Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bridge Construction & Clino

Bridge Construction

We felled (11/1/10) a small tree to use for the bridge we need to build.  It needs to sit for a few weeks after debarking to allow it to dry out.  I feel this is is a much more sustainable approach, coppicing a tree that's close by, rather then using a CCA treated log of unknown provenance.  The tree will regenerate and live to fight another day, we used only our sweat and an axe to fell it.

I was getting impatient awaiting the logs to finish drying, and talked Toni into digging the footings and placing the logs on Australia day, ready to go for the decking.  This pic shows the logs prior to moving into place, they were surprisingly heavy but with a bit of mechanical advantage from the leverage of the star pickets we managed to get them into place easily enough, only need a little more sweat, some cursing and some muscle work.

and now they're in place, sitting on masonry blocks as footing, with rocks from the creek piled in around them to hold then in place.  They have been levelled and awaiting the decking, at least another week of drying, unless I get really impatient.

We managed to scrounge some old hardwood tongue and groove timber to re-use as bridge decking, this will be the sturdiest MTB bridge in Australia at this rate.

The decking has all been cut to size (600mm) and is ready to go, all I need now is to go to Bunnings to get the 50mm fastners I need.

Bit the bullet and ordered a clino yesterday, $250 (ouch) but it's the most necessary tool in sustainable trail construction, and the next stage of our trail network is contour trail across a steep(ish) sideslope, where a clino is a MUST have to avoid building an unsustainable trail.

Should arrive in the next few days, so no excuses for not starting to mark out some more trail I guess, aside from the 1000 other jobs I have to do :) and then plenty of digging !

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In the beginning...

In the beginning...

The trail network started in the new year of 2010, on the 45 acre property I purchased near Nymboida, in the Northern Rivers district of NSW.

The area has some side slope and a small perennial creek running through it.  The Creek has a near temperate rainforest microclimate, perfect for building trial...  and so it starts

This shows the  first trail mark out, before any thing commenced, this is about 100m from the back of the house.

The first part of the trail will loop around near the creek to let riders enjoy the beautiful and varied trees growing there and to hook into the dirt road at the front of the property.  The start was easy going, raking away the leaf litter. even the chickens loved it and they followed along behind me, eating the bugs as I uncovered them !

There are creek crossings

and log crossing galore