Archive for the ‘Riding Away’ Category
Posts about riding anywhere that isn’t local, i.e. outside the Peak District.
This post has been a little long in coming to fruition, some months ago I collected Jeff and headed south leaving the hills behind, meeting up with Josh and Nat for a Thursday ride. Having ridden with them in the summer we were on the search for some new and varied trails to feed our post Alps (Morgains) void. If you have been there you will know what I mean.
Cannock Chase, or more specificity “Stile Cope” is home to downhill section that form the chase trails which also includes the XC loops. Located just outside of Rugeley, Staffordshire, it is well placed and easily within reach with only a relatively short drive. I have visited both the XC and downhill trails a number of times and have been impressed with the variety and quality of what is on offer. The downhill area offers a number of good quality trails packed with features that ride well all year around. Along with an easy push up route, making it possible to get a good amount of time on the bike.
Although the trails themselves are packed into a small area of woodland, each has a different style with something for novices to more “extreme” riders. With each new visit there always seams to be something new or improved. I would love to be more of a local, saying that I think I would miss the Peak District too much! They also run mini races and timing sessions which must be awesome, racing your mates on your local trails, sweet.
After a quick blast down one the “Red Course” a straight forward red trail, which is fast but not overly technical. Ideal for a warm up before hitting some of the more technical trails in the woods. Despite a fair bit of rain leading up to the ride the trails were on the whole well drained with only the odd puddle to deal with. Running summer tires makes a pleasant change from the normal spikes that were and are still on my bike. With the easy push up we completed a number of runs, checking out different lines. Which was fairly tricky in the rooty woods.
With such a large number of trails littering the woods it is easily to drift from one to the next and before we knew it we found a new section of trails that we had not seen or ridden before. Steep rutted and rooty it was just the sort of thing we were looking for. After walking it we discovered the top of the trail, like may of the trails it branches off one of the larger trails near the top of the hill.
We dropped in for the first runs, the most difficult section being a short but technical straight between two tight s corners. Close to the trees and a nice tasty route ready to catch you out. After a tentative first attempt confidence and getting your balance just right seamed the key. Josh seamed to enjoy it more than most, with a couple of small crashed as he lost his balance into the next corner.
We then branched across to a trail called ridge run, as the name suggest it runs very straight with only a couple of corners to slow you down. A good puddle appeared in one of this corners. With Nat foolishly saying he was up for a good splash, no pun intended. And after a couple of poor attempts we got him good. With the light fading we headed home, satisfied with the days riding.
Jeff shot a few video clips and has knocked them together into a short video.
12-11-01 Cannock Chase Stile Cop, 24 Pictures by Jeff
Since I bought the Go Pro quite a few months ago now, I have been carrying it on almost all rides, trying different mounts/angles out. So have collected a fair few hours of footage. I have put together this short collection of clips that represent a awesome summer for riding. With a mixture of local and Alpine trails including the Megadeath race. Enjoy
After the huge success of last years event, there has been alot of hype and enthusiasm around the already buoyant Sheffield riding scene, in anticipation of the second running of Peaty’s Steel City Downhill. This race is not only for the enjoyment of the riders taking part, but provides a pillar of the wider plans for Grenoside woods. The race is aimed less at the die hard racers who may travel from a great distance to attend. But instead for the local riders and people new to racing to get a feel for it and to help raise money for a good cause. I was unable to attend last years race due to being at the shop, but had heard only good things and to honest was a little gutted not to have attended.
The track for this years race was purpose built and had alot more for the riders to consider and enjoy, although the track shared the same start and finish point as the old track. It used the hill more effectively, although if you wanted to record a fast time being on the pedals was key. With the top section off the nice start ramp resembling something similar to a trail centre. With doubles, berms and tables leaning into a gap jump into a short heath section. before a series of jumps lead onto a more natural undulating section of track. With a great series of berms leading down onto the finish bomb hole.
The gap jump after the first section proved to be a great spot for spectators with only a relatively small number of riders attempting the gap jump. Jolley who was marshalling at this point along with the other marshals did a great job to support and cheer on each passing rider. There was also a great attendance of spectators, people shouting at you to “pedal” helps some riders push on. The weather in the weeks before the race hadn’t been the greatest but everything was done to keep the track running at its best. Despite a rather poor weather forecast leading into the event the weather was perfect for the race. With sunshine most of the day, the track definitely dried out during the day.
There was a real mixture of bikes, ranging from hardtails to full downhill bikes. I decided to use the downhill bike not because the track really demanded that bike but I didn’t fancy hitting a couple of the larger feature of the track flat out with no rear suspension. With the ideal bike being a mid range full suspension bike, although for most people it was all about an enjoyable race experience not taking the win.
The race was as much about raising the profile of mountain biking, with the finish bomb hole being surrounded by stands and various organisations. local companies that make up the biking community. With the race even getting a short article in the guardian news paper.
Now the most important information, how did the race go! Well the racing was very close with there only being very small margins between the racers epically in the larger category’s, with literally every pedal stroke counting. I managed to finish in 12 place in Senior. The amount of lactic acid in my legs once I had crossed the finish line was rather shocking but looking back. I had two good runs, with the screaming crowd making all the difference on the second run. All that is left to say is thanks to the organisers and those who took part and bring on next year!
My video from Peaty’s Steel City Downhill race, that happened on Saturday. It’s a little ‘rough around the edges’ in places and everything below the open section was shot in the last 5 minutes of the race, but other than that I’m fairly happy with it. Pictures and words to follow. The race photos are also available to purchase on Roots & Rain, which also has the results:
Steel City DH, Greno Woods, 598 Race Photos
12-04-21 Peatys Steel City Downhill, 42 Pictures by Jeff