Thursday, 28 October 2010

The New Railway Crossing Gates

The Forestry Commission and Network Rail wish to inform users of the Morse Gorse unmanned railway crossing of some recent changes including the introduction of an additional set of pedestrian gates.

The crossing now has a one way system in place in order to reduce the risk of users becoming trapped within the crossing when a train comes along the track. Users are asked to dismount from cycles and adhere to all signage. In particular users should use the left hand pedestrian gates when approaching the crossing and cross straight ahead in single file. Users are reminded that the crossing sees up to 68 trains per day, 7 days per week, travelling at speeds of 50 mph, this only gives around 9 seconds warning from when the trains blow their horns.

Users are also asked to be considerate of neighbours by not congregating outside houses and by keeping noise to a minimum especially because there may be young children and dogs present.


Introducing some of our friends and supporters.

The Bike School

The Bike School is a newly established enterprise set up by local guys Adam & Harry offering mountain bike training on Cannock Chase. Harry is a long term supporter of Chase Trails especially our work on the downhill course at Stile Cop. The Bike School is offering Chase Trails members 15% discount off their range of skills courses.

Adam & Harry have both come from the local riding scene and have both done their fair share of building as well as riding especially at Stile Cop. They are good guys with a real enthusiam to share their skills with others. They always put something back by supporting the local bike shop, cafe and by spreading the word about Chase Trails.

Swinnerton Cycles Forest Centre

Swinnertons Cycles is a family run bike shop based at the Cannock Chase trailhead at Birches Valley. Run by Mark, Veronica & Jack Swinnerton the shop offers sales, repairs, and bike hire. Swinnertons have been long term supporters of Chase Trails since our establishment back in 2003. They offer discounts and free tea and coffee to members and play a key role in providing the very latest update information about our events and the trails.

Great Haywood Family Dental Practice

Great Haywood Family Dental Practice is small general dental practice in the beautiful village of Great Haywood, only a quick freewheel from the edge of Cannock Chase. Run by Peter Nadin, a long term supporter of Chase Trails, Great Haywood Family Dental Practice offer members of Chase Trails a 10% discount off dental care / treatment.

And if you need any more evidence of Peter's credentials in 2009 he completed a solo 24hr ride at 'Sleepless in the Saddle' raising over £3.5k or the Donna Louise trust, which provides Hospice and respite care for terminally ill children in Staffordshire and Cheshire. A great guy and long term friend of Chase Trails.

Monday, 18 October 2010

A Long but Productive Day (Trailbuilding Sunday 17th October)

After a phone call from one of the forestry guys during the week, we had three jobs on the cards – trail opening, fence building and continuing with the Black Monkey. Martin and Steve offered to help me with the first two jobs whilst the rest of the crew headed over to Rainbow Valley to continue work on “LSN”, as its now been christened.

Several sections of the Dog had been closed during the APF exhibition and more recently for tree thinning activities. The forestry operations were now over so it was high time to get these sections open again – two of the three had been opened on the Saturday but the final one needed a little more work. Martin dropped Steve and myself off at the end while he drove around to the start - the plan was to meet somewhere in the middle. We moved the brash off the trail and raked off the pine needles – in some places it was difficult to see where the trail went! I think Martin drew the short straw – he had a pile of logs to move as well. The trail now has taken on a different feel – it’s more open and airy – see what you think next time you ride it ....

After collecting up the diversion signs and fencing, we dropped these off at base and then headed over to the top of Lower Cliff for our next job – building a fence to deter the downhillers from making unofficial modifications to the trail. Alex and Phil joined us to assist in the brashing of the “wild” trail whilst we constructed the low fence. Maybe we need to add a few arrows to the fence rail – it seemed surprise a few riders seeing the new addition to the berm.

Having successfully completing our tasks, we return back to base to later find out that the rock crew had decided to forego their afternoon ride to finish their man sized rockery. Taking a small diversion on my way home to have a look, they’ve done a sterling job.


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Return to Le Singe Noir “The Monkey Black” (Trail building 10th October 2010)

Today we were working on the rocks for the Monkey black option. It was so much fun, first everyone watched Andrew ride the bit we were going to be working on (to see if it needed any rocks in at all .... or see if he crashed). He said it was fun but to make it a black option and to make the trail last we would have to armour the surface with some rocks and steps. The men cut back the corner to make it wider to make the approach easier.

Dave and me (Jessica, his daughter) walked the trail and cut back any branches that were in the way (save doing right before we open the trail).

We walked back along the trail and helped with the rock feature, Andrew rode the trail again "it was fun" he said but need some more work before it would be ready.

Please do not ride the closed sections

This is a long hard process and we worked until 14:00 hrs and then we packed up.
Thanks for the really great day TRAIL BUILDERS.

Jessica aged 10

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Whatever the Weather (Trailbuilding Sunday 3rd October)

Considering the atrocious weather, we had a good turnout today. Whilst Ian and Peter were dealing with one or two “minor” floods on Tackeroo, the rest of us armed ourselves with spanners to continue dismantling the APF display start ramp.

The local wildlife wasn’t so impressed with our demolition work – Sally disturbed a sleeping toad that looked a little grumpy. We did our bit and relocated him out of harm’s way under the bracken.

Just as we were ready to start loading the trailer, the heavens opened! Luckily smart forward planning meant we were able to shelter under a tarpaulin until the downpour subsided. Later we found out that Ian and Peter weren’t so fortunate – Ian looked like a drowned rat when we saw him back at base!