MCC Forum

Trials => Exeter => Topic started by: rick howell on April 15, 2019, 10:29:19 pm

Title: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: rick howell on April 15, 2019, 10:29:19 pm
As part of my LE preparations, I went over via various lanes and hills to Simms today; while I can report the bike was fine I have to say that I thought that Simms looked completely wrecked and will almost certainly need some maintenance before the 2020 Exeter. The Torbay trial ran through there 10 days ago and I spoke to Andy Petherick about the state of it on that trial - he seemed to think it was ok then, and I've had a look at the videos posted up on facebook and yes, it doesn't look too bad. But what I saw today shocked me as, in my eyes, it was far worse than when the 2019 Exeter ran through back in January.

Whilst I'm not an expert at what is ok and what isn't, I think it'll have to join the list of repairs this year with Tillerton and Tipley or they'll all become unusable in Jan 2020.
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: Jonathan Laver on April 16, 2019, 01:25:51 am
It is a question of repairing or losing the use of some sections. None of us want to lose any of the MCC`s traditional sections, for what ever reason.  Gone are the days when “we” were the only users of many of these tracks, bar the odd local farmer. The extreme/extraordinary weather conditions over the recent years has had major impact upon ground drainage/run off. What is to be done and when (relative to the time of our events) is the question.  The Exeter team does have a plan for repair work upon these 3 sections. Additional support, help and advice is always welcome.
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: Stephen Bailey on April 16, 2019, 10:16:11 am
Only three years ago we did major repairs to Simms. Putting in new drainage run offs and repairing the step.
Shows how much maintenance these hills need. Particularly as the top is mainly rock and the base gravel/mud. wont be too long before it becomes totally unusable. Yet I see posts of people "Practicing" on Simms before the events, on Facebook.....
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: Lee Sample on April 16, 2019, 02:30:20 pm
interesting comment on practicing - the SSRs state that the penalty for practicing either before or after the event on any part of the route is subject to the penalty of exclusion. surely it would be a very simple task to determine who is on the youtube video and exclude them from the trial?
alternatively, if it is thought that this would be too draconian, surely it should be removed from the SSRs?
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: rick howell on April 16, 2019, 09:49:16 pm
The issue isn't really "illegal" practising; the issue is 500hp+ tractors, packs of 4x4s, "overuse" by trials and other clubs (though they all have every right to be there as well as anyone else), heavy rain and lack of funding to local authorities. Simms is the 'go-to' hill for everyone out for a challenge. With the others in close proximity (Lenda, Tipley, Trendlebere) it is easy to incorporate it in a run of BOATs. Who wouldn't?

In fact I would suggest that nothing gets done in the way of repairs until shortly before we (the MCC) require the hill - say early-mid December. In that way at least we get to use the hill in a reasonable condition.

Or we do the local authority's job and everyone else benefits; and by the time we get to the Exeter it'll be needing more repairs. Or we talk to the local Authority (Devon County Highways) and come to some arrangement. As probably the biggest user - ie the largest number of vehicles on a single event using the hill in an aggressive way - we should be doing something about it immediately after the Exeter each year to ensure it isn't the MCC who get the finger of blame over it's condition pointed in our direction.

And no, Ian, I haven't got a working party sorted. But if there's a budget available I'm sure we can get some friends to help regrade/fill/leanmix the worst of the holes and put some stone down to provide a challenge for future use. Then there's Tipley too; the culvert needs sorting at the bottom, the lane out at the top is getting rough too, and so on to Tillerton. 

Where do we start, and where do we stop?

Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: Barbara Selkirk on April 18, 2019, 09:42:36 am
Simms is also used on the one day annual Torbay Trial - 7/4/19 this year with 70+ cars & bikes.  C of C.  Dave H with Keith Saunders, Duncan Stephens, Adrian Dommett & James Shallcross who also volunteer to marshal the section for the Exeter sent out facebook posts about the state, how bad,  of Simms despite the effort in December & they did take some redial action.  Unfortunately for the MCC as a byway it can be used by all.   
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: Barbara Selkirk on April 18, 2019, 10:47:39 am
See classical gas -

Torbay Snippets:-
   Torbay did a lot of repair work on Simms and Tipley prior to the event
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: rick howell on April 19, 2019, 06:49:21 am
.... next committee meeting. Feel free to come along, as can any member. 27/4 in Newbury.

Just for information, Ian, where is the 27/4 committee meeting located and at what time?
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: rick howell on April 28, 2019, 01:52:17 pm
Just to add to our information I see that both Tillerton and Fingle are included in the new SW UK leg of the TET (trans european trail).
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: rick howell on May 01, 2019, 08:31:31 pm
I'm pleased to report that today Phil Tucker (of Blue TR3A fame) and I walked over Tillerton, Simms, Tipley and Slippery Sam with a view to fixing some of the worst holes, ruts and steps. It won't be easy nor cheap but with a little help from our friends we can get these Exeter hills back into "challenging but not breaking" form once more.

More information as and when available.
Title: Re: Exeter 2020 - hills maintenance
Post by: Jonathan Laver on May 10, 2019, 12:24:13 am

Pressure upon the MCC traditional sections comes from all directions. Unfortunately, most causes of erosions and attrition, cannot be stopped,  at the best, it can be managed.
Water erosion can be very damaging. True to say that these tracks have survived the past weather conditions for many years.
Working as a hydrologist in the 1980`s our “models” were based upon “once in a 100 years”. As was the case with statistical analysis of weather anomalies. Climate change is now agreed to be a real experience. This presents in the form of extreme conditions. I note that today - Emma Howard Boyd, Environment Agency Chair, launched a major long-term strategy to tackle flooding and coastal change. She quoted that 5 million people in the UK are currently at risk from water flooding or sea erosion. Perhaps this is a political “I told you so and its not our fault”. It is also a “flag” – extreme water damage can be expected in the future. What current day hydrologists base their future planning upon I would hate to think.
Effective drainage upon the sections is difficult to achieve and maintain – but has to be explored wherever. Great that we have a team of enthusiasts developing an action plan. Thanks Guys !