……has a whopping great This is Sheffield mates race feature. Check it!
As autumn turns in to winter so our autumn evening soirees draw to a close. But we didn’t let this pass unnoticed and determinedly marked the eclipse with a bang. Farmer Jack, who’s been having lots of fun at the gatherings, kindly offered the use of his Dual track. Built by Peaty, Cheggars and a host of other spade wielders for the Wharncliffe weekender it was where we held the Dual World champs earlier this year. It’s a brilliant track with enough berms to rail to keep you beaming from ear to ear. It’s not all smooth sailing though and takes a lot of skill to set a good time on, especially when it rains, which it did at about 7pm just before we started racing. As we were on a private track we thought we might as well turn this gathering in to a race and got the clocks out. Paddy Baker was even kind enough to lend us his 2 man gate for the night which only added to the tension on the start line.
After a summer of being trodden on by cows the track did need a bit of fettling. A few of us turned up early to work the spades which brought the berms back to their former glory. Peaty had already strimmed back the over growth so the work done by Ruari, Joe, Rob, Bilsey, Dean and others left them looking lovely. Jake Peat also did his bit on his quad to get the track bedded in. Getting the lights and gate set up also took a while but once done, the scene was set for a fine nights racing.
Practice began early as the sunset. The track began bedding in nicely once it stopped raining but naturally there was plenty of offs to get the assembled crowd cheering. 40 racers turned up and chucked their 2 quid in the pot and random prize in the bag. With that many riders we needed qualification. Using a new timing system consisting of Marian counting in and Isabel whistling at the start meant that Chay, Joel and Sophie at the bottom knew when to start the clock. High tech. With a late start and miserable conditions I took the decision to cut it down to only 16 racers which is a shame when we could have had 32 but hopefully next time we’ll get the chance.
With and additional 20 spectators there was some serious jeering and cheering going on as each pair passed by. The early rounds saw some great performance and even better crashes. My favourite being Rob Stokes taking on Rob Jolley, Stokes managed to fall sideways out of the gate and down the banking in to some nettles. Classic. The final came down to Josh Lewis taking on Peaty and with Looses’ chain playing up all night, the result was somewhat inevitable.
Jack had built a huge funeral pyre of a bonfire to keep us warm while we drank beer and presented prizes. His good lady Anna had also been busy in the kitchen preparing stacks of sausage sangas made with Jack’s own pigs, delicious. The fire burned on in to the night and we drank and talked shit all night long a great end to the series.
So, keeping in with the spirit of fun of the series of gatherings I’ve cobbled together a point scoring system to give an idea of who’s had the most fun. So congratualtions to Martin Baker who obviously had a misspent yoof and took the crown only 2 points ahead of Tim Pearson. Ruari was 13 points behind him for third with Dave Griffiths taking 4th and myself 5th. Jody Vallance took her second series win for the ladies, with Emma Peasland and Carrie Poole in 2nd and 3rd and Hanna Jonsson in 4th. Prizes and rewards for the overall will be presented in the near future.
As the Northern Hemisphere’s season starts to become wet and cold and the days shorter, below the equator the opposite is happening. The sun is setting at 8 at night, the evenings no longer have a chill in the air and with some much needed time away from the worlds most active seismic City (unofficial scientific fact no. 1) the Skyline gondola in Queenstown seemed too good an opportunity to pay a visit, and with many similarities to Sheffield in the mates rates and the riding scene….it’s hard to refuse.
Last week a few of us attended a mates race down at Wharncliffe organised by the Wharncliffe trail fairy’s, otherwise known as This is Stocky B; Barnsley’s s36 answer to This is Sheffield. The track was a fresh dreamer built just the week before, named rather nicely as ‘Snatch Grab’, and was very different to the Wharny norm, and certainly different from the trail fairy duo’s usual creations as they actually used a shovel on this, not just a rake.
