Sherwood Pines/Nottingham Trails, Quality, Funding and dig days.

Home Forum Chat Forum Sherwood Pines/Nottingham Trails, Quality, Funding and dig days.

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  • Sherwood Pines/Nottingham Trails, Quality, Funding and dig days.
  • wysiwyg
    Member

    The dh bits cost 20k, thats why there’s little official maintenance.
    Money well spent – not

    tacopowell
    Member

    I moved back to Nottingham over a year ago now, Leaving Aberystwyth behind and my spiritual home of MTB,
    On arriving back in Nottingham with my new found love of mountain biking I was understandably disappointed in what Nottingham had to offer, The Full Kitchener Red trail around Pines left me unimpressed but I pursued in riding there and been appreciative of what I do have.

    However after taking the trip over to Cannock Chase, I can’t help but wonder that Pines is missing out, I can fully appreciate that Chase is bigger and has a better variety of terrain for singletrack use,
    I see improvements to the trails there almost each time I go back,
    It would seem Cannock Chase gets a good amount of funding.

    Whereas Sherwood Pines has had One dig day (That I’m aware of), Thats one dig Day in the 14 months I’ve lived in the area, When the dig day was announced through Sherwood Pines cycling Club via Facebook there was a limited amount of spaces available to help, Unfortunately I was unable to attend due to Work, but I’m more than willing to help out if I get there on the day.

    I don’t want to insult anyone but the work that was done on thus dig day was much to be desired, On a section of singletrack that gets real muddy during heavy rain, With the large cobble type rocks used I fear the section will be a death trap come winter, not smooth nor stable.

    There are parts of the red route that are awesome, the ‘Downhill’ section is great but why not spread that sort of quality around the trail rather than clumped all in one corner?

    Which has led me to question where funding comes from when building and maintaining tracks, I would have a guess as the Forestry Commission?

    Lets be honest Sherwood Pines is never going to be Coed y Brenin but I cant understand why there seems to be so little effort going into building the trails.

    I want to alliterate that I’m Not ungrateful for what we do have, It’s just I would love to see my local trails fulfill their potential.

    tacopowell
    Member

    20K ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    think what that money could have done to trail…

    tacopowell
    Member

    Its almost like the people designing/building it don’t ride bikes.

    phead
    Member

    Perhaps the FC prefer to spread the money across the whole of their sherwood holdings?

    If you are stuck in sherwood pines you are missing 90% of what the area has to offer.

    tacopowell
    Member

    If you are stuck in sherwood pines you are missing 90% of what the area has to offer.

    Sounds like I’m missing out on lots,

    Please expand?

    I’m working my up to ride from Nottingham (live Sherwood/Basford), At the moment Driving up to Haywood Oaks, Ride from there up to pines and back, although the trails are really overgrown, got hammred by bramble and nettles yestrday.
    I hear Bestwood Park and Burnstump have Trails worth riding.

    Premier Icon joat
    Subscriber

    I know what you mean about the random rocks, happened upon them the other day. Before then It was one of the few bits of trail that needed a bit of skill. Albeit only a small wheel lift and weight transfer. They’d be better off reinforcing/armouring other bits that succumb to rain and just get wider. This has worked pretty well in other sections.

    tacopowell
    Member

    Theres that bit at the end of that section, needs loads of work, really nice burms there would work a treat.

    hmmm Guerrilla Trail Building?

    wrightyson
    Member

    You’re 30 mins from all the loveliness of ambergate and the surrounding Derwent valley. We don’t like outsiders tho….
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    tacopowell
    Member

    Ambergate? I need to get out Derbyshire way, 30 mins is a little optimistic though!
    Should I bring some weapons or beer to soften the locals to my arrival?

    Still doesn’t change the situation with Pines?
    A little help in finding these ‘local’ local trails would be appreciated!

    Premier Icon lerk
    Subscriber

    Ditto to the sentiments shared…

    Yes there are better places nearby, but it is very close to me and perfect if I have a spare hour.

    I actually got in touch with the contact listed on the FC website to try and offer shovelling, barrowing, and vision to add to the bobcat and type 1 that seems to make up most of the trails – but found no answer as the contact had moved on and couldn’t tell me who had taken over…

    The majority of the issues on the pines trails are due to water and poor trail planning (jump into flat corner around marker 7 springs to mind). A little better planning of routes and drainage options would keep the trail in much better nick year round.

    I appreciate that they are trying to keep a family air about the place, but some more technical features would be great, maybe as optional diversions with qualifier entrances to weed out the Carreras!

