Update: Ashton Court Trail Maintenance & Ride Bristol Site Launch - Pedal Progression
 

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28 August 2020

Update: Ashton Court Trail Maintenance & Ride Bristol Site Launch

Trail update and progress report from new organisation Ride Bristol.

This year will have landed in different places for each of you. For many, 2020 will be a year to forget. For us, it’s not been without its dramas but outdoor activities like mountain biking have thrived in lockdown and Pedal Progression have experienced one of the busiest summers on record. We realise that not everyone has been this lucky and we don’t take it lightly. There are bikes everywhere right now and all types riding them too. People coming back to it and picking up the sport for the first time.

At the start of August, we checked the trail counters for the first time since lockdown. The figures were nothing short of incredible. The counters had clocked 76,000 passes since the start of January! Some basic maths works that out at approximately 121,000 passes by the end of the year. That’s significantly more than when the trails were first built and BikeFest were running two races per year, including a 12 hour with hundreds of competitors. It could be the busiest year on record for our local trails.

It’s unsurprising then that the trails have suffered accelerated wear this year and parts of the Nova are already looking worse for wear after the refurb we did at the end of last year.

There are a number of reasons why no maintenance has been done but it’s mostly down to the fact we had such a hot and dry summer. In turn that caused Pedal Progression to be busy and also made and trail work impossible, as moisture is key to the newly worked trail binding and therefore holding strong.

With the weather recently taking a turn and the subject of trail maintenance being raised a few times in the last week, we felt it was right to update you all and tell you some very exciting news…

For the last year, work has been going on behind the scenes to create a new charity organisation that will keep, develop and grow the Bristol mountain bike trail network. Initially this will be about ensuring that the massive amount of work that has been done over the last 3 years at Ashton Court is protected in a sustainable. The aspiration is that his new organisation will become much more, with plans to focus some attention on Leigh Woods and in the longer term a vision to support the wider trail network. No doubt there will be events, social rides and dig days aplenty! ‘Ride Bristol’ was birthed from the core of the Ashton Court Steering Group and others were recruited to bolster the groups skillset.

They have applied for charity status and are waiting to hear back. Should Ride Bristol be accepted, the organisation will be able to apply for funding to sustain the trails and will deliver regular maintenance sessions accordingly. They hope to go further than that too, looking for new trails to be added once the current network is sustainable.

Pedal Progression will look to hand over the maintenance responsibility to Ride Bristol as soon as this is possible. We will however remain involved with Ollie sitting on the board of trustees.

For now it is uncertain when the next round of maintenance will be but we hope to get something done before the winter. There is just short of £4800 in the pot, (£1500 was raised at a film night at the new Stiff store in Bristol earlier this year) which will buy a good amount of material and expert labour.

For now, enjoy the trails and limit your skidding and corner cutting!

If you want to sign up for updates and check out the very first incarnation of the Ride Bristol site click the link below:

https://www.ridebristol.org/

Cheers,

Matt & Ollie

Matt

Written by:

Matt