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Harvesting at Tunstall 2017

After several years of small scale work, the Forestry Commission will be thinning and harvesting all of Tunstall forest. The work will commence in approximately 2 to 3 weeks’ time. The work is split into four zones and will be completed sequentially working anti-clockwise from the south west corner next to Tunstall common and finishing in the Sandgalls car park corner. Whilst harvesting in a zone, the Viking Trail will be closed to all users and there will be no access within that zone. 

The contractors will be working between 6am and 6pm Monday to Friday. However, it is not feasible for them to make the trail safe for use outside of those times. Please obey all notices and any instructions given by the contractors. It is for your own safety - for example, if a chain saw blade unexpectedly hits a foreign object, parts of the chain can be ejected (chain shot) with the velocity of a 22 bullet and travel in the region of 90 metres! The contractors will do their best to protect the trail, which in the short term may include covering the surface with brash to protect it from damage by machinery.

The first zone to be harvested runs from the fire road FR29 (east/west), immediately prior to Bomb Hole 1 ( V1B) and finishes at the Avenue (Chestnut walk, north/south) (V4I). A diversion route will be signed following FR 29, "rides" (non-surfaced fire roads) and some singletrack. The first section runs along Enterprise Drive (FR29) which has public access to the cottages, so pay particular attention and be vigilant for motor vehicles. The FC will be placing additional signs on this road with particular reference to the speed limit of 15 mph.

It is expected that the whole exercise will take approximately 1 year to complete. The Forestry Commission will be keeping TROG informed of progress, and will consult with us before reopening a zone to ensure it is safe for MTBing. We may need to call on volunteers at the end of harvesting each zone to help with raking and any repairs. The contractors will be the same ones that did the recent work near the powerlines. Much has been learnt from this previous work and they are now much more aware of the standards required by both TROG and the FC with regard to trail management and reinstatement but cooperation and compliance from riders is very important in order to maintain the relationship that has been formed.

Details of future zone closures and diversions will be published on the TROG website and Facebook page as work progresses.

Junior Coaching Sessions.


Isabel has once again put together some dates for Junior coaching sessions. Starting on Sunday 13th December at Sandgalls Car park in Tunstall.

Session Information:

Age range - this can be anything from 6 upwards, however, some ability/experience riding off-road on uneven surfaces and capability to ride the loop is more important than age.

The session will start with some skills on a flat area and then ride as a large group
Sessions will be 1-2 hrs ( occasionally longer if we are working from the recreation ground)

Relaxed and fun; the sessions are put together to build riding confidence.

Parents ride with the kids, its family orientated. One parent two kids ideal ratio.

YOU WILL NEED:
Bikes suitable for off road riding with two working brakes. 
Helmet to CE standard.  
Water for an hour’s riding - 1 litre.. Food optional but has to be carried on back by those eating it.

Dates and locations below and session info below:

  • Sunday Dec 13th  Sandgalls 11am
  • Saturday Dec 19th 9am FR22 Tunstall
  • Sunday Dec 27th  11am The Rec. Church Lane Eyke
  • Saturday Jan 2nd  9am The Rec. Church Lane Eyke
  • Sunday Jan 10th  Sandgalls  11am
  • Saturday Jan 16th  9am Folly Cott Car Park Tangham Rd
  • Sunday Jan 24th Sandgalls 11am

 If you have any questions please contact anyone on the committee and we will do our best to answer :0)


Wales Trip 2015

The date was set and announced for the annual trip to Wales. It soon became apparent that this year was going to be larger than normal. Within a few days we had 16 confirmed riders which was already impressive, but to then have 18 all wanting to join in the fun was outstanding!

With this record number of riders we managed to fill 3 B&B’s all within walking distance to Dolgellau so it was shaping up to be a great four days of riding and socialising.

The early 5am alarm clock was soon forgotten as we all climbed in to our vans and headed west to the valleys. 

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Once again, James’ sun dance had paid off and the weather gods had blessed us with 4 days of sunshine, warmth and no rain! (from what I remember).

Day 1 Penmachno:

As tradition, we all met at the Conway Falls café and we were soon at the start of trail ready for the long climb and the trails ahead. (We even saw the shocking appearance of sun cream this early in the year!!) 

With all the dry weather the trail wasn’t as wet as in previous years making for a great first days’ ride. Jon C wasn’t happy with all the dryness so decided to throw himself off the woodwork into a bog just to cool off and get a good covering of mud…

Some new sections had been added with big berms and nice jumps. The first days ride finished with only one small spill and one puncture.

Evening: Everybody hungry and a little tired from the long day,  we had a cheese, meat and wine banquet in our room with a great spread of food all laid out on the floor with time to swap stories of first day antics.

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Day 2 Nant-yr-Arian:  

Quick Spar shopping stop to stock up on trail snacks ready for the full on Nant-yr-Arian ride. With perfect timing Simon arrived with his crew ready for another sunny day.

Riding conditions couldn’t have been more perfect as we set out in to the wilds of the Welsh valleys with dry trails and a slight breeze. 

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After the lunch stop and the climb of doom we reached the new Son of Zorro trail. Big jumpy fun had by all with some impressive Strava times. (so I hear!) No ride is complete without a coffee and a bit of cake and maybe even a sneaky beer ;) Amazingly again no injuries just the one puncture!

Friday night we all headed into town for a good pub meal and to drink away the aches and pains from the day in anticipation of doing it all again tomorrow!!

