Christmas come early?

It’s that time of year, the weather has certainly changed since our glorious summer, decorations are going up and people are out buying presents. Well this year the presents for Ride Kirklees members are as follows:

  • A new blue graded trail at Oakwell Hall.
  • Some funding for ‘be nice say Hi’ signs.
  • Flyers to advertise the group and the work we are doing.
  • Trail maintenance days a plenty…

The big, main present – Oakwell Hall!! Bike Track said the trail would be finished mid December and….IT IS!! It has been signed off today and the Bike Track gang are packed up and shipping out. However, due to the recent weather and potential weather in the future, the trail won’t open yet… BOO, I hear you say. The reason for this is that we want the trail to be in its best condition for as long as possible (before we need to carry out any maintenance) and the recent deluge has meant that no amount of whacking will make it rideable yet.

Parts of the trail are still really soft, and the only thing to do is let nature take its course to let the trail bed down. The time this takes, no one knows. If we have a really dry spell maybe a couple of weeks, if we get rain (or snow) then its going to take longer. After discussions with Bike Track, the thinking is – let it be for this year at least. The good news is that this will mean we can get a date organized for next year, and go ride a trail that is ready for riding!! The logs and brash that is currently covering the trail will stay on until then – so please don’t be tempted to go have a cheeky ride – it will cause more harm than good.

Be nice say Hi.

The national campaign that was started by our fellow advocacy group Ride Sheffield is soon to be a common sight around Kirklees. Funding has just been confirmed for us to get 250 signs printed up. The iconic black and white squares will soon start appearing on bridleways across the area. Kirklees sports and physical activity development  project ‘Try it, Like it, Do it’ have awarded us the cash to get the signs, so when they arrive we will need some volunteers to screw them onto posts.

Flyers, flyers, flyers.

After the AGM in October, it was suggested that getting some advertising for local bike shops needed to be done. So a few months later and with some help from Adam Simmonite from Trail Advantage some flyers have been done designed. The next thing was to look at how to get them printed, and thanks to Amanda Walker, we now have a box of flyers to distribute around. Some have already been delivered to Earnshaws two wheel centre on Manchester road in Huddersfield, Albion Cycling in Thongsbridge and The handmade Bakery in Slaithwaite. I am aiming to get leaflets out to all the local bike shops and bike friendly eating and drinking establishments – so if anyone can help, please let me know and I’ll get you some flyers.

Trail maintenance days.

An application has recently gone into Natural Kirklees so that we can be insured to carry out trail maintenance in the area. If this comes through then we will need members to update the group on trails that need some TLC – from drainage to overhanging branches. Winter is a great time to get out and do the work, as it’s the right time to fell trees, clear drains and look after the trails so they are ready to ride come spring. All potential work needs to be cleared by Kirklees council, so please let the group know if there are areas that need attention.

One area that is going to see some work is around Oakwell. There are loads of bits to get stuck into to finish of the areas surrounding the trail. Jobs like fencing, tree felling and pruning and the installation of gates to help protect the trail from motorbikes. The first task is on Saturday the 8th of December, with some footpath work, and further dates will be organized to carry out other tasks. Any help would be greatly appreciated, so keep an eye on the Facebook page and if you can spare some time, please do.

Hope you all enjoy your Ride Kirklees presents when they are ready – it will definitely be worth the wait.

Have a great Christmas, and hopefully see you on the trails…..


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