“Ride Sheffield? Is that who built the trail in Lady Canning’s?”
Well, that’s one way of putting it….
Ride Sheffield has now existed for eight years and it’s easy to forget how much has been achieved. It’s ironic in a way that the whole thing started with local riders trying to prevent Sheffield City Council (SCC) downgrading bridleways on Fox Hagg and turning Houndkirk Road into something like a motorway. Fighting to preserve just about the least technical trail in the Peak proved that we did give a monkey’s and were prepared to fight our corner and build a working relationship with SCC in the process. It’s no accident that Sheffield has since become The Outdoor City and SCC have been instrumental in bringing our trail building plans to fruition.
Inspired by that collective effort, Henry Norman called the first ever Ride Sheffield meeting, attended by maybe a dozen local riders who were convinced he was on to something. Pretty much the same team has worked tirelessly for Sheffield mountain bikers ever since.
Shortly after that, the Eastern Moors Partnership was formed, a joint effort between the RSPB and National Trust, to manage public land in exemplary fashion. Land manager Danny Udall and Ride Sheffield volunteers quickly established a great relationship which helped to create new bridleways on Big Moor, Curbar and Froggatt and much besides. That relationship now encompasses the National Trust on Longshaw Estate who have also upgraded footpaths to bridleway status.
And that was just the start. Ride Sheffield began to work with Sheffield Wildlife Trust (SWT) who manage both Blackamoor and Greno Woods. That eventually led to Peaty’s Steel City Race, the construction of three permanent trails in Greno Woods and extensive work on, amongst other things, the ever-popular Devil’s Elbow bridleway on Blacka.
Wimble Holme Hill received a make-over with the help of Ride Sheffield volunteers and crowd-funding provided resources to build a trail in the SCC owned Lady Canning’s plantation. The Peak Bike Code and ‘Be Nice, Say Hi’ campaigns both resulted from partnership working with Vertebrate Publishing and Ride Sheffield is a founder member of national mountain bike advocacy group OpenMTB. Receiving support from local businesses such as Cotic, GoOutdoors, 18Bikes, Avanti Conveyors, Norton Mayfield Architects and Vulcan Engineering has transformed our ability to deliver big projects.
Bolehills rebuild, #saveitforsummer, working with GoOutdoors to build Cooking on Gas, the Cutgate project, MTB representation on the Sheffield Local Access Forum and Sheffield Moors Partnership and a continuing commitment to maintaining our natural trails proves that mountain bikers care about the places they ride and are prepared to put something back.
It’s not about blowing our own trumpet. We couldn’t have achieved anything without the support of local riders and we need to emphasise our successes for that to continue. Rad Tax, turning up for dig-days and joining us for a pint and a quiz at the Winter social is crucial so that this amazing level of success can continue.
Ride Sheffield is only as good as the backing it receives from the Sheffield scene. We’ve been lucky in the allies we’ve gained, the local land managers who champion our cause and the benefactors we have amongst the local business community. With your help, the next eight years will be equally as fruitful as the last.
If you fancy helping Ride Sheffield, become a supporter HERE – starting from only £5/month!!