Year: 2006

le cote de fougère – the fern hill

The fern hill is finally looped.

Alvin and Liyana together with 4 other labour force, get things going by looping the top of the hill back to the original trail.

This new stretch of single track is well cutted, containing a breath-taking downhill rocky opening, sweet single track for any newbies, with some simple dropoff to spice the trail.

RenHao and me took the chance to finish the berm needed to rail riders down the gulley after the big bridge. We are lucky to find fallen trunks that curve to the berm, making our live very much easier.

With the experience gathered over the months, among the labour force, the few trail master and trailbuilders, we are getting better in prepping the trail for test ride.

the trail is prep by 2 workers working their cangkul (hoe). Usually performed at a rate of 3mins for each trail metres.
for granite chips, we can lay up to 5metres of the trail in 5 minutes, giving the trail the first layer of armoring easily.

Max and Nik took the chance to walk the trail upon completion, both happy to see how the trail formed up.

In fact we are planning for phase 3.

Alvin, RenHao and me took a recce trip to the wilder section of the park. getting to see how the trail might end up being 5km long of sweet single track. I guess we need some GPS and some proper map to link all the recce bits together.

35 manhours – fern hill downslope trail preparation

2 manhours – berming the narrow turn

3 manhours – recce of phase 3

adapting ideas to our climate

Nope we haven’t run out of ideas,
but yes we are getting to the technical trail building bit, more carpentry, less mud and granite work.

firstly, some older issues.
With the dual log in place of turn 2 of snake slope, I guess that basic problem can be addressed with simple Appalachian Armoring. Always great to learn from others and adapt it to our condition and climate.

New wooden berm should be good for a few places, being lighter in weight and having wood being readily available than say sand / clay or even granite chips, we are turning towards having more of this than the good solid clay berm.

Although we’ve some common-sensical ideas on how to design one up.
Problem is, we’ve seen photos/videos on them, but not really knowing what it takes to secure it. Again more reading, more research, and maybe it’s you out there reading this who might be the missing link on these berms construction.

some interesting read for any of you who want to put their hands on trailwork.

divert and switchbacking

Yes a new section is carved out today.

a few reason for this,

  • to divert from the usual park walkway
  • to preserve some of the flora available
  • to create a better flow to the ride line

to do so, a big bridge is done up. This bridge formerly known as MB200 in my posting is almost ready. Alvin and the gang of workers are getting it done up throughout the day.

Chi, Max and me took the time to recce and route the new diversion, and later on work on a new hairy section, something that requires some good bike control, and of course chicken runs for this section.

We took the day slowly, with planning taking most of the time.

Love these shot, new atmosphere for the trail.

30 manhours – MB200 Bridge
9 manhours – routing and minor trail work

the question of resting a trail

questions on ‘when will we see the trail re-open again?

I got to say, I really have no idea.

We are adding extension to the trail, re-routing some part of the trail, re-addressing certain muddy section so there’s a better solution to the ever muddy pool, some new challenges, and of course MB200.

3 pallets of wood is now in the process of stacking around the dropoff, MB200 is almost complete.

The sandbags are now removed from the staircase, that means we will not be reusing that temporary section anymore.

Until the trail is ready.

24 manhours – material transport

6 manhours – Project MB200

race day – National MTB Championship 2006

Finally the race is on.

The work of the past 3 months, climaxing at the top of Car park A of Kent Ridge Park in the morning, with the first race flagging off at 8am sharp.
A secluded park it used to be, a roudy place it became.

never before we seen such a crowd on a Sunday, riders push punishing gears, spectators taking glimpse of daring downhill and gruelsome climbs, the carnival is certainly on.

some race videos

race photos

some good read

the trail get a quick fix

Is race day tomorrow.

With work still yet to be done on the ‘mud slope’ just before the 3rd bridge, the focus turn to getting it ready first thing in the morning.

With a workforce of 4 labourer, I get to have a good load of granite chips transported to the site, together with cement to secure the landing.

We gathered from previous rain that water drainage might simply be the main problem for that slope. Two drains are dug up, one at the top of the slope, and other other cutting diagnonally at the bottom face of the slope.

the top drain being a simple flat drain, get a good dose of granite chips pounded in.

the bottom drain took some extra effort to finish.

A cement log is buried in together with 3 bags of granite chips.

By mixing the granite chips with 6inches of mud available on site, and with a handful of cement powder sprinkle all around, the mixed up compound is then pounded around the curve and landing itself.

We are forced to divert the trail for the day, so to let the mixture harden up as much, gathered that 24hrs is good enough from our previous experiment on the Snake berm on Thursday.

The early afternoon is spent on getting the snake bend fix up, one of the 7 cement log is lifted so to get a smooth flow again, again handful of cement powder and clay are mixed in to harden the unbermed corners.
While this part of the course doesn’t allow any alternative rerouting, do check your tires for cement powder if you ride through them.

I guess I’ve taken most of the cement chunks during the 5 test ride I did around the new lines for the Snake slope.

