Year: 2006

A ladder day

It’s been a while since we have 3 consecutive day of rain. The trail is wet, and we are hopeful that the water drainage is withstanding the test of the tropical rainfall neatly.

We hit the trail at around 9.30am.
With Alvin, Liyana and around 3-4 labour force joining me in the trail.

The labour force is helping out with the transportation of bakau wood and granite chips deep into the trail. Specifically the bridge 1 and yellow space area, where heavy slope reinforcement is needed.

While Alvin took inspection on some new wood, I took the chance to walk the trail, check the trail existing drainage.

The drainage are holding up pretty well, with the 2 slopes after bridge 1 catching some of the rain. very minor problem compared to what it was before the drainage are set in.

The snake bend is getting more like a water park slide. We secure 3 bags of granite to mix it into the fresh top mud. This will be needed for the next few rains to compact the riding surface as much before the berms are fully done up.

We took the time to dug up the ‘Japanese Rock Garden’ slope, buried another big stone slab into the underground drainage, and a quickfix with more granite chips into the ‘1st root slope’.

Further up after bridge 2, the ‘2nd root slope’ is holding up well, giving traction even after 1hr of rain.
The rest of the trail is withstanding the rain pretty well, mud patches appear, seems more of a mix of top soil and mud, therefore not going to be a big problem.

The afternoon is spent laying the ladders that we build on Saturday around mud patches that might erode further.

the first two pieces is placed on top of a big root making a nice ramp, protecting the root and covering the muddy patch of the entry and the exit.

next come the small 1 ft drop. We would want to keep the drop eventually, therefore a ladder is now placed on top of the drop to armor the mud below until the dry season and the pebbles is properly mixed in.

The final big downhill of the course get a good dose of 3 packs of granites, half pounded and badly need manhours to sit the granite chips nicely. A small ladder is secured against the bottom of the slope so to keep the roots of a nice tree from being ridden over. giving the slope a better flow too.

The infamous ‘Log drop’, a 3ft dropoff is going through major rearmoring for the landing.

2 pools of mud at the ‘Log drop’ landing encouraged us to start building more drainage and wooden berms so to cut the contact to the mud to the least. We couldn’t finish it today. to be done tomorrow or on Friday.
Will be updating this posting soon with photos.

Work done

25 manhours – material transports
2 manhours – building new ladders
10 manhours – securing and placement ladders on 3 sections
3 manhours – log drop landing
1 manhour – bridge 2 repair
1 manhour – japanese garden slope and log slope 1 drainage
1 manhour – snake slope armoring

Trail Ride Jamboree

As part of the trail building effort, some 60 riders were gathered in a mini-jamboree.

Quote by Nik (extracted) :

To all participants of the KR Jamboree today: Thanks! Really great to see such a large turnout! As a result of today’s ride, we were able to achieve a few objectives:

1. Got great feedback from all u guys on areas of improvement

2. With 50 riders going through the trail, we have also identified potential erosion hotspots

3. With the number of endos , we now know wehre the danger zones are and where to station medics for better access during racedays

4. Got a core group of supporters signing up to kick start a trail building & maintenance group (yes you guys are gonna be called trail smurfs)

5. With all of you hiking the trail the first lap, we managed to bed down some of the gravelly parts (you think the hike was just to look see? 😉 )


The following persons were instrumental in the creation of this trail :-

* Alvin Francis Lok, NParks Manager, Kent Ridge Park
* Liyana Zolpakar, NParks
* Max Mager, SACA General Manager
* Lim HuiMin, SACA Coach

with the assistance of :-
* Chew Eng Seng, SACA Mountainbike Cyclist
* Ang Kee Ming, SACA Road Cyclist
* Justin Cheong, SACA Road Cyclist
* Yap Chiwei, Wheelsareturning
* Lee Chuen Ling, SACA MTB Subcommittee
* Renhao, SACA MTB Subcommittee
* All the banglas who toiled daily under the supervision of NParks and SACA


* Pling – registration/CP5 ic
* Ling – bike test/CP 1 ic
* Rebecca – bike test ic
* HuiMin – medic/CP2 ic
* RenHao – CP3 ic
* Chi – CP4 ic
* Jaymes – safety/CP6
* Samuel – Hike/Ride leader
* Chew – Hike/Ride leader
* Mann – Hike/Ride leader
* Max – PR
* Jolie – Crowd control
* Boey – Crowd control

The Kent Ridge Mountain Bike trail is now unofficially open! “

Pre-jamboree Preparation

It’s 24hrs before the Kent Ridge trail 1st jamboree ride.

the available work force for the morning session is enough to get some of the cengai/bakau ladder build up and transported to problem area. While the rest do some shopping to get some new material in so to make the ride safer.

