Greno Woods Trail Damage Update
It’s never good news to start the day with news that someone has been out to try and trash your trails. When you dig fun little trails hidden from view (or permission) this is often part of the game. Gutting, but part of the game. But it is pretty unusual to have sanctioned trails damaged. But that’s what happened up in Greno Woods the Sunday before last.
What looked from a few photos like some disgruntled MX riders taking out their frustrations on the trails with a bit of heavy rear wheel action (after being told to leave earlier that day), turned out to be a bit more of a focused attack. A few photos were shared online, rumours swirled around as to who could have done the damage, but it was only after Peaty had been up for a closer inspection it appeared that someone had taken a substantial axe to a number of features on the trail, taking out the lips of some of the jumps, cutting holes in the berms as well as trying to make kindling out of any signs with a picture of a bike on it. Someone clearly has an issue with mountain bikes.
So what’s going on?
We are lucky in Sheffield that mountain bikers coexist with other users with very little friction, compared to some places. But that’s not to say that problem,es do not occur.
But right now we live in strange times and the pressure of being under lockdown drives people to some pretty poor choices (on and offline!). If your life is pretty miserable from trying to do the right thing there is nothing more infuriating that seeing other people having fun doing what may appears to be flouting the guidelines.
Steel City is still probably our busiest trail and is easily accessible to a lot of people without needing to get into the car, it may not seem like the most socially distanced group of people and for some people that is probably all that was needed to head out into the woods and cause some damage.
So where does that leave us?
It seems that some of the Covid-19 most popular panic bought items included pitchforks and burning torches. But ultimately getting angry online remains as futile in times of crisis as it does in times of peace. We understand everyones frustration and its pretty hard when someone trashes your trails, but particularly when you cannot get upto repair them.
- As it stands the trails are currently safe to ride, Peaty did a trail check the following day to inspect the damage and was happy that it is ridable. But we would urge you to take a steady first run down to make sure you are happy with how the features are now.
- Also that the signage to the grading and harder features is no longer as clear
- The Wildlife Trust (who are the landowner’s) were informed and have also inspected the damage
- The police have also been informed of the criminal damage done to the trail and signs
So what can you do to help?
- Please report any further damage to us straight away at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you see people damaging the trails please contact the police too
- Please stick to guidelines on social distancing, don’t ride in groups and if trails look busy, please give them a miss
- Please don’t repair the trails (though the gestures to offer help are real appreciated), we will be up as soon as we are allowed to do some volunteer repairs and we will be working with Bike Track to get everything back to scratch too
- If yo do encounter issues on the trail, be polite and explain that the trails are legitimate as is your right to use them even during lockdown. If people get aggressive please get out of the situation as soon as possible
- While a lot of you are frustrated, big talk and aggression online do nothing to help the situation and only feed the narrative that mountain bikers are an anti social group that don’t deserve to be in the woods in the first place.
- While we have been a bit quiet on the crowdfunded at the moment, as we understand a lot of peoples financial situations have changed in the last month. You still can contribute the crowdfunder if you would like to. We will be pushing the trail fund more when it is appropriate to do so in the future.
Lastly, even with social distancing and grumpy encounters in the woods, please keep doing your best Be Nice and Say Hi. Its easy to judge a situation on face value (and i am sure a lot of you will have encountered that firsthand in the past month), but its better to assume the best in people and to give them a smile. For some it may be their only human contact they may well have had all day.
See you out there on the trails for repairs and riding as soon as we are allowed.
Thanks – RS