Day 3 Coed-y-Brenin :  

Not so sunny, but who cares? It was dry! we all knew what lay ahead and couldn't wait to get moving. The place is the same every year with awesome riding, mixing up technical climbs, fast flowing single track and some scary tight downs to put that smile on your face. With the extra runs on the BMX section there was plenty of fun had.

Half way cafe followed by another climb of doom. That out of the way, ti was then fun, fun, fun, all the way back. Rick did some foliage inspection on the False Teeth and walked away without a scratch while I came off going up hill!!! (Just have to be awkward)

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Despite this, again another awesome day and everyone and the bikes still in one piece.

As tradition dictates, we headed out to the George III on the riverside. As the invention of taxis have not yet reached this part of the world we had to create our own unique mode of transport for moving 12 of us. It’s amazing how sitting on a tool box can be so comfy.

Plenty of beer and banter over some great food was had by all 18 of us round a table made for 12!!! Maybe that was a subtle hint for next year's trip?

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Many thanks for Tommy T and his bus driving skills allowing us all to get back into town as the night was still young. Somehow, despite going to the same town for the fourth year in a row, we have only just discovered the nice bar in town! Well now we know for next time…

Day 4 Coed llandegla :  

Some tired legs, some sore heads, some just sore! We prepared for the final day. Gale force head winds were not what we ordered for the day making the Heart Attack climb 10 times harder than it needed to be even blowing a few of us off our bikes.

Day four legs are never great but soon came back to us for a dry yet very windy ride. Some off-piste action mid-way down on some overzealous logging and back on to the B line. On the very last section of the very last day the rain finally came. May be Wales was just sad to see us go?

Again all bikes and riders in one piece!!! This is unheard of and with such a big group. Was it because we are all such amazing riders? Our bikes cost far too much money or just pure luck? Whatever it was I will take that.

I hope everyone had an awesome time, whether it was your first trip and had a rude awakening, or whether you go every year for more punishment and some brilliant trials.

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I thought we had a great group this year with every one getting along and fully getting in to the spirit of a biking trip to make it a great 4 days. Thank you.

2016 I think will be around the 7th April. Might mix things up a little next year so watch this space!

Martyn

Suffolk's Year of Cycling was officially launched on 4 March and kicks off a year of focused activity and celebrate all that is cycling across Suffolk.

The campaign is the county's bid to promote the many cycling activities taking place between March 2015 and February 2016.

Bringing together organisations from across the county and the launch of Suffolk's first cycling strategy in June 2014, the initiative aims to encourage more people in Suffolk to get on their bikes.

The launch also saw the premier of a brand new promotional video, as well as the announcement of a twelve-month cycle safety programme aiming to get more parents and children cycling to school.

Suffolk's Year of Cycling will support a variety of aims, including:

  • Encouraging cycling across all sectors of the community, supporting Suffolk's 'Most Active County' ambitions.
  • Promoting a transfer to cycling for short distance trips, supporting Suffolk's 'Creating the Greenest County' ambitions.
  • Promoting the benefits of cycling for health and for the subsequent savings in the health budget.
  • Fostering enthusiasm for cycling in young people.
  • Planning and designing for the future with cycling in mind.
  • Creating a safe and cycle friendly environment.

Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for roads, transport and planning, said: "It is extremely exciting to have launched such an inclusive and cross-cutting initiative which looks set to bring a wealth of benefit to residents across Suffolk; whatever their age or background."

"Through our close working with partners from all sectors we have designed a way in which we can highlight the major national cycling events that Suffolk has been chosen to host, whilst celebrating and promoting some of the smaller, more community based activities."

"As a keen cyclist myself I have experienced first-hand the benefits that can come from travelling on two wheels; especially keeping fit and saving the pennies. I strongly encourage those that are able to give it a go and enjoy cycling as part of everyday activity; whether that's commuting to work or school or simply getting out and about and seeing the county."

Suffolk is no stranger to hosting some of the country's biggest cycling events such as the Women's Tour and the Tour of Britain. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the county's streets to support these events and boost the local economy.

Through Suffolk's Year of Cycling, these events will be built on and inspire more people to get on their bikes. As well as promoting the major national cycling events that are once again being hosted in Suffolk, much work is also being done with local cycle groups and media partners to promote sportives, routes, rides and club activities to encourage people to cycle more.

For more information on upcoming events and current activity, please visit www.suffolkyearofcycling.co.uk

Ongoing harvesting operations in Tunstall and Rendlesham forests

Harvesting operations have been underway in Tunstall Forest for some months now with sections 8, 9 and 10 of the Viking Trail affected along with the forest further south which we had previously used for rounds of Mud, Sweat & Gears.

It is a great loss to lose the Far End 4 trails, however it does show the importance of co-operation with the Forestry Commission and the protection that offical recognition and marking of the Viking Trail has given. It has to be remembered that Tunstall and Rendlesham are commercial plantations and the use of the forests is at the Foresty Commissions discretion.

This area of harvesting is now coming to a close and the harvesting team have been careful to preserve the affected sections of the Viking trail and keep it open for use. There has been some damage where heavy machinery has crossed the trail, however this is fairly light. There will still be operations ongoing in Tunstall to remove the harvested timber and riders must always obey any warnings or restrictions for your own safety and of the harvesting team.

Through 2015 harvesting work will also be ongoing in parts of Rendlesham forest. These parts and the affected trails will be closed. Further information can be found on the Forestry Commission website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/rendlesham and the Harvesting Operations page.

End.

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