Don’t be a dick.
It’s always disheartening to hear of poor behaviour by riders, particularly if it is on land managed by people with whom Ride Sheffield have developed a positive relationship. Unfortunately, we received an email recently from Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust (SRWT) that a nasty incident has occurred on the Blackamoor nature reserve.
A gentleman was out walking with his eight year old daughter on a narrow footpath when five mountain bikers appeared at speed, he had to push his daughter to safety and leap out of the way. The bikers didn’t stop and make sure no harm had been done or apologise.
We have a great working relationship with SRWT after years of liaising with them and repairing numerous trails on various SRWT managed sites. This incident has to be taken seriously by the wildlife trust. They are fully aware that the vast majority of mountain bikers act responsibly but the actions of the reckless minority has to be addressed.
Now, we know that on an occasion like this, we’re preaching to the converted. Ride Sheffield supporters have heard over and over again the Ride Sheffield mantra – Be Nice, Say Hi, take care of other trail users and ride within your capabilities. An increasing number of mountain bikers get it – if we act irresponsibly, it could have a long term effect on the rights we have or compromise our chances of increasing those rights.
But the important thing is peer pressure. Please share the hell out of this story because it is demonstrably a threat to our sport. Talk to other riders, discuss it with your mates, put it out on social media and mountain bike channels. Make sure that it gets out into the wider riding community because it is only through putting pressure on those who ride like dicks that we will, eventually, be able to decrease the small proportion of mountain bikers who do exactly that.