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12th June 2016 – IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon Disruption

18 May, 2016 at 15:00

Ironman 2016 Map

ADVANCE NOTICE: If you’re visiting Cannock Chase on the 12th of June, please bear in mind that some routes around Staffordshire will be blocked due to the IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire triathlon. This will last from 8:30am until 2:30pm. Full details on the event can be found on the IRONMAN website.

The biggest impact will be to Birches Valley Forest Centre, where our trails begin – the IRONMAN race route runs right past the car park entrance gate, and access to Birches Valley is only possible from Rugeley – along Penkridge Bank Road. There will be a one way system in place and the car park will exit onto Slitting Mill Road – this will be signposted on the day of the event. Please see the map above for full details on what roads are closed.

Update: We’ve also decided that due to the added description, we won’t be doing any trail building on the 12th June.

We’re Back!

23 October, 2015 at 17:00

We’re back!!! 🙂

We’ve finally got the “behind the scenes” stuff sorted out with the Forestry Commission, which means we can get back to doing what we do best – building trails!

First up, we’ve got plans to improve the Werewolf Drop – we’ve got a few ideas to improve it, so keep an eye out for that soon. Unfortunately, this does mean we’ll need to close the drop itself while we work on it, however the red-graded bypass over the Colonel’s Bridge will remain open.

If you’d like to lend a hand, we’re always in need of more volunteers! Meet on Sunday at 10am outside Swinnerton Cycles, Birches Valley – details can be found here.

Also a heads-up that the FC will be thinning the trees in that area on Monday 2nd Nov so a day closure with diversion will be in place just for the working day.

Update on Trailbuilding #2

14 September, 2015 at 15:00

(Following on from our previous update…)

A quick update on trail building activities – we’re still here after our summer holiday but Sunday trail building is currently on hold at the request of the Forestry Commission while our working agreements and protocols are reviewed and agreed between us and them. This delay is allowing us to work on the “behind the scenes” activities like a stocktake of tools and reorganising our container. We have also been working with the FC on planning a significant change to one of the sections which will keep us busy over the coming winter.

As soon as the “red tape” has been unravelled and neatly rolled back up, we’ll let you know – hopefully sooner rather than later. In the meantime, enjoy the fully open trail network…

National MTB Series – Spectator Information & Trail Diversion

9 August, 2015 at 14:00
2015 British Cycling MTB Cross Country Series Diversion Map

2015 British Cycling MTB Cross Country Series Diversion Map

On Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th August the National MTB Series will be taking place at Tackeroo. The start / finish will be at Tackeroo campsite and there are lots of good spots to spectate within Tackeroo block.

Several sections of Follow the Dog will be closed and diverted. A small part of the blue Sherbrook trail will also be diverted. Please take care on shared tracks and show respect to other forest users.

The diversion will be in place from Thursday 13th until Tuesday 18th August.

No Trail Building – 14th & 21st June 2015

10 June, 2015 at 17:00

Please note that there will be no trail building on either the 14th or 21st of June 2015.

Due to the Ironman event taking place around Staffordshire this weekend, we’ve decided to cancel trail building for the day as the area will be busier than usual. The event doesn’t affect the bike trails (they’ll be open as usual), but it does affect some of the roads around Staffordshire, including Birches Valley. More details can be found on this blog post.

We also won’t be trail building on the 21st of June – as most of the core team will be down at Gatcombe Park for the GO Outdoors Mountain Mayhem race. Look out for the Chase Trails flags and jerseys if you’re also going down to race or watch and give us a cheer!

Trail building will be back to normal on the 28th June – as always, meet us at Swinnerton Cycles at 10am.

14th June 2015 – IRONMAN 70.3 Triathlon Disruption

2 June, 2015 at 19:00

Ironman Disruption Map

ADVANCE NOTICE: If you’re visiting Cannock Chase on the 14th of June, please bear in mind that some routes around Staffordshire will be blocked due to the IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire triathlon. This will last from 8:30am until 2:30pm. Full details on the event can be found on the IRONMAN website.

The biggest impact will be to Birches Valley Forest Centre, where our trails begin – the IRONMAN race route runs right past the car park entrance gate, and access to Birches Valley is only possible from Rugeley – along Penkridge Bank Road. There will be a one way system in place and the car park will exit onto Slitting Mill Road – this will be signposted on Sunday. Please see the map above for full details on what roads are closed. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them. 🙂

No Trailbuilding on Sunday – 3rd May

30 April, 2015 at 13:00

Due to the amount of sections that are currently closed on the trails at the moment, we’ve decided to swap trail building this weekend with a spot of trail planning. As such, there will be no trail building this Sunday.

We’ll be scouting out some potential new routes on the Monkey, to put forward for approval to the Forestry Commission – no spoilers though! 😉


In other news, we recently hit a milestone of 5,000 “likes” on Facebook (look ma, we’re popular!) – and to celebrate we’ll be doing a giveaway with a few prizes lined up from Chase Skills, Mudhugger, NX2 MTB, and of course Chase Trails. More details soon – don’t think you’re getting off easily though, you’ll have to come trail building to have a chance of winning!

No Trailbuilding this Sunday – 26th April

20 April, 2015 at 12:33

The trail pixies will be off for their yearly riding holiday in Scotland this weekend, which means that there won’t be any XC trail building this Sunday.

However, if you still want to get your hands dirty, there is a build day on at Stile Cop – and the more people we have, the better, as we’re aiming to get a lot done!

If you fancy helping out, we’ll be toward the end of Balboa from 10:30 to 15:30. Not sure where to go? Have a look at the Stile Cop map.

No Trail Building Tomorrow – Sun 12th April

11 April, 2015 at 18:38

Apologies for the short notice, but due to a shortage of the usual regular trail builders pixies, we won’t be out trail building tomorrow.

