Ride Report – Cannock Chase Off-Piste 10/05/14

Ride Report written by Tom Scott.

We arrived at Cannock Chase following an uneventful drive in the Big Blue Bus. The weather on the way up had been glorious sunshine so we were expecting a nice dry day… We met up at the Birches Valley Forest Centre, home of Cannock Chase MTB trails as well as a host of other activities (worth a visit even if you don’t take the bike!) and were greeted by local reprobates Paul Broadrick and Tony Holmes, and Paul’s riding buddies Carl (leader) and Steve and with 9 (including Deano who decided to drive up having changed his mind a few times) of us from Swindon that made 13, which is a good turnout for a wet ride 100 miles from home! The ride was great, a real workout, the mud was more like muddy water in small puddles so didn’t really slow us down too much. The weather was 80% decent and 20% atrocious. There were several sections where the track was a series of dips and rollers which fitted exactly the wheelbase of a 26″ MTB so you couldn’t really get any speed up, but that, and avoiding overhead branches and ‘gnarly’ roots was part of the fun… There were also a few drop offs and little bomb holes and rooty downhill sections which caught a few of us out… There were a couple of minor offs along with two more serious spills of note.

  1. Graham Burgess’s need for speed overcame his total lack of technical skills and he came off heavy and cut his pinky!
  2. Deano decided to impress everyone in the car park with his wheelie skills after the ride, he came down with his foot lodged in the front triangle like a sack ‘o’ spuds and then half-fainted and laid on the ground. Jerome encouraged me to administer First Aid but as he had not cut himself and was not in need of a tampon being inserted (really?-Ed) I left him be. He was as conscious and lucid as he normally is. Turns out it’s a hospital job, probably not helped by the 100+ mile drive home.

So in summary, or wintery, it was a good day out and a chuffing hard ride. Tom Scott

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