There was a fantastic turn out of people sectioning the track, but it was very disappointing that a fair few riders bitched out of putting a timed run down. The track was technical and was certainly claiming some victims with Saturday lad cracking out another double shoulder dislocation, Rowdy Ricky Bailey breaking a big toe and Ross Phelps popping a kidney and spending a week in hospital (no joke) but this is mates racing, there should be no pressure and expectations, everyone should have had a bash!
I personally had an awesome time, I arrived a little late and very drunk, but managed to have 2 practice runs of the beautifully loamy and rocky track. I threw up after both runs so thought I would sit it out for a while and watch Craig smash the last few turns while trying to sober up. Racing time was upon us and it was 2 quid in the prize pot and to the top for our runs. After the first run we were seeded with fastest down the hill last, just like a proper race. Craig was obviously last out of the gate and the last runs didn’t change our first run positions, so after the second run the cash was split between the top 3; Craig, Freddie Oxley and myself.
Another good Sheffield mates race, and a new ‘best trail Wharncliffe has ever seen’. Cheers.
Ride Sheffield has made us aware that work on ‘Improvements’ to the bridleways over on Houndkirk Moor (The Roman Road) are about to get under way again. If anyone else was disappointed by the 2 metre wide motorway which we have been left with over existing sections WRITE AN EMAIL!! Please write to:
Ride Sheffield Say:If you have been up on Houndkirk in the past few days you might have seen signs with regards to work being done on Houndkirk and Jumbles Rd (the byway that runs from Ringinglow Rd to Sheephill Rd)
Please take 5 minutes of your time to lodge your disapproval over the insensitive nature of the existing changes, that the proposed solution doesn’t satisfy any of the users groups, is not in keeping with the surroundings and anything else you can think of….
There appeared to be a few things against tonight’s gathering, mainly it being properly Autumn and being wet and dark. Thankfully, Shane Townsend came up with a brilliant idea that got round both of these issues. Shane runs the bike shop at Hassop Station and suggested to his boss Duncan that we could have a ride on the hire bikes up and down the Monsal Trail. What a brilliant idea! All the bikes are the same so there is no advantage to having a better bike, they all have dynamos and lights so night riding is no issue and they had enough for all of us. Perfect.
We ran it as a time trial with 30 seconds gaps. Shane rode off up the trail on an electric bike to the end of the first tunnel and stamped everyones arms as they went past. It was about a 4 mile loop with a slightly rolling course and a fast turnaround at the far end. Duncan and Rob were kind enough to take care of timing, counting everyone off at the start and timing their sweaty broken bodies over the line at the end. For a flat and short course, everyone was completely broken. Balls out for quarter of an hour tends to have that effect.
With a pint at the end to quench our thirsts while we gave out prizes it really was a near perfect night. Sun and warmth were the only things missing.
Great photos all courtesy of Dom Worrall, great work again lad, cheers!
Thieves seem to be on the loose lately! Keep your shit locked up tight kids!
The BikeTree targeted by thieves, urges vigilance in the area
In the early hours of Thursday October 6th thieves struck local Sheffield bike shop The BikeTree.
Armed with a 4×4 and some anchor chain, the thieves pulled out an entire building window and frame before fleeing with around 20 complete bikes and frames.
Within ten minutes local police were on the scene, alerted by the shop’s GSM alarm system. Unfortunately the thieves had already left – leaving half of the shop front spread over the shop’s car park.
The BikeTree said: “The bikes and frames stolen were a random mix of items nearest the ‘removed’ window, suggesting that the thieves were more opportunistic than selective.
“Listed below are details of the stolen items, so if you see any of these around Sheffield or the Peak, pedaled by dodgy looking folk or advertised then please drop the guys at the shop a line on 0114 236 5858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contents of stolen goods below:
“It’s almost business as usual at the tree – with a little extra ventilation – and the guys are hoping to be restocked soon!”