I’ve been an advocate of not having cement as one of the trail maintainance/building material. But these 2 days had brought new use for this greyish powder. Water vapour and mud simply do the job naturally, creating good sticky mud-like lumps gel together and harden in the rain, instead of softening as natural mud do when water is excessive. I guess slight usage, as in handful and not spadeful, will do most of the jobs.

As far as the trail is concerned, the trail is ready to be raced on.
The race course is only complete when every section of the course is ready.
The trail is part of them, the Kent Ridge Park walking/cycling track is another, so is the granite climb.

As one of the course director for tomorrow race, the afternoon is spent fixing up tapes , evac points and course redirection.
The whole bunch of helpers for the day, Max, Ling, Alvin, Liyana, Pling, RenHao, Chi, Jaymes and companion turned a bare carpark and grass patch into a proper presentable start finish area.

workforce for trail
24 manhour – mud slope and snake slope fixes
90 manhour – race specific setting up
is a long day…

touching up

We are finally back with more workforce for the trail.

We have a big turn up of 8 labourer from Nparks, together with Alvin and Liyana. Mas gave his bit in helping out with the trail, fixing the trail as he explore it first time.

We added 2 drains along the route, 1 of them nicely hidden between bridge 1 and 2, the other just after the yellow open space staircase.

With the workforce available, granite chips are brought in from the trailhead to fill whichever muddy gap that we can find. the whole trail should be totally ridable, traction speaks, except 2 sections, the Snake Slope and the ‘mud slide’ just before bridge 3.
The snake slope is still filled with loose granite chips. the curve 1 of snake slope get the much needed berming. We made it out of mud/sand/clay/granite chips and some sprinkle of cement. Riders can rail the curve alot better .
Although much work is done on berm 1, the 4 logs around snake curve still give most riders a hairy descent. More clay and cement when we get the chance.

The ‘mud slide’, get a temporary fix. Granite chip mix with mud, spread on the slope. with the curvy landing getting de-mud. We should be able to work on this later on Saturday.

20 manhours – mud puddle and drainage

2 manhour – snake slope berm 1

20 manhours – material transport

snake bend is offlimit till Thurs

We are doing some more permanent anti-erosion measures at the Snake slopes.

To make sure nobody is caught off guard, ride with care/push down this section till we are done with it this Thursday.

Today works include adding more sandbag to the temporary stair ride section.
the stair should be smoother now.

Initial work on ‘Project MB200’ is done. will reveal more on this Project once it’s done, as the current state of this section is simply too dangerous to ride through.

5 manhour – snake slope berming and erosion work
15 manhour – Project MB200 construction
3manhour – stair sandbagging

trail repairs

The Saturday is spent more on repair, riding the trail ourselves to make sure it works, mark out danger points, determine evacuation points, brief the medical, marshal team and photographers on the trail.

Nik and PLing do their rounds on the safety, while Max guide the medics, the photographer and the marshal through the whole course.

Me and RenHao took the chance to fix 2 patches, the ‘Japanese Rock garden landing’, the ‘yellow slide’ after the roadie’s ramp.

We gathered after lunch again to refill granite chips onto the Snake Slope. Before taking our chance to ride around the trail rounds after rounds, to determine all is right.

At 5pm, we start our first bike clinic. Samuel rode down after some rest from his morning trainings, and we ran the clinic for around 1.5hrs. We are certainly happy to see the clinic participants learning something new in the process.

8 manhours – odd and end fix

post rain evaluation

With my walking buddy, we took a stroll along the trail to check for water catchment, flows and for any items to be fix.

The first part of the trail is now lined up with concrete lining. These will be painted brown later on.

Most of the rhythm section is pretty dry and the upslopes are holding up the wear and tear well.

Snake slope needed one more drain at the middle to get the mid slope water off to the side naturally.

The ‘japanese rock garden landing’ will need a new extra drainage, as the current water flow show obvious exit points

The ‘log slope 1’ took me by surprise. I can see rain water flowing out from the drains that we made. perfect fix!

The small drop towards the river path will probably need a fix on the landing. Deep marks are carved out of the messy mud now.

Bridge 2 itself is a triple flow. With the main drain flowing and 2 minor stream flowing nicely beside the drain itself. It’s good to have the ‘bridge 2’ or ‘narrow bridge’ long. covering all 3 flows.

the long mud slope after the roadie’s ramp will probably need immediate attention

caving in and erosion is happening.

and the stairs ride is in fact part of the rain flow, minor problem as we are riding on top of a solid rock surface instead of mud.

U-turn dropoff with a bad landing. Will take a while before we can fix it nicely.

A wooden berm is planned, but lacking big rocks we are unable to elevate the berm securely.

another immediate fix before it get worst.

some stuff for project MB200

I am glad the trail is holding well after a pretty rainy week.

SO where’s our volunteers? This trail needed manpower, if you are willing and curious on how we build certain stuff, drop us a mail, join us in getting a fresh trail out.

someone commented : “A trail built by bikers for the bikers “