Year: 2007

Sleeper

The longest day!

Joey came in pretty much with a slight sickness, but that doesn’t stop him to reaching Ubin 2hours ahead of me.

We were to sort out Sleepers, the ‘B-rock’, a wonderful rock that offers a few ways to ride through.

The tip of the rock is made to be a rollable rock ride/launch, with the rest offering various variety of height to drop off from.

With the easy line sorted out,  we got the launch tip fix up easily with some excavator work, couple it with some good 20 bucket loads of aggregate and soil, a nice landing and fall zone is created and clean of stumps.

So dudes out there, do play around with this rock, there’s a good variety of ways to ride it, just make sure you inspect your line first before doing any of these double black diamond stuff.

Straggler

today’s work involved building up another double diamond rock garden.

This section, called the ‘Straggler’, leads the ride from the top leg shortcutting the big loop through two trees and intercepting the bottom leg just after the great ficus tree.

Max, Joey and me got the stuff working with our one Burmese worker. We placed big anchor rocks around the various sections, and line the bigger ones on the side so to form the riding boundary.

We took a quick lesson on rock bars, and managed to move a 300kg rock some 10metres up slope bit by bit. This is practically our first mega rock experience. never before we imagine that we can move such stuff without any machinery.

After cleaning up the top leg, doing some 10ft of bench cut for a new line, we push on to do ride testing, with Max and Joey testing the new lines a few times.

certainly one sweet ride!

25 manhours.

Overshot!

Rock work never been so fun.

We’ve tried rock/stone pitching at Bukit Timah MTB trail earlier this year.

We’ve certainly build a bunch of rock armor in Kent Ridge.

We’ve the entire Tampines hills rock armored.

But today is one of the first time we are doing rock work in such massive scale for such a small section of the trail.

In our previous discussion with Joey, we’ve always wanted the overshot to be a technical rock drops and at the same time build up a filter for the corridor to the black diamond section of the trail.

We got the exact thing done up today.

With 2 excavators lifting some of the ‘mega tons’ boulder from the surrounding, rocks and boulders are shifted so to form big steps for a cool ride down the overshot. with Hua’s excavator doing up the double black diamond approach and another excavator harvesting rocks for the pitching work, things happen twice as quick.

We started the stone pitching for the black diamond approach with the usual anchoring rocks and side filters rocks. work upwards mid size rocks get interlocks towards the top and like a giant jigsaw puzzle. rocks are meticulously place to form a smooth rocky path to the singletracks.

Is a beauty! nice sea scene, offering 3 alternative paths of different difficulties, nice filter to only allow the skilled to play the technical stuff, what else could be nicer for this junction.

Ketam Trails awaken

what we got here?

IMBA trail guru Joey Klein is in town again for two weeks visit, and he is here to see to our final touch up for Ketam Mountain Bike Park, in particulars to the in completed double black diamond obstacles.

Max and me caught a ride with him in the afternoon, he brought his own bike this round, and got us all checking on his gravity seat post in the first instance.

The day couldn’t be more perfect. nice overcast post rain cooling weather, and we check out every single lines and enjoy the flow of this beautiful trail.

Is a day of riding and planning for the weeks ahead. What we gonna do, and what we are to improve further.

A quick audit got us to 6 double black diamond obviously in need of completion, one existing fix on the bad rock garden and a new ‘tidak apa-apa’ rock garden coming up, some filters, one bad turn and one bad climb.

It’s going to be interesting

the Valley

The Valley, one of the first section of Kent Ridge Trail that we dug up around a year ago, get into our fix priority list. The 3metres of slope is now rutted, easily ridable for the experience riders but a dangerous challenge for the rest.

The solution is to create an easy line to the left and re-open one of our first cut to the right with a 2 ft dropoff at the end. With this modification, the Valley should be safer for newbies yet offer a new challenge for the skilled.

the Valley – 12 man hours

Armoring the Precious

A full day at Kent Ridge.

Monero and his helper got things going in the morning by getting our improvise old drainage slabs into the Precious descent. While they get barrow loads of slabs across, Wan Joo, the new park manager for Kent Ridge, and me got together for an overall plan discussion, and I made known the new plans on the map.

In hope that with a rolling contour trail the armor can be minimal, we choose to leave the DirT on the surface for compaction and selectively armor the critical braking zone and landings.

A bakau wood reinforced wall is erected for the partial bench cut mid section, and 3 barrow loads of armoring is placed onto this section so to stabilized the turn and grade changing, a place we expect novice to brake and scrape some dirt off.

