Levelling Up to Tier 3 for Sheffield MTBers
LOCKDOWN 2 UPDATE – please bear in mind that this article was originally written when Sheffield had been moved into Tier 3, with Derbyshire in Tiers 1 and 2. As of November 5th, England is now in Lockdown, meaning slightly different guidelines yet again. Full details can be found here , but here’s a quick update;
While we should stay at home wherever possible, we are allowed to exercise outside with members of our own household, those we’ve formed a support bubble with, or one other person from another household.
Travel is now only allowed for a handful of purposes, although this does include travel for exercise. We’re aware that for many people driving to ride is the only option, but would suggest riding from home wherever possible. If you do travel, be considerate of others, especially in isolated villages with lower infection rates but higher numbers of elderly people. Ride well within your limits, but do get out there – riding is SO good for your mental and physical health!
As the announcement was made that Sheffield is heading into Tier 3 Covid restrictions we can’t deny one of our first thoughts was ‘can we still MTB with our mates?’, closely followed by ‘can we still go to the pub after a ride?’.
At Ride Sheffield we’re all about keeping you safe on and off the trails so here’s how we see it when it comes to riding in Sheffield under Tier 3. This is a helping hand to interpret the rules and understand what it means for us when it comes to shredding in Sheffield. Our focus here is on the restrictions for those people living within Sheffield not people travelling from other regions.
These were the first questions we asked, so based on the information we now have we’ll do our best to answer them.
Can I ride with friends outside of my household?
Tier 3 interpretation: The guidelines state you can ride as a group of six or under but you must adhere to the social distancing rules of 2 metres.
Ride Sheffield guidance: When on Bridleways try to keep your social distance from your riding group but also be aware of other trail users who perhaps are not as comfortable mixing outside of their household. Do the right thing if the trail is tight, stand aside and ‘be nice say hi’ to walkers or horse riders.
Can I ride on my local trails and Ride Sheffield trails?
Tier 3 interpretation: As Greno, Parkwood and Lady Cannings are all within the Sheffield boundary you can absolutely use these trails if you are keeping your social distance in place.
Ride Sheffield guidance: This is why we have invested so much in delivering sustainable local trails, so enjoy them and hone your skills for when we’re released back out of this tier. Please bear in mind that popular spots may get busy, particularly at weekends. Be prepared to head somewhere else!
Which mountain bike trails are within the Sheffield boundary?
Tier 3 interpretation: As outlined above you are allowed to ride local trails so knowing the boundary is important. You can check out OS maps or regional maps.
Ride Sheffield guidance: In addition to the obvious popular spots, please be willing to give something different a try. Maybe that local bridleway near your house isn’t as exciting as practicing your favourite berms, but it may well be a good bit quieter and help spread the load.
You can also take a look at the Trailforks map on our website to give you further ideas of loops to head for on the mountain bike.
Can I ride over the border into Derbyshire?
Tier 3 interpretation: This is not advisable as it is deemed as unnecessary travel and residents in Tier 3 are not supposed to visit areas in Tier 2, which would include most areas of Derbyshire bordering Sheffield. There’s a lot of confusion around the naming of areas, bearing in mind that Peak District doesn’t just mean Derbyshire – it’s far from straightforward and better to follow by County area.
Ride Sheffield guidance: At this time, we wouldn’t recommend riding in Derbyshire but if you do, consider avoiding local cafes and shops as this is where most of the animosity occurred during the first lockdown. We are conscious of thinking about the locals in villages of Derbyshire who will not be wanting an influx of people from Sheffield so we’re seeing this as a good time to stay local.
Can I go to the pub after my ride?
Unless you’re riding with your household or meeting them afterwards for food it’s a no.
Ride Sheffield guidance: Pack some good trail snacks and have a socially distanced stop and chat in the wilderness.
We understand everyone’s interpretations can be slightly different but under our ‘be nice say hi’ mantra, now doesn’t seem the time to push the boundaries. The more we all play the game and stick to the rules, the sooner we can be planning trips out of area, and who knows maybe even abroad – that’s our 2021 goals right there!