly adding a small sky-berm. After all, we always like to leave trails better than we found them, although it does mean that it’s going to take longer to sort this section out.