It Was Alrad On The Night – Winter Social

Five years? Five years?!

Photo: Sue Duke

Photo: Sue Duke

Yes, Ride Sheffield has been going for five years and last night’s Winter Social was, as much as anything else, a celebration of all the things Sheffield’s mountain bike community has achieved. And a good proportion of Sheffield’s MB community were there to share in that celebration and, of course, the cake!

Henry Norman, the man who formed Ride Sheffield back in 2010, started off with a quick run through the last five years successes.

During that time, we’ve come together to prevent bridleways being flattened and straightened, down graded to footpaths and made into mini-motorways. We’ve co-operated with land managers and other user groups in the creation of brand new bridleways on Big Moor, Curbar, Froggatt, Burbage and Longshaw Estate.

We’ve fettled and sculpted and maintained trails on Blackamoor, Greno and Totley Moor. We’ve become trusted partners for all the major land owners and managers in the area, the Sheffield Wildlife Trust, National Trust/RSPB, PDNPA and Sheffield City Council.

Best of all, we put our hands in our pockets and made the Lady Canning’s trail possible. It’s been open 14 weeks and has had at least 14,000 runs down it. As they say, if you build, they will come!

Next was the AGM – done and dusted in approximately 60 seconds by simply re-electing the entire committee en bloc!

Photo: Sue Duke

Photo: Sue Duke

Slapping ourselves on the back isn’t enough though and some time was spent debating where we go from here. We discussed, at some length, how important it is to work with local land managers and come up with practical solutions to problems. One such problem is erosion, particularly on a particular informal trail on Houndkirk Moor and, in a bold move, it was suggested that we promote a voluntary ban in order to allow the track to recover.

This raised some interesting questions such as how effective would the ban be, how would it be publicised and would it apply to all users? Danny Udall from the Eastern Moors Partnership who manage Houndkirk and Burbage Moors set everyone’s minds at rest by insisting that any advice to avoid the route would apply to all users. In the end, the feeling of the meeting was that this was an idea we should support.

Next Jon Dallow gave us an update on Lady Canning’s where the next phase is well beyond the planning stage and should, with a following wind, start to take shape next Spring. The current felling that has compromised the start of the trail should be finished shortly, Bike Track will then repair any damage.

Steve Hardcastle reported on the felling that has resulted in trail closures at Grenoside Woods. All is now complete and repairs to the trails should be completed shortly.

Then we were treated to the evening’s big reveal, Henry and Cy Turner’s announcement that we have a new crowd-funding campaign to support. The plantation between Redmires reservoir and Stanage Pole is owned by SCC and we have been given permission to build another trail which will inevitably be called Radmires. Further details here.

The evening finished with the now traditional fiendish quiz, auction and raffle. By the end of the night, we’d already raised £1250 towards the Redmires trail.

All the Ride Sheffield volunteers would like to say a big thank you to everyone who turned up last night and we promise to do our best to find a bigger venue next year! We simply couldn’t do what we do without the support of the raddest, most well informed and responsible riding community in the country.

A big thank you to all our sponsors! Couldn’t have such a fantastic birthday party without these guys -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, Steve Peat, 35 Bikes, HookIt Products, Airdrop Bikes, Monsal Trail, Bike Rehab, Rab, Vertebrate Publishing, Tony Butterworths and Wharncliffe Cycle Tech.