Gisburn Trail Builders Update

Published on: Nov 23 2013 by Jon Swift

GisburnForestBikeTrails_RGBTime for an update on the Gisburn Trail Builders. Since the last update the volunteers have been pretty busy with a range of things. Repairs for the year have been completed, a new section of trail has been started, the Gisburn Enduro has been marshalled, skills tasters sessions have been run, social rides organised and a bit of fund raising on the side.

Repair work was finished for the year in the summer with a bit of resurfacing to the section of trail called Shortcut, after Homebaked. The erosion from the winter was sorted, extra drainage added (something they are doing a lot of) and the end of the trail tweaked to extend the run out from the last rocky drop over the berm with a small jump. One of the great things about have a regular volunteer group is being able to go back and revisit the trail line and features, improving them where they don’t flow well at the same time as maintaining a decent standard of trail.

Having this year’s program of repairs it was time to start some new trail. A number of possibilities were discussed, as always prioritising the removal of more fire road for the 8. In the end it was decided that will power sapping ascent on fire road between Circle and Homebaked should be the next project. The trail builders all 

hated this monotonous climb splitting up two very nice sections of single track, and at approximately 600m it didn’t even seem to be that big a task (not after Swoopy anyway). Seeing as it was a climb they decided to make it as interesting as possible so Martin Colledge got a large quantity of big rocks delivered from the quarry at the top of the Hope Line so the builders could create some nice slow speed techy sections to keep the climb interesting.

GisSthHBGisthHBmudWork has now been ongoing since the Summer but it’s proved a little more difficult that expected, more tree roots than usual (who’d have thought there would be tree roots in a forest, Swoopy spolit the builders on the front, not with standing the root of doom on the first rocky drop) and given it’s on a slope, ridiculous amounts of standing water.

There’s still a lot of work to be done on the section so it will be spring of next year at the earliest before it’s open, in the meantime, tempting as it is, PLEASE KEEP OFF THE NEW TRAIL. Given how boggy it is in places riding it before it’s finished seriously delays the building. The picture to the right gives a good impression of building conditions, should also add some extra variety to the trail though with some deliberately wetter sections during the winter months.

The volunteers have also been supporting and arranging other events this year in additional to the trail building. Many of the marshals and stage managers for the Escape to Gisburn Enduro were trail building regulars, in fact the race wouldn’t have gotten off the ground with the serious efforts of trail building regular, Kev Duckworth.

GisSkillsDan Postlethwaite has also arranged a couple of very popular skills taster days. The sessions coached by qualified riders from Trailsmotions and Sublime rides (themselves volunteer trails builders whose training was in part paid for from some of the original funding obtained to build the first sections of trail) give people the opportunity to have a 2 hour group taster session looking at bike setup and basic riding riding skills including the all important riding position. Funds from the sessions are being used to help continue the skills sessions (paying for vital first aid  refresher training for coaches and builders) as well as supporting the trail builders. The next session is the 24th of November and is pretty much fully booked. Future sessions are likely to be held so keep an eye on the Gisburn Facebook page or the Gisburn Skills website. At £10 for a two hour session it’s a bit of a bargain really for a good cause.

If you’re interested in attending a future session let the team know via the Gisburn Skills website, the more interest shown the sooner the next sessions will be arranged.

Dan also arranged an informal social night ride at Halloween which went down a storm, so much so that he’s arranged another night ride for Christmas. The Santa Night Ride will be on Saturday the 7th of December, Santa Beard is mandatory and Kev’s managed to blag some prizes for best Santa outfit. More details on Facebook which is the best place to keep up to date with the social rides. Facebook event can be found hereGisSanatRide

The social rides are free and are unofficial and as such are not formally guided.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GreenPartnershipLogoToolsTo help with all the building PMBA has also been sourcing some funding for the volunteers by applying for a Green Partneship Award. The award scheme is designed to provide small grants to help community groups with sustainable environmental projects. Well PMBA applied and were awarded £800 for the trail builders which was spent on a wide selection of quality tools. The extra tools will make the team a lot more productive on dig days, there’s nothing worse than waiting for someone else to finish with the mattock, spade or Chillington hoe when you could be getting on with the digging instead of waiting around in the cold.

 

GisRafIf all that wasn’t enough Gisburn Trail Builders and PMBA are running a Christmas Raffle. A number of prizes were left over from the Escape to Gisburn Enduro (generously donated by Escape Bikes). These prizes are being raffled off at £2 per ticket with the funds going to the trail builders.

The draw will take place in January 2014, probably at the first dig day of the year (snow and ice permitting). If you want to give yourself the chance of a late Christmas present you can buy tickets via PayPal and the PMBA website here.

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