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Warning: Marshals on our trails – Midlands XC race

15 March, 2013 at 12:00

This Sunday 17th March sees the first round of the Midlands XC series. Based in the Tackeroo Caravan Site and using the off piste trails in the trees, it’s a great start to the XC race season.

As it will be run in the same area as the end of ‘Follow The Dog’, there will be three crossing points on our trails so marshals will be posted at these points.

For the benefit of all, please obey the marshal’s requests to wait while the racers go passed – it shouldn’t delay your ride for more than a few seconds – thanks in advance.

On line entry is now closed, but you can enter on the day – I reckon the ‘Go Race’ category for newcomers to MTB racing looking for a more leisurely / fun race could be popular with “weekend warriors.”


Bad News – Another Diversion

14 March, 2013 at 22:00

The Forestry have informed us that the newly named “High Voltage” section will be closed for harvesting most likely starting next week. Diversions will be posted so you can continue on ‘Follow the Dog’ or drop down Kitbag Hill to the level crossing to start ‘The Monkey Trail’.

Following lessons learnt from the previously harvested sections of the Monkey Trail, plus the need to employ a trail building contractor to repair the damage done, this time around the FC have had meetings with all the harvesting contractors agreeing that they would minimise crossing points and install extraction racks along side the trail. If all goes to plan, once the harvesting is completed, we should be able to get the trail open with little or no delay.

All we can say is it’s a working forest and the price of timber must be high.


Sunday 10th March – No Trail Building

4 March, 2013 at 12:00

There will be no XC trail building this coming Sunday as we will be having a “committee” meeting to organise and plan our works for the coming year.


More Maintenance – Trail building

3 March, 2013 at 22:00
Whilst the section of ‘The Monkey’ is closed waiting for the contractor to start the repairs, we took the opportunity for a spot of maintenance on the climb after ‘Klondike Bridge’. One corner was resurfaced and several other areas were given some TLC. 

What a gorgeous spring day made even better by a slice of Dave’s chocolate birthday cake!


Midnight Manoeuvres

1 March, 2013 at 22:00

February 28th at midnight is when the Mountain Mayhem 24 hour Endurance Event entry goes live. This year, Chase Trails are entering a team of four – “The Trolls” and Ian is entering as a soloist, “The Chase Trails Loner”.

As last year, Dave, Ian and I headed off in the direction of Pat Adams house to hand completed forms in personally to guarantee our entries and for a brew and slice or two of cake. Having set the precedence last year, we were the first to arrive by bike – OK  we’d only cycled a mile from our mobile office – but our mug shots are on the MM website.

After our fill of tea and cake, it was high time to head back home but less than 2 miles down the road, a Derbyshire Constabulary police car passed us ….. oh, no! Looking in the mirror, on goes his brake lights followed by reversing lights …… how long until we get pulled?

It didn’t take long for the ‘boys in blue’ to catch us up, run Dave’s car reg. through their computer and hit the blue lights. Oh bother!

“Good morning gents, where are you going?” After checking names and listening to a rather far fetched sounding explanation of why we were driving down a narrow country road with 3 bikes on the car at 2 in the morning, the officer bid us farewell. Phew!


The Last One? – Trail building

24 February, 2013 at 22:00

Today, using our tried and tested method, the last berm requiring a drainage pipe was targeted on ‘The Link’, the first section of ‘The Monkey’ trail. We travelled light having to hand carry all the equipment to site as vehicular access is impossible. A temporary diversion was cleared and sign before starting work.

A warm welcome and big thanks to new volunteer Christopher. Keen to get stuck in, he helped with digging the drainage trench before the damn was breached and the contents of the sump flooded out.

Once the pipe had been squeezed into the trench and back filled with material, William packed it down to leave a “speed bump”. Bruce’s idea being that as the material settles, the surface of the berm will end up flat – time will tell …

After a returning the tools and a quick visit to The Urn, we headed to the warmth of the FC office for a progress meeting with the Forestry guys.  Discussions included planning future work, Health & Safety matters as well as the FC thanking Chase Trails for all our hard work.


Good News – Monkey Trail Update

20 February, 2013 at 10:38

For the latest on the Monkey Trail diversion, see this blog post

We’ve had to keep this under wraps for a while – there’s been a lot of work behind the scenes getting quotations, approvals and the like sorted but finally we can go live with this press release from the Forestry Commission:

“A MTB Trail building contractor has been appointed to repair recently damaged trails. Harvesting operations took place on the Monkey Trail in the Deercote valley, which are part of the long-term forest management plan.

