The Ride Sheffield Winter Social at a new venue and the weather decides to come over all biblical. Will anyone turn up?
I guess we really should have more faith. The Sheffield mountain biking community isn’t going to be put off by head high floods on Abbeydale Road, they love a challenge. So much so that something like a hundred hardy souls made it to The Holt which, thankfully, catered admirably to the gently steaming horde as they dried out prior to the meeting proper.
Fortified with chilli and a refreshing pint of Magic Rock, everyone tuned in as Henry Norman outlined just how much Ride Sheffield volunteers have achieved in the last year and big plans for the future.
RADmires was inevitably a hot topic of conversation and thanks to Jordan of Biketrack, we were able to get some idea what the track was going to look like. Armed with a Gopro, Jordan had a run down the line of the track – the result can be seen here –
Next, and in a break with tradition (and even at the risk of looking a bit corporate), break-out sessions had been organised where people could discuss various areas of interest and future programs in small groups. The reports from those groups were as follows –
This direct from our on-the-spot reporter, Adam Wiles – “On the night, I tried to explain what we thought RadTax would be, and how it might work, and tried to get people to engage with that, and was met will a solid wall of …
“it’s a great idea, get on with it”
The name receives a 50/50 split between people who think it’s a bit rubbish, and those who don’t care.
I was basically mobbed by people keen (very keen) to suggest other ways that Ride Sheffield can make more money.
Among other things, we should sell/offer –
- a trail ‘app’ – like whistler, £5.
- trail ‘maps’ – like whistler/The Dales Bike centre/etc. £5 was suggested.
- buy a metre of trail – birthday presents for dads, etc.”
Plenty for us to think about there!
There was a request that we give more notice of trail maintenance days, something we’ll endeavour to do in the new year. We’re still keen to hear from anyone with trail-building experience.
Eastern Moors Partnership/Sheffield Moors partnership
It’s been a quiet year on the Eastern Moors and on this occasion, no news is definitely good news. Following the inception of new bridleways on Big Moor, Curbar and Froggatt and Longshaw Estate in the recent past, we can confirm that friction between user groups has been noticeable by its absence. Ride Sheffield continue to work closely with Danny Udall and his team on the Eastern Moors and the health and well-being of this beautiful landscape continues to improve under their careful stewardship.
Ride Sheffield and Peak District MTB are taking the lead in attempting to open discussion with relevant groups about the poor condition of some sections of Cut Gate. Of particular concern is the boggy area that has ever-growing detours around it.
Initially, we’re looking to open conversations, with the possibility of further user education and low-key remedial work. It is very much early days.
Ride Sheffield and Peak District MTB prepared a booklet outlining their concerns, with a plan to distribute this to relevant stakeholders and user groups. So far this has been very well received.
In addition to discussing its main point of Cut Gate, this document has shown that mountain bikers can be a responsible group – keen not to just join in, but lead discussions about sensitive trails. The importance of this politics side of things can’t really be overstated.
Having shared the document with relevant contacts at Peak District National Park Authority and Sheffield City Council, both are giving their support to our efforts. We’re in further discussions to slightly reword sections of the document, before a reprint to share it much further. At this point we’ll produce a pdf download too.
We can then approach other user groups via the Local Access Forum and hopefully garner more support.
Feedback from the Social
The Cut Gate table was a fairly busy one at the social, with lots of people showing interest. Our work was supported, certainly once it was understood that no-one has plans to fully surface such a legendary route. We’re only talking about a couple of the worst sections.
We have to say thanks for your support here, very much appreciated. The growing maturity of organised groups within the MTB community shows promise for the future. We’re now noticed more and gaining some influence. Cross-group work between Ride Sheffield and Peak District MTB is a great thing too.
We’ll post again once we have more news in 2017.
Following the break-outs, Henry made sure that everyone’s questions had been answered and then called on J E James Bike Raffle winner Lee Patrick to come up and receive his prize, a rather tasty Bianchi carbon hardtail.
Then, in time-honoured tradition we whipped through the AGM which lasted barely a minute as Henry, Steve Hardcastle and Sue Duke were voted back in as Chair, Treasurer and Secretary respectively. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Business complete, it was time for the ‘fun’ part of the evening. The legendary fiendish Ride Sheffield quiz caused a deal of head-scratching and tested all but the nerdiest of the assembled bike-geeks.
Thanks to our numerous generous sponsors, a lengthy raffle was held with a plethora of prizes.
Another great winter social and thanks are due to all the Ride Sheffield volunteers who work so assiduously all year, our generous sponsors and to all the members who make the Sheffield bike scene the best in the land. See you next year!
Not forgetting a massive thank you to our numerous supporters and sponsors –
Go Outdoors, J E James, Alpkit, 18 Bikes, Bike Garage, Monsal Trail Cycle Hire, Cotic, Langsett Cycles, Steve Peat, Richard Baybutt Photography, Duncan Phillpott Photography, Bike Rehab, Wharncliffe Cycle Tech, Chesterfield Cycle Centre, Tony Butterworths, Vertebrate Publishing, Polaris, Hookit, Flare Clothing, Five Ten, Joe’s Bikes, Broken Riders, Evans Cycles, Fit 4 Physio, Halfords, Uber Bikes, Langsett Cycles, Magic Rock.