Chris and I are going to make a start on shingling the Big Easy this Saturday-Sunday (starting at the top).  Machines will do most of the work but if you are at a loose end then txt one of us and we'll let you know if an extra pair of hands would be handy.  If everything goes to plan then a crew of 6 would be perfect for Saturday afternoon and Sunday.  For following weekends we'll put together a roster so that we can try and keep the machines working.  Watch this space...

Hamish - 027 442 6474

Chris - 021 296 5879

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Gravelling on Saturday afternoon. Could do with one or two more folk to help with spreading the gravel on the section from the pond to the plateau before compacting it. Bring a rake if you have one.
Craig and Chris are gravelling Sunday morning if anyone wants to help out...

VP Craig reports the Big Easy all graveled and leveled down to the plateau. Next step will be strategically addressing some of the muckier bits on the BE down from the plateau for the NZSSMTB and also tidying the 4 Cross and entry across the "wetland" we call LPHS top field. When we started I had a goal to get a cover of gravel on the upper section of the BE for the NZSSMTB, but hell we have properly graveled about 30% of the whole BE. Just want to say thanks to a heap of people for their awesome work over the past two weeks.

We will tidy the Haggis Basher for the SSMTB as well, that will be back to hand tools and sweat...likely a Working Bee next weekend. Cheers Chris

Big Easy graveling 2015 is going to start on Saturday. Hamish, Glyn and helpers will be there working from the Plateau down towards the Water Tank Rd crossing, so the track will be closed between those points. (Tractor and trailer working). Also a scrub-cutter will be working on the Big Easy from the Water Tank Rd to the 4X track intersection.

Basically it's best to keep off the lower half of the Big Easy on Saturday 25th of July!

Last September we were graveling the last bit of the Big Easy between the top and the plateau, and the digger blew a drive motor.  This took several months (and a lot of money) to fix.  Once the digger was going again, summer had rolled around and everyone was out riding their bikes.

This winter we've been in a bit of a holding pattern due to new Health & Safety requirements. All club members using machinery now have the appropriate certification (tractor, excavator, chainsaw etc).  Glyn has spent a huge amount of time getting our H&S plans and documentation in order, and the council has now signed everything off and given us the all clear to resume work on the hill.

Notices outlining the areas that we're working on will be posted on the website and at trailheads.  The sections of the Big Easy where machines are operating will be closed, and detours will be in place.  Feel free to keep using the track, but please read the signs and respect the barriers!  If we can't keep the work site safe the council won't let us finish the graveling and the track will be forever muddy.

Glyn, Adrian and I had a good day up the hill today.  It took about 4 hours to get everything in place and start running gravel, but we ended up covering about 160m of the track.  We graveled the (ex rutty grassy) section just above the plateau, and the damper spots heading down towards the water tank track.  There's a good 2 more days work to finish this section, then we can get onto the worst bits further down.

We may be up at the Plateau again on Sunday if it doesn't rain too much tonight.  If you're keen to help, text Hamish on 027 442 6474.  We're aiming to be up there by around 10am.

Here's the section of track just above the plateau - a bit of an improvement over what it was.

Glyn really does have the H&S side of things nailed.  Would probably be easier to bolt the sign on the top of the compactor rather than carry it though!

Here's a map of where we're at with the graveling - over half way and counting... 

Last Sunday it was forecast to rain but the sun came out so we made a last minute call to continue graveling.  Glyn came up to set up the H&S and jump on the digger, Craig got on the tractor, and Alan, Wilson and Adrian came up to help out.  We graveled around 100m of track so we're about half way through the pile near the quarry.

Here's Craig squeezing the tractor through one of the skinnier sections of trail.

Alan grooming another switchback corner while Coco watches

And the boys teaming up on the rakes:

At the end of the day Wilson gave it all a good run over with the compactor

The forecast looks good this weekend so we'll have another crack on Saturday.  We'll aim to meet at the Plateau at 10am.  4 or 5 people is the perfect number, so txt Hamish on 027 442 6474 if you're planning on coming along.  If the weather holds we'll be up there Sunday as well.  The red line on the map shows the bits that we've done so far.


It's all go for graveling the Big Easy this Saturday and Sunday.  We'll be meeting at the plateau at 10am both days and working through to around 5pm.

The Big Easy will be closed between the Water Tank Track and the Plateau.  Please respect the closure and detour past the water tank.

No graveling today - Mike's checked the track and its a bit greasy.  Fingers crossed it will dry out enough to give it a crack tomorrow. 

The track dried out just enough today to get the tractor and trailer running again.  Glyn, Adrian and Alan came up and between us we managed to gravel another 250m of track.  This was just about as much as we did last Sat-Sun combined, so I think we made up for the day off on Saturday.

Given it was fairly damp we had a slow start, getting up the hill around 10am (Alan had already done an hour of track preparation up by the time we got there).  I did a few runs with the tractor, then Glyn took over, with Adrian and Alan raking things out.  

Despite it being a bit tacky, there were quite a few people out and about up the hill.  Everyone obeyed the signage and kept away from the work area which was great.

I didn't take any pictures of the completed track as we were pushing on to get things done before we ran out of light.  As it was we compacted the track with head torches on - a bit tricky seeing where the bumps are when working with black road millings.

We've now used up all of the millings at the Plateau, so we'll get some gravel delivered this week to finish off the last 140m down to the Water Tank track. We'll then move the gear over to the big pile near the Pond Jump. 60% of the track now has gravel on it, so we're getting there.    

After a couple of wet weekends the forecast is now looking good, so we'll have another crack at graveling the Big Easy on Saturday.  We'll be working down from the plateau, starting at 10am and through to around 5pm.  We don't need too many people, so if you're keen, flick Hamish a txt on 027 442 6474 so we can spread people throughout the day.  We will probably be up there on Sunday as well.

The Big Easy will be closed between the Water Tank Track and the Plateau.  Please respect the closure and detour past the water tank. 

We may also close the section between the top of the 4X track and the water tank road.  In this case, the detour will be up the 4WD track to the zig-zag.

Finally some fine weather!  Glyn, Adrian, Oscar, Wilson, Mike and Chris came up to help gravel the Big Easy today.  We finished off the Big Easy down to the Water Tank track, and put in 10 sign posts.  Tomorrow we'll move the gear over to the pile beside the pond, and finish installing sign posts on the top half of the hill.  

Glyn did the first spell on the digger, building a small mountain out of the gravel that Blackhead Quarries have generously donated.  Part of this pile will be used for track maintenance when we're finished.

Adrian started taking gravel down the track while Mike went and dealt to some gorse with the new scrub bar.  This has just been brought with funds granted from the Bendigo Valley Sport & Charity Foundation  (thanks to Adrian for putting in the application).

With Adrian doing 15 minute laps on the tractor, Wilson and Oscar were kept busy smoothing out the gravel (about 50m of track covered per hr).

Mike and I then started putting posts in the ground for signage.  Big thanks to Goughie at Mosgiel Mini Digger Hire for lending us a machine with an auger on it. It made shortish work of the holes. Chris then popped up and helped put the posts to bed.

We've now fully graveled half of the track - from the top of the hill to the Water Tank road.  The next section is the long run down to the top of the 4X course  On Sunday we'll relocate all the equipment, prep the next section for graveling, and put in some more sign posts.  If you're keen to help, we'll be at the plateau from 10am.  The gate on Signal Hill road will be open, so you can drive down to the pond (or further if you have 4WD).



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