It was flat at the bottom and the sides were steep… (Trailbuilding – Sunday 20th November)

20 November, 2011 at 22:00

What a grey day! Damp and misty and unrelieved by a glimpse of sunshine. But the show must go on, and we dragged ourselves away from the comfort of The Urn and our admiration of Jess’s newly acquired FS, loaded the wagon and trailer and headed over to the Rollers. Dave was back after his touch of lurgi last week and we were joined by new man Tony, who having worn himself to shreds walking Snowdon and riding the Monkey thought he’d finish off the week with some trail building.

In our quarry, Dave, Petra and Frank set about reducing our rocks to manhandleable rubble in anticipation of getting some JCB assistance to carry a load of rock to the trail. Meanwhile high on the hill, Andrew, Tony, Bruce and Phil were barrowing hardcore and excavating a borrow pit to fill a new low berm just below the 2 rollover steps. It always takes much more than you realise to fill these features so it was not until midday that we moved onto the next stuff.

Frank and Steve joined Bruce to set about the two steps that have been getting deeper as they wear. They dug out the back face and rebuilt them in lovely bomb-proof rock. They remain rollable while being tougher, more durable and marginally more intimidating, although this may just be the presence of Frank and a plank to swat anyone who attempts to by pass this feature.

Down the trail and around the corner, Tony and Phil were enlarging and completing another deep sump hole and drain channel. A task made considerably more difficult by uncovering an enormous tree root that seemed impervious to mattock blows. The solution was to tunnel under it to make a path for the drain pipe. Tony dug like a “mole on Monster” and considerable sweat later, he’d made the channel. Sterling work – many thanks Tony.

Later we surveyed the climb from Hugh’s Bridge and were relieved to find only minor repairs are needed that mainly consist of building up the surfacing. One view of the trail led to a learned discussion of the merits, style, and variations of a boardwalk that might be constructed. After all we haven’t built a boardwalk for several months….