At first sight it might seem like it's been a quiet year for TIMBER with only 10 build days. There was a big gap in the Summer due to unfavourably dry conditions and a training impass. However 23 people volunteered more than 500 hours which is not to be sniffed at. In addition we collected over 30 bags of rubbish from the trails (what's wrong with folk?) and we took part in over 15 trail inspections. So actually TIMBER volunteers have been busy in 2011, for more details see our diary page. In addition to all this we've been holding regular Monday evening rides together with one off ‘high day & holiday’ rides in the forest where everyone is welcome to attend if they want to learn more about the off piste trails.
The highlight of the year was unquestionably obtaining the use of the Kanga Loader which will make us much more productive. This is a huge vote of confidence in TIMBER from the FC and we will pay back their trust by using it to make a big difference to the trails. On the downside we still haven't reached 100 members for this year. Without more active members we just aren't going to be able to achieve all that we want. The past year has cemented our working relationship with the FC and thanks to a huge amount of work by a number of key people, working to put the necessary procedures and requirements in place the sky is the limit for the future, we are now in a position to make a huge difference.
It’s not all work and no play, TIMBER have also had a healthy attendance at various events around the region, most notably the Winter Series and Dusk to Dawn organised by Thetford Mtb Racing and The Mud Sweat & Gears events. The Mud Sweat & Gears Summer Enduro even producing a TIMBER podium! Taking part in these events has also had the added bonus of support from other TIMBER members, especially at Dusk to Dawn where the racers enjoyed amazing technical and moral support by the group and TIMBER sponsor Hirebase, ensuring they were able to focus on the job at hand and fully enjoy(?) the experience. Another huge benefit enjoyed by all TIMBER members is the discount offered by our supporting retail outlets, it doesn't take many visits to BikeArt or Revels to recoup the cost of TIMBER membership and on that point alone the question should be, why do you not join TIMBER?!
As for the future in 2012, we hope to finish off the Red route - getting rid of the worst worn out/muddy bits before thinking about adding more interesting features. We've submitted plans to improve the Green route and we hope to start work on the Black in 2012. We've also starting to think about what to do with the Blue route. We've got a location agreed for a pump track - we just need to work out how to build it! There are also some interesting plans for a special event in 2012 but we can't talk about it yet.
So we have a limitless amount of work to do and plenty of optimism, but we could definitely do with more people to help. Just being a TIMBER member will ensure all of us as Mtb’ers will have a voice that will be heard. With the lack of money around nowadays and the pressure on the trails from forest activities such as felling as well as the huge volume of tourist and day trip traffic on the existing trails, volunteer input is as important as ever. So be part of making your forest the best it can be - join up for only £5 here http://www.timbermtb.org/website/membership