Digger’s Diary – Day One

by ed-o 8

I'm so industry with my sponsored shovel.

I started work as a trail builder today. My usual lifestyle of having a lie in, going on ‘R&D’ rides on weekdays and blagging bike parts to test from the Singletrack office is temporarily on hold. I’m still doing my work as a mountain bike skills trainer and guide, but this is predominantly at weekends with the odd weekday thrown in, particularly at the moment during the winter. Taking on work that is connected to riding bikes fits right in with my plans for living the biking dream at the moment. I recently gave up my previous work to concentrate on running skills courses. The chance to join Rowan Sorrell and his team building trails at Lee Quarry was offered to me was just too good to miss.

So what are we building? At the moment there are several new skills lines being built at Lee Quarry. The existing skills area is being improved with rollers, berms and small jumps which will join up the features that are already there to make a skills development loop. In addition to this there is a pump line, a berm line, a drop off line and a black graded jump line all under construction right now. Then there will be a new section of red trail that will replace a current fire road link section. That’s not all because we’ll be building a cool pump track too. I would say that’s all rather exciting wouldn’t you? Please don’t try riding any of this stuff until it’s open as the trails need finishing and time to bed in. If you do ride on it we will have to make repairs and the trails will take longer to be ready. If you’re up in the quarry and you see folk riding the new stuff, please ask them nicely to stop. When we’ve finished at Lee Quarry we’ll be moving over to nearby Cragg Quarry to build a 4km loop of delight.

Some of the new skills loop

Trail builders have a pretty Hollywood lifestyle. Heated seats in the excavators, state of the art earth moving equipment and go anywhere dumpers. Unfortunately myself and my mate Leon don’t get any of this. We are doing the finishing work to the trails. This means shovelling, barrowing, raking and using the whacker plate to get that lovely hardpacked finish and shape to the rollers, booters, berms and suchlike.

Canteen and toilet for seven!

Today we had sunshine, snow and hail and as the sun started to go down the ground froze. When I got home I ate ALL THE FOOD and now I am going to bed. Yes it’s hard work and I love it.

Nicky, Rowan and Leon talking about the weather.....and there's plenty of it

Click to find out more about Ed’s mountain bike skills company Great Rock

Comments (8)

  1. Looking good Ed dont forget the chicken lines for the skill less ones.

    Hopefully be up that way for the next weekender.

  2. rich, the plan is for the “skills area” to feature graded lines basically, making it the ideal place for “skill less ones” to learn and progress.

  3. I’ll build you a chicken line Rich and you can organise a chicken race at the Weekender.

    As xherbivorex says there will be lines for everyone to progress their riding on. Even the harder lines will be rollable. The faster and higher you go the harder it will become, but if you control speed and stay lower in the berms it will be smooth and easy

  4. And, as Ed mentions, the Singletrack Weekender will be taking place up there on July 3/4th. The trails should be open and in primo condition then, so what better way to get a look round Singletrack’s own private trail centre? 🙂

    Singletrack Weekender link.

  5. New sections are looking stunning already! Just wish the weather would ease up a bit and let the team get on with the job without freezing their nuts off!

    New sections are even better than I was hoping for, just shows what happens when you give a group of keen bikers some diggers and an old quarry.

    No need for chicken lines as long as you stick to the red most people should be ok. Any black sections on the red will be for you to opt in to rather than chicken out off. Black and free ride lines will need a bit of thought and looking at before you try though.

    When the trails are open if any of it gives you trouble book on one of Ed’s courses he will know all the new sections on an inch by inch basis he will have raked and wackerplated them all.

    Pump track is now going to go down near the trials area next to the sculpture where we all camped on last years weekender. I can see this offering some good evening entertainment.

  6. Looking good, wish I could get to weekender again this year but work’s in the way this time.

  7. “No need for chicken lines as long as you stick to the red most people should be ok.”

    Im saying nothing Tony!

Comments are closed.