BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Sherbrook’

#365daysofbiking Medicinal

Saturday March 20th 2021 – I wasn’t feeling so good and headed out with a friend onto Cannock Chase. I was down in the dumps and not feeling the love.

I was expecting the Chase to be crowded and the paths to be terrible, like they currently are at Chasewater, but to my delight it was very quiet and the trails were no different to normal.

I found myself cheered by the cinematic, wide landscape and open skies, despite the dull day, and found what I usually do – the best cure for the blues is a damn good ride.

Coming off the Chase at Milford, we rode through Tixall at dusk, Haywood and around by Blithfield and Admaston home.

Of course, the highly medicinal burger from Milford’s legendary Wimpy helped too…

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#365daysofbiking The night comes in

September 8th – Time at last for a ride out on a very pleasant, but distinctly autumnal Sunday afternoon. I headed for the Chase and Brocton Field, descending into Sherbrook Valley, then over to Milford for the restorative power of a Wimpy burger and chips.

On a whim, instead of heading back to Rugeley, I chose to return across the Chase up Abraham’s Valley and over the old ranges, and back through Hednesford in the gathering night.

The forest was as splendid as it always is is, and far less lonely than one would expect, with the sounds of deer, owls and other creatures scuttling around, it’s really quite busy.

A lovely ride reminding me that the nights really are closing in fast now.

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December 26th – No time to take photos on the Chase as darkness fell, but an exhilarating blast off Brocton Field down into the valley was just what the doctor ordered. Remarkably, there were very few people around, and a fast loop up Sherbrook Valley and back over Wolseley Plain was wonderful.

Not so wonderful was the driving on the way back. Considering this is the season of goodwill, there’s an awful lot of aggression on the roads…

December 4th – The Chase was beautiful and deserted, and from Chase Road, over Stepping Stones and Seven Springs back to Abraham’s Valley and the old RAF Hednesford, I barely saw a soul. It was cold – so very cold, but with parts of the forest at wildly differing temperatures: In Abrahams Valley it was at least two degrees higher than in Sherbrook Valley. In any case, barely above freezing anywhere.

As night fell, owls and deer were busy and the Chase was a sensory delight. Just what I needed!

October 16th – Still, one can’t deny the beauty of the season. A far more positive ride out over the Chase, into that open, cinematic landscape where it’s hard not to feel utterly connected to the surroundings. The leaves and bracken are turning and it really is beautiful out there. 

The chilliness of the day also kept a lot of folk at home and it was a lot more peaceful than during the summer. That’s the first time I’ve seen Stepping Stones deserted for ages.

I came back over the Shugborough Estate and noted that while it’s changing custodians from Staffordshire County Council to the National Trust, there’s an awful end-of-days, deserted, unloved feel to the place. Sad, really, as autumn is the best time of year to see it.

The heron, fishing in the river by the Packhorse Bridge seemed oblivious, though…

September 26th – I enjoyed the Chase so much the day before, I went back to try a different route, down the Sherbrook Valley, and through the Shugborough estate, returning home via Hixon, Newton and Rugeley.

It was warmer, but the light and colour were just as fine as 24 hours previously. The leaves and bracken seem to be turning very quickly now.

By the way: a discovery. The ice cream van at Milford does Blackjack flavour sundaes. That’s the old penny chew flavour. They are delicious.