Finally, some proper spring weather and Lady Canning’s Blue Steel trail was absolutely buzzing at the weekend. All ages and all abilities enjoying a beautifully crafted trail – just what we wanted when we originally came up with the idea.
However, it’s not just locals who are flooding to Canning’s. Over the last couple of weeks, Ride Sheffield volunteers have chatted to riders from Huddersfield, Chesterfield, Leeds, Grimsby and, whisper it, even the other side of the Pennines!
Which just goes to prove how open-minded we are here at Ride Sheffield, welcoming even Mancunians to our Yorkshire trails.
Which also means that some of those riding Canning’s know little of the history of its funding and construction. So here’s a quick history lesson for anyone new to Sheffield’s vibrant mountain biking scene.
Pretty much from the outset, Ride Sheffield wanted to be more than an advocacy group. We wanted to build trails too and Lady Canning’s was identified by El Presidente, Henry Norman, as a possible venue. Thanks to the enormous generosity of local riders and firms like Cotic, Avanti Conveyors, Norton Mayfield architects and GoOutdoors, the first phase was opened in July 2015.
Phase 2, funded by GoOutdoors, will begin construction shortly and, assuming that Sheffield mountain bikers continue to send us their cash, we will begin to build the RADmires Trail in Redmires plantation later on in the year.
Add to that the Greno Wood’s trails, Pub Run, Steel City and DH3 and Ride Sheffield have got their hands full. Building trails is one thing, keeping them in top condition another as we discovered when the foresters all but obliterated Lady Canning’s in the winter of 2016/17. We’re determined that we don’t get ahead of ourselves. We need to ensure that we have the capacity to look after the trails we have before we roll on to the next project.
And that’s where you come in. We’re going to be calling on volunteers to help out during the year. If that sounds like you, keep an eye on the Facebook page and all the details will appear there. Better still, if you have some experience of trail maintenance and think you could help out on a regular basis, we’d love to hear from you.
If you’re struggling to get to the trail days because of other commitments, help us out by contributing to our ongoing trail-fund. Also, if you chat to fellow mountain bikers who ride Canning’s or Greno but don’t know how they were funded, give them the full story and direct them here.
If you’d like to help us build and maintain trails, contribute here
If you can, please make a BACS donation as that incurs no costs.
If you use Paypal for a one-off payment, then selecting “gift” will save Ride Sheffield some fees. We’ve also set up monthly subscription payments, so that folks can send us smaller payments at regular intervals. The fees on these do end up being quite high (there’s no option for gift payments on subscriptions) so please bear that in mind. If you can manage a larger one-off gift payment, it’s very much appreciated. If you can only commit to a smaller monthly payment, that’s still a big help!”