Become a Chase Trails Member!

‘Bomb Hole’ re-opened

23 June, 2013 at 22:00

A small team of five, including Katie with 1.5 functional legs (minor use of stick for support!), went out to the ‘Bomb Hole’ section to assess the situation following harvester working in the area. Yet again, a fine job by the FC’s Tree Team and their contractors – there was no trail damage resulting from the harvesting.

After draining a few puddles, and sweeping the trail off in two areas, the section was re-opened, and normal service resumed!

The Bomb Hole itself will be getting a drainage pipe in the near future, as the water in the now somewhat shallow sump can only flow away across the trail. Some surfacing work will also be required to raise the level of the trail at the start and end of the section, as the trail has now worn below the normal ground level – a job for the mid-week maintenace sessions ….


Shiny new bridge – not long now …

16 June, 2013 at 22:00
After some admirably close work between the harvesting contractors and the FC’s Tree and Recreational Teams, we’re please to say that there was zero damage done to “High Voltage” and “Zig Zak”. The two crossing points used by the harvesting equipment were protected by firstly a layer of old conveyor belting, then a load of brash on top. It worked perfectly! Opportunity was taken to fill a few potholes, and tidy the trail, before we reopened the area late on Sunday afternoon.

This leads us nicely on to the shiny new bridge over the railway line. We were expecting some skimpy little number like they have over roads elsewhere – like down the Forest of Dean. But No! This is one serious bridge, and no small earthworks to go with it. The nice sandy colour you can see adjoining the tarmac on the ramps up to each side of the bridge, is a strip of VERY precisely graded fine gravel, or rather very small pebbles. It looks like yellow ball bearings actually – this stuff will be great when it gets wet or icy! Lets hope the tarmac bit is for bikes.

The bridge is for all traffic – please make sure you use the section allotted for wheeled traffic, and observe any traffic flow signage. We can’t say for sure when the bridge will be opened, or by who, but the inference seems to be about two weeks to opening. This does not address safety issues crossing the A460. Please be careful here, and above all BE PATIENT.

The road is busy at the best of times. If you want an elapsed time for doing Dog & Monkey, have the sense to deduct time spent waiting to cross the road – it’s not a crime! Don’t kill yourself trying to get a good time for crossing the road – we don’t give medals for idiots that rush, or posthumous medals!

There is an intention to create a new return route from the new bridge, to get punters back to the Dog / Monkey decision point. However, there is much to do in other areas, so any new route here is probably a year or two away as yet. So for now, enjoy the lovely leg burner that is Kitbag Hill!


‘Follow The Dog’ Diversion Updates

16 June, 2013 at 21:00

“High Voltage”, “Zig Zak” and “Devil’s Staircase” now open
The diversion around the decision point where the ‘Monkey Trail’ heads off down the “Devil’s Staircase” to the railway and road crossing has been lifted. Due to minimum harvesting damage, we only spent a couple of Sundays tidying and repairing a few areas of trail.

“Bomb hole” closed
Harvesting works are taking place in this section. A recent progress check showed a lot of “brash” on the trail – that’s technical speak for broken branches, pine needles and other debris. As soon as they’ve finished, we’ll tidy up, repair any damage to get the trail back open.


Membership Update

13 June, 2013 at 05:00
Chase Trails Membership HQ has at last dispatched the membership packs.

Apologies for the delay, and thanks for your patience in this matter. The membership pixie had some ‘issues’ (to say the least) with the orders for a couple of the items in the pack.


‘Bomb Hole’ – Temporary Closure

11 June, 2013 at 21:00
The ‘Bomb Hole’ on ‘Follow the Dog’ is closed for harvesting. Hopefully, this shouldn’t take long so please follow the diversion.
‘High Voltage’ harvesting has been very successful – only crossing the trail in three locations. We will now work to repair these crossing points, clear branches / needles and carry out other minor maintenance works before reopening the trail.
Forestry Commission Recreation Ranger

No Trail Building – Sunday 16th June

10 June, 2013 at 20:00

We have cancelled trail building this Sunday as most of us will be riding at this year’s Mountain Mayhem.

Trail building as normal the following weekend.


Downhill Trail Building – Stile Cop – Sunday 9th June

6 June, 2013 at 11:00
Our plan is to finish all the groundwork and bridge construction on “Snakes ‘n’ Ladders”. After the small turnout at the last session, it would be great to see a few more faces.

Usual deal: working from 10am until around 3pm – we’ll bring all the tools, along with free drinks and snacks.

If you’re riding, please drop in and lend a hand forms few minutes, it all helps. Please don’t just walk by and watch that really gets us down… If you ride the trails and do the Racers Guild sessions, now’s the time to get involved and help Chase Trails.