    Another point which would help, would be to regrade the blue to a green, maybe with one or two areas made slightly safer and shortened. Then regrade the majority of the red to make it blue (which, lets face it – is more accurate) then add more hand built technical sections as red/black add-ons.

    Oh and one last point would be to segregate the family trails and red routes better and signpost the red route as such for walkers and families – too often have I taken to the bushes in order to save a child’s face!

    twang
    Member

    How about joining these for all the local knowledge you’ll ever need?

    Premier Icon lerk
    Subscriber

    Their ‘active forum’ has about half a dozen posts so far this month and they seem to ride the same three trails on according to their ride calendar!

    The club itself might be brilliant for all I know, but they certainly don’t advertise well… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Wasn’t Pines being set up as an MTB centre of excellence? I quite like the place given the topography they have to work with, surprised at the apparent lack of funding mentioned above

    tacopowell
    Member

    Wasn’t Pines being set up as an MTB centre of excellence?

    Where did you hear that?

    AdamW
    Member

    Oi Lerk!

    Webmaster for NATSmtb here.

    Suggest you join in then – we were out in Leicestershire last weekend, as you can see from the rides list we’re out in Derbyshire this weekend. Out every weekend with party on 2nd Nov and me leading 3rd Nov (most probably North Notts). Usually get a decent crowd – 20 last Sunday.

    Three rides? Lets see (from google calendar/front page). Two cannock’s (there’s great riding around there and a couple of the club are brilliant at sniffing out trails) and a couple yet to be defined depending on weather. Yeah, I see what you mean about it being all the same.

    Sunday, September 15: Cromford
    Sunday, September 22: Buxton/Wye Valley or Linacre
    Sunday, September 29: Doctorsgate
    Sunday, October 6: Cannock
    Sunday, October 13: Edale
    Sunday, October 20: Shining Cliff or Carsington
    Sunday, October 27: Cannock
    Sunday, November 3: Nottinghamshire
    Sunday, November 10: TBD
    Sunday, November 17: Fox Houses
    Sunday, November 24: Eyam
    Sunday, December 1: TBD
    Sunday, December 8: TBD
    Sunday, December 15: Hope
    Sunday, December 22: Christmas butty ride!

    As for pines, yes, we ride there frequently, but usually only do a little bit of the Kitchener then move out and about as there are lots of trails in that area. Lots and lots.

    wrightyson
    Member

    I still haven’t been up there (pines) and it’s only 45 mins away. Having ridden the Forest of Dean trails over the summer I’d say they’d done a brilliant job with limited altitude available. Is it the same sort of situation at pines height wise?

    Premier Icon lerk
    Subscriber

    Oops! Touched a nerve there then!

    Apologies AdamW, I did qualify my statement that it was only based on a quick scan of your site…

    In fairness the large group size would actually put me off slightly although NE.Derbys/N.Notts (welbeck, clumber, pines is all within riding distance) is my stomping ground so I’d be interested to see if you knew any other bits around me.

    AdamW
    Member

    Lerk – group size (as I guess with every club) is based upon the weather and stuff. When I last led it was the five dales ride and it bucketed down. I managed to get about 10 to turn up to that one. A nice easyish ride last Sunday around Whitwick Woods/Coalville got the numbers up. Other rides such as Hayfield tend to get fewer as its harder.

    20 is on the big side for us, usually about 12-15 max. Good bunch of people though and the cakes are marvellous!

    I may have a GPX or two if you’re interested. I *think* my email is in my profile if you drop me a line.

    Premier Icon bigdean
    Subscriber

    Pedal for approx 5mins from downhiil and go on rainworth pit tip, some drop there to brown your trousers. Be carefull though heavy machinery around in the week and its slippy in the wet.

    Premier Icon iain1775
    Subscriber

    Pines got a huge grant a couple of years ago with lots of talk of new trails and setting it up as a centre for cycling
    All I’ve seen is the reasonably decent ‘dh’ area get levelled all the woodwork removed and replaced with some smooth rocks, a “skills” area seemingly aimed at kids and hardly anything else
    In contrast I don’t think Cannock gets much funding at all, it’s all volunteer built and maintained

    Premier Icon lerk
    Subscriber

    We actually use the dh park as part of the red route! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It sounds as though there are enough of us interested in improving things, maybe we need to arrange some clandestine digging sessions in the early hours!
    I spied some lovely logs for some skinnys on my way round the other day… 8)

    tacopowell
    Member

    As for pines, yes, we ride there frequently, but usually only do a little bit of the Kitchener then move out and about as there are lots of trails in that area. Lots and lots.

