A new venue and a new format, always a risky business, but the inevitable pre-meeting fears turned out to be completely unfounded. As usual, the good mountain biking folk of Sheffield and beyond turned out in force and the Workstation was packed for this year’s Ride Sheffield Winter Social and AGM.
According to probably the most reliable source in the room, the barman, we had roughly one hundred and thirty people in attendance including local land managers, racers, enthusiasts, local trail builders, reps from sister advocacy groups and numerous members of the Sheffield mountain bike massive.
The meeting kicked off with a rapid run-down of this year’s work, courtesy of El Presidente Henry Norman, including thanking everyone for all they’ve done this year helping out at dig days, welcoming our new Ride Sheffield Ambassadors and extolling the virtues of Be Nice, Say Hi.
Next up were Si ‘18Bikes’ Bowns and Chris ‘Keeper of the Peak’ Maloney with an update on the Cutgate ‘Mend the Bog of Doom’ appeal. Things move on apace in this department thanks to a 30,000 Euro donation from the European Outdoor Conservation Association, (is there an indoor version?), and £8500 from the British Horse Society. Could there be a better example of co-operation between different user groups? There’s still money to raise so help out if you can.
Jon ‘Mayor of Sheffield’ Dallow was next outlining the planning process through which we’re having to navigate in order to build RADmires. Jumping through numerous hoops, John is now more gymnast than countryside officer. However, we’ve had support from the British Mountaineering Council, Sheffield Rights of Way Team and Friends of the Peak District. Let’s hope input from knowledgeable folk such as these carries great weight with the planning authority.
Dave ‘give that man a pilot’s licence’ Camus was up next explaining how things are going with Bolehills BMX track. Work continues and there are plans to provide a greater progression so that beginners can see Bolehills as a place to build skills. Again, this kind of work doesn’t come cheap so if you can, be a Radtax payer.
The AGM was completed in short order, as usual, but there was that rare thing, a vote. Sue Duke after a number of years beavering away as secretary, had decided to pass on the baton which was picked up with alacrity by Si Bowns. Thanks Sue!
The Shredtalk, featuring a host of experts, was lively to say the least, especially when the topic was unsanctioned trail-building. The question of how the mountain bike trade can support mountain biking also raised a few issues with many comparing the support trail builders receive in the US to the situation here. As for post-ride fuel, it was a dead heat between beer and cake!
The evening finished off with the infamously gnarly Ride Sheffield quiz courtesy of Ian ‘Paxo’ Fitzpatrick, this year in an ‘answer as many questions as you can in two minutes’ format – really tough. Our brilliant sponsors once again ensured that the raffle was a treat.
Once again, a great night in a new venue. Thanks to everyone who came, asked questions and contributed cash. Thanks to you, Bolehills is now £750 better off (£500 of which is thanks to our Radtax payers) and the Cutgate Appeal is £250 richer.
A big thank you to all our brilliant business partners –
Cotic, 18Bikes, J E James, Butterworths, Bike Garage, Monsal Trail, the Giant Store, Evans, Duncan Phillpott, Richard Baybutt, Bike Rehab, Wharncliffe Cycletech, Vertebrate Publishing, Hook-It, Flare Clothing, Uber Bike, Five Ten, True North, Halfords and Fit 4 Physio.
To contribute to the Cutgate Appeal, click HERE