This Saturday sees Sheffield City Centre set alight by torch light and two wheels, the Howard Street Dual returns for its 3rd Year. Bringing the excitement of head to head bike racing right in to the heart of the Outdoor City, taking mountain bikes out of the woods and down our streets to be cheered on by the assembled masses.
The invited riders represent the cream of the local crop including Sheffield’s own Legend Steve Peat, the current Howard Street Champion, as well as many riders from further afield. Brett Penfold, 2017 winner, is back and ready to challenge for the top spot, will he meet Peaty in the final again? German downhill champion, Nina Hoffmann, has flown in especially to race and challenge our lasses, who will fair better on the slick grass corners and steep wooden berms? The talented lads and lasses will put on an amazing show which will be as much fun to watch as it will to take part.
Racing starts at 5pm and will be streamed live on Youtube, presented by Anna Glowinski and Richard Cunynghame. Finals will be around 7pm with the fastest lads and lasses having two chances to make their mark, the fastest combined time taking the win.
On site commentary will be provided by the master, Toby Parodi, a top his tower backed up with beats from Redbulls sound system. With cow bells and noise makers lining the track, the racers will be cheered from top to bottom making it great fun for the whole family and the best hecklers in town. The course makes the most of what Sheffield Hallam University has to offer, starting on its doorstep and sending riders at high speed down Howard St to the train station.
Course opens for practice
Seeding/Quali Runs Begin
Race finishes – Prize giving
In true This is Sheffield style every one of the 60 racers will receive a prize. All our amazingly generous sponsors’ gifts will be piled up and the winners will get the honour of picking first. This year our prizes come from:
Expert Bike repair
Like slalom ski racing, riders negotiate a series of gates pitting themselves against each other and the clock in a head to head knock out format. The course has a stack of great features sendable by the best and rollable by all. It starts down a long set of stairs before kicking left in to a set of four custom built rollers across hallam square. The best will double these up or manual through the whole set. This sets up the riders for a big wooden kicker up on to a unique set of downhill grass rollers with two tight flagged corners. The riders are then spat out on a set of stairs or a custom ramp straight in to Chaos corner, a hard 180 degree bermed corner through street furniture. The riders then face a series of flat grass corners which will test their cornering skills and speed. They are split by a wooden booter where the fast ones will be trying to keep it low and fast. After an awkward right hander the racers drop in to the FML fade, the final feature, a steep grassy bank which will accelerate them across the finishing line. For the best, this will be about 30 seconds.
It will be a great time to be in Sheffield with so much going on for the Outdoor City Festival; the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, the Big Running Weekend and The Magnificent Seven anti-enduro road race on the Sunday, another great spectator sport if you like you riders in lycra. However, don’t forget to come and show us your love of two wheels and displays of amazing skill down on Howard street this Saturday.
Don’t call it a comeback… we’ve been here three years. Back for its 3rd year the Howard Street dual returns pitting European riders against the finest local talent.
Dual is the most exciting form of mountain bike racing, the head to head, shoulder to shoulder nature gets riders and spectators hearts racing. The knock out format see’s the fastest qualifiers meeting in the final rounds, always drawing the largest gasps.
The unique city centre location houses a course rammed full of testing terrain running from the Millennium Galleries down to the Train station. The mixture of wooden features and street furniture with slick off camber grass corners challenges riders in a way that rewards speed and skill but punishes mistakes harshly. Racing elbow to elbow forces mistakes and riders must keep their heads if they want to do well. Each round consists of two legs giving the racers a chance to make a mends or just more mistakes.
Sheffield is the Outdoor City and the Howard Street Dual is the jewel in the crown of the month long festival of the outdoors. Each year two thousand people have witnessed the racing either captivated by the spectacle as they passed by or in it for the long haul enjoying the local pubs’ and cafes’ supplies.
Sheffield’s finest Steve Peat and inaugural champion, Brett Penfold, have unfinished business. Last year’s nail biting finish saw Steve fall spectacularly on the last feature but manage to make up time on the second run in a breath taking display of skill and mathematics.
The race is about showcasing the excitement of mountain bike racing right in the heart of the city, educating the masses about what goes on normally tucked away in the woods or ont moors.
On Saturday 23rd March, 32 lads and 16 lasses from across disciplines will meet on Howard St to do battle. Racing begins at 5pm as darkness descends with finals from 6 and prizes at 7, hyped by Toby Parodi atop his tower through the Redbull sound system. Racing will be broadcast on the big screen for the assembled masses and streamed live on YouTube from 5pm presented by Anna Glowinski and Richard Cunynghame.