    I need to get involved.

    I may have a GPX or two if you’re interested. I *think* my email is in my profile if you drop me a line.

    Consider it done!

    Pedal for approx 5mins from downhiil and go on rainworth pit tip, some drop there to brown your trousers. Be carefull though heavy machinery around in the week and its slippy in the wet.

    I have heard this machinery around the end, Got lost there once noticed a few drops from the old train tracks, think used a lot by motocross, nothing that warrants a detour
    or maybe I’m looking in the wrong place?

    Glad there’s been a fair few voices on the topic,
    the general feedback is Sherwood Pines is OK, theres little money to improve the main trails, which is a crying shame as the potential for a great trail is there.
    I’m going to have to get involved with clubs to see what the rest of the area has to offer.

    tacopowell
    Member

    Back to the state of the trails at pines,

    Here’s what work was done on the one dig day (the only one I’m aware of in 18 months),

    30′ of poorly laid rock.

    Here’s a pile of what was used, situated just by the beginning of this section.

    And at the end of the section a series of potentially great burms sits in brake bump ruins,

    Needless to say, no thought put into how best spend what little budget is available.
    A crying shame.

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    Shame that, a bit of trail building knowledge can make a huge difference. And focus too – do one thing well, not many things in a mediocre fashion.

    Having said that, the work done at pines has hugely improved what was there before and the builders should be applauded for that.

    Stainburn efforts: http://vimeo.com/10283271

    Worth looking at what has been done to grenoside too

    tacopowell
    Member

    I certainly can’t take anything from the people that put their own time and effort into building trails but as you said, knowledge can make a massive difference.

    Forestry commission got back to me via twitter, told me the work is not yet complete, I’m intrigued to see how it goes, will another layer be going on top of what’s already down?

    I’m no trail builder but I know a good trail when I ride one, this so far is a beyond me!

    Premier Icon Pook
    Subscriber

    Been up to Sheffield yet?

    tacopowell
    Member

    I’ve not, moving into a house needing more than enough work has put days out on hold. ๐Ÿ™
    Worth the hour up the M1 I take it?

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    (and the hour back…)

    i would say yes, but i’m biased, and i (mostly) have an idea where i’m going.

    you may well spend your time more productively going looking for good stuff nearer your home.

    i bet there’s heaps of great stuff, especially now the nights are drawing in…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Devil’s advocate- building an armoured trail is a phenomenal amount of work even with the right people and the right kit, it’s hard to believe til you’ve done it. If you don’t have the time, resources, or hardware- and that doesn’t look whacked down- then roughlaying rocks like that can be pretty effective as a fix for a muddy section. Messy and crude but in terms of bang for buck there’s a lot going for it (and if that’s the section that was described as a “death trap”, give over)

    It’s possible that’s just supposed to be a substrate and they’ll be adding aggregate later but it’d be more usual to do it all in one to get it to bind better.

    tacopowell
    Member

    Death trap was an over the top, that doesn’t stop the fact that when the mud comes, that section, as it is will be far from enjoyable!

    I’m curious how as to how the trail building process works, from the fund raising right through to the first wheels hitting it, of course the best way to do so, I guess, is get involved!

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    Having said that, the work done at pines has hugely improved what was there before and the builders should be applauded for that.

    Hmmmm…. quite a bit of what is now 10 foot wide motorway / mud / puddles (depending on conditions) Kitchener Trail was once nice singletrack only ridden by those prepared to find it.

    It was basically built (or in several places not actually built but just bunged some signs on existing trails) badly to start and they’ve been trying to bodge it ever since… I agree they should take a look at other centres especially Cannock to see how it can be done before they p*ss away any more money.

    As others have said there’s loads of other good riding in the area, particularly when the rains return. No arrows and sign posts on it though! Thank god!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    tacopowell – Member

    Death trap was an over the top, that doesn’t stop the fact that when the mud comes, that section, as it is will be far from enjoyable!

    Looks more fun than the smooth paths you usually get from a new rebuild tbh! At the risk of being a cock, it’s mountain biking.

    tacopowell
    Member

    Looks more fun than the smooth paths you usually get from a new rebuild tbh! At the risk of being a cock, it’s mountain biking.

