There's been quite a lot happening in the Park lately - some obvious, some not so much.
Some time back, a stream alongside a section of Revelation started to scour out the bank just before the bridge crossing. The spiralling action of the stream during heavy downpours was undercutting the 1.5m high bank and we were in danger of losing the entire trackwidth.
Grib Buchanan brought some road building nous to the situation and suggested some gabion baskets. He & Bill Hollick duly installed them and organised the river-stone fill.
And that's where our little Muck Truck, here being operated by Greg Buckett, once again proved invaluable...
Once two tiers of baskets were filled, it was time for Karl Thompson and his digger 'Scoop' to backfill and cover them.
We evened out the slope approaching the bridge and, in the process restored the track to it's original width.
So, now, not only is this section of track armoured against further erosion, it's also a lot safer.
Unless, that is, you're the rider whose tyre tracks on the soft outside edge the following day suggest you got a closer look than intended!
From there, we took Scoop up to begin work benching our latest easy-grade track, Cruise Control.
This is the bypass to Sidewinder and Swamp Monster posted about earlier.
Some typically steep terrain meant slowish progress until we emerged from The Gulch (you'll see what I mean when you ride it). A short traverse above Easy Rider brought us to a point where we switched back and slightly angled up to cross Connector.
We made some progress on the other side of Connector before a snapped bucket hitch meant Scoop had carved his last bucket of soil out of the flanks of Kaiteriteri's hillsides. Expertly operated by Karl, he's benched a lot of track at the MTB Park and has fully earned his (semi) retirement turning over the garden soil at his home in Golden Bay.
It's not all doom & gloom, however, as we're eagerly awaiting the arrival of our "new" 1.5t mini-excavator in the next week or two.
Meanwhile, the section of Cruise Control that's been benched remains in a 'rough but rideable' state (although I'd avoid it in the wet for your bike's sake). For now, the recommended route, suited for intermediate riders, would be down Bay View onto Connector and then right onto the new track, which will take you back to the Sidewinder/Half-Pipe hub.
We expect to complete the benching & grooming of Cruise Control by the end of August.
Three recent working bees have been busy on the top section of Velocity. An upgraded 'granny' line and an alternative line to the mega-rut should make it a little less daunting to advanced-grade riders.
It's still steep, and ensuring enough traction to keep the speed down is always going to make it interesting, but it's alot more fun than skidding your way down a chute for several metres. And once you pass 'Big Pine', it's as eye-watering as ever!
Coming up : a predator control programme for the Park, our next hand-bench project, an upgrade for Easy Rider and... we join Facebook!