After digging the first section of my backyard trail using hand tools, I needed a more efficient solution. It was slow and tedious work! A bit of YouTube research led me to this guy who uses a rotary tiller to cut his backyard trails.
What a revelation! I didn’t even need to visit the hardware store as I already owned a two-stroke powered rotary tiller! It has certainly made light(er) work of clearing away the top layer of growth. Here’s a time lapse of me cutting in a switchback earlier today. After I rode it a few times I realised I needed to make the trail a little wider…
After marking out the turn with line paint, it’s just a matter of working the tiller over it, cutting a couple of metres of trail at a time. Rake it clear and take out any stubborn clumps with a mattock. Repeat the process a section at a time until the trail is done (or more likely I run out of energy).
Rake, mattock, shovel, spade and tiller. Tools of the trade!
Since using the rotary tiller I’ve cut LOADS more trail. What would have taken me a whole day to clear manually I can knock over in a couple of hours. It’s still hard work of course, my poor road cyclist arms and shoulders are aching!
I have a newfound respect for trail builders. All those Tasmanian trails I ride on the regular would have taken months – if not years – of hard labour to carve into the mountain ranges.
My very first fork in the trail.
Over the coming weeks I’m hoping to build a couple of wooden obstacles, some rollers, add a berm or two and cut the rest of the trail down to the bottom of the hill. It’s slow progress, but progress nonetheless. Hopefully the results will be rewarding!