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Cherry Popping: Parkwoods first official race

Cherry Popping: Parkwoods first official race


Parkwood springs is poised to host its first official race in just over a weeks time on Sunday 23rd June. Those sweet berms and tables will be pounded by many sets of wheels all vying to take the win. As Parkwood is only a 2km loop its a bit short for this kind of race so Dan Cook, who’s actually partly responsible for Parkwoods existence,  has been plotting some interesting additions which will be unveiled on the day. This will make it up to a nearly 5km loop so there’s going to plenty of new trails to ride.

This is a mass start format with the number of laps depending on which category you enter. Everyone will line up next to each other in category and smash it out, shoulder to shoulder. With parkwood being as tight as it is, that start is going to be all important.

Now, you may have noticed, Sheffield doesn’t get many bike races. Other than the Steel City DH, Stilettos on wheels and Rother Valley events we’ve always had to travel to race (officially) so this is a great chance to actually race in the city centre (ish).

Entries are live and pre-entries end this weekend so you need to be quick. Personally I’ve entered the Sport Category, for 4 laps, so if you want to find out how sharp my elbows are, lineup next to me. They accept racers from 8 years old and upwards to bring your kids along to get a taste of racing.

As ever, they are a few Marshalls short of a race, so if you don’t fancy racing or are just coming to watch your loved one race, please drop Dan a line dan.cook@CTC.ORG.UK

Theres a bit more information over on the Nutcracker website and you can enter directly here.



Nick in Aprils MBR

Nick in Aprils MBR


The features in Aprils MBR

Aprils MBR has a feature on ‘People who are changing mountain biking’. I got a call in work one day from the editor Simon who asked me if I they could include me. To say I was shocked was an understatement but I was also completely humbling. I had an hours chat on the phone with Simon a few days later and he put together the interview which features in the Mag. I find it interesting what he picked out from what we talked about but that’s an editors job I suppose.

It was all about mates racing; how and why sticking your head up and making an effort it so rewarding. I’ve harped on about this many times before but its always worth saying again. According to MBR someone like me, following through on daft ideas thought up over a pint with mates is changing mountain biking for the better. I just do it because I love it and have so much fun with my mates. To see that others see the value of that too is amazing.


Winter Dual racing: Photo – Duncan Philpott

Cotic Factory Racing

Cotic Factory Racing

Serendipity is random; Providence is Divine; Cotic Factory Racing is pure destiny. This is what happens in Sheffield, when you get a enterprising bike manufacturer racing bikes alongside pinned riders in the hot house of mate’s races.


The new Cotic Factory racing team is made up of two local pinners, Chay ‘That Crash’ Granby and Josh ‘Loose Dog’ Lewis. Identified through ThisiSheffield’s ‘Blue Steel Racing’ talent ID and race development program, these two talented riders have been picked purely for their race speed and skills. They will be at every UK Gravity Enduro race this season smashing out the stages aboard a pimped out Cotic Rocket. And we all know what those bikes are capable of don’t we?

BlueSteelRacing (2)

19 year old Josh Lewis has honed his downhill race craft with the Steve Peat Syndicate for the past few seasons. His successes at mate’s races and dedication to fitness made him an obvious choice for the team. Applying these skills to the most fashionable bike racing around, Enduro, will suit his self cut hipster locks and skin tight jeans. We’re sure that his maturing years has brought a tempering to the riding style which christened him loose.


Josh Lewis ‘training’ hard

Master Chay Granby is well known on the pages of this website not only due to his regular and successful attendance at mate’s races but mainly due to his international recognition following ‘that crash’ in one of our tees. Chay successfully came back from ‘that crash’ and was quickly back on a bike and up to race pace. He was then straight back in to hospital after coming off his bike again and breaking his hip. Since that incident he has been dedicating himself to training hard and fitting doors, he’s in the shape of his life and ready to represent Cotic and Sheffield at its finest.


Chay Granby’s famous face (plant)

Cy ‘Cotic’ Turner is the man with the foresight and ability to bring this all together. The catalyst for the formation of the team was Cy’s attendance at the TiS winter dual’s and witnessing the wealth of talent being developed through the Blue Steel Racing program. After one particularly fast dual race Cy announced “After Tuesdays seriously fast and loose efforts it’s clear we have plenty of local pinners. It’d be ace to support someone local who’s committed to doing some racing”. What better way to spot talent than race against them week in, week out.


Cy Turner is also a keen Caravanner

The team are being Co-sponsored by Steel City Media, Royal, and Lezyne Tools. They are being supplied by Mavic, BOS, Shimano, Maxxis Tyres, Hope, Renthal, TORQ Energy and KCNC. This will mean a couple of severely pimp bikes flying around the Enduro’s, watch out for them.

The Cotic Rocket

The first race is this coming weekend at Afan and we wish Chay and Josh the very  best of luck. Just remember lads, however well you do, there will be rum waiting for you when you get back.