We’ve a change in trail building doctrine for this bunch of crew. Monero and me share the same idea of not lining up future trails with wood as before. Firstly there’s no need to do so for a proper bench cut, secondly is ain’t that neat after seeing too much of this wood lining and thirdly it does trap dirt, sediment and water taking part of trail sustainability away.

William got himself to help with another small 5 metre fix at the top of the My Precious descent. we dug out 5 metres of new trails, took away 2 illegal path and a rutted drop in the process.

Is a fresh cut at the moment, and we are waiting for the next rain so to get it soak with water before we start doing compaction work.

14 manhour today.

Kent Ridge Season 3

If trail building is like any TV series, we are into Kent Ridge Trail season 3.

the end of August marked the start of new trail initiative, we targeted small touch up and reroutes on parts of the original lines that will not survive any riding season.

Today, I get two new faces into the trail building by doing a bike and hike adventure in the uncharted portion of Kent Ridge.

William and Ellery happened to need some 1hr workout from their books, and I guess is a good short workout for them to keep their brains healthy too.

I got them through the usual introduction to clinometers, trail design basics and show and tell of existing examples.

The new ‘My Precious’ leg is doing well, with nice contour and riding flow. We gave the main route 40metres of trails to descent 4metre towards to drain area. Is healthy riding and a perfect way to solve a crazy 45% grade slope that does the same 4 metres of elevation in 4metres.

We walked the trail, checking the Fern hill descent corner for flow, checking the condition of the ‘Snake’ and pointing out the new alternative route. and also the first valley after the rock garden.

the interesting part of the journey is to get started in marking control points for the ascent towards carpark A from the existing trail end (Evac D). There’s a wide variety of terrain, all sweet mountain biking area with potential of getting another 500-1km of trails into Kent Ridge.

I am taking this process slowly, mainly to be sure we get it right the first time. There’s much lesson learn from every new trail. So let’s plan and check a few times before we cut the perfect line.

Keep diggin’!

A change

I get a question or two nowadays from this blog like

“So things haven’t been moving in Kent Ridge?”

I guess I better address this so to make sure every other trail user out there knows that Kent Ridge is still evolving, and so is this site.

Most of you would have noticed that the core group of Kent Ridge trail builders forms part of DirTraction, a privately-owned organisation which seeks to promote mountain biking to adventure junkies, as well as to provide professional World Class racing conditions to bike lovers in Singapore.

We do get serious request for help around the island, and since late 2006, we’ve oversee the build/maintainance process of three other MTB trails locally and some across the borders.

As our volume of work get spread out around the island of Singapore, I’ve to stop actively writing our trail work daily reports, build more trails, meet more people and make sure we get better races going locally.

I am probably guilty of not documenting the hard work of the trail builders, volunteers and friends alike.

A change is needed.

Here a whole new concept for this blog. Instead of solely writing about Kent Ridge MTB Trail, I will start documenting the trails we build weekly, the ideas we formulate daily and hopefully give mountain bikers around Singapore and hopefully abroad something to dream on and ride on.

Kent Ridge will still bear some great memories on how I got back into the mountain biking. I’ve done my time doing my long road rides and races. Trading high performance stuff for great outdoors again. Don’t get me wrong for dumping my road riding days, I still ride and train on the road. Trying to beat my statistics up (and recently down) Genting Highlands.

Moving on, kentridge.eaglet.org ?

I couldn’t think of a better name than having Kent Ridge giving the namesake for our trail building documentation process and we shall retail kentridge.eaglet.org as our special trail building section for DirTraction.

saving My Precious

The ever troubling ‘My Precious tree’ descent is definitely one of the eye sore and we are definitely not eaving this ‘mistake’ of ours marked with further user and water induced erosion.

Trail building is a measure three times build once affair.

We remap and reroute a new course down so to cut a crazy 30% grade slope to an easy 10% average grade, increasing trail length by 20metres in the process.

‘SECTION CLOSE’

Monero and one of his buddy started the top soil excavation today. In the process transplant some of the smaller plants off the route and to create new foilage so mark the boundary for the walking path.

With experience hand working for 2 hours, building rolling contour trails is made quick and we’ve now an unarmored path readily cut.

What we lack is some compaction and a small off camber fix.

So dudes out there, do really stay out of this place for now and allow some work to settle before riding this new detour.

5 effective manhours