Ride Sheffield First Timers
We like to keep it positive at Ride Sheffield and if ever we were looking for a silver lining through the pandemic madness we think we’ve found it – we’ve witnessed lots of new riders joining the Ride Sheffield fold and getting into mountain biking (MTB) during lockdown.
Under normal circumstances we’d be welcoming you all with a summer social, as we love a good natter over a cold one, but for now it’s a virtual introduction. We wanted to give new riders an insight into mountain biking in Sheffield and how you can embrace the Ride Sheffield trails.
Ride Sheffield in a nutshell…
10 years in the making.
Ride Sheffield has been working for 10 years to improve trails for mountain bikers in and around the city and the Peaks. Key has been building relationships with land owners and managers, Peak District National Park Authority and Sheffield City Council.
The guidelines we live by – be nice say hi.
If you’ve been out on Bridleways and Ride Sheffield trails you will have seen our nifty little ‘be nice say hi’ signs which are the very essence of the group – we strongly promote good relations with all trail users. Our riding community is renowned as being a friendly bunch which makes our job much easier.
Explore the Trails
The result of Ride Sheffield fundraising and development over the years is a mix of awesome trails for you to shred and challenge your riding.
Here we outline for you some of the purpose built trails, those made solely for mountain biking, which Ride Sheffield has invested time in funding, planning and developing. We also invest a lot of energies into maintaining Public Bridleways with dig days at locations such as Blacka Moor. Over the last few years we have forged relationships with Eastern Moors Partnerships to bring Bridleway access to Barbrook Valley, Curbar and Froggatt Edges – this has been a great success!
All Ride Sheffield purpose built trails are graded which will help you work out the right level for your riding ability:
Blue – Moderate
Skills: Off-road riding skills to cope with uneven surfaces and small obstacles. Singletrack sections and small obstacles of roots and rocks.
Red – Difficult
Skills: Proficient mountain bikers with good off-road skills. Tricky descents and technical features such as drop offs and large drops.
Black – Severe
Skills: Expert mountain biker with high level of fitness. Greater riding challenge and difficulty, expect large and unavoidable features.
Ride Sheffield Trails
Lady Cannings Blue
Parkwood Springs Blue/Red
Greno Woods Red/Black
If you’re new to MTBing Lady Cannings is a great place to start as there are no surprises such as drops or jumps – you can build up your confidence on flowy trails. With two trails, ‘Cooking on Gas’ and ‘Blue Steel’, there is nothing a novice can’t handle – it is a great place to hone your skills as a beginner or an intermediate rider.
Riding Tip: Depending on your physical strength and riding ability, there are lots of options to make a visit up to Lady Cannings a loop or a few hours in the saddle.
- From Endcliffe Park you can ride out taking in Bingham Park, Forge Dam and Porters Clough, and then on to Lady Cannings
- Incorporating the Houndkirk trail into your route is a good way to build stamina and push the miles
- If you want to take in more technical riding, and you have good technical skills, check out the Blackamoor descents
On a clear day you’ll be whipping down Parkwood Springs with the city as your back drop. Thanks to Bike Track, and the input of Steve Peat, this trail packs a punch with great features in a relatively small space. This is mainly a blue trail with red opt-in sections but everything is rollable so no nasty surprises to deal with.
Riding Tip: It may be small but this is the trail that keeps giving
- Challenge yourself to loops of Parkwood
- Build up to take on the red sections
- This is a great place for a wet day when everything else is a mudfest
This is the home to Sheffield’s ‘Peaty’s Steel City Downhill’ so by its very nature there is more hardcore riding to be had. Greno Woods has been used from year dot in the mountain biking world and today boasts two red trails, with black options.
The loop consists of 2 red grade descents, Pub Run and Steel City (which has a Black opt in) and one black grade descent DH3 (this has several large but rollable jumps and a steep section towards the end). The whole loop is connected by red grade bridleway accessed by the top bridleway over the road from the car park.
Riding tip: Only consider Greno if you feel you are very comfortable on blue trails and more technical terrain.
- Watch out for the ‘bowl’ on the Steel City track and the opt in blacks, study the trail map first to make yourself familiar of where these are located
- Both start at the top bridleway and you will find many riders sessioning the tracks
- Don’t let this put you off as mountain bikers are generally an encouraging bunch and you may even tap into some local knowledge along the way
Back to Basics
We’re no trail police but we do like to keep our riders safe. Whether you are just getting into biking or been MTBing for years, the tracks often feel so close to home you think you could easily get out of trouble. From experience it is always better to be prepared – here’s some back to basics tips as a friendly reminder:
Wear a helmet
This is possibly a no brainer but in case you’re wondering with trees, stones, compact trails, bikes to get in the way you’re never in for a soft landing so always protect your noggin!
Puncture Repair Kit
Nothing worse than having to make an ‘SOS’ for a taxi home because you forgot your puncture repair kit or pump. Even if you’re running tubeless there are various hacks to fix your tyres but if it’s not salvageable an old fashioned inner tube can come in handy.
You don’t need a full on St John Ambulance kit but you’ll not regret carrying some basic first aid – whether this is for yourself or a fellow trail user one day you’ll be glad to find it buried in your backpack. A bandage, wound wipes, steri strips, survival bag (particularly during the cold season) are worth considering.
Not everyone wears pads but they do give you confidence on more technical trails, and will save your skin if you do fall off. In MTBing wearing knee or arm pads is totally normal, people often become a convert after taking layers of skin off and thinking ‘if only I’d had knee pads on!’. You don’t need to look like a storm trooper as there are plenty of light weight options around.
While we mainly encourage riding, don’t ever be afraid to get off and walk, seriously. If you’re unsure of your technical ability session the track. Step back and walk the line so you can map it out mentally before you tackle anything you’re unsure of, try that piece of track again and again to gain your confidence. There is no judging in MTBing and you’ll probably get more respect for being cautious than ploughing down something blindly and coming a cropper!
Layers are your friend, you may set off in perfect conditions but mother nature has a habit of playing tricks on you – a waterproof or windproof layer will ensure you don’t have to head in early when the weather closes in.
Like what you ride?
We love seeing riders brimming with happiness and on adrenaline fuelled highs. If you want to know how you can give back to our trails and Ride Sheffield future fundraising efforts take a look at RAD Tax to make your contribution.