Our Own James ‘Rocket Man’ Swinden


Lady Gagas

Lady Gagas

Do you like riding at Parkwood??

Is having an all weather trail centre on your doorstep one of the best things to happen to the Sheffield riding scene in a long old while??

Would you like another one??

If the answer to any of these questions is Yes, its time to put your hand in your pocket. Our serious brethren and drinking partners, Ride Sheffield, have been working there arses off to put a ‘trail centre’ style  loop  in up at Lady Cannings plantation. This is the wood up by the Norfolk Arms on Ringinglow road. Its already a nicer way to access Houndkirk when its not sopping wet and cut up by foresting vehicles.


The idea behind the project is to promote and encourage mountain bike use and provide some fun, intermediate level trails in the Peak. This will hopefully make getting into the sport in our area a little less intimidating as new, inexperienced riders will have an option to develop their skills before stepping up to the pretty full on rocks and gullies of the Peak itself. It will also be a hell of a lot of fun to blast around for any rider as part of a bigger loop. As you can see from the map, it’s just outside Sheffield next to some main byway routes so it’s in a great spot and will be a fantastic asset to have.

As you all know, the cuts which local authorities are experiencing are biting pretty hard now. Green space and outdoor funding in particular has faced fierce reductions and this is something that our friends at Sheffield City Council Parks and Countryside have run up against here. They have done some great work in moving forward the approvals process and getting us permission to build trails. What they don’t have these days is the funding for the trail itself and with a project of this magnitude, volunteer dig days just aren’t going to cut it for the whole job. We need diggers and trackbuilders in the woods cutting the trail.

So to cut to the chase. There is no council/European or magic money to pay for this to happen. WE… the riders of Sheffield… and that means you too… who might one day want to have a spin around some rad new trails… need to fund this ourselves. Bike Track, who built the brilliant trails are Parkwood, are lined up to do the machine work. Chegg’s really knows what he’s doing with his big bucket and Jordan loves to ‘flow like water’ to devine a line, but they have mouths to feed and can’t work for free. The idea is to raise £7,500 to pay for the initial machine work which will be followed up by volunteer dig days to finish the job.

So that’s 10 quid each from 750 riders… thats not a lot. Its a round of drinks (or two pints at the Lescar), a few inner tubes, 3 posh coffees or a couple of lunches… I’m sure you can spare 10 quid to invest in your future riding fun.

And if you don’t and you ride the trail when its done… you’re tyres will melt from the evil incantation chanted by the volunteer diggers.

How do you donate? 
Easy, you can use paypal (please select the gift option) to

Or a bank transfer direct in to the account:
Account is with HSBC.

Please donate what you can, obviously the more the better but if its only a couple of quid, so be it. Please also share this around as many people as possible, the richer the better.

There’s more info over on Ride Sheffield

SHAFF 2013 – March 1st-3rd

Matt Heason who organizes SHAFF seems to have finally realised that bike films are radderer than climbing films. This year they’ve added on a 3rd bike session with 12 bike films in total on over the weekend. There’s all the other usual SHAFF shenanigans on as well and inevitably the weather will be Shite that weekend, so you might as well watch films and stay dry.

I can personally recommend the documentary about Shaun Palmer, The Miserable Champion, which we watch at our winter get together.  There’s not a huge amount of biking in but theres lots of excess and Peaty basically calls him a Bellend…


Lacon De Catalonia
Spanish free rider Andreu Lacondeguy hones his skills on his 13 metre high run in at his training compound near Barcelona. As the Norwegian film-makers Antimedia put it: “we had a blast with a week of dirt, cameras, drones, motocross and mountain bikes”. Check out more of Andreu’s amazing talent in ‘Where the Trail Ends’.

For one day every year the Italian Singlespeed Mafia transform the grounds of an abandoned 16th century villa in the Po Valley into the world’s most stylish cyclocross course.  Bellissimo!
Ride Positive: A Mountainbike Manifesto
German film-maker Tom Malecha’s call to arms is a short reminder to all the people who ride bikes to ride their bikes.   (PS We’re particularly proud to show Tom Malecha’s latest film as last year he won our Petzl ShAFF Shorts video competition with his innovative film ‘BI.KE – A Symmetric Vehicle’)

