Sunday, 26 February 2012

Diabetes UK - Big Bike Ride - Sunday 22nd April

Diabetes UK are holding a fundraising event on Sunday 22nd April. Their "Big Bike Ride" offers a choice of 1.5 or 15 mile off road routes through Cannock Chase ensuring there is something for all abilities at this event.

There will be a registration fee of £5.00 (in advance) or £10.00 (on the day) per cyclist and participants are encouraged to register before the event. They ask participants to try and aim to raise £50 in sponsorship. The person who raises the most sponsorship will win a Giant Sedona bike (or equivalent) worth £349.

To find out more details, click here.

Spring has sprung

Compared with the icy chill of last week, today we were basking in warm sunshine … well, we weren’t basking but working up a sweat back on Tackeroo. A couple of piles of surfacing had been moved up to the end near Hugh’s Bridge so while the rock crew continued splitting and laying rocks, the rest of the team set about working our way further up the trail patching and clearing off the layer of mulch.

New volunteer Dave made a sterling job of breaking up the worn surface and mixing in new material ready for wackering at later date. Junior builders Lilly and Matt worked their magic on a couple of corners laying new material and clearing mulch. A big thanks to the two lads who walked up to lend a hand – sorry but I didn’t get your names.

It will be a few more weeks before the trail is opened but the new additions should be well worth the wait ….


Sunday, 19 February 2012

There’s "snow" stopping us

The overnight snow wasn’t sufficient to put us hardy trail builders off our Sunday morning exercise this weekend. With a load of surfacing material dropped at the end of Werewolf bypass thanks to Bob the digger driver, we had plenty of work to keep us warm.

While Dave and Steve replaced a damaged stringer on the boardwalk, Jez resumed work on “his” corner tweaking the line and levelling the turn. The rest of the team accompanied by James fresh from his skiing holiday started surfacing the trail.

Shortly after elevenses, we were joined by Gary from the FC and Stuart from the Cemex Quarry to talk about trail surfacing material. This gave us the opportunity to show them how we lay the trail and what makes good surfacing. The quarry is providing us with 500 tonnes of material – a real big thank you guys. Stuart hung around for a hour or so helping with barrowing and laying the material – thanks again.

A Chase Trails “committee meeting” prompted an early finish – there were tea and biscuits to consume ….. it’s hungry work this trail building lark!


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Monkey Trail Diversion - UPDATE

Due to delays with the contractors starting the thinning operations, the diversion will start Monday 5th March. The Monkey Trail will be diverted from waymarker post M4, located at Five Ways near the golf course to the start of the Upper Cliff climb (M5) along the fire roads.

The block of forest between M4 and M5 will be subject to thinning works for 6 weeks. Large and pointy machinery will be operating in this area so, for your safety, please obey any and all signs in this area.

The good news is that following the clean up of the area after the thinning works, we'll be able to work on the "wiggly" bit of trail you can see on the map between M4 and M5. Those of you who can remember that far back, we held a number of Big Build Days working on this section which is over 1km of descending.

Edited by Andrew

Friday, 10 February 2012

Cycle Watch

Those of you braving the cold and snow last Saturday may have noticed the two Police Officers outside the cycle shop - no, they weren't hunting cattle rustlers or trail tax dodgers but promoting Cycle Watch. It’s a scheme for registering you and your bike so if the unthinkable happens, there is more chance of you getting it back if it’s located.

The benefits of Cycle Watch are you will receive free updates (via text or email) alerting you to local bike crime and suspicious incidents. The police will offer advice on crime prevention and a contact number should you need to pass on information.

Should your bike get stolen, you can send an electronic picture of it to Cycle Watch which will be circulated to all members by email to help improve the chances of recovery.

For further details contact Vicki Singleton (Chase Watch) on 01543 464218
or email

To register your bike online go to:


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Trail Building After All...

So, having said we were cancelling trail building, 4 of us decided we'd go and dig some holes anyway. The weather, despite the thick layer of snow, wasn't too bad. It was considerably warmer than on Saturday!

Due to the ridiculous frost recently any more work on the rollers was a no go. In the open, the ground would have been harder than concrete. So, we decided to continue work on the WWD bypass that was started a few weeks ago. With the reduced crew, the loading was easy - we threw some necessary wood in for good measure and headed to the work site.

Unusually for a Sunday, I think we saw 8 riders all day and there was only a queue for WWD once. Amazing the effect of a bit of snow. With only 4 of us, we concentrated on 1 corner in particular where we have to lose a lot of height in not a lot of space. The outside of the corner has been built up and supported and the entry has been excavated by about a foot, with all the material transferred to the exit to make it a flatter corner.

When you enter the corner you're looking back up towards WWD, so you can see what you're missing as you go round. Eventually, the cold damp air got to us and we decided that 3 odd hours of graft was enough. We still need to bring in a bit more material to finish the surfacing of the corner but it was a very satisfying day's work.

There's still a few more corners to manicure, none to the extent of this one though and there's still the need for plenty more surfacing to go in.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

NO TRAIL BUILDING - Sunday 5th February

Due to the rock hard frozen ground and a rapidly deepening blanket of snow, we're cancelling trail building tomorrow - apologies for the short notice.

That said, riding in the snow can be great fun but be sensible and don't put yourself and others in danger. Take extra care on the rocks and woodwork sections - also watch out as there is ice under the snow in places.