• This topic has 62 replies, 38 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by nbt.
Viewing 23 posts - 41 through 63 (of 63 total)
  • Mtb commonwealth games
  • dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    A course POV preview would have been good, and some better camera angles on the steeper more tech features would have helped too.

    We spent all day there – mostly by Stegasaurous (orange viewing area iirc) as we got to see them go both ways.
    The arena area looked empty most of the time other than the grandstand – why they had limited tickets I don’t know.

    The thing that annoyed me was the price of food at the pop-up stalls – £8.00 for a bacon baguette!! Needless to say we went to the cafe.

    Thought it was a pretty decent day out watching racing for free.

    We managed to book one of the free disabled spaces so was able to take my wife who actually enjoyed it.

    copa
    Free Member

    Had the look of a Centre Parcs trail with a couple of features plonked in.

    funkynick
    Full Member

    I can kinda understand reason for some of it… the race route ran the ‘wrong’ way on that section of trail, and the rock garden would be essentially impossible to ride up!

    Plus Deers Leap just drops on a fire road and doesn’t link into anything else really.

    It would be nice if they did leave some of the other bits, but again, it’s not really the character of the place as the Chase isn’t really a rocky area, it’s more of a twisty turny rooty place when you get away from the built trails.

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    @funkynick, Wouldn’t you think that with the expense they have gone to, that they would have future proofed whatever they designed to leave a bit of a legacy and give the area a bit of a boost? Anyway, maybe I live in cloud cuckoo land, what do I know :-)

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    We do have a legacy trail – Perry’s which is the new blue trail, and a couple of new features on the Dog – mainly the 3 drops & berms they used just outside of the arena area at the start of the lap.

    Granted we thought we might get a few more red or black features but not to be.

    Oh we also have the pedal & play area and an (alleged…) Full time BC coach on site to ‘spot talent’… 🙄

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    Not bad for 600k + :-)

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    Did they remove the braking bumps from the public trails Along with the new stuff?

    funkynick
    Full Member

    As dirk said, we do have a new blue trail, which made up a good chunk of the course even if they did ride some of it backwards… but it has been incredibly popular with kids and families, and ebikers by the number who blast through it at warp speed!

    I’d say it’s probably a really good legacy in getting people out riding, but I’ll agree that it would be nice to have a few more of the features left…

    funkynick
    Full Member

    The braking bumps disappeared on the renovated sections… but are big enough to swallow a small child on some of the older sections…

    st
    Full Member

    Everyone’s an expert as they say.

    The games enabled Perry’s Trail to be built and has supported the child-friendly areas built elsewhere at Birches Valley (as stated by others already).

    Forestry England’s approach over recent years has been towards a more all-inclusive trail style and therefore expecting red or black features to be added , and retained in some of the most congested spots of the main visitor area is simply unrealistic.

    The legacy is massive, a Blue graded trail like the one now in place has been a target for the best part of 20 years and has been made possible only because of this event.

    One of the most frustrating parts (for me) yesterday was hearing the sheer number of armchair experts who started every loud statement with phrases such as “what they need to do is…”

    johnjn2000
    Full Member

    @st, yet other areas do this type of work through volunteers with nowhere near the 600k funding that this got.

    I don’t doubt there are benefits but the fact it has taken 20yrs and 600k says more crappy things than it does good about FE’s approach. Did you know they have stopped racing in many if not all of their locations? Event organisers are having to rely on private land owners to allow them to put on events. England sucks compared with the attitude in Wales and Scotland, and I am sure they are not perfect either

    walleater
    Full Member

    WHAT THEY NEED TO DO IS MOVE ALL THE ROCKS TO STILE COP! ;)

    CheesybeanZ
    Full Member

    The legacy is massive, a Blue graded trail like the one now in place has been a target for the best part of 20 years and has been made possible only because of this event.

    yet other areas do this type of work through volunteers with nowhere near the 600k funding that this got.

    The Forest of Dean has a brilliant group of volunteers doing great work with very limited resources.

    st
    Full Member

    Cheesybeenz, and since 2002 Cannock Chase has had a brilliant group doing great work.

