The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Chase Skating

As we pulled into an ice rink on Cannock Chase on Sunday morning, something didn’t seem quite right. Usually there’s a gravel-topped car park in that location, yet suddenly there was an entire area of deep ice. I edged forward gently and managed successfully to park without sliding into other cars, the earth bank, or any people.

Trying to resist slipping into a painful splits position, our bags were gathered from the boot as we watched half a dozen runners tackle the ice obstacle. The first chap was wearing spikes and was fine. The other five gave us some entertainment. Then we skated off too and it wasn’t quite so amusing any more.

Ice was the theme for the day. Great sections of track were completely iced over, but never had I considered that a jaunt around our usual circuit on the Chase would prove to be a good testing ground for our new Kahtoola Microspikes, so we hadn’t taken them with us.


The silver lining was, of course, that there was very little mud to be found!

A million people were out enjoying the crisp weather in the usual busy spots, but elsewhere there was relative quiet to be found.

All was not entirely uneventful. An incident with a dog and a horse (which Mick tried valiantly, but unsuccessfully, to avert) saw the dog come off worst, but it could so easily have been a very injured rider. I’m sure the dog will recover too, and perhaps it will learn that chasing horses at full pelt and snapping at their heels is not as much fun as it appears.

Later, we passed what appeared to be the evidence of farming of witches broom-sticks. An identical stack lay the other side of the track too. There must be a lot of witches around here.


Two and a half hours after setting out we returned to the car and made our way over to my sister’s house for Christmas Pudding – only two days after the dinner that it was intended to follow.

Later still Mick demonstrated that Microspikes can be worn with such a wide range of footwear they’ll even go over slippers:


1 comment:

  1. Your paths look a bit like mine in the Arnside area - all a bit treacherous. I would be interested to hear how your micro spikes go on if you get a chance to test them.

    I am dithering about buying a Neo Air (small) - do you recommend? Weight saving versus current Thermorest would be 183gm.