A little bit about berms and corralling speed.

8 Apr 2009

The large berm on Old Duffy Descent in the past few months has really suffered due to heavy traffic, no rain and some short cut lines developing which make the approach to the berm too fast inducing skidding. Skidding is the number 1 killer of any track and everything must be done to reduce this practice. So the remediation of the blown out berm started well before the entry point of the berm.

The first thing to address was the approach speed to the berm. Over the months following the Scott 24hr a couple of short cut lines developed to become the main track. This essentially formed a straightish run into the berm which meant many riders were coming into the berm ‘too hot’ thus braking hard at the last moment (skidding) to wash off speed. Addressing this issue was a matter of placing some large rocks in strategic positions to re-establish the original alignment which was a series of ‘s’ bends. Then we watched what happened and made adjustments as needed.

Once happy that the skidding had been muted we set to rebuilding the berm. Excavator, water carts and compactors were thrust into gear and a few hours later we had a shaped up, semi packed berm. But this was just the beginning. Due to the unseasonably hot and dry weather we were experiencing the soil was hydrophobic and needed regular light watering over the next 4 days for moisture to work its way in to assist the berm to fully bed in.