    It’s not so bad at the moment due to the dry trails, it’s at notorious muddy section, with the surrounding trees recently felled, suspect the combination of mud and the rocks will offer a poor ride,
    A rock garden works well if its natural or if the rocks are big and firmly placed, these rocks are neither big or firm, you could get away with it on a fast flowing section where you could hammer it over them but its not.

    Maybe my moaning is due to poor skills but I’m certain I’m not crap, maybe?!

    oldejeans
    Member

    Lots of decent short sharp stuff within riding distance of the city centre. Strava is a good place to start looking.

    I’ve really enjoyed my visits to Pines this year and even in the wet it’s quick. It’s not as if you have limitless traction when it’s dry either.

    Nothing beats a big day out in the Derwent river valley though.

    wrightyson
    Member

    I Still haven’t ridden there! You been over to ambergate yet?

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    I see improvements to the trails there almost each time I go back,
    It would seem Cannock Chase gets a good amount of funding… Which has led me to question where funding comes from when building and maintaining tracks, I would have a guess as the Forestry Commission?

    Not hugely – the key to Cannock Chase is that the volunteer group is small, but very active. They’re out there every Sunday working on both the XC and DH trails, have Thursday sessions once or twice a month, and have the Big Build Days every now and again (next one is October 20th). It also helps having a really good relationship with the FC – I think a couple of the rangers are mtbers.

    I don’t know if it’s still the case, but the amount of Forestry Commission funding used to be based on the number of volunteers helping out on the trail. Funding also comes from membership sign ups, donations, a small amount from the Birches Valley car park, and some local companies donate materials.

    There’s also the Giant Sponsorship that paid for the Tackaroo stuff that replaced 13/14/15/16. I believe that the FC have a harvesting contractor clause that says that excessive/avoidable damage to the mtb trails has to be paid for – hence Pot of Gold and Over the Rainbow being resurfaced recently. And hence High Voltage not being hugely damaged by harvesting, because the contractors used mats for their machinery to move along, which minimised the damage to the trail. ๐Ÿ˜›

    tacopowell
    Member

    They’re out there every Sunday working on both the XC and DH trails, have Thursday sessions once or twice a month, and have the Big Build Days every now and again (next one is October 20th).

    If that’s the case, where are they getting there funding from? it’s all good have a small, dedicated and consistent army of trail builders but if there’s no money, there’s surely no materials?

    It would seem Cannock have right people behind the scenes to get it to work.

    st
    Member

    Whilst I can’t comment in any detail about Sherwood as comparisons have been drawn to Cannock here goes.

    The reason that the trails have developed the way they have is largely down to two reasons 1. Highly committed volunteers and 2. FC representatives who have seen the benefit of the trails and have fought tooth and nail to support them.

    It’s now over 10 years since we approached the FC about developing a few hundred metres of singletrack and as it happens we dropped on at the right time. Plans were afoot for the bike (hire) shop but the FC didn’t have the knowledge or resources to develop a complimentary trail and here we we’re knocking on their door asking if we could experiment with a trail.

    Since then a whole host of other ingredients have gone into the mix to develop what you find there today but the two original factors remain. The FC team have grown and include a number of people who are equally passionate about the project as the original contact and Chase Trails continues to be run by guys who were there at the start (or very shortly after the start).

    Money is an issue of course, were it not for the grants and sponsorship received we wouldn’t have 2 full XC trails for instance but if this funding hadn’t been received there would still be managed trails today.

    The increase in visitor numbers is key. Whilst you can’t see a specific proportion if every car parking ticket going into the trails the revenue generated enables the FC to allocate a larger amount to its annual commitment to the trail and this is what drives our day to day work as it provides a contribution to tools, visits from machines to do heavy lifting and shifting and the steady supply of materials.

    That’s what keeps us going. We have a good stock of tools which is maintained by public donations via memberships and so on which helps Chase Trails to maintain a level of independence and as it stands a fantastic balance has been achieved.

    The interesting turn is that more recently following some restructuring the FC team at Cannock Chase are now part if a larger district which is based at Sherwood, hopefully this will allow the Sherwood team to understand better how the Cannock model works and improvements can be made

    The key message though is that in locations like these volunteer input is crucial as unlike some of the bigger central the FC don’t have the money to go out and buy a trail. Without a (very small) team of committed volunteers managed trails wouldn’t exist. In some locations these volunteers support a programme of trail development, in our case they ARE the trail development.

    If trails are to develop at Sherwood beyond what they are now then the two ingredients to which I referred at the start of this ramble need to exist.

    Stu.

Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)

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