Well, I made it. Yesterday, I cycled up onto Cannock Chase. Starting from Brownhills, I headed up to Chasewater – which was stunning – and on through Heath Hayes and Hednesford, up to Rifle Range Corner. The going at Chasewater was very heavy, and a fine, wet sleet was making it quite uncomfortable. Wrestling with turning back, I pushed on, and as the temperature dropped, the sleet turned to powdery snow and the air cleared.
The Chase itself was gorgeous. Heading up the ancient Sow Street past the ranges, then down into and along Abraham’s Valley, the going was challenging and surprisingly fast. There wasn’t a should about – in the fading light, as night fell, I head calling deer, owls and robins. I was enjoying every minute.
Cycling doesn’t get much better than this, to be honest. Oh, well maybe. Sometimes.
From Seven Springs, I piled it in down the A51 to Rugeley, and fearing for the snow depth on Longdon Edge and feeling the cold, I hopped on a train from Rugeley Trent Valley to Walsall.
The photography wasn’t great – the light was quite poor – but it was a journey I’ll never forget. Wonderful.