the cannock ride

the cannock ride by rOcKeTdOgUk
the cannock ride, a photo by rOcKeTdOgUk on Flickr.

the nearest way marked trail centre to the NWAlps is the “Monkey trail” and “follow the dog” at Cannock chase. When i say close, on a good run it’s approx 50 minutes drive away, on a bad run, which is more often than not it can take up to 2 hours, this is thanks to the M5/M6 motorway junction congestion.
Cannock doesn’t have many hills, it’s not an alpine resort, there is no chair lift because it doesn’t need one but, don’t think this means that there aren’t any climbs because there is a lot of climbing on the longer Monkey Trail, mostly on tight switch backs, quite challenging for a 29er to get round. The trails have been built by volunteers and they have done a tremendous job with the limited terrain in the area. The other obstacle is that the ground is very sandy and pebble filled, maybe millions of years ago the area was under water and the pebbles are round an polished from wave action. They are lethal to ride on in the wet and today,after all the dry weather we’ve had they were just as lethal and combined with the sand, gravel and dust on the faster corners it took some skill to stay upright. Last time i was on this trail I wasn’t as fit as i am today and I found the climbs much easier (but not “easy”!) and whereas last time i stalled on some of the steeper rocky drops this time i cleaned all of them. Andy took a tumble down one with the result of grazed arm and legs and a severely bent brake lever as seen in the picture. We had to move it until he could actually reach it. Cannock is also known for it’s massively deep braking bumps and they lived up to their reputation today, because of the dryness they weren’t as bad because they weren’t full of water! but I’m glad i was on a full suspension bike to smooth out the trail and i was able to carry speed around the numerous berms. This time of year the trail is quite overgrown with the local ferns quite tall and enclosing the singletrack in places, this made the ride feel much more like riding a natural trail. The trail builders really must be congratulated for this and the trail overall, with limited scope they have produced a very entertaining ride even if one loop is quite short at 13 miles
ride 93
13 miles
total 1927
july 308
commute 874

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