New Trails at Lee Quarry – the work so far

Jon headed up to our local trail centre, Lee Quarry, to see how the new trails are coming on. We took a look at their plans a while back (you can check that out HERE), but Rowan Sorrell’s trailbuilding company, Back On Track have been rather busy in the intervening time. Check out the gallery below…

As well as doing maintenance work on some of the old trails, which have been wearing down thanks to the large amount of traffic, the major part of the build has been the construction of a brand spanking new pump track. The first one has been so successful (and go so busy at weekends) that the man behind the trails at Lee and Cragg Quarries, Tony Lund of Lancashire County Council, has decided to create an all-new version.

To that end, trailbuilders Shaun and Leon have been busy sculpting an absolute beauty of a pump track. As you can see from the pictures, the plan is to have one main loop with an additional run in and an absolute load of transfer lines. It’s an amazing bit of building, with plenty of lines built into it and, as the guys said, many more which will only become apparent once the track is complete. Both of them have been trying desperately not to get carried away with the potential they have to play with, but the track will be accessible to riders of all levels, with enough interesting features to make it entertaining for advanced riders but safe enough for novices.

The Back On Track team has also resurfaced the jumps in the skills area and done some lovely dry-stone walling (a bit of Welsh heritage there we guess) on the larger jump and there looks like the beginning of a  drop in line.

As we covered in our previous piece, there’s a new piece of linking trail down from the head of the multiple trails at the top of the hill so that riders using the Cragg Quarry link have a bit more interesting singletrack to ride. Talking of the Cragg Quarry trails, the team has been creating more flowing singletrack there, maximising the potential of the space they have to work with.

The only problem so far has been the weather; wind, rain, snow and then a bit of hail just to make things more interesting. This has meant slow going building and some sections of track felt more like sponge than dirt when we were up there.

It’s also meant that the damage caused by people riding the trails before they are complete is a real hazard and will delay work as the team has to correct the ruts and grooves caused by over enthusiastic riders. It really is the number one enemy of the trailbuilder, Shaun pointing out that people will blithely ignore tape, signs and any obstacle placed in front of them to ride and then ruin the new sections.

Work is expected to be complete by the end of the month, but thanks to the poor weather and errant riders it could take longer. In fact, Rowan says that his team may have to return to the quarry later to repair damage to caused to new sections which would have been fine if they’d been given chance to bed in…

The new sections of trail will be open in time for this year’s Singletrack Classic Weekender though and we’re hoping for another year of classic mountain bike racing, riding and socialising, taking the disciplines of trials, downhill and cross country riding over two days all for the bargain price of £35. If you’d like some more info on the Singletrack Classic Weekender then take a look HERE

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