Volunteer Info - Pedal Progression

Volunteer Information

We will be rebuilding the trail from the hole in the wall on Beggar Bush lane all the way down to the miniature railway – highlighted on the map below (linking the two sections refurbished in December 2018).

Meeting point. The meeting point will be under a red tarpaulin shelter next to the trail, at top of the four rock steps and next to the small graffiti-covered building. This part of the trail is adjacent to Abbots Leigh Road, just before the left turn to Beggar Bush Lane (approximate location marked on the map below).

Foot/bike access. Heading away from Bristol on Abbotts Leigh Road go into Ashton Court up the steps on your left, just before the turning on the right to North Road.

Park on North Road.  You can also walk from the carpark next to Pedal Progression. Which will take about 5 minutes.

10am and 2pm at the meeting point. We will give a brief rundown on the work, hand out HiViz and sign everyone in. If you arrive at any other time look on the trail for someone from Architrail (in company-branded HiViz) or a volunteer deputy (yellow HiViz) to sign you in and give you an orange HiViz jacket (you can’t work on-site without this).

Why a formal sign in? The only way we can work out how many volunteers we need for the trail repairs is if we record who is on-site and for how long. We also need to know if you have left the site when you go. So please sign-in. Ideally, be there for a 10am or 2pm start time, but this is not vital. Turn up at any time and push a barrow for a while- fantastic.

Workdays will be from 10 am to 5 pm, we will be very grateful for your help even if it is only for an hour. Though all work is physical you don’t need to be a mountain of muscle to make a valuable contribution. We are not having a fixed lunch break (unlike the last build in March).

Age 16 and above can help, under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

How the work is organised. Work teams will be led by a professional trail builder from Architrail, with at least one volunteer ‘Deputy’. Work can often be spread out over 100m + of trail. This set up allows Architrail to move up and down the section directing the fine-tuning of berms etc, whilst leaving the Deputy to guide the overall flow of effort.Tasks to be done and how we have tried to make things better.

  • Volunteer Deputies. Feedback from past trail builds tells us that volunteers sometimes found themselves short of guidance, for example, unsure of where to dump the stone they were barrowing. Volunteer Deputies or Architrail are the people to ask. We find that at the start of morning and afternoon we tend to get work bottlenecks, these disappear as we progress, so bear with us. We hope to have more Deputies than at the last build.
  • Barrowing. To keep barrowing distances as short as possible, Architrail will be using a dumper to move stone and surfacing ‘dust’ to three or four locations, along the trail. These will be as close to the work areas as we are permitted to go with heavy machinery.
  • Trail edging. Banking up soil against the trail, particularly the bigger berms and rollers, always vegetation to regrow and is crucial to long-term durability.
  • Dusting. Spreading a thin (10mm maximum depth) layer of surfacing material over the trail surface. If you are doing this work be aware that the dust is to bond the base layer of stone and fill in the gaps between. It is not a thick surface layer. Put down a maximum of 10mm.
  • Whackering. Using the whacker plate to compact the stone base and then the dust that subsequent rain will bond into a tough surface. (This is why, even though apparently ready to ride, the trails are left closed for about for a week or two. Ridden too early and all the hard work is undone).

What to bring.   Tough footwear, clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, waterproofs, drinking water, food and definitely some work or riding gloves.

On-site contact numbers. Reception is Ashton Court is poor and ringing phones often hard to hear. Text messages are the best. 9th – 12th Oct, Tom Architrail 07793 563667. 13th (Tom though he is not on-site). 14th-18th Chris Leeks 07770 677644.

The future. Once we have this section is rebuilt, the focus is on getting a sustainable ad-hoc repair process in place. To do this we need motorized access to the trails, which is not an easy thing to sort out. Ongoing financing of the trails is also being worked through. When these things have been achieved, we will have demonstrated what the Bristol riding community can achieve and have the credibility to present grander plans.

And finally… there are prizes!!! We have some swag leftover from the film night raffle, including a tasty set of wheels from Ryan Builds Wheels. Everyone on-site at 10 am and 2 pm each day, gets to dig around in the lucky bag for a winning ticket.