Ideally, a mix of boring stuff (trail repairs and maintenance) and fun stuff (building trail features and new sections). Keeping the trails in good riding condition takes priority but if there’s an opportunity to add new features and build something fun then we’ll do this too.
We hold trail days every couple of months, sometimes more frequently, depending on how much of a state the trails are in and how cooperative the weather is. The best way to find out about upcoming trail days is to hook up with us on Facebook or Twitter, subscribe to our RSS feed or just drop us an email.
Bristol is in a really fortunate position where we have mountain bike trails within a few minutes’ ride of our city centre. However that also means that the trails get a hammering from hundreds of users every week.
A bit of mud is part of the off-road experience, but on flat, clay-based soil like we have in Bristol, a flowy bit of singletrack can quickly become a hole-filled quagmire, unless it’s properly armoured and drained. There’s also the problems of trails getting wider as people try and avoid the puddles. So we need to have occasional trail days to keep everything fast and flowy.
It’s not all bad though; trail days also give us an opportunity to revamp tired sections of trail and build new features to keep your rides fresh.
Trail days generally start at 11.00 am in summer, and 10.00 am in the winter to give us more daylight time. We normally stay out until 4.00 or 5.00 pm, but you can come and go when you want. When we announce a trail day we’ll usually say where we’re working, or give out a dig leader’s mobile number so you can meet up with us easily.
It depends where we’re working, but if we’re doing a trail day 50 Acre Wood it’s usually the squeeze gate at the start of the trail, and if we’re working in Ashton Court it’s usually the Golf and Cycle Centre.
For trail days in Ashton Court, the easiest place to park is usually by the golf kiosk. Vehicle access is via the Gatehouse entrance to the estate, near the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Parking usually costs £1 but we can arrange for free parking on trail days.
For trail days in 50 Acre Wood, the best place to park is normally the nature reserve at Abbots Pool, south west of Abbots Leigh village. From the car park, walk or ride south across Manor Road and straight on up the rocky track. The entrance to the trail is about 50 metres up, on the right.
Please note that if you try and plug a postcode for either of these places into your satnav, it might take you somewhere else. Have a look at this map instead.
Trail days involve a variety of work – it’s not all barrowing rocks – so there’s usually something for older children to do. Most of the work we do isn’t suitable for smaller children, but if you’re happy for them to play nearby while you work then by all means bring them along.
In accordance with the terms of our insurance, children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult and shouldn’t used sharp-edged tools like saws or mattocks. If you’re under 18 and want to come along to a trail building session, make sure you get written permission from your parents.
If it’s raining or cold we’ll still be out digging. The places we work are sheltered and wet conditions can even help to identify problem areas that need fixing. If a trail day has to be cancelled for another reason, we’ll try and give you as much notice as possible.