    Sadly changes in staff, attitude and Covid all but killed volunteer building off. It’s just about back up and running but isn’t (and probably will never) be anything like what it was.

    I’m not defending FE in my earlier comments, I’m fact I’ve got quite the axe to grind but the fact remains that given what is now a regional (if not national) approach the kind of things people are saying “they must do” won’t happen.

    The area around Birches Valley is more of a honey pot location than it has ever been but there remains this undercurrent of feeling that it must be turned over to mountain bikers as an area.

    The Perry Trail is ace, it’s been a long time coming and despite not involving the volunteers at all I wouldn’t think to criticise it. Sure there are lots of alternatives that could have been built but it’s not a half arsed attempt to fill a need.

    Sadly without the drive of Chase Trails’ volunteers the development of trails will be limited to the formula handed down to the FE team.

    st
    Full Member

    Johnjn2000, yes and Follow the Dog was originally built and opened with no more money than a few quid in hand tools and a handful of days for a machine and driver to locally excavate sand and gravel.

    The Perry Trail is a professionally designed and built trail and with that comes the inevitable significant cost. As per my last post I think what’s been left is a great asset and any alternative built in a professional way is a short period of time would have cost the same.

    I didn’t know about the racing constraints nationally as my view is very much local and I can only speak to that. In this case XC racing is doing well on FE land which seems to show again the disconnect between regional approaches.

    st
    Full Member

    Walleater, too right however there would need to be another glacier pass through to get them into place! We rode past the extracted pile last night and they’re bigguns. We were tempted to wait to see if Hans Rey was coming along for a session.

    scruff
    Free Member

    *bites*

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    I’m not knocking the FC as they obviously have to try and please everyone – which ain’t going to happen, BUT the trails over the Chase have been ‘dumbed down’ significantly over the last few years.
    It’s frustrating for those of us who ride regularly (daily/weekly) that the trail maintenance (especially over COVID) has dropped off – but the hammering the trails got during lockdown with the increased traffic and those new to the sport have resulted in just regrading (flattening) sections to get them ridable – devils staircase for example, and why did they take out the rock steps at the end of Billy Goats Gruff and put them stupid little berms in??
    It took them ages to decide what to do with Rock n Rollers after they demolished that – and lets face it Snakes n Adders doesn’t really work in parts – table tops with uphill run in?

    I personally don’t mind the braking bumps as they add to the features…..

    MrsToast
    Free Member

    As someone who’s both a bit pants at mountain biking, and rides Cannock Chase very regularly, I’d argue that the trails haven’t been dumbed down.

    When I started riding there, there wasn’t a single rock garden. Then in 2010 they added the original Steg, which eventually got replaced by the harder and longer current Steg. Then rock features started getting added elsewhere – step ups on Billy Goats Gruff, the rock gardens on Bomb Hole, etc. Some of the red options on the new blue trail are arguably harder than anything on the Dog or the Monkey. And obviously the battering the trails have taken whilst there’s been no volunteer work makes things a more challenging ride than previously. I actually miss what it was like in the early days, even though a bunch of sections would be out of commission every winter due to turning into mudpits – which goes to show, you can’t please everyone.

    (That said, I did laugh like a drain at the boardwalk on section 7/Watch Out Trolls! being regraded black (although it’s worth noting that was also made harder a couple of years back, when they added the rock garden roll into it). I avoided it for a couple of weeks, before my husband pointed out it was exactly the same as it was before. I’m guessing that they got sick of people falling in the bog of eternal despair?)

    dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    I went over last night – I have to say that the extra features put in over the last couple of weeks have been great.
    The ‘relocated’ Commonwealth Stags Leap feature on Perry’s Trail is great – quite a big feature.


    5ft 12 yo for scale…….

    nbt
    Full Member

    i suspect that’s not quite as steep as when used in the race, but stil impressive

    steve_b77
    Free Member

    i suspect that’s not quite as steep as when used in the race, but stil impressive

    To be fair, given the abilities of the general MTB’er it’s just as well it’s not as steep or tall as the one in the race

    nbt
    Full Member

    given the abilities of the general MTB’er

    Fair point, extremely well made :D

Viewing 23 posts - 41 through 63 (of 63 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.