We The People Trust BMX Orange 20-inch – £450 Frame number: HAHTK00619
Premium Solo BMX Matt Seafoam (Turquoise) 20.5-inch – £300 Frame number: P11E1669
Premium Solo Plus BMX Matt Black 21-inch £390 Frame number: PS2W2E0139
Verde Prism BMX Grey & Green 20.5-inch – £416 Frame number: CH050620.5
Mondraker Factor Full Suspension Mountain Bike White Medium 17-inch – £2,000 Frame number: AS1008082
Cube AMS 130 Pro Full Suspension Mountain Bike White, Black, Blue 18-inch – £1,699 Frame number: WOW00707EM1110F
CubeKid 260 Teamline Hardtail Mountain Bike White, Red & Blue 14-inch – £350 Frame number: WOW8695EA0510K
Early Rider Lite Child’s Balance Bike Wooden – £95 Frame number: N/A
289A Abbeydale Road South
We’ve all been enjoying getting together so much that it’s now become a regular part of our social calendar. Last night was no exception. Despite the weather we all met up and went for a bit of a ride, got rained on and even a bit lost. The route for the night seems to have been a bit confusing and I probably should have explained it a bit better or left a better trail of bread crumbs. However, I think the weather and the light were somewhat against us making it a bit difficult to stay together. We did a nice little loop of the parks with some up and down hills included but we did suffer a few technical difficulties. I can only apologise to those that suffered the issues and thank you for your patience. I think the concept was sound but the execution needs a bit of work. Every 20 minutes at the moment, something starts bleeping, it’s a bit like captain hook and ticking clocks.
So thank you to everyone for coming out and braving the weather. Particular thanks to Jody, Dunc, Bilsey and Chay for waving and cheering at us. Many thanks to Dom Worrall for taking the time to take these great photos of all the confused faces. Also special thanks to Rich Baybutt who’s hours of toil made last night possible.
Same again next week??
In a guest post by John Horscroft he reports on the work completed up on Devils elbow at the weekend. Good work and many thanks to all that attended. We’ll try and let you know about the next dig day.
A Saturday morning in October and four mountain bikers are in their natural environment, Blackamoor’s superb Devil’s Elbow, doing the most unnatural things. Nothing illegal mind, it’s just that where they’d normally be heading downhill, for once they’re reduced to labouring uphill pushing a wheelbarrow, a downright evil way to spend a sunny Saturday.
But when Sheffield Wildlife Trust asks riders to turn up and do their bit for one of the best trails in the Peak, it’s difficult to say no. The bottom third of the track has a well established reputation for turning into mud soup during the winter and the opportunity to build an all-weather surface is just too good to turn down. Add to that the incredibly enlightened attitude of the wildlife trust and it’s in our interest to put on a good show because they’ve recently shelved a plan to turn another popular track into a two metre wide motorway.
I’m a bit disappointed when I discover there’s only four riders but, hell, it’s summer’s last hurrah so I’m guessing everyone’s out riding and who can blame them. Luckily, our numbers are boosted by a big group of environmental studies students. All the initial work was carried out by the wildlife trust with some tweaking done on a previous volunteer day. However, some sections are too straight and too fast making conflict between riders and walkers almost inevitable. Our mission is to introduce a bit of shape to the trail to slow riders down, hence the wheelbarrows, the sweating and the swearing. After a few hours work though, things are looking good, boulders installed to encourage riders to follow the contours of the track in a way that will be both challenging, fun and at a reduced speed.
This kind of volunteer day has to be the future for mountain bikers. It’s no good us moaning about what environmental groups do to the trails if we’re not prepared to get out there and expend a bit of sweat. So the next time you see a volunteer day advertised, bite the bullet and sign up. It’s a good laugh and very satisfying, particularly when you get to ride the trail you’ve just created. Now we need to see how the trail copes with a Peak District winter. It’d be good to get some feedback when you’ve ridden it because the trail will almost definitely need further tweaking and fettling to iron out teething problems.
Finally, a big thank you to all those who turned up and to Hannah, Annabel and Barry from the Sheffield Wildlife Trust for letting us loose.