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Cannock Chase

scribbledoggscribbledogg Posts: 20
edited August 2013 in Routes
There isnt much off road where I live so have been looking further a field for trail centres. I see that Cannock Chase is a favorite. My question as a Newbie is do i just get my bike on the car drive up and have a go? or should i book on one of their half day/day courses to start? I'm fairly competent on my bike, but i will likely be going on my own, and dont have alot of true off road experience.

Posts

  • thistle_thistle_ Posts: 6,180
    Follow the Dog is a pretty easy route.

    Keep your speed down and look ahead to see what's coming up. If you don't like the look of anything get off and run along with your bike.

    There's a few small drops in the woods just before the Monkey Trail turn off and some of the bends are quite tight but other than that you shouldn't have any problems. Most of the fun stuff seemed to have been taken out of the route when I last went.
    There's some decent climbs, so if you're not a climber just be aware of faster people coming up behind who might want to pass if the trail widens out a bit.

    The Monkey Trail is more technical, but you can still run past any bits you don't like the look of if you want. Maybe give Stile Cop a miss if you're lacking in skills at the moment.

    There's also loads of fireroads if you just want to ride off the road somewhere.
  • Thanks for the reply!...so you wouldn't recommend the guided courses just learn as I go?
  • angry_birdangry_bird Posts: 3,782
    If you've got the money to spend on coaching then Chase Skills seems to be quite popular up there and heard quite a few people singing their praises, the same about thebikeschool to be fair. Having tried a day of coaching myself with UKBikeSkills down in Hertfordshire and as someone who was fairly skeptical you'd be amazed how much you can get from it with a good coach.

    At the same time, do you need someone to tell you how to ride a bike? Cannock isn't that tough going, and you could take it slow and see what you think… But then, a session with a decent coach will hopefully introduce some new skills, look at your areas of weakness and give you things to think about at least. So when you're riding by yourself you can look back at what you've just done. If you know what you're meant to be doing you can really think about what you did well and where you might need to work more on your riding.

    Although at the end of the day it's all about having fun though. So you could just spend the money on getting ratfaced in the pub afterwards.
  • I've just had a look on YouTube of the trails and to be fair the easier one of the two looks fine to me.....

    And yes, rather go to pub after ;)
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,197
    No probs around Cannock it's a friendly trail not intended to catch you out. Park up at Birches Valley and ride from there it's all signposted. Ride whatever you're comfortable with it's not a race track

    Take it easy on the bigger berms the dry weather has made them very loose
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,594
    My one comment about cannock is that for where it is, its great,

    But if your travelling there are alot better places to visit i mean if you just pop over the border all of Wales is at your disposal :)
  • Thanks for all you help. We're based in Worcester so in theory we have Wales, Forest of Dean, Cannock and the Malverns at our disposal. It's just as I'm quite new to 'proper' off road I don't want to get out of my depth and end up face planting myself in a tree. I've managed to get the other half interested now so will be upgrading his two wheels in a week or so. :D my other half works shifts so I'm also looking for friendly safe places to go on my own.
  • ElliesDadElliesDad Posts: 245
    I was in your position last year, ie no off road experience, and just took the plunge on Follow the Dog at Cannock. It's a great trail for beginners. As said, just take it easy first time.
    2012 Boardman FS Team
    2014 Giant Defy 2
  • MaroMaro Posts: 226
    I've not ridden Cannock yet, it's on my list along with Hopton (near Ludlow).

    For a beginner I can recommend Forest of Dene, in particular the Verderers Trail, anybody with an apropriate bike could ride it, but it's also a lot of fun for experienced riders who want to push it too.
    Bird Aeris. DMR Trailstar. Spesh Rockhopper pub bike.
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    Cannock is good fun. Its a great place to start to learn some skills and try to raise your confidence. Get up there and enjoy it.
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • I'm up at Donnington Saturday and am looking to pop into Cannock Chase for a first visit on my way back. Any tips for avoiding VFest traffic or will it not be an issue on the saturday mid-pm?
  • LeeJayLeeJay Posts: 25
    Thanks for all you help. We're based in Worcester so in theory we have Wales, Forest of Dean, Cannock and the Malverns at our disposal. It's just as I'm quite new to 'proper' off road I don't want to get out of my depth and end up face planting myself in a tree. I've managed to get the other half interested now so will be upgrading his two wheels in a week or so. :D my other half works shifts so I'm also looking for friendly safe places to go on my own.

    Wyre forest in Bewdley. had my bike a couple of months, and its my local trail. Best off parking near button oak and going from there. Ok it's not all signposted up, but it's pretty easy to navigate around. If you want some more info, fire me a PM!
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