Every effort is taken to minimise damage, but unfortunately around 15% of the trail is damaged, where tree harvesting machinery crosses the trail creating ruts. These thinning operations are essential to give the trees more room to grow, allow wildlife to flourish and timber sales help fund the trail.

The contractor will carry out the repairs, but also revamp the whole trail section. These works are planned to start at the beginning of April 2013. Please obey all safety signage and follow diversion. Thanks.”

Good news all round – the damaged trails get repaired while we work on other sections.


Temporary Diversion – Sunday 24th February

18 February, 2013 at 12:00

First MTB race of the year takes place this Sunday (24th February) – the Run and Ride Cannock Chase Winter Classic. 

The first couple of Tackeroo sections of ‘Follow the Dog’ will be closed for the day to eliminate race crossing points. Please follow the signed diversion or why not stop and watch some of the racing …

If you fancy entering, it’s not too late – check out their website here.


Out and about – recent trail building activities

17 February, 2013 at 22:00

With the state of the ground and recent weather, we’ve spent the last few weekends inspecting the felling operations and planning work for the coming year so we can submit project proposals to the FC. They have to review our plans and get the OK from various sides – timber operations, wildlife and recreation teams before we get the “go ahead” …. we can’t just go building trails where we like.

The sections that are currently closed will need significant work as the harvester has crossed the trail every 6 metres. Damage is inevitable – remember it’s a working forest.


Moors Gorse Footbridge

12 February, 2013 at 12:00

Those that have ridden ‘The Monkey’ recently will have noticed that work has started on the foot bridge that will replace the railway level crossing. 

Construction should be completed by June this year and during the works, access will be maintained.


Membership Update

2 February, 2013 at 22:00

Due to multiple computer failures, the Chase Trails membership office will be off line for the next week. We hope to resume normal service as soon as possible.


In stock now at Swinnertons

26 January, 2013 at 12:00

The petrol heads amongst you may have heard about the Nürburgring in Germany – a 21km “test track” open to the general public. Drivers who have lapped “the ‘ring” often adorn their cars with a logo showing the outline of the track – a signal to “those in the know”.

Following their lead, the guys at Swinnertons Cycle Centre have had 2 high quality stickers produced for “Follow The Dog” and “The Monkey Trail”. They are each 100 x 60 mm on a clear self adhesive background. The photos below still have the white backing paper on them.

Each sticker is £2.50 and a proportion of that goes to Chase Trails, so support your trails and show “those in the know” where you ride.


Bertie’s Bridge – Trail building

6 January, 2013 at 22:00
The wet weather has limited what we can accomplish recently – a month or so back, we re-laid a section of trail on the soon to be signed “Aunt Flow” section (more on the section names in a future post). The new surfacing just ended up as sandy coloured porridge and the bypass around the section turned into axle deep slurry. The solution was soon formulated to solve this problem by taking the trail over the boggy ground – Bertie’s Bridge.
So armed with a trailer load of tools, the section of boardwalk we constructed at the Forestry Discovery day last year and even more timber just for good measure we headed into the forest.

Posts were sunk into the soft ground and the deck bolted in place. Another section was needed to complete the span so a small step down was introduced for added spice. A few suitably placed rocks provided a ramp onto the deck and armoured the landing area off the feature – job done and a productive morning’s work.


‘Evil Slab’ section – now open

5 January, 2013 at 23:00

After a few weeks of settling time, the closed section of trail on ‘Follow the Dog’ (near Marquis Drive) has been opened – the worst of the holes have been filled so there should be fewer puddles on this section.

This now means the “Dog” is now fully open.


Forthcoming events on and around the Chase

5 January, 2013 at 12:00
Details from the Forestry Commission  on forthcoming events:
Sunday 24th February – Run & Ride Winter Classic MTB race

Starting @ Tackeroo Campsite

After the success of last year’s events the Run & Ride Cannock Chase Classics are back for 2013 with two races. First of the events to look forward to is the Cannock Chase Winter Classic held at Tackeroo on the 24th February.

Sunday 3rd March – Walton Chasers Orienteering event

Starting @ Haywood Park Farm

Regional level orienteering event using Abrahams Valley

Saturday 16th March – Scout Association Cross Chase Walk

Staring @ Beaudesert

30th anniversary of the Scout Association’s Cross Chase Walk, a long distance walking event staring and finishing at Beaudesert and covering most of Cannock Chase.

Sunday 17th March – Midlands XC Cross Country MTB race

Starting @ Tackeroo Campsite

The opening round of the midlands mountain bike series returns to Cannock.

Unless stated these events are not run by the Forestry Commission and are the responsibility of the event holder.