Monthly Archives: October 2012

Parkwood Springs – Lets cut the Ribbon!

Parkwood Springs – Lets cut the Ribbon!

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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.

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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.

Nick

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Bolehills from the Air

We all love Bolehills yeah? But have you ever seen it from this angle?

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The FPV goggles and QuadCopter. (Photo: @baybutt instagram)

I got a text from one of TiS’s favorite ToGs Rich Baybutt at 8:30 on a monday evening saying:

You free tomorrow morning at 7? Something super exciting…

To which the only response was:

For you, I can be. Where do you want me?

The arrangments were:

Natwest at hunters bar 7am ready to ride BH… with a twist! Baker is meeting us too.

Baker is Martin Baker: uphill mates racing specialist and GoPro mount design colluder. It turns out Bakes has some very handy mates, in the form of André Ferreira. When we met a Bolehills it turns out that André runs VuAir a company specializing in aerial videography and he’d brought along his QuadCopter and GoPro. Wow.

It was a beautiful Autumn morning and the results speak for themselves other than to say that Baybutt is the only one with Talent on a bike which becomes very clear, very quickly.

Bolehills forever. Massive thanks to Andre and Martin.

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You might notice that Bolehills is looking a bit unloved and overgrown (still RAD though). There is a dig day this coming saturday, the 27th, to get it pimped. Details over on Facebook.

Strava Smashing October: Whining Brook

This month we head to the west of the city to Fox Hagg and Wyming Brook. We start on a descent which was reclassified to a bridleway earlier this year thanks to the continued work of Ride Sheffield. Its a brilliant descent that still requires a good deal of pedalling and there’s some line choices to be made in the middle. Don’t ride it in the wet, its just not worth it and will knacker the trail. The descent finishes at Rivelin reservoir where the assent though Wyming Brook begins. The segment finishes just before the gate at the top. This segment was suggested by our own Duncan Philpott as a personal favourite.

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You’ve got until the 31st October and can have as many goes as you like, only your fastest will count.

All we ask is that you ride responsibly. Be respectful to other trail users, the trail itself and yourself. Don’t piss anyone off, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simple. There’s not prizes, only bragging rights. You race completely at your own risk. We take absolutely no responsibility for your actions or any injuries sustained.

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Photos: The Philpott courtesy of  Rubarb

Strava Smashed 2: Steel City Laps

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I really stress about picking a segment to race each month. So many things to consider: is it legitimate; is it fun; is there too much up hill; will people be smiling or cursing my name under their breath as they ride? However, this month I was confident, I knew this was a brilliant segment which ticked all the boxes.

The Steel City track was built specifically for Peaty’s DH race earlier this year by BikeTrack.org, its existence was negotiated by Ride Sheffield, financed by the race itself with the permission of the land owners the Wildlife Trust. There were certain patches of the track which didn’t take well to the British weather and were pretty boggy even for the race itself. However, hard work done by volunteer crews from Ride Sheffield and further work by BikeTrack.org (again paid for by the race, more of that in a later post) have hugely improved the track and should hopefully see it through winter (if people stay off it when its really wet!!).

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Photo: Henry Norman

The segment itself started at the bottom of the push up track just up from the bomb hole, sticking to the bridleway all the way up to the top of the Steel City track. It’s actually a bugger of a climb which varies in steepness but demands constant effort, not technical but loose in places. The mini DH track itself is just brilliant, top to bottom flow with enough rocks to keep your wheels skittering, berms to keep you grinning and jumps to get you airborne. The recent improvements have really added to the track and are testament to the building skills of Cheggers, Jordan and Chris from Biketrack.

The racing this month saw a much bigger uptake of riders with 17 in total having a crack. This included a good battle between brothers Joe and Dan Emery (who finished 7th and 14th respectively), the return of the ‘Udents represented by Ross Phelps and John Inman (6th and 3rd). Rob Whiteman and Stephen Bloomer (4th and 12th) both returned for a second Strava Smash having both posted times on last month’s segment. There were also many new entrants this month including Sim Hartley (recently returned from catastrophic ankle snapping snowboard injury) who finished second with a 5:48. However first place was a joint affair this month with another new entrant Simon Price and our own Swinny both posting 5:21, 30 seconds clear of the nearest rival. Interestingly, Simon was 3 seconds faster on the climb but Swinny made is up on the descent (although that’s well within the bounds of accuracy of Strava).

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This leaves the overall in a good looking position (from my perspective at least). Of the 4 of us who have posted times each month, Swindog is out in the lead. I’m tied for second place with Rob Whiteman and Stephen Bloomer is in 10th. Simon Price’s winning time this month puts him in 3rd place, due to the larger number of entrants this month, which leaves Sim Hartley rounding out the top 5.

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Great work all. Hope you enjoyed this month’s race, the next segment will be revealed this weekend and we’ll be back to more natural terrain. As always if you have any suggestions for segments you’d like to race or comments please get in touch at stravasmashing@gmail.com. Massive thanks as always to the Man that made all this possible Dan Nisbet who had the original idea for StravaTrailRacing and has kindly set us up with his code and server.

Cheers

Nick

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