Racing amongst others will be Peaty, Ratboy with his 50:01 brethren Sam ‘Dave’ Hockenhull, Dual Champ Brett Penfold, German DH Champ Nina Hoffmann with European guests Fabio Schäfer and Jasper Jauch #BikesNotBrexit. However, we’ve left some race places open for other fast lads and lasses. So, if you’ve got a string of good results and you’re keen to race, get in touch with your roots and rain details: ThisiSheffield@gmail.com
This race is put on by This is Sheffield and made possible by Sheffield City Council, the most forward thinking mountain bike city in the land. There really is nothing quite like the excitement of dual racing: it entrances spectators from the uninitiated to the expert; challenges riders skills and ability to keep their cool and most importantly puts a massive grin on everyone’s face, just remember to bring your cowbell! #DualRules
Its here! Gamble by name, Gamble by nature. Sheffield’s own Steel City Media and his partner in crime, Creative Concept have put it all on the line to bring us the most amazing mountain bike film we’ve had in years.
Going back to basics, they’ve brought together the creme de la creme of the worlds DH racers and set them loose on locations all around the globe. With a keen eye and style this will be a visual treat for us all. However the biggest treat will undoubtedly be seeing the Steve Peat let loose on a custom track in Sheffield showing that he’s still got as much speed and style as he’s always had.
Today we race. The ultimate form of head to head mountain bike racing returns to Sheffield City Centre to celebrate the Outdoor City Weekender. The Howard Street Dual course will pitch the best riders against each other and the resulting spectacle will surprise and delight seasoned race fans, families of all ages and unsuspecting passers by. To enhance the drama this year we will be racing in the dark; once the sun goes down the course will be lit up making the elbow to elbow action even more entertaining.
Made possible by Sheffield City Council the riders will race from the top of Hallam Square, across the front from Sheffield Hallam university’s main building and on down to the bottom of Howard street. They must negotiate a series of features sendable by the best and rollable by all. It mixes man-made constructions with street furniture, flat grass corners and custom wooden features. Last year the finish fadeaway and infamous chaos corner claimed many riders winning ways.
3:00 – Practice
4:15 – Qualification
5:00 – Racing
7:00 – Finals
Dual Slalom is a knockout race format, pitching riders against each other, literally duelling their way down the hill. The winner stays on and the fastest racers progress through to the finals and the glory.
In true This is Sheffield style, every rider who races will get a prize from our incredibly generous sponsors combined with a big cheer and all the glory. The fastest racers on the day will get to pick from the pile first. We have space for 32 lads and 16 lasses.
Massive thank you’s to all these lovely people who made the race possible!
Hope Tech – Lights so we can see and Brakes Cotic – Score boards and untold hours of labour Leighton Vans – Cash prizes and pimp as race van Five Ten – Shoes for racers feet HKT Products – PIMPin Medals for the winners Peatys products – Unicorn Jizz and loam foam AM building Services – Those amazing berms, Alan built Them! Local Scaffold Service Ltd – For all your scaffolding needs, they erected Toby’s Tower Bike track – Moar Cowbells! Airdrop – Mudguards and Jerseys 18 Bikes – Only the finest prizes Go Outdoors – Calibre Bikes and paying for Lady Cannings! Expert bike repair – Keeping our bikes running smooth ALine mountain bike coaching – Coaching you better SHAFF – Tickets for any show
Sheffield will be a hive of activity during the Outdoor City weekender; from theSheffield adventure film festival, to theMagnificent 7 road anti-enduro and theClimbing works international festival. Dual racing is both spectacular and easy to follow, and will provide as much of a thrill for the spectators as it does the participants themselves. With cow-bells and noise-makers lining the track, the racers will be cheered from top to bottom making it great fun for the whole family and the best hecklers in town.
I was very pleased to be asked to write a piece for Redbull/bike to promote Sheffield and the Howard Street Dual. I’m a massive fan and very thankful for their coverage of the Downhill world Cup, literally the only sport I watch on TV. They wanted a potted history of the Sheffield Bike scene in 600 words, from mates races to the howard st dual, what follows is my first go. I wrote a more in-depth piece years ago for Dirt working with Grant Robinson to document what was going on in with bikes in sheffield in 2011.
A short history of the Sheffield MTB scene – from mates races to the Howard Street Dual
I’ve been running mates races around Sheffield for a many years. It started back on a misty November weekend on a DH track me and my mates used to session. We met up with a stopwatch and a pair of mobile phones, that’s literally all it took. Everyone loved it and wanted to do it again and from there, things grew quickly. The 4th time we ran the race 40 people entered including one world cup champion. From this acorn spawned the This is Sheffield winter dual slalom series which has been running since 2010 and countless ridiculous ideas for races which just had to be made reality: Megadeath, TryAwfulOn, Two pint time trial, Hardcore Hartails, Mini Bike jousting, Gravity racers, Special Olympics, the list goes on. In the city the dual mates racing ethos goes way back to the late nineties at the Sheffield Ski Village with the legendary Iron Justice. What’s brought it together are a group of likeminded souls (mountain bikers) and the opportunities (radness) Sheffield offers to ride our bikes on all kinds of different terrain.
At 5pm on the 10th March Sheffield’s Howard St Dual will be broadcast live on the internet. Part of the Outdoor City Weekender this race will light up the centre of the city with elbow to elbow action and enough Hope Tech lumens to turn night in to day. The live stream will spread the magic of dual and make the Outdoor City shine.