I can’t believe it! Seven Winter Socials? Have we really been going that long?
Once again Ride Sheffield was lucky enough to have a crowd of enthusiastic mountain bikers turn out to hear the latest news, drink fine Sheffield beers, grab some great raffle prizes and prove that they’re sad bike nerds in the quiz.
As usual, we were fortunate enough to have a lot of our greatest supporters in the room including John Dallow from SCC, Danny Udall from the Eastern Moors Partnership, Roy Mosley from Sheffield Wildlife Trust and Mike Sanderson from GoOutdoors. Without these guys, the Sheffield mountain biking community wouldn’t have made the enormous progress it has over the last seven years.
The discussion ranged far and wide. The biggest announcement of the night was the launch of the Ride Sheffield Radtax. Over the past year it’s become apparent that Ride Sheffield is running at full capacity. Managing five trails with one more on the horizon is taking up a lot of time. Add to that the increasing amount of work we’re doing on natural trails, numerous meetings with local land managers, the Cut Gate project, Bolehills, Local Access Forum and it’s clear we have to decide what we can and can’t cope with. Having access to greater funds would allow us to buy tools and use professional help when necessary too maintain the trails. As a result the time has come to reach out to Ride Sheffield in a more formal way. We are determined not to become a membership organisation so we’re aiming to recruit supporters who will donate money on a regular basis. Depending on how much you donate, you’ll be rewarded with stickers, t-shirts and exclusive posters. Click HERE for further information.
We were also delighted to announce that we now have the funds to build the RADmires trail. Thanks to Vulcan Engineering, Avanti Conveyors and crowdfunding £15,000, we can start building as soon as we get permission from the National Park. Things are looking up on the site of the late, lamented Sheffield Ski-village. A consortium led by leisure company Extreme has become the preferred bidder and will develop detailed plans for the site over the next six months. Mountain biking will form part of those plans.
Danny Udall gave a detailed report about progress on the Eastern Moors. Plans are afoot for two new linking trails that will reduce the need to use the road to get from Totley to Longshaw and Houndkirk to Burbage Valley. He also celebrated the fact that mountain bikers are helping out with tree-planting on Houndkirk Moor in the new year and the great level of co-operation between our community and his team.
Chris Maloney of Peak District MTB explained about the recently launched Cut Gate project, part of the £1m BMC Mend Our Mountains appeal. Short sections of Cut Gate are a bog all winter and consequently, as people try to avoid the mud, the track gets wider and wider. Ride Sheffield floated the idea of getting together with other users to fix the problem and Peak District MTB immediately came on board. Simon Bowns of RS and Chris have since done an extraordinary job of bringing together mountain bikers, the Peak District National Park, Moors for the Future, the BMC, horse riders and walkers. We need to raise £70,000 and made a start donating the £650 raised on the night to the appeal. Great effort everyone.
Roy Mosley from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust asked people for ideas about their plans to improve infrastructure at the entrance to Greno Woods.
Go Outdoors again dug deep to help us out by donating a complete bike and the resulting auction was a rip-roaring success.
The evening continued with the now legendary Ride Sheffield quiz, fiendish as always, and the raffle which was endless due to the generosity of the brilliant Sheffield bike business community. Big thanks to, in no particular order, Paul Testa Architecture, 18Bikes, Cotic Bikes, Evans Cycles, J E James, Alpkit, Annie Last, Decathlon, Steve Peat, Bike Garage, Peak eBikes, 5.10, Hookit, PDMTB, Vertebrate Publishing, Flare Clothing and Wharncliffe Cycletech.
And finally, thanks to everyone who turned out. Ride Sheffield simply wouldn’t exist without the tremendous support we’ve had from the Sheffield mountain bike community. With fellow organisations like PDMTB and Rother Valley Mountain Biking also punching well above their weight, the future looks bright! Here’s looking forward to the next seven years!