New Trails at Lee Quarry – the work so far

by singletrackjon 16

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

Comments (16)

  1. Excellent stuff great to see such support.

  2. Shame good work has been trashed by impatient tosspots.

  3. Please stay off the trails till we open them, today I chatted with quite a few people who were quite happily lifting bikes over tape and ignoring signs asking them not to ride certain sections yet. It’s not because we think you won’t manage them it’s because riding them before they have bedded in wrecks them and creates more work. The new pump track is going to be excellent but not if people insist on riding it at the moment. If you happen to be up there over the weekend and see people on the new pump track please have a polite word with them for me.

    It will be worth the wait!

  4. Hopefully the builders can grade out the ruts before the surfacing dries and goes off hard. Sorry to see that damage before the sections are even opened.

    We’ve had some success in keeping riders off new sections until ready with orange barrier mesh across the trail every 20m or so and if they get pulled down, post and rail fences… Time consuming to install but seems to be working.

    New and reworked bits look great. bravo!

  5. Mesh barrier would probably be better not as easy to break. Difficulty up there is getting posts in the ground seem to keep hiting rock!

  6. The pics look like the trails have been resurfaced with mud?

  7. James: It’s good surface material – it’s just so wet at the moment that it’s very soft and squidgy. It needs a bit of dry and wind and then it’ll set nice and solid…

  8. Aargh, why do people do that 🙁

  9. Looking really good, can’ be much unsurfaced ground left!

    We tried post and rails at Gisburn when we resurfaced Hully Gully, three sets 10m apart. By the time we removed them we had a trail snaking around each one.

    ‘Aargh, why do people do that’

    same reason that they dont mind getting muddy and knackered on a bike at the weekend but suggest they pick up a spade one weekend and they start muttering about their human rights.

  10. That infuriates me. Had enough of the same thing on the Swinley trails I helped out on, now ripped apart by tire tracks.

  11. It happens all the time and there’s little to nowt you can do. We’ve had daft buggers move a strategically placed barrow so they can ride something we’re working immediately under (Boulder Drop on the Descent Line at Stainburn), and all within plain sight of us. They got gently corrected in their mistake (which I think, although fairly daft, was thoughtless rather than malicious).

    Might as well just add a contingency sum for fix-ups after a few months or pay for someone to be in the Quarry full time to educate / shout at folks who probably ought to know better 😎 It’s like trail lines, folks take the line they take. Either block it with something immovable or impassable or accept it’ll probably get used. At Stainburn the idea is to ride over the rocks, whereas at CyB it’s to ride round most of them. NO wonder folks are so confused 😉

    Anyway all the new stuff looks fun and great.

  12. Looks great. The new pupmtrack is looking good. Nice to see the tables getting a little attention too. Looking forward to the opening.

  13. The trails are looking great and while i’m at it, i’d just like to say well done to all those who have contributed to an ever popular destination. Can’t wait to get out and ride the trails.

  14. looking good, cant wait for the time i can dig my baby bike out for a spin been to long

  15. you should set up some intercept missiles are different points through the quarry … and then everyone who goes where they shouldn’t just gets blown away … guess that’d work 😉

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