We’ll be back out next Sunday on the 19th April, so if you want to join us, you can do so then. 🙂

Cheers!

No Trailbuilding This Weekend – 25th Jan 2015

22 January, 2015 at 18:00

Unfortunately, a clash of schedules has meant that most of the regular builders won’t be able to make it on Sunday, and as such we’ve decided to cancel trail building this weekend.

We’ll be back to normal next weekend, on the 1st February. 10am outside Swinnertons as usual! 😉

No Trail Building – 12th October 2014

7 October, 2014 at 13:00

Please note that there will be no trail building this weekend, as we’re holding our Annual General Meeting. Trail building will be back on as usual on the 19th October.

The AGM is open to all Chase Trails Members (only), and you’ll be able to get an idea of what we do as well as discuss the future of Chase Trails. We’ll also have a light lunch as well as some entertainment afterwards.

All members should have received an email a couple of weeks ago informing them about the AGM as well as the time/location – we’ll (hopefully!) be sending out a reminder email sometime in the next few days. To become a member and support the trails for just £15 a year, click the big blue banner on the top left of the site. 🙂

Chase Trails Memberships – Quick Update

27 July, 2014 at 22:46

Quick update from Bruce, who as you may know is in charge of the membership packs – we’ve had a decent amount of renewals come in, however that means that Bruce has unfortunately been drowned in getting them all sorted out and in the post. As such, he’ll need time to recover from the trauma process everything and get them all sent out, so that will take a few weeks – he does have a normal job to go to after all! 🙂

It’s nice to see people appreciate our work enough to keep supporting us, so to those who have renewed, and signed up for the first time, thank you!

Don’t forget, if you’d like to drown poor Bruce under even more mail support Chase Trails but don’t have the time to come and volunteer with trail building (hint hint!), you can sign up to become a Chase Trails Member – it’s £15 per year, and you get a warm fuzzy feeling of supporting the trails, as well as a membership pack, some nifty perks including free tea/coffee from Swinnos and 10% off in the shop, plus a lot more. All the income goes toward Chase Trails – this helps us buy things like new tools, wheelbarrows, and so on. You can find out more information and join on the Membership page on our site.

Chase Trails Membership Packs Update

28 June, 2014 at 09:00

The first block of membership packs were sent out on Friday for those that have paid, and been waiting for the last few months. The remainder of these will be posted on Monday / Tuesday. Apologies for the delays.

An email reminder will be sent out to the remaining members shortly.

The delays were caused by a couple of problems – first off, PayPal had locked our account until we could prove we weren’t money laundering drug lords, and second of all we were only able to order the stuff for the membership packs once we could pay for it.

Concerts – Birches Valley Car Park Information

22 June, 2014 at 16:00

News from the Forestry Commission regarding the Forest Live concerts this coming week. 🙂

Due to Forestry Commission Live Music Concerts, Birches Valley Car Park will be closed early to the General Public on both Friday 27th June and Saturday 28th June 2014.

Friday 27th June 2014– Closed at 3.30pm
Saturday 28th June 2014 – Closed at 3.30pm

The upper car park will be closed all day on both the Friday and Saturday.

The Concert Carpark will open at 5pm for Concert Ticket Holders only. Concerts Ticket Holders arriving before 3pm will be able to park in the normal visitor car park during the daytime but must return to their vehicle and move them to the Concert Carpark when they open at 5pm.

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 27th or Saturday 28th June, alternative car parking will be available at Tackeroo Campsite.

Also from Monday 23rd to Wednesday 2nd 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.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-98CBSW

Zig Zak? Snap It? Where do these names come from?

5 June, 2014 at 18:00

Ever wondered where all the section names came from? Well, the easy answer is: you! A good selection of them were thought up by members of the public at the Forest Discovery Day in 2012. Most of them are reasonably obvious – such as Insidious Incline (it’s a bit of a climb…), Lung Buster (it’s a nasty little climb), Time For A Brew (it’s near the Cannock Chase Visitor Centre), and so on, so you can probably guess why most sections have their names. Some of them though…are less obvious. 😉

Zig Zak

First up, anyone want to hazard a guess as to who Zak is, on Follow the Dog? Yes…he is the original dog, who was followed around Cannock Chase to come up with the route many years ago!

Zak, Gary, and Stu

Zak, Gary, and Stu

In case you’ve relatively new to the Chase (and plenty of us are!), you might not know that this little chap is part of the reason why Follow the Dog follows the route it does. The original route has changed over time – for example, the current Follow the Dog route goes from Tackeroo campsite down to Birches Valley, but the old route used to follow a path down the hill on the other side of Birches Valley road – above the Fairoak Pools – eventually finishing under where Go Ape’s long zip wires are now.

The photo above shows Zak strutting his stuff, along with Stuart and Gary – the two original founders of Chase Trails. And as you can see, the photo was taken back in the day when you didn’t need a 160mm travel all-mountain full-suspension bike to tackle Cannock Chase. 😛

Snap It

One of our regular builders on the Chase Trails team, Phil, decided one day to go out for a nice little ride. During that ride, he stopped on what’s now known as Snap It, and put his foot down on the ground…which, for his ankle, didn’t entirely end up as planned.

If you were hoping for a nice happy story, unfortunately, it didn’t end very well. It ended with Phil having a selection of screws and plates in his ankle to hold things together. Ouch! 😐

Phil's Ankle X-Ray

Phil’s Ankle X-Ray

Thankfully, after about a year to recover, Phil can once again hop on a bike, but with perhaps a little less enthusiasm about riding Snap It now.

And there you have it. That’s the story behind Zig Zak, and Snap It. Hopefully that hasn’t put you off riding Snap It… 😀