10 years in the making, Parkwood Springs mountain bike trail is finally officially open. ‘Sir’ Jon Dallow of the Sheffield City Council has brought together a 6 year long project to bring prime single track bike trails to the City Centre. It hasn’t been at all easy and he’s had an awful lot of help from many people along the way, but the final box has been ticked, the final hoop jumped through and the trails are now ours to play on.
And play we can because the quality of the track created is of the highest order, it’s amazing what BikeTrack.Org have been able to pack in to 2km. The ups twist and turn to keep your mind off the effort and the downs are littered with pump bumps, lips and berms. Designed and built to be accessible to all it’s a blue trail with red level opt ins. Beginners will enjoy the confidence inspiring berms, progressive features and grin widening descent. The more advanced riders will boost the doubles, session the jumps and roost the hell out of the loose inside lines. Its got something for everyone, is fun incarnate and you certainly don’t need a DH bike.
The story of these trails has been a very long time coming. Dan Cook, now of the CTC, had the vision a decade ago. Jon Dallow took up the challenge and, with his colleagues, has worked with the community, the council, and the likes of Steve Peat and Ride Sheffields Henry Norman, to plan and develop the proposal for the site. Through their hard work they have managed to unlock the £250k of European funding required for the wider project through Sport England and South Yorkshire Forest. There has been huge amounts of community engagement and support throughout the project with ‘The friends of Parkwood Springs’ being instrumental.
As Jon says, “this isn’t trail centre, its city centre”, so think carefully about how you ride it. There are bound to be kids, dog walkers and school groups mucking about somewhere along the way as this is all new. Most of them wouldn’t know what a trail centre is. Be nice to them and with time they’ll learn and hopefully pick up a bike themselves. Wednesday afternoon Ranger Tom will likely be up on site doing maintenance, so say hello if you’re passing. They’ll be regular races starting up next year and a facebook group has been started keep people informed of the goings on and plans for the future. Ride Sheffield are entrusted with the custodianship of the trail and its development has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on the whole scene in Sheffield.
If we manage to treat this facility with respect and use it as it was intended who knows what this might be the start of for Sheffield. 10 years ago the site was home to crossers and plagued with anti social behaviour, go and check out what’s been made of it now. Its Reet good!
Most Photos by Sam McQueen, some by Laura James. Massive thanks to both of you. Apologies for the high lycra content in the images, they were taken during a test event earlier this summer.