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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Changes occurs, and we are happy to have our new Park managers from Nparks joining us for a few sessions learning what a mountain biking trails should looks like.
We explain our plans for Kent Ridge, corrections and todo and finally a good work session came about today.
Monero and 3 of his gang managed to move some nice recycled broken drains to cache around the exit near Vigilante drive. We are talking about 10 -15 wheelbarrow loads today.
4th bridge step up We manage a patch up at the 4th bridge, which rutted out over the rainy season to form a good 1.5ft tall stepup. Not really rollable, some bike trial skills will be involve if we don’t fix it.
With improved trail building technique, after so much hands on over at the other sites. We managed to pitch the broken cements and get a good 10% gradient for the bridge exit.
Double Log The double log low land mud pile never been fun to ride, we broke the first rule in trail building, never build trails on steep slopes and on flat ground. sounds trivial but that’s what we’ve done 1 year ago, and the mud patch never get fix.
We got to apply a permanent solution to this patch, this time with loads of rocks and broken drains.
We elevated the trail and settle to have both sides of the trails being muddy and wet. allowing a ‘2 ft wide causeway’ as our ride corridor.
Mother Bridge exit Always rutted. and instead of small granite chips patching, we settle for large 200mm big cement wedge, easily broken down so to give a rough texture for a grippy descent.
Let’s hope the trail side wall doesn’t give way further. It seems to have settle down nicely.