Monthly Archives: November 2010

Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 3

Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 3

23rd November 2010

Continuing the progression of Sheffield’s ghetto dual scene, round three proved to be another classic. Back up in Swinny’s field word had spread further and this season’s largest attendance braved the cold but dry and clear night. Moving up in the world, the usual bike lights on posts/trees were supplemented with a generator and halogens to light up the course. The normal format applied though, practise from 7 and racing at 8. Spikes are banned to keep everything loose and fair and the course is marked out with short lengths of plastic overflow pipe cut for purpose. Every racer has to supply a random prize as an entry fee with the winner taking first dibs on the best. Ranging from tasty 5:10 jerseys through to cable ties and tea bags, it pays to be fast.

The racing is usual dual style, a head to head knockout with two runs, one on each lane, and the fastest combined time moving through to the next round. With 27 racers turning up seeding runs were in order with the top 16 moving on to the finals. The finals start order was chosen at random and paper plate number boards handed out.

The track (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

The course was a long one with a high stakes gorse corner to start us off, too tight and your gloves wouldn’t be saving you. In a grass field with an hour’s practise for 27 riders the surface soon cut up to reveal the mud below. It became so slippy that even the first corner was proving too difficult for some who went down hard. Foot out, committed turns were the winning formula with some unbelievable drifts being laid down. Once through the long peddley start traverse and around the gorse the course tightened up and the turns were difficult and tight. The surface was unpredictable giving rise to many a spectacular off accompanied by big grins all round. However serious the racing may get, it’s all about fun after all, we are dealing with bikes here.


Rob Jolley (Photo: Dom Worrall)

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Truffle Shuffle is open for business.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Truffle Shuffle is complete.

Hopefully everything it intends to be will be fulfilled, i.e. It’s a rate good track. Enjoy.

For those uninitiated to it’s location find the top of NEMBA just along the top fireroad North of ‘Fast Track’ and that’s where it begins….other tracks in the immediate area that are worth riding are NEMBA, Salmon/Alexander Super Trout and Dogs Bollox.

If there’s  anything that can be improved on/added etc I’d be keen to hear, so please leave comments…..

Winter: Digging

Summer is long gone and the race season has been over for a while now..

Its been a bit quiet here at HQ lately as we have been watching the days draw in, trying to squeeze out every last epic ride we can, whilst battling the conditions. Filming has had to take a bit of a back seat as dark gloomy days have prevented any descent light for us to work with.

But all is not lost! as winter is very nearly upon us it brings with it that excitement, enthusiasm and creativeness to pick up the spade and begin ‘Winter Digging’.

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Truffle Shuffle – W.I.P at Wharny

New track at Wharny…..still work in progress, but this is a record of what’s been down so far:

A friend of mine once said a poignant sentence a few years ago which has stuck with me since, it was ‘enjoy the difficulty’. I ride bikes because in difficult terrain as it gives me pleasure, I think most people reading this are of the same ilk, we wouldn’t buy ourselves a modern mountain bike capable of a plethora of terrain just to ride on a canal path….well, I did say most.

The local riding around Sheffield offers this very attribute, the riding tends to be more of a technical nature where linking lines, hitting points on a track – such as an apex or a catch-berm – and speed checking are such attributes. That is the difficulty to be endured.

The hard part when building for me is maintaining flow, if it doesn’t flow it’s not enjoyable. End of. Tracks can be easy but without flow they are dull. Hard tracks with such qualities as a steep inline, committing features and harsh rock gardens still have to flow, well at least for me they do. The kind of ‘stop-starty- riding that is generated from poorly built tracks is something that we should all aim to put an end to, and I’ll be honest, I’d rather listen to the conversation beween two fixie riders than ride a track without flow.

I’ve ridden around Sheffield for at least 16 years, what we ride has changed vastly, and even more so in the last few years, bikes are worlds apart than when Greg Herbold cut the course in 1990, therefore we expect more from the humble push iron. We can ride faster into corners, we can brake later for hitting a particular rut at a particular speed in order for it to catch, we can ride the line we wanted as the forks don’t flex down the off-camber we are aiming to rail. The feeling of hitting a section of a track where it just feels ‘right’ is one of the reasons why I ride.

What does any of the above have to do with digging a track? To get it ‘right’, a saying we have in in the UK is ‘difficult difficult lemon difficult’- see the film ‘In the Loop’ for further reference. I am not content with just ‘making do’ with my efforts with a spade…..riding a difficult track well is the same as building a difficult track, it should tax your brain, it should make you think, it should make you enjoy the difficulty.

My aim for ‘Truffle Shuffle’ is too get the flow right. I am also hoping it will get other riders into looking at being creative with their lines….your riding is an expression…’s your own art.

Gap/flyer over existing NEMBA track

Truffle Shuffle

Righthander into minitature Val Di Sole

A bench worthy of a patio and summer garden parties

Double-drop from start

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