Saturday, May 28, 2011

Social Ride done and dusted.

About thirty riders turned up for the ride.

Everyone !

Thanks to everyone that did come out, it was heaps of fun.

Here are a few sample pics
Geeze Dave, you're scaring me !

Juniors showing us how it's done !

S-moothhhhh !

Love the smile Lara !

and plenty more photos here

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

benchin' and buildin'

Toni was mountain bike racing on Sunday at the track at Grafton, I was dobbed in as the event photographer

Toni racing at Bom Bom Forest
She did well, coming first in her category.

and now back to our regular programming
I managed to get back up to the track while Toni was at work the other day and get some more benching done
More benching done

and I managed to drag her out to help me build our final obstacle on the new trail.  There was a large tree that had fallen, the "Y" where a large branch came off the trunk presenting an opportunity to fill with logs and provide a platform to drop off the downhill side.  We needed to build a ramp on the other side. The logs to be used for the stringers had been curing for some time

Logs curing
We roughed in where we wanted them, then dug the footings
Ramp footing
These are set on rock and kept in place by rocks, to minimise contact with the soil and help stave off the stringers rotting.

Final alignment check
Then a final alignment check before we chainsaw and chisel the notch for the other ends to sit in

Chisel work
Toni finishing off the notches after I had used the chainsaw to rough them in.

Ready to attach the decking
Then sit the logs in the notch, countersink a hole about 1/2 way through the stringer, screw in some 100mm batten screws to hold them in place.  Attach the top and bottom decking planks, attach the string line to keep one side even and screw down all the decking.  We managed to source a supply of recycled hardwood tongue and groove flooring, so we use that for the decking.  We discussed using a couple widths, from 300mm through to 600mm and settled on 400mm as a good compromised between too narrow and too easy, we think it's a nice width to use for the decking for this ramp.

straightening the outer edge
Decking is all laid, then use a chalk line to mark the other edge, and trim up with a battery operated circular saw.... and voila

Looking from the approach side
the ramp is finished, the middle of the "Y" has been filled with logs to provide the platform

Looking up
Looking up the track.  The proof of course, will be in the riding !

The ascending line and the "B" line for the descent, off to the left.

"B" line
where a piece of the tree was cut out to allow riders through.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Leg Bone" milestone

Track is 100% rideable, completed on Tuesday.  woot ! Joined up at the new trail hub at the top near the fire-road.

Still a couple jobs to do finish it off, most of the hard yakka is in the bit of benching that needs to be done, about 150m or so of trail left to bench that is rideable but should be benched to make it a little less "tricky".  The worst bits have been done.

Newly benched trail on Leg Bone !

We will attack this over the coming weeks, hopefully getting it finished by the time the social ride comes about on 29 May.  We were supposed to test ride it this morning but we had 50mm of rain last night that drenched things thoroughly but assuming no rain tonight, we will be able to ride it tomorrow !

The track should be great, it's more technical and a little more difficult then the easier trails we've built so far.  The idea of the first trail to the top was to make it easy to get there, this makes it FUN to get back down.  Lots of gravity drops, swooping turns with more features to come as we finish them, like the log drop off that's awaiting the curing of the stringers before construction (ride the "B" line in the interim)

Monday, May 2, 2011

more trail work

Saturday and Monday saw me doing a couple of big working bee's on the new trail.  I have marked it out totally, roughed it in totally and done most of the construction .  About 150m of trail work is needed to finish it and then a few jobs that need two people, mainly some benching for about 100m or so (in total) where I will need Toni's help.

I hope to have it 100% rideable and 95% finished tomorrow !

One of the areas that needs benching

Sweet little drop off and into the creek, tricky to climb
Small rock garden cum creek crossing partly constructed
What it looks like before I get stuck in !

The plan is to ride it tomorrow to see if any areas need "tweaking" or re-aligning slightly, one of the areas I have a concern with is this hair-pin corner

Right Angled corner around a huge Spotted Gum
I deliberately made sure the trail went up from both sides to get to the turn, to slow the riders down as it is a a right angled turn.  To realign the downhill side I would need to come out to make the angle of the turn less acute but to do that I will need to remove two small trees, something I am reluctant to do unless absolutely necessary.

Another area that might need some more work is this gravity drop "A" line for the descent, you would not bother trying to climb this as it;s way to steep in the other direction !

Gravity Drop on the "A" line

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, well, riding in this case, on these two and a couple other areas that might be a concern,  I will report back after tomorrows ride !

Roughed out trail

One of the advantages of most of the terrain I am working with is that I can rough it out and then ride it later, just to double check.  Like in the picture below, I can ride though for the ultimate test before committing to this exact line.  I often find I tweak the line a little, someone I could never do on some other projects I have worked on as the terrain is way to rough and the trail basically  stays where it is, regardless
Roughed out trail
The blue flagging tape on the trees is  used to mark the corridor prior to roughing it, it's at that stage I use the clino etc to make sure the grades are acceptable.  I collect the tape for recycling after the project is finished,  it's plastic so it only photo-degrades (UV breaks it down) and ends up as microscopic pieces of plastic in the environment, eaten by smaller animals ending up in the food chain, or washed down waterways when it rains to end up in the rivers and eventually the Ocean becoming plastic soup !.  The other option of course is to use biodegradable tape and just leave it there but anyone using flagging tape, for the sake of the environment, please collect it,  pontification over with !