Trail pixies and trail gremlins

WP_20140111_002 If you have stored your bike safely on the garage wall for the duration of the winter you may not be familiar with the current trail conditions. You may have opted for the black stuff and lycra or even joined a gym but if you still are out riding the non-quiche stuff then you know the dry trails of summer and autumn have been lost to memory.

Holes, some fallen trees and lots of mud abound. The trails will recover but it takes time and ideally a dry spell with lots of windWP_20140111_001 to crust up the top surface so avoiding the worst trails help and not widening the  worst bits if you are riding something mildly moist.

I cleared several small trails and cleared lots of crud from some main pathways which was not really mud. It was mainly leaf litter so scraping it away produced a firmer base without standing water. There are various approaches to trail maintenance but less is more for Stanmer and reducing the width and using chalk as in-fill seems to be the least dramatic method of repair. Raceway (shown) has a revised line now which is back to the original 20th century line so I re-stacked the first little jump. This has not been in use for years so if you feel keen to improve it then it is just sitting waiting for you.

After a few hours of scraping and log dragging I rode some of the usual night trails and think that there would be a reasonable benefit from a repair day using lots of hands so I will use the forum for this.

I cut the downed tree on Buzz but it was a little heavy for me on my own but hopefully this has been dragged into place by some willing hands on Sunday. As I finished in the gloom and had no lights it seemed ideal to ride community and wrangler. The first was dry and ran well and much quicker than last Thursday but wrangler had been visited by the gremlins. I had watched an elderly couple walk down this as I pedalled up to buzz however assumed they were admiring the last red streaks of sunset however if this was the case they must have been hurdlers as I came across  six large branches wedged in place. I actually hit the first one and snapped it but a faster pace would have thrown me. I also found a giant branch thing just around a corner and even at a trundle had to jump off the bike. A few big logs in narrow sections between existing side logs had me heaving them out of the way but they were wrist deep in the bigger puddles and well hidden.

We have had this before however recently sabotage has been missing from the trails so it is unfortunate it has returned. I know there are several riders who regularly move stuff and some people walk their dogs down the trails clearing them on a regular basis so that helps considerably but you need to be careful.

I ride at some unusual times so maybe I should expect to find problems when the park is quiet but some of you ride early and some of you ride solo in the dark so maybe a little caution needed. I ride in several places without lights at times and never worry about blocked trails but Stanmer will see me with lights for now.

Ronnie

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