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Trail Building Weekend Summary

The Trail Building Weekend Summary (1500 words) – by Nate Teh (LDTR Head Trail Builder).

Apologies for any spelling/grammar mistakes.

More pictures will be uploaded over the coming days.

Please note, there are some soft spots on the new sections and unrefined areas - read below for info.

Thanks is an understatement. We just had our biggest weekend of trail building ever.

Two full days (Sunday the official trail build one) involving a total of 18 different volunteers and over 129 hours.

A summary of each day is below, with frequent/commonly asked questions at the very end (Read it all before you ask a question that makes you look silly).

Our biggest thanks goes to Craig, Jim, Praveen, Grant, Renae from Parks Victoria and Coates Hire and the Fire Team who all have gone out of their way and above and beyond in helping myself and the club out over the weekend.

DAY 1 (Saturday/ Hug Trail):

The aim of this day was to replace the rotting log step down on Hug Trail and rebuild the berm just after it, which is all just before the boardwalk.

Three of us started the day off slinging large rocks one by one from near the Pump Track into the Coates Hire tipper using the excavator (sounds simpler than it is). We drove to Hug Trail, closed the trail and began hauling in the rocks with a sling from the fire trail to the log step down.

After some sketchy driving along the trail, we formed a safer transport route to the side of the track. While doing this, we also completed some drainage along the section. After hauling in all the rocks we began removing the log and rebuilding the berm.

We managed to remove old chicken wire and also a very sturdy star picket which were used in the building of this feature originally.

We decided to add a A and B line to the rock feature (2 levels of step downs, with the A line having a way to climb up it for riders riding anti-clockwise). Keep note that there is a C line to the right and a D line (long way around).

After completing a large majority of the job, we also decided to add a large rock just above the log drop to create a reverse grade drain.

At this point, another volunteer showed up to help compact some dirt.

We then packed up and drove back to the compound at around 4pm.

From there, everyone but myself left and I continued to haul mulch from near Skills Park all the way to Redgum Trail to prepare for Sunday’s build.

After 3 hauls of mulch, I then decided to start cutting in the new alignment on the State MTB Course to help with the beginning of the next day.

From this, I packed up and left the Parks Victoria compound at 7pm.

Day 2 (Sunday/ State MTB Course\Redgum Trail):

The aim of this day was to create reverse grades on Redgum (just before Tramline Track) all the way up to Valley View Track. This also involved drainage along all of this section, creating new drainage, clearing a new path for the alignments and mulching/closing off the old original trail.

We also chose to re-paint the Race Container in the Event Village.

We started the day off at 8:30am with 16 committed volunteers who worked tirelessly for the whole day.

A few of the volunteers started by painting the race container which went until about 10am.

The rest of the volunteers began haling mulch, pulling logs across and smoothing out the rough cut made by the excavator on the new sections.

There are 4 new sections which come in and out of the original trail.

We built berms on some corners but not others (see FAQ below) and completed a bunch of drainage using the aggregate rock and soil we had.

Renae from Parks Victoria also spent a few minutes teaching a couple of our volunteers how to cut and poison a few weed classed plants. This was a great exercise which we haven’t completed recently with Parks Victoria (awesome to see happen)!

By mid-day we had completed 60% of the work. While Jim went for a shopping trip for more fuel for the machinery, we all enjoyed a snag and a drink.

For the next few hours we continued to manually clear the path that the machine had roughly gone through and ensured that the drainage was receiving some love. We also roughly cut out the 4th section on Redgum.

At roughly 3pm, almost everyone headed home for the day exhausted and hard worked.

While Craig and Praveen hauled tools and some of the equipment back to the Parks Vic Compound, I continued to fine tune the Redgum section and pull logs across the original track.

We managed to get a satisfactory trail grade reversal carved in.We still need to complete drainage on the Redgum section, compact a few things and add some more technical sections in. But we want riding lines to form, to see where the wet spots occur and just have a pause so we don’t burn ourselves out.

By 5:30pm, Praveen and I were back at the compound putting the tools and equipment away. By 6pm we had completely packed up and were on our way home.