Confessions of a Leaf Blower

The Magnum, most powerful leaf blower in the world….

I’m a born optimist, always try to see the best in everyone, yep, bit of a hippy I guess.

But even I get a bit jaundiced sometimes. I was struggling along Blue Steel in Lady Canning’s the other day under the weight of a Stihl Magnum leaf blower when someone decided to take the piss. “I’ve seen everything now….” he said, “….leaf blowing in the woods, got yerself a job for life there mate! What’s the point of that?”

For a second, bearing in mind I was armed with a Magnum, I thought of channeling Dirty Harry, “Well now, seeing as I’m carrying a Stihl Magnum, the most powerful leaf blower in the world and I could blow your wig clean off, you need to ask yourself a question. Did I turn this baby off or run out of juice? And you know what, in all this excitement I’ve kinda forgotten. So ask yourself punk, do you feel lucky?”


Fortunately, I kept my itchy finger off the trigger, left his wig in place and told him how we funded the trail, how volunteers look after it and that maybe he’d like to donate a couple of quid. Sitting astride two and a half grand’s worth of bike, the look he gave me suggested I’d asked not for money but his first-born. Nowt so queer as folk that’s for sure.

Thankfully though, this isn’t a tale of woe, redemption quickly followed. I chatted to a number of people that day, two from Barnsley and two from Buxton, nearby but not exactly local, and they were at the other end of the appreciation scale, effusive in their praise for Ride Sheffield’s work and loving the trails.

Then I got the biggest and best surprise of the day. Another couple arrived in the car park and I asked if they were local, “No we’re from Suffolk.” Dumbstruck I asked if they’d come over just to ride Canning’s and they replied they had.


I’ve met loads of people at Lady Canning’s who have travelled from neighbouring counties to enjoy Bike-Track’s excellent work but Suffolk?! I know it’s as flat as a burped tubeless tyre out east but that’s a hell of a journey. Quickly I told them about the other trails they could ride nearby, Parkwood, Greno and the rest and wished them a happy ride.

Which put the most ridiculous grin on my face for the rest of the day. Sheffield is becoming a mountain bike destination not just for the natural trails of the Peak but for the trails we’re building and that’s all down to our brilliant suporters. Give yourself a big fat pat on the back if you’ve contributed in any way and look forward to more of the same. Roll on RADmires!!