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Cannock Chase walk the dog route...

centuryfoxcenturyfox Posts: 11
edited October 2007 in Routes
Hi all, I'm after information on the 'Walk the Dog' route around Cannock chase. I'm relativley new to mt-biking, though I've cycle toured for years. What I want to know is, a as novice, if I just turn up and throw myself into this route am I going to be out of my depth or is it green behind the ears friendly? I'm itiching to get out in some woodland and Cannock is the closest thing I've got.
Ta! :D
Chuff me! Three dwarfs and a Labrador!



    It's Follow the Dog, not 'Walk the Dog'...although some might argue that Walk the Dog is quite apt, seen a couple of westies on there! :lol:

    I was in a similar boat to you a month or two back (except I hadn't done any cycling at all, lol). It's only been the last two weeks I've been able to do most of the sections at an OK speed without stopping. There's a lot of green routes through the forest if you need to get to the feel of a mountain bike on loose, gravelly surfaces. Follow the Dog itself is split into several sections, so there's quite a bit of variety in terms of terrain.

    Personally speaking, I find the woodland sections after 'The Big Hill' (a big, long, steep section of fireroad) to be the most enjoyable and easiest part of the trail - lots of short ascents and descents, and twisting between trees. I'd say this is the section which helped me most in getting my confidence up, and enabled me to learn about shifting my weight.

    For me, the most difficult sections of the trail are the downhill zig zagging section just after the big hill, and section 14 - lots of steep uphill and downhill action. I think the reason I have trouble is because they look more intimidating - they're both very rocky, with lots of loose stones, and have some nasty drops if you go off the trail. As opposed to nice soft pine needles and tree stumps! :lol:

    Generally, people are very friendly, and there's a wide range of abilities on the track. I always make sure I shift over when I can hear people approaching at speed from behind so that they can overtake (which is often), and they always say thanks as they speed by, and I always say thanks when I overtake people (which has happened once! :lol:)

    I'm always very worried about holding people up, and I know that some of the experienced riders who ride there get annoyed with the track being filled with 'novices', but how are you going to learn unless you get out there and do it?
  • Thanks for that, its given me a bit of an insite into what I should expect. The trail sounds great, just what I'm after - something to learn the basics on.
    Thanks again! :D
  • pittponypittpony Posts: 1,057
    Have you given it a go yet? I went there at the weekend with a few mates. Between the four of us we had about 10 XC rides experience so are total noobs. Everyone loved FTD, although some bits were pretty scary! Def agree the downhill after the big hill is one of the scariest bits and some of the woodland after that can get a bit hairy if like me you're not great at judging your speed! Those woodlands are by far the most fun IMO :D

    Its well worth a try even if you're a beginner. The second time round we were all so much faster and more confident, which probably explains why we stacked it so many times more than on the first attempts!! :lol:
  • moscowmoscow Posts: 23
    From an experienced rider.
    Probably done FTD around 100 times and ride quite quickly. I never get annoyed at slower and novice riders.
    If you are a novice or slower rider, ignore anyone behind you, they will overtake in an appropriate place when possible hopefully with a thankyou.
    Happy Biking
  • Click the banner below and find a guy called Alex, he lives in cannock and rides there all the time.

    FTD isn't a difficult trail and has lots of different terrain to get your skills up to speed.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
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