After a stunning downpour on Saturday, the skies parted and provided a beautiful misty Sunday morning to greet our volunteers for the first NSMBA trail day of 2014.

Rising early for trail day preparations

The trail day leaders, Pat, Digger and I, met a core group of 20 volunteers at Rice Lake Gate. It was awesome to see a strong showing of trail runners out to help (including Peter Watson from North Shore Athletics), especially after suffering through the Dirty Duo the day before. By 9am, everyone was itching to get out on the trail. After a quick effort to hump the massive lunch, gear and tools from the road into the trail, the digging began!



Prepping the healthy lunch the night before the trail day

The first corner worked on was a hub deep puddle in the middle of a corner. Andrew, Morgan and Kevin danced away, the mucky sea parted and magical gold dirt sprung forth from the earth!

Before and After


Another angle . . .

Looking on to the next section

Still a small gap to fill

Complete with a bridge!

Looking back over the gap

I know that trail days aren't only about getting work done, so I sent Steve, the magical bacon man out to reward the troops for their morning efforts. He managed to survive the ravenous crowds and make it back to camp safely.

The bowl of glory

First pick

Bacon! No way!

Bacon makes everyone happy

Kevin came prepared

Steve enjoying the fruits of his labour


The next section of trail was a long straightaway with a number of deep puddles along it, a former characteristic of much of Circuit 8.



Building up the trail bed

More gold!!!

Podo's face of approval

The Young'sters

Around the corner . . .

and done!

While everyone was out working away on the trail, I was back at basecamp preparing a special lunch for our valuable volunteers.

The preparations begin

In the thick of it

Steak, burgers, potatoes, caesar salad

The President approves

I'm always so impressed with the volunteers that take their day off to come out and work their butts off on the trails. I think they deserve to be treated like royalty, so I set aside a "special" section for people to enjoy themselves and relax on their lunch break.

So romantic it brings a tear to my eye . .

Talking shop over a candlelit lunch

Steak and sausage

Mmmm, that's good!

Some enjoy fine dining,

others prefer the old fashioned lunch.

Despite what you may be thinking by now, trail days aren't all about the food. We still had some work to do after lunch and hit the trail hard to finish it up.

This was a surprisingly deep hole

Filled in and naturalized

From the other direction . . .

Organic removed, backfilling with rock

More rock!

Completed product


After (other direction)

Swampy corner

Backfilled and graded (other direction)

In total, we revitalized approximately 150m of trail. A huge thanks goes out to all the volunteers for bringing the single-track back to Circuit 8. Get out and give it a try!