Monsoon and Project: Snake

Monsoon has arrived rather quickly, it definitely had me caught off-guard. Personally, I hate this season. It’s cold, It’s raining which means riding trails might damage them, and road…well to summarize, I hate rain with a passion.

While I can go on writing 6 seasons and a movie about how I hate rain, that’s not what I am here for, I am here to show you the one fun part of rain…Trail building!

Hyderabad in the dry season gets REALLY DRY! This means that building trails takes a lot longer than it should. Most trail builders will recommend carrying water with you to wet the region…well…when the ground beneath you is rock solid after a few litres of water are poured in, then it seems much less practical.

Digging rock solid dirt without the right tools leads to broken tools

Instead of going through the agony of getting an elephant to hurl a ton of water on a specific region on land, I wait for mother nature’s biggest wet T-shirt contest, rain.

When it rains in HYD, trails turn to slush pretty quick. The current region where all our building is taking place, Evergreen Flats, is an oddball case wherein the water drains and gets absorbed by the plants pretty quickly, that’s great for us as the soil is soft and easy to dig, and shape.

We started Project: Snake back in May at the height of summer. Our dig sessions were short, exhausting, and took more than it gave. Progress was slow. Luckily and Surprisingly, the monsoons arrived early.

After the first heavy rain of the season, I set out alone to finish turning a badly dug, and extremely shallow rut into a berm.

first rain dig day

So…I just built a berm! Now all I have to do is SEND IT! However reality is a cruel mistress who ruins anything you do. After a day of letting it harden, I got my bike and rode at it with all the confidence I could muster, the headlong sprint turns into a lean, a lean into a banking, a banking into an upright stance, an upright stance into an airborne upright stance, and then, THUD! That’s right…I flew off the berm!

After a bit of consultation from my younger, much more talented DH friends, I got ready to work on fixing the issues.

Eine! I need to make the berm longer, Zwei! I need to make the berm steeper, und Drei! The berm requires a bit more reinforcement and shaping.

Skip ahead a couple weeks to yesterday. It’s rained heavily almost nightly, the sun seems to be M.I.A, and the dirt is very soft. This seems like the perfect time to build!

R, and I set out to the trails to fix any damage the berm sustained and to fix it as said before, I set out a couple hours earlier, we also planned to build a consecutive berm after this. This berm needn’t be so steep or sharp either. it just needed to maintain the flow.

A couple hours of Sabaton music, hoes, shovels, and shaping, the berm was ready!…to sit undisturbed for a few days to dry.

A much steeper and deeper berm

tyre POV shot

As I finished my designated berm, R arrived and we got to work laying the foundation for the following berm. I dug a track that R would later use to help build the berm.

Our base guide for the berm

Unfortunately I had to leave and finish off some work, I bid adieu to R and left the rest up to him.

A couple hours pass and I receive a set of photos from R, the berm was ready!

R’s Berm

by the looks of it, it seemed fairly smooth and quite fast. We haven’t ridden yet and plan to in the coming days.

months of planning and making sure things were ready paid off well. Seeing such features in HYD is a sight for sore MTBer eyes.

Well, here’s what it looks like overall

the final result

Once I ride it I will post an edit here with the first test experience.

Till the next time,

Tschuss!

#2020 #india #trails #trail #build #mtb #newblog #mountainbiking #hyderabad #cycles #cycling #bike

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