With a road ride in the morning, I pop by just after lunch. Just in time for trail work/jamboree briefing.

jamboree roles are clarified and discussed, so are the schedule.

With some work still needed to be done, work group is form and various task spread out for completion.

PLeng and Chi to put up trail signages, which Alano being the only one who haven’t venture into the trail, ride just behind them to check on the signage placement, to give us as much first-timer feedback.

Alvin and Liyana from Nparks try to flatten and pound in the granite chips at the main climb, while superwising the labour force to pound and spread the granite chips.

Max, Ling and Ren Hao, ride/walk the trail with patch up tools and danger markers to make sure the trail is safe for the event.

Jaymes, from SportingSpectrum, Nik and me took the task to net up the staircase ride, so to capture any stray cyclist going right into the 2ft drop at the left side of the trail.

upon completion of the task, we took the time to pour some granite chips over troubled area, and to take advantage of 60+ cyclist, who average 2 laps each and 1 lap of walking the trail to stomp down whatever loose pebbles. This long walk took us 2hrs, and we are suprise how dehydrated we are, not mentioning how hungry i grew.

work hours done

approx 40 manhour clocked on various task for the day.

The bog climb

the day objective is to address the bog climb after the 2nd bridge to the yellow space.

KeeMeng, Sam, Max and me made up of the 4 person workforce for the day.

We tapped on the racing line that Sam feedback on, corrected 4 sections for the bog climb.

the later part of the afternoon is spend digging up a drainage system for the U-bend dropoff

this drainage is deep and sunken in with 3 big rocks, 3 loads of granite chips, layered with mud on top and a replanting of a small tree as seen on the right!
Further work on the incomplete log jump is made

as the trail runs downward,

much testing is done to ensure the jump is stable, and provide a safe exit.

Granite chips extraction filled the long day, clearing most of the chips from bridge 3 to bridge 4


6 manhour – bog climb

2 manhour – Log drop drainage

2 manhour – log jump

2 manhour – granite extraction for bridge 3 and 4

4 manhour – armoring various slopes and post rain survey of the whole trail.

stairway ride

Today we concentrated on the stairway. The slope of the stairway is to be retained and we will need to make it ridable, somehow.
The day started by cutting down the bushes on right side of the staircase (left on the picture below), expose the 2ft drop, align the drop off exit by taking some of the walkway off.

Bakau lining is then hammered in at the edge to prevent any erosion on the trail, and 2 bags of rock pebbles are pounded on to the ride slope itself as armoring.

the equally tough part of getting 10 bags of pebbles, creating 15bags full of sandbags from the external road in the park and dragging them into the trail fill the earlier half of the afternoon.
Certainly not the post-lunch exercise we are looking for, especially the labour workforce consist of Nik, Max and me, and later with some help from Reb
At around 3pm we finally got this up…

the last part of the afternoon, is filled with more spading and spreading of pebbles. These were accidentally pilled up throughout the last 1/3 of the trail (not including those of the crazy road climb), starting from 50 metres from the 3rd bridge.

Pebbles and rock chips works both way. It harden the muddy soil and bog, yet overdoing it made the trail slippery and unridable at the same time.

the fix seems to work, while the 4 person workforce that we gathered toil through the sandbag dragging and spading, clearing around 50 metres of the trail of pebble piles.

some statistics

4 manhour for the staircase drop

6 manhour for the sandbagging

7 manhour for the 50metres of trail ride surface before the 3rd bridge.

race course survey

We did a simple race course evaluation to see what’s needed to be done before the race starts or even the Jamboree starts.

the race start area is checked, so are the lap counts.

