Trail Crews and Trail days
In Sheffield we are pretty lucky to have a wide selection of trails, from the rights of way network that criss-crosses the city and the Peak District, built trails like Lady Cannings, Greno and Parkwood, a myriad of hand-crafted trails in Wharncliffe and of course BMX tracks such as Bolehills. While it has been (and always will be) an aspiration to provide more trails for mountain bikers to ride by changing designations on rights of way and creating more built trails, a key part of what we have to do is to look after what we have already.
One of the many things this year has shown us is that mountain biking is getting more and more popular. That, coupled with a couple of the wettest winters on record has really taken its toll on the trails.
Trail days are not a new thing for us. We have been getting out and working on the trails for pretty much as long as Ride Sheffield has existed, and we are grateful to all those people who have come and helped out. This year started off well with a huge effort to repair the flood damage on Devil’s Elbow with over 30 people helping out. But then covid put paid to any trail work for a long time and has then restricted us to trail crews of no more than 6 people. But taking an optimistic and ambitious look at 2021 and beyond, we want to do more with the trails and we want to do things a bit differently
At the start of 2021, we are going to start recruiting for trail crew members. It is our ambition to have multiple trail crews, likely starting with 2 and growing if the volunteer numbers are there. One that will be based in the north of the city and will focus on trails such as Greno, Wharncliffe, Parkwood, Cut Gate for example and one in the south that will focus on Blacka, Cannings, Eastern Moors, Rivelin and anything in between. Crews would also be able to work together on larger projects too. Once the crews were trained, they would be able to work independently as well as supporting larger trail days too
We will provide the crew members with PPE, First Aid training, relevant trail checker skills, risk assessing and training in correct and safe techniques for trail work. We will also provide suitable clothing to identify you out on the trails. What we then expect from each member is attendance at a number of trail days a year.
It is also our hope that we will be able to have tool stores that can be accessed by those on the trail crews, with one in the north and the south.
The size and extend of the trail crews is dependent on funding, it will be part funded by Rad Tax, but if we secure additional funding it will allow us to be more ambitious with the roll out of the crews.
We will post more information on how to apply to become a member of the trail crew in the new year, but if you would like more info or to register your interest please email us at email@example.com
We are hoping to be able to start doing bigger trail days again in the new year. Currently we have a small midweek crew heading out to keep on top of things, but we will continue to review the situation and will keep you posted subject to Tier levels and other restrictions. Additionally, if you do see areas that you feel could do with trail work doing to them, please let us know and we will add it to our list or pass it on to the rights of way team. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ride Sheffield’s strength has always been the awesome riding community we have in the city and we look forward to more or you joining us and making riding better for everyone in 2021 and beyond.
All photos in this article with thanks to Salt St.