Commonwealth Games Week

Saturday, 02-Aug 2014 @ 11:01pm

4 years until our Commonwealth Games!  Although it is not quite over yet, Gold Coasters have slayed at the Comm Games in Scotland.  The best news is home soil next time.

When it comes to the MTB XC events, we hope this year's medalists Bec, Dan and our other Aussie riders really enjoy their comp on the Gold Coast and perform to their absolute best.  We also hope that some of the trail we have worked on will speed them to the podium.

After a pause, we went back to Three Hills today.  There were 2 tasks.  With GPS we reconfirmed and refined the trail line below the new Exit Trail and Three Hills, hill 1 junctions.  As usual, we made some changes to our original line choice.  The other task was clearing the chosen trail corridor.  

When you plan a new line, you use a clinometer to approximate the line from bottom to top, based on map coordinates.  The line usually feels good when you are walking it the first time, because it is a contour trail line.  However, if you revisit and review more than once, new lines start to appear.  You start to see subtle new options that may sacrifice a few percent of the average climbing grade over 200m, but they take advantage of natural trail features, change the way riders approach both ascent and descent over critical sections and therefore build a line that is going to remain more natural and under less rider stress over time.

Today we had another good look at the critical section below where the current Three Hills line and the new Exit Trail link will join.  Subtle changes of trail line in this 100m section turn into several vertical metres of change in the trail alignment lower down.  Today after discussing climbing challenge, downhill speed control, potential shortcutting and how the trail will wear, we feel we found the right line, rather than what we had previously identied as the correct line.  

I can't show pictures though, because that end of the corridor is not yet cleared.  With luck a QPWS excavator will help build it, so clearing all the corridor is our immediate priority.  

Here's the trail corridor we did clear today, starting from the bottom end.  We made good progress considering the time put into trail flagging.  In the distance in the first pic you can see the V trees we plan to ride between as a reference point

We see some jumps in this section

Going uphill, there is an open, swervy section

to set up for the jumps and then we enter some tighter trees that have the potential to encroach on the trail a little with time, but they do add a nice tight feel suited to this blue trail.  Looking back up through the small trees you can actually see the trail line farther uphill, although it does dip below Doug's bike and then back up again in the midground

This is (almost) as far as we cleared today, but you can see some flagging tape ahead

Even though we understand QPWS plan to burn this section of the park this month, we could not help but pull out more lantana than we needed.  Some of it was used to reinforce closure of old lines and potential shortcuts

We are looking forward to working here again next Sunday.  Have a good weekend


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