12 laps is therefore decided for the Elite, giving them a solid 2hrs of race on a pretty technical circuit.

of berm, bridges and granites

the morning is spent having the bridge 3 and 4 secured with cross braces. and having footing and landing made into bridge 3 and 4 area.

Granite chips are box in with bakau wood to hold a nice landing for the bridges.

With further gradient work done on bridge 4, to smoothen the exit.

Bridge 3, having a log jump just immediately after the exit, might need further strengthening. As-is the bridge is flexing slightly.

With Bridge 2 incomplete and unseated, Alvin and I decided to finish it before someone decided to do the ‘ride of faith’ over those loose planks.

The exit of bridge 2 is tricky, a small gulley formed up just beside the concrete side of the exit. We decided to lengthen the bridge and placed the bridge landing around 2ft off the edge of the drain.

The remainder cengai wood structure is barely enough to cover another small natural drain around 10ft out of the bridge 2. In the spirit of improvision, we managed to use the left over length to plug the gap.

the ‘Japanese Rock Garden’ landing

With 5 big rock dragged in and tons of granite chips available. We are now able to address the muddy slope landing.

I took a test ride down the slope and take the turn on the wooden structure itself. Just as expected is super slippery and won’t hold the line.
The whole ‘roadie bridge’ is now taken away, berming it seems like a bad idea.

by sinking in rocks and granite chips layered with thin mud on top, the exit is finally deem ridable. Max took the inside line as a test, while Alvin took his turn with the outside line. Both seems ridable after some further bench cutting of the right side.

‘log slope 1’

this complex slope and mud sediment area force us to dig out the 3 buried logs that were placed temporary there 1 month ago.

We dug the usual wood, granite drainage, with bakau lining to hold the rest of the mud.

3 loads of granite chips are unload here, and mud is then mix in to form the ‘log slope 1’ lower gradient.

‘snake slope – berm 1’

work started on the berm 1, Nik suggested to pull the berm 1 nearer to the trail and we start to hammer at least 10 bakau wood into area to strengthen the soil and mud below.

this berm is to allow a smoother line around the bend, and to cover the view of the riders when they hit this steep slope.

Rain and weathering is certainly needed to get this structure stable. we should be leaving this as-is until after the race.

6 Manhours – bridge 3 and 4

3 manhours – bridge 2

2 manhours – japanese rock garden landing

2 manhours – log climb 1

5 manhours – berm 1 of snake slope

20 manhours – transporting bakau wood, granite chips and 50kg a piece rocks.

race circuit length

Chun and Sam both paid us a visit today at the trail.

We took the chance to measure the trail, take gradient readings by riding the race circuit in full. With these 2 engines pushing, I must say the murderous pace that I went through is simply some orientation ride for them.

circuit distance is 3.6km, with around 50% on road. starting off from the parade square, riding towards the pond and then up the crazy slopes after a going through the trail.

the bridges

there’s four drain crossing that will need to be addressed.

The cengai wood arrived today, together with load of new bakau wood.

Alvin, Nik, Max and Moneru worked on the 4th and 3rd crossing all morning. experimenting with various way to get the 2metres long crossing done up.

I get to test it by riding through the unsitted and unanchored bridge, after various load test is done by jumping around on the bridges.

The work shifted to the first bridge, where the “roadie’s bridge” is now replaced with a cengai/bakau structure. the strongest of all 4 bridges. we shifted the roadies’s bridge so we can reuse the item for some other part of the trail.

Bakau post is now used and proper anchoring is hammered in for this bridge 1.

Work is then shifted to 2nd bridge. Nik redesign the bridge to a narrow bridge, so to have some variation for the crossing, a 1 and 1/2 ft wide crossing instead.

This bridge 2 is left uncompleted as day light ran out on us.

Concurrently, we started digging out the first drop after the first bridge (to be called ‘japanese rock garden slope‘ eventually). A deep drainage is needed for the landing as it sits directly on a natural gulley.

Some initial digging on the drain is done, while we awaits rocks to be transported in later on. We took the idea of having the roadie’s bridge made into a berm and try to integrate it to this slope

28 manhours – bridge constructions

2 manhour – slope and drainage