Find us at the bottom of the hill at “Snakes ‘n’ Ladders” (just above the Black Course drops)

See you there!


Cycleshack MTB Evening Summer Series

5 June, 2013 at 12:00
If you’re out riding the trails tonight (Wednesday 5th June), watch out for more than usual amount of bikes up at the Tackeroo campsite – it’s the first of the Cycleshack MTB Evening Summer Series.
Check out their facebook page for more details.

Next Mid-week Maintenance Session

5 June, 2013 at 11:30
Thursday 13th June will be our next mid-week trail building session. Meet outside Swinnertons Forest Cycle Centre at Birches Valley Visitor Centre for a 10am start. Remember, you get a free car park pass for the day so why not bring your bike for a post build ride.
Further work was completed on the first section of the dog during the last session with around 27 metres of trail re-surfaced.

Advanced warning of car park closures

5 June, 2013 at 11:00
Due to Forestry Commission Live Music Concerts, Birches Valley Car Park will be closed early to the General Public on both the following days

Friday 28th June – Closed at 3.30pm

Saturday 29th June – Closed at 3.30pm

The Car Park will re-open at 5.00pm for Concert Ticket Holders only. The upper car park will be closed all day on both the Friday and Saturday.

‘Follow the Dog’ and the ‘Monkey Trail’ will both be open as normal during this period. If you intend to be on the trail after 3pm on either Friday 29th or Saturday 30th June alternative car parking will be available at Tackeroo Campsite.

Also from Monday 24th to Wednesday 3rd July a large number of heavy vehicles will be using Birches Valley for Concert Site setup and take down so pleases take extra care during this time.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

FC Recreation Ranger

Damage to the Dog

17 May, 2013 at 21:00
Yet more harvesting has been taking place on ‘Follow the Dog’ at the end of “Billy Goats Gruff” (OK, we haven’t installed that name board yet). The forwarders have tracked over a short section of trail to avoid the near by overhead electricity power lines.
Rubber mats had been placed to protect our trail, which were working well until heavy rain cause problems this week.

The section is still open and safe to ride – it will need repairing once the harvesting work has finished.

It’s finally open – Trail Building

12 May, 2013 at 21:00

The Forestry Engineer’s inspection of “Pot of Gold” and the “Roller Coaster” had picked up a few things that needed tweaking before we could open these contractor built sections. So, with help from new faces Matt and Stuart (thanks guys), we loaded up and headed over to Deercote Valley.

After making the required changes, the closed sections were debrashed ready for a quick try. The only test pilot with a bike was Dave so donning his helmet, he pedalled off into the distance. Minutes later he came into sight grinning from ear to ear – I get the feeling he’d enjoyed his quick blast down the new trail.

The surface of the trail is still new and soft so please take it easy – remember “skids are for kids” as they say.


Membership / Renewal Update

10 May, 2013 at 17:00
We have run out of stock of membership pack materials and have been awaiting a restock. Most items are now in hand with one exception. Its looking like another two to three weeks before the missing items are due to show. Please accept our apologies for the delay, but sending things out in two mail shots makes an expensive exercise. We do a fairly tidy job of building trails, but we lack a little when it comes to PR! Hopefully we have our priorities the right way around ……
Please remember to let us know if any membership pack is bought on somebody else’s behalf, or as a gift (state for who, an email and a delivery address, as we’re not psychic….), or if the delivery address is not the same as the Paypal registered address. You can inform us using the Paypal ‘Message to seller’ box, or direct to (also used for any other membership queries or issues).

Fill that hole – Trail building

5 May, 2013 at 21:00
Whilst the “race crew” were off racing in the Singletrack 6hr Enduro, it was business as usual for the rest of the crew – trail maintenance on “Snap it”, the section before the “Upper Cliff” descent.
The main issue was the larger hole – we were going to fix it a few weeks back, but decided to leave it in case it improved … evidently, if you’ve ridden in the past few weeks, it hadn’t.
So it was filled with a few dozen large stones then surfaced with material from a nearby “borrow pit” (basically digging suitable material from a nearby source) and wackered flat.
All finished! Lovely and smooth.

Monkey Trail Diversion – Latest Update

1 May, 2013 at 17:00

Latest update: Diversion has now been removed – the Monkey is fully open.

After recently completing maintenance on ‘Deerskull’ and ‘Rainbow Valley’, the diversion has been reduced in length as shown by the purple line on this map.

The contractor repaired sections (in the dark green area on the map) are to be inspected by the FC engineer next week and opened shortly afterwards subject to a satisfactory inspection – watch this space …..