Ride Sheffield Winter Social

The Ride Sheffield Winter Social was once again packed out and not just with sweaty mountain bikers. As has become the custom, we were lucky enough to be joined by those who manage the places we ride such as Danny Udall of the Eastern Moors Partnership (EMP), Roy Mosley of the Sheffield Wildlife Trust (SWT), Mike Rhodes from the Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) and Sam Beaton from the Sheffield City Council Rights of Way Team. These are influential friends to have and thankfully, seemed to enjoy themselves!

First update of the night was courtesy of Henry Norman who quickly dealt with the question of the Lady Canning’s Project. In short, it’s happening. Thanks to the money raised by mountain bikers and local businesses, we’re in a position to commence stage one just as soon as the weather allows. Better still, the next phase is guaranteed thanks to Go-Outdoors being impressed by just how much local riders had achieved.  In response, Go-Outdoors have pledged £60,000 over the next few years. This will also cover maintenance for the foreseeable future, a great result all round.

Grenoside Woods have continued to gain popularity thanks to work done over the last few years in conjunction with Sheffield Wildlife Trust. This year, the plan is to maintain and improve the existing trails with money raised at Peaty’s Steel City Downhill, another event that goes from strength to strength.

If there’s been an omission over the last few months, it has been a lack of dig days, a situation we aim to correct over the winter months. It’s important that Ride Sheffield and its members put something back into the trails we ride – if we don’t look after them, there’s always a danger someone else will and we all know what that means!

Speaking of which, the Rushup saga continues but the update was largely positive thanks to mountain bikers making Derbyshire County Council’s life difficult.  Paul Richardson of Peak District MTB was on hand to provide the latest news.  Ride Sheffield, Peak District MTB, the British Mountaineering Council, Friends of the Peak District and Keeper of the Peak met with DCC on Dec 2nd, a report of which is here.

One of the ways we want to increase our maintenance work on the trails is through the Eastern Moors Trail Checkers initiative. Originally proposed by Danny Udall, the plan is for mountain bikers to take responsibility for monitoring the trails on the Eastern Moors, reporting problems and then, in conjunction with the EMP, deciding whether it’s something that can be dealt with by volunteer labour or a contractor if necessary. In time, this is an initiative we’d like to extend to other areas.

There was a lengthy discussion on the rights and wrongs of Strava use. Suffice to say recording segments on illegal trails isn’t clever and reinforces certain dodgy stereotypes about mountain bikers.

The reports were followed by the infamous Ride Sheffield Quiz which was even more fiendish than usual and included physical challenges!  Overall, the evening raised £500 to help with the refurbishment of Bolehills BMX track.  All in all, a superb evening and a big thanks to everyone for coming along.

…and a massive thank you to all our generous sponsors!!

The Bike Garage, 18 Bikes, J E James, Langsett Cycles, Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative, On-One, Vertebrate Publishing, Cotic Bikes, Duncan Phillpott Photography and Richard Baybutt Photography, Langsett Cycles, Evans, Giant Sheffield, Shore-Lines, Stanley Tools, Wideopen DH, 35 Bikes and HookIt Products – we love you all!