What’s goin’ on?


As the great Marvin Gaye asked: What’s goin’ on?

You want to be in the know? OK! Here’s a quick update on what’s happening on the Hill over the past few months.

Corner at top of DH4


Weather update for weekend 12th March

No Comments   Posted by Neil |  Category:4X, Digging, News, Trails, Weather and conditions

Saturday’s for riding, Sunday’s for digging.

The BBC and Metcheck are both saying it’s going to be fairly warm. It’s also been reasonably dry and breezy for the past few days, so even though it was pretty claggy on the sheltered runs earlier in the week, it’s hopeful that things will be drying out nicely.

At the time of writing Metcheck are forecasting light rain Sunday; no bad thing as it’s the final Back to the Future dig day happening on the 4X. Fancy helping out? Then read this and come along - you’ll be welcomed with open arms! Sound good? Excellent!

(If you are riding Sunday morning please be aware that the bottom of the 4X will be shut.)

First time riding at Aston Hill? Then read the essentials and the frequently asked questions – when wet, clay, chalk, flint and wet roots make Aston Hill a very different animal. The boardwalk at the bottom of the Red Run is particularly difficult when your tyres are covered with a layer of mud.

Stay safe, be good and get back to the future!

Weather for weekend 12th March 2011 at Aston Hill

 | Tags: 4X, Back to the Future, , , spring,

Weather update for weekend 05th February

No Comments   Posted by Aston Hillbilly |  Category:4X, Digging, Maintenance, Trails, Uncategorized

Bright and breezy doth dry trails make…

It’s looking incredibly mild this weekend and sure enough, the trails are drying out. Because Aston Hill has its own special little micro-climate there’s sure to be some wet patches (and some claggy areas as the trails dry), but where there’s any sort of exposure the blustery winds are drying the Hill out. The trail of choice will probably be the 423 as a lot of it is not north-facing, thus getting the best of any sun and the strong southerly winds.

All in all, it’s looking pretty decent for the time of year! The word that begins with s and rhymes with Tring shall not be mentioned, but definitely get out and enjoy the mild conditions.

Don’t forget that there’s a dig day happening on the 4X, so avoid this area. If you want to come along and help out you’d be welcomed with open arms! We’re meeting at 10am in the car park and there will be an afternoons riding and chocolate baked goods for all those who help out.

If it’s your first time winter riding at Aston Hill read the essentials and the frequently asked questions – clay, chalk and wet roots make Aston Hill a very different animal in the wet, even when it’s drying out. The boardwalk at the bottom of the Red Run becomes particularly difficult under a layer of mud as well, so keep it rubber-side down!

Anyone remember Lindy Layton singing over Clash basslines? Well, she’s still about and still skanking it up. Enjoy!

Weather at Aston Hill for weekend of 4th February, 2011

 | Tags: , maintenance, , , weather. conditions

Feeling rakish? Two Dig Days approaching fast

No Comments   Posted by Aston Hillbilly |  Category:4X, Committee, Digging, Maintenance, News, Trails

If you want to do some digging, then there’s two fast-approaching dates for your diary!

You wanted it, you got it - the return of the alternative push-up!

There will be a special extra dig day on Sunday 30 January. Chairman Pete will be running it and in true RAF style, it has a very specific target: re-open the alternative push up (you know the one - it was used during Foot and Mouth). Bring rakes if you have them; there won’t be much digging as it’ll be a case of clearing the path and re-establishing it.

The continuing re-birth of the 4X

Sunday 6th February is the date set for the next session on the 4X. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the difference made at the last session was amazing and it seems that everyone is super-keen to continue with the good work. All hands welcome - come on over and continue making a difference to the Hill!

What? When? Where?

It’s the same plan as usual for both sessions – meet at 10am in Aston Hill carpark for a quick briefing before heading off into the woods to work up some magic. It will be a full-on morning of getting your hands dirty, so come dressed to dig with warm clothes and gloves (protective footwear and eyewear is also advised).

Want to come along? Excellent! If it’s your first time (don’t be embarrassed – we were all there once) drop a line to gardeningwithoutthevegetables@rideastonhill.co.uk to let us know and we’ll be more than pleased to show you the ropes. There’ll even be tea and cake at the end (and some soup as well, to warm weary limbs).

Rake heads

 | Tags: , maintenance, rake,

The 4X - it lives!

1 Comment »   Posted by Aston Hillbilly |  Category:4X, Digging, News, Trails

There was the latest instalment of the Hillbilly Dig Day Trail Care series on Sunday, and the 4X was the much-needed recipient of Hillbilly attention.

IMBike writer and and Hillbilly George Woodward was there and already written a great piece, so we’ve borrowed it from imbikemag.com/forum/showthread.php?305-Aston-Hill-January-Dig-Day - it sums up the morning’s work really well.

“It may have been sunny this morning but standing in the Aston Hill car park it was pretty apparent that it was well and truly still winter. There was a layer of frost on the ground and it was pretty chilly. That didn’t stop the dozen or so trail volunteers from turning up and getting down to work.

As chairman Peter Way put it, today’s plan was to get the top section of the 4X track looking: “A little less ‘I Am Legend’ and a little more like a bike track”.

Everyone got stuck in, removing falling branches from inside one of the berms, picking up litter and pulling out stinging nettles; which it turns out still sting, even in winter.

The main and most important challenge was removing the layer of grass that had built up on the jumps and top berm. After a lot of hard work by lunchtime the top section had gone from a bit of singletrack with a few jumps thrown in, to looking like the 4X track it once was.

It’s amazing to think that in just a few hours everyone had managed to give the top section a complete facelift and new lease of life. With the digging done for the day everyone headed back to the car park to tuck into Nicole’s great chocolate cake and brownies.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who helped out. The next dig day will be taking place early February.”

As always, a big, big thanks to all the guys and gals who took the time to come and dig. We hope you got something out of it, have taken a bit of pride in doing a good job on the Hill and enjoyed Nic’s baking!

Next dig day will be in early Feb - date TBC. We’d love to have you along - sign-up to the digging email if you want to be the first to know when they are planned for and keep an eye on the website.

It’s going to be a busy year on the Hill!

 | Tags: trail care, trail love