January Is one of the best season to be in Hong Kong. With temperature ranging from 12 to 18 Celsius, encourages mountain bikers to get out and enjoy the mountains, work the back countries experience and session the trails on a daily basis.
We returned to Tai Lam country park, Hong Kong with IMBA Trail Solutions for the 2nd time this winter, to continue with where we left off in November 2014, on the new 4km long all mountain descent currently yet to be named and commonly referred to as the ‘tin man’.
We’ve placed our priority in routing the last 3 mid sections of this old fall line social trails, Putting in 600m of new fun contour trail section, to be completed as a rough cut in about 2 months time, and probably get beef up before the launch.
Trail Specialist Joey Klein joined us in this newest effort, and we conceive some good amount of new school lifted tilted features to enhance the riding experience and placed a series of technical rock garden features and hip jumps along the way.
The vegetation and terrain at this ‘tin man’ ridge line is challenging even for the most determine and experience builders. Massive efforts is placed on sourcing rocks and wall building material in this otherwise arid ground that was burned down by bush fire some 5 years ago. Sand stone, smash dirt walls, repurposed chunks of export recycled concrete and high density quartz rocks were all used, giving the trail great texture and character.
Woody the watchtower
The trail started off with hybrid contour single-track flow trails through wooded area and merged into a section with a series of higher speed jump options.
the second section of trail absorb the classic root and narrow single-track wiggles that keep riders wanting, transitioning to modern flow trails, quartz rock garden and jump option before hitting a series of to be constructed table tops.
Heavily wooded tree line gives way to shrubland and for the first time, where riders get to view far and beyond into the valley separating Tin Fu Tsai village from the ridge line. The amplitude of the ride increase with the waves of lifted flow trail, sending riders on a lengthy kilometer worth of g-out.
Our two week works on enhancement took a pause from here on, we ran out of time placing and fixing the few other spot as the ‘tin man’ ridgeline wiggles lower. A definite priority fix in the coming visits.
to the ‘badlands’
We inherited this arid area scattered with massive earthy scar, with almost zero shrubs 4 years ago. With the help of a mini excavator last winter and 10 tonnes of helicopter lifted rocks, this area is now engineered with various blue and black diamond option. short of giving this area a rake and pad down, the experience is awesome for most riders hitting the area as of now. Given time, there is much more here that we can work on to further enhance the experience.
From free riding like experience, a series of 2 jumps and 3 massive berms, we enter the final phase of the descent. Bike park like flow trail closely hug the tip of this gentle spur. Gaining rhythm and g out moment as it goes by. The ridge line drop the last 800m of trails through a series of 20 plus turns, and reconnects Maclehose trail just slightly above Kat hing bridge reservoir trail head. This section had matured well in the past 12 months, with the prime line dialed in. Some small amount of tune up and some work on the exit should be what’s needed in the near future.
This descent a fun and essential connection for the trail network of tai lam country park. A connector that enable ‘trans-park’ riding from the northeastern entrance of Twisk trail head to the Southwestern exit near Gold coast. Can’t wait to launch it in all its glory!
Further reading : IMBA Trail Solution Blog – Joey Klein