Become a Chase Trails Member!

Big Build Day Oct 2013 – Surfacing the start of a new section…

21 October, 2013 at 13:00

With the last Big Build Day being all the way back in January 2012, we thought it would be a good idea to run another one, so on Sunday, we held 2013’s first BBD. I asked on our Facebook page if anyone planned to turn up and got about five responses, so it was a nice surprise when we had 39 volunteers turn up in the end!

The aim of the day was to surface the beginning of an exciting new 1km descent on the Monkey. While most of the trail has been there for a few years now, Forestry harvesting meant we had to postpone completing it but now we’re having a strong push to get the section completed, hence the silence on the blog – for the past few months we’ve been out working hard every Sunday. Today’s task has helped surface approximately 10% of the trail, so we’ve made good progress so far, but we still have plenty to go – you can help speed it up a bit if you join us on Sundays. 😉

IMG_8859

We had previously prepared the ground for surfacing the start of the descent on the BBD (pictured above), but with the immense manpower that was soon finished. The trail corridor was quickly prepared, trimming back branches and marking the line to extend the trail parallel to the fire road – as such, we had to dig the trail from scratch. This extra bit of trail may be relatively straight, but it does twist in and out of the tight trees a little so it keeps you on your toes if you apply some speed. It should be similar to the end of Bomb Hole on Follow the Dog, so if you enjoy that, you’ll enjoy this.

IMG_8874

Once that was dug out, we all stopped for a spot of lunch – Andrew’s parents had kindly baked 60 jacket potatoes as well as assorted cupcakes. Very delicious cupcakes, as evidenced by the fact I had 8 of them…

Back to work, we moved on to surfacing the trail. With three piles of material available, a lot of barrowing was in order – which got somewhat interesting as the day went by, due to the work area starting to resemble Glastonbury’s mud. A combination of rain the previous night and lots of foot traffic meant we got the barrows stuck quite a lot. But the hard work paid off – by the end of the day, we had completely flattened all three piles of material, with the end result being….

IMG_8889

We’ve put a quick clip showing the whole trail on Instagram (more of that social media malarky 🙂 ) – as you can see we got a fair bit done.

As the whole section still has plenty of work to do before we can open it, we finished the day by brashing the trail – the entire section from start to finish is heavily brashed and completely unridable, so please do not try and ride it, or you’ll cause damage, which means we have to waste time fixing it. Trust us, it’ll be worth the wait in the end!

Further details for Sunday’s Big Build Day

16 October, 2013 at 19:27

If you’re coming along to this Sunday’s Big Build Day, here’s some extra info about the day.

Meet:

Either meet at Birches Valley outside Swinnerton Cycles Forest Centre at 10am then follow us to the build site (5 miles away) or head straight there, parking in ‘Beaudesert Old Park’ car park on Rugeley Road (WS15 1QW gets you close) then follow our signs to the build area. Unfortunately the build area is a good walk from the car park (up quite a steep hill) – approximately half a mile – click the thumbnail below for walking directions.

Beaudesert Old Car Park: https://plus.google.com/104548429352956398678/about
Driving directions from Birches Valley to Beaudesert Old Car Park: http://goo.gl/maps/c1poK

The car park is halfway between the caravan site and the golf club (on the opposite side of the road).

Aim to be at the build site for an 11am safety briefing before we start work.

Lunch:

Filled jacket potatoes and cake plus hot/cold drinks will be provided at lunchtime with a free raffle for the chance to win exclusive Chase Trails merchandise. You’re welcome to bring your own lunch and we’d probably recommend bringing some water to drink throughout the day.

Anything else?

There’s no fixed finishing time so if you can only make the morning, we don’t mind if you beat a hasty retreat after lunch.

If you’re meeting us at Birches Valley then driving to the build site, there is no need to pay for parking. If you plan to leave your car at Birches Valley all day, ask for one of our volunteer parking passes.

There will be a covered camping toilet for the ladies.

No XC Trail Building 6th October

3 October, 2013 at 12:00

Most of the Chase Trails regulars are off to Thetford Forest this weekend for the Exposure Lights Dusk ‘Til Dawn bike race. This is a 12 hour event running from 8pm on Saturday until 8am on Sunday.

As such, we’ve decided to cancel the XC trail building.

However, Stile Cop will be holding a build day to work on the Red Route, so why not head over and lend a hand there instead? They meet over at Stile Cop at 10am – click here for directions if you’re not sure where to go.

Birches Valley Car Park now closes at 7pm

1 October, 2013 at 12:00

As it’s now October, and winter is fast approaching, this means Birches Valley will now close at 7pm for the month of October.

If you usually ride in the evenings, please be sure to plan accordingly – the car park gates are shut and locked from 7pm, and you’ll be unable to get your vehicle out until the next day.

Forthcoming Events – October 2013

1 October, 2013 at 11:00

A few events you may be interested in this month:

Sunday 6th October – Chase Trails Downhill Trail Building
10am @ Stile Cop

Thursday 10th October – Chase Trails Mid-week Maintenance
10am @ Swinnerton Cycles Forest Centre, Birches Valley

Saturday 19th October – Evans Ride It Mountain Bike Ride
Starting @ Tackeroo Caravan Site
The RideIt! series are organised Mountain bike and Sportive bike rides that take place twice a month all over Britain. The RideIt! series is a fantastic way to meet like minded cyclists and get out and ride in stunning surroundings.
For more details see www.evanscycles.com/ride-it

Sunday 20th October – Evans Ride It Road Sportive
Starting @ Tackeroo Caravan Site
The RideIt! series are organised Mountain bike and Sportive bike rides that take place twice a month all over Britain. The RideIt! series is a fantastic way to meet like minded cyclists and get out and ride in stunning surroundings.
For more details see www.evanscycles.com/ride-it

Sunday 20th October – Chase Trails Big Build Day
10am meeting @ Swinnerton Cycles at Birches Valley
Come and get involved in building a BRAND NEW 1km long descent on the Monkey Trail! It’s been in the making for a number of years and now we’re having a big push to get this exciting new section open as soon as possible. Please come and lend a hand at our next “Big Build Day” to help build the start of this trail. Food and drinks will be provided at lunchtime along with a raffle to win exclusive Chase Trails merchandise. Tools are provided so just come prepared for working outdoors.

Thursday 24th October – Chase Trails Mid-week Maintenance
10am @ Swinnerton Cycles Forest Centre, Birches Valley

Thursday 31st October – Forestry Commission Halloween Forest Fun
10:30am – 12:00 noon meeting @ Birches Valley Café
Halloween Forest Fun – Come and join us for our spoooooky halloween forest fun session at Birches Valley Forest Centre. Bring a pumpkin to carve, have a go at some natural crafts and brave our self led, fearsome forest trail! Come along if you dare!!! Booking essential.