Friday, 28 June 2013

Forthcoming Events - July 2013

A few events you may be interested in:

Sunday 7th July - Run & Ride Summer Classic MTB Race
After the success of last year's event, the Cannock Chase Summer Classic is back for 2013. Held as before at the Tackeroo Campsite, the event will again be focused at the newbie of fun rider. Find out more here.

Wednesday 17th July - Cycleshack MTB Evening Summer Series
Starts at the Tackeroo campsite - check out their Facebook page for more details.

Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st July - Love Life Love Running - CANCELLED
Unfortunately, the LLLR team have had to cancel the event due to a lack of sponsors. Find out more here.

Wednesday 31st July - Cycleshack MTB Evening Summer Series
Another round of the series, starting at the Tackeroo campsite - check out their Facebook page for more details.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Reminder - Early car park closing this coming weekend

A quick reminder that the Birches Valley Visitor Centre car park will be closing early on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th for the Forest Live Music concerts. See here for full details.

All trails will remain open over the weekend.


Monday, 24 June 2013

Last of the membership packs are in the post - honest!

On the membership front, did we mention the membership packs had been sent out? May be we did but  just in case, and lest you were in any wee doubt of the mind, it gives me great pleasure to inform you (just in case you did not notice before), that despite a rather late start to mailing activities (and this being rather a long sentence to type), that the Chase Trails National & International Distribution Hub Membership Compilation & Dispatch Divisional Headquarters (CTNIDHMCDDHQ for short-ish) has been working tirelessly to finalise all membership packs.

I have just split two post boxes down the side (one nearly fully in half) trying to jam huge quantities of membership packs in, and get them mailed out to the party faithful. Why don't they make post boxes from elastic? My life would be so much easier! And yes, I did go back and gaffa tape the post boxes back together, being the honest Trail Pixie that I am. The last few membership packs of the back-log should hit the post box by mid week this week (if I can find an unmolested post box to use).

To those that renewed, we thank you for your continued faith in our good work, and to the new members, we're please that we have impressed you enough for you to seek out our web site and offer us your hard earned cash – we thank you deeply. The last few membership packs of the back-log, should hit the post box by mid week this week - apologies for the delay, and our thanks for your patience in this matter.


No trail building Sunday 30th June

We will be holding a "committee meeting" to sort out some general admin stuff and discuss a few future plans.

Building as normal on Sunday 7th July.

The next mid week session will be in July - date to be confirmed.


Sunday, 23 June 2013

'Bomb Hole' re-opened

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 ....


Sunday, 16 June 2013

Shiny new bridge - not long now ...

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

"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.


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Membership Update

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.


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

'Bomb Hole' - Temporary Closure

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

Monday, 10 June 2013

No Trail Building - Sunday 16th June

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.


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Downhill Trail Building - Stile Cop - Sunday 9th June

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!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Cycleshack MTB Evening Summer Series

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

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

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