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Cannock Chase

stomithstomith Posts: 332
edited November 2010 in Women
So, my wife loves the Penhydd Trail at Afan - until they closed it to chop some trees down. :(

I'm told by the "Bike Porn" mags that Cannock Chase is supposed to be amongst the 'best of' routes but my good wife isn't convinced it is within her ability.

Like me, her ability is between Beginner<>Intermediate. Has a 5" Full-Sus. Spent a couple of days at Forest Freeride and 2-3 years of exploring the Ridgeway in Oxfordshire. She has ridden Les Gets, Morzine, Aston Hill, Sherwood Pines, Swinley on XC routes. She doesn't think much of "Downhill" but enjoys XC/Freeride (and the views/experience) ....which is why Penhydd Trail is a natural choice.

So, have any of the ladies present an opinion of Cannock Chase (FollowDog & MonkeyTrail) and its difficulty compared to the other trails listed above.


  • From the experience you list she should be more than capable of riding both the dog and the monkey at Cannock. Follow the dog and the monkey are both red routes but The monkey is more challenging. Would recommend giving them both a go, do a lap of the dog first to see what your wife makes of it, I really enjoy the new ending of follow the dog. Let us know how you get on if you go. Just a note part of the dog is closed at the minute for a forestry show.

    Cheers sacha
  • ^ What Sacha said.

    I would have thought that if you could do any of the trails at Afan you can do both FtD and the Monkey. The trails are split into lots of sections, so if you want to finish the trail early it's fairly easy to get back. There's not any mandatory stuff that can't be rolled, andyou can normally spot the trickier stuff well in advance.
  • stomithstomith Posts: 332
    ahhhh.....yes.......that bit is important "and you can normally spot the trickier stuff well in advance". forgot about that. thankyou.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    Overheard on Saturday:

    Start of the Monkey: "How do you expect me to ride up there? It's nearly vertical and I'm in the wrong gear."
    Later on, middle Monkey: "Is it all like this? It's horrible!"

    Draw your own conclusion :)
  • Lucozade1Lucozade1 Posts: 171
    my wife and i are relatively new to MTB, we started at Sherwood pines (3/4 times) went to Cannock and now my better half will not go anywhere else....She loves both FD and Monkey, compared to sherwood, they are a bit more technical although i would call it more interesting..

    No big drops, some nice little rock gardens to improve skill base, great burm sections and unfortunatly a lot of UP sections...

    Convince your good lady to try it and i am sure you will both love it...
    It's all in the glory!!!

    2011 Giant Trance X2
    [url=i]i ... chine4.jpg[/url]
    2008 Rockrider HT
  • stomithstomith Posts: 332
    FOLLOW THE DOnkey. All done. (Clever play on words huh?)

    Heavily used trails at Cannock means shedloads of braking bumps - which got a bit tiresome on a hardtail. My Full-Sus would've ironed them out and saved my legs. Occassionally, twas really narrow too which was an eye-opener. Signage is very bad indeed which is surprising for such a big site. The funky fun "grinning like a child" stuff is tucked away and is unmarked - which is a GREAT shame.

    Having said that...there are "some" sections of it which are truely brilliant creations, which I am very grateful to have experienced. Now - if I could only find a 40K trail full of those kind of life would be complete. :)

    I recommened a Giant Anthem or similar as they are small, light and full-sus, for Cannock. Only trouble is...I ain't got one of them. Typical.
  • Mrs ToastMrs Toast Posts: 636
    Heh heh, yeah, Chase Trails love their narrow trails! I like spotting the trees with the huge sap patches from people catching their handlebars. :P It makes going to places like Llandegla a bit of a shock because it seems so massively wide by comparison!

    Normally the signage is pretty good, although it’s been a bit iffy lately because there’s been diversions due to the closed sections (APF Exhibition and forestry operations), and people keep stealing the signs. :/
  • stomithstomith Posts: 332
    "and people keep stealing the signs. :/ ??????

    Aren't people strange. I thought I was a little off kilter in my mind, but I I can't say I've ever had the inclination to obtain a MTB trail signpost. Maybe I've led a sheltered life?

    Is there a 'fetish' word for that behaviour? "signeed" perhaps.
  • Hmmm there were one or two points where in narrowed, but nothing particular.

    There are no real problem clims or lung bursters there normal and easy short up followed by a relative smooth semi decent. It's good for the area but i wouldn't drive more than an hour to go there to be brutally honest.
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