Kent Ridge MTB 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.

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.

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

how can we get to the trail exit?

We are stuck.

We’ve a nice single track trail going all the way along South B. Vista Road, ending just after a triple junction. With a steep descent, a drain to cross and a small hill to climb with not much place to cut a trail through.

With RenHao, Max, Ling, Chi, Alvin and 7 strong labour force, alot can be done today.

we get the material transport going, shuttling granite chips in one by one, bag by bag.

While 3 of them doing granite pathing on the external trail along the road, without much monitoring.

BAD BAD idea. We ended with a thick layer of granite, that can’t be ridden over.

Max, Alvin, and Moneru start to do recce and trail pathing so to get us across the obstacles, while Ren Hao mark the line for the long descent from the ‘triple junction’.

Ling and Me rode anti trail direction towards the ‘snake slope’ to finish the final drainage needed there. With barely enough material and just a mallet, we secure the place, rearrange fallen branches to line the waterline and trail.

With the cangkul and parang finally available, and Ren Hao free of task at the rear end of the trail, we are able to cut fallen trunks into the exact size for the drainage, and granite chips to fill the area.

This used to be a 6in-1ft deep mud pool. soggy and wet.

Well I got to leave early. while the rest managed to find the trail needed to complete the loop.

I got to see the result the week after. Indeed is simply awesome trail exit, big fallen trunk above head, crossing 2 drainage which looks like natural creek, green moss everywhere. Nice descent and dropoff just before the 3rd ‘river’ crossing.

The scene reminds me of the trees of Hurtgen Forest in ‘When Trumpet Fade

35 manhours – granite chips and material transportation

8 manhours – ‘snake slope’ last drainage

18 manhours – trail recce and clearing

drain-ing day

A sweat draining day and indeed on drainage work the whole day.

With the granite chips available, and a full workforce supplying them, tons of granites are being delivered into the trail via wheelbarrow.

Max, Nik, KeeMeng, Alvin arrived early to get the remaining Bakau lining ready for the wheelbarrow.

With the first ponding in sight of the rock garden, Nik and KeeMeng got to work immediately with a log, granite chips drainage structure.

A big hole is dug up. After removing much mud and have around 5 fallen logs/branches sitted in nicely, the hole is then fill with granite chips, and the lined with recycled bakau wood, pounding in the side to sit the logs and granite nicely.

water management is the order of the day.

we moved on as the afternoon goes, digging up and securing a few more water catchment. Justin came by and help with the digging and draining.

We finish the day at the bottom of the snake slope.

With barely enough daylight and granite chips to go on, it’s easy to call stop then.

We are standing on top of 6in of mud, the worst section that badly need draining.

15 manhours – granite and material transport

12 manhours – 4 drains

6 manhours – bakau removal

trail armoring starts now

The granite chips are finally here.

With the granites chips being poured on the trailhead in big cubic metres,
Max, Nik, Alvin, Chew take the chance to route the trail from ‘yellow space‘ to ‘triple junction‘.

I pop by just in time to see the section and ride through the proposed route first hand. Indeed a total different kind of ride compared to the rhythm section of the earlier sections.

Love the underlining ‘bog’, the soft yet ridable surface simply give the trail a new flavour.

15 manhour – yellow space to triple junction routing

bridge completion

With the roadies’s bridge incomplete, Chew, KeeMeng, Justin and Nik pop by for a full days work to get it completed.

Timberman KeeMeng and Knotting Justin get the work done with Chew putting in his bit on sitting and securing the bridge.

the completed Roadie’s bridge is one nice piece of work, totally blending into the surrounding.

Nik took the chance to recce the exit of the trail, finding the line that eventually link the ‘yellow space‘ to ‘triple junction‘.

12 manhours – roadies’s bridge

4 manhour – recce and routing

the first bridge

the day started late

We are toying with GPS to map the area, ran into technical, ran into battery problem, not your usual double A battery stuff.

Justin pop by to help out. We work our way to the first crossing, objective is to build a bridge from existing material around the trail, fallen logs, small branches etc

armed with a 200m long Manila rope. and Nik’s parang. We cut out blocks of fallen trunks and branches, tie them up with Manila ropes cut into 4metres length, secure the footing of the bridge and form the bridge out of the material around us.

The bridge is left half done when the daylight gone out on us.

At the same time, while Justin taking up the width of the bridge to tie down pieces of crossbraces, I buried one of the log so to make the soon to be called ‘log slope 1‘ a ridable and manageable slope.

The whole work is done without much equipment, rocks to pound down branches to secure it, leg power to brake the broken branches further. Total make do.

6 manhour on bridge 1 (soon to be called roadie’s bridge)

1 manhour on log slope 1