Silvia – Winter Trails With Matt Hunter
Canadian big mountain free rider Matt Hunter gets creative with a power drill in his shed to go and shred his local trails on studded tyres in the snow. Possibly the coolest night ride ever? (PS Before you get any ideas they got tyre studding expertise from GP Moto!)
Road Bike Party
UK trials bike legend Martyn Ashton takes the £10k carbon road bike used by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins to win the Tour de France for a ride with a difference.  Some of the toughest stunts you’ll ever see pulled on a carbon road bike and amazingly only one puncture during filming.
Sea of Rock
An adventure 40 years in the making.  In 1972 two Austrians decided to try the first ever mountain biking on a military bike stolen from their grandfathers.  Last summer Tom Oehler and Harald Philipp took on the challenge of Austria’s Mont Sommerstein (2308m) on the gnarly limestone with massive holes and crocodile sharp teeth. 8 days and 12 flat tyres later it was, as they put it, “Not your average day at the beach”.
Strength in Numbers
In the follow-up to their hit ‘Follow Me’ Anthill Films’ stated mission was to “explore the shared experiences that connect us all as mountain bikers”.  From the pros on the World Cup Circuit to kids on dirt jumps to the novice mountain bikers of Nepal, the film celebrates that taste of freedom you got the first time you rode your bike without stabilisers.  Featuring British athletes Gee and Rachel Atherton, Tracy Mosely and Sheffield’s finest, Steve Peat.


Line of Sight – festival edit

Cycle couriers have just two 2 rules – 1) no fixed gears and 2) no brakes.  Legendary racer Lucas Brunelle travels the world filming ‘Alleycat’ races between the world’s best urban cyclists from the vantage point of his own bike with his 10lb custom-built head bracketed to his helmet.  In ‘Line of Sight’ he teams up with Benny Zenga who turns the camera back on Lucas.

Janapar – Love on a Bike
Isn’t there more to life than this? 23-year-old Tom Allen escapes the rat race to search for the answer by cycling 12,000 miles round the world.  His dream’s thrown into turmoil when he falls in love and has to choose between settling down or continuing his adventure.  Will he choose romance or the road?

Note – we’re delighted that Tom will be doing a Q&A after Friday night’s showing of Janapar. 


Where the Trail Ends
Their most ambitious mountain-biking yet – freeriders Darren Berrecloth, Cameron Zink, Kurtis Sorge, James Doerfling and Andreu Lacondeguy and co are on a three year mission to discover unridden terrain.  Filmed in Argentina, China, Nepal, British Columbia and Utah, the crew used the most advanced filmmaking and sound equipment ever used in the outdoor adventure sport genre with jet boats, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft providing a variety of unique perspectives for the audience.


Shaun Palmer – Miserable Champion (Ski & Board 2)

7 times world champion, 6 XGames Golds, 38 elite victories and 117 career podiums in SEVEN different sports. A shocking portrait of Shaun Palmer, the notorious bad boy of extreme sports who’s partied as hard as he’s trained.  Featuring Sheffield mountain bike legend Steve Peat.

Pour Vous Servir (Ski & Board 2)

Not your average ski/board movie.  “Pour Vous Servir” (translation – ‘At Your Service’) takes the spirit of freestyle and goes lateral, then does a 360.  Only the French could come up with Fight Club for ski bums and a naked cycling drag race.

Ski Boys (Adrenaline Films & Young Adventurers 2)
Presented as found footage, the ‘Ski Boys’ film reels show ‘Deek’ and his friends on their family farms in the summer of 1971 documenting their everyday adventures on Super 8 Film.  Their homemade inventions – including 8ft toboggans fitted with roller-skate wheels, a flying squirrel suit and the ‘road’ ski – epitomise the ‘Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?’ spirit.

Red Bull Kluge (Adrenaline Films & Young Adventurers 2)

Stunt mountain biker Danny MacAskill and an eclectic mix of his Red Bull pals including hurdler Lolo Jones, skateboarder Ryan Sheckler and golfer Rickie Fowler bike, skate, run, put, fly and drive through this Wallace and Gromit meets mousetrap style athlete powered machine that’s been one of this year’s viral classics.

Cardboard Bike (Teen Screen)

Three engineers told him it couldn’t be done but using principles of Japanese origami Izhar Gafni hopes he’s proved them wrong.  His recyclable cardboard bike weighs 9kg and costs just £5 to make.


And because variety’s the spice of life (and perhaps not all your family and friends are cyclists!) there’s a whole host of other adventure sports films, talks and lectures as well as four family-friendly Young Adventurers and two new Teen Screen showings.  Don’t forget the Showroom Cinema has a comfy bar/cafe with live music where you can relax in between screenings.  We’ll also have a MyOutdoorsUK photo exhibition and Single Shot photo competition and our second hand kit sale.  And on Friday night the one and only Niall Grimes will be hosting the ShAFF Adventure Quiz.

Flats Vs Clips: Help collect the evidence


The benefits and drawbacks of flats and clipped pedals are a much discussed issue within mountain biking. The Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University are undertaking a research project to compare the pedalling technique and the power output of flat and clipped pedal in an attempt to bring some further evidence to the argument.

We are currently recruiting participants for the study who are regular racers at either Elite or Expert level in downhill or Enduro. The participants need to be available in Sheffield for the testing over two days on either the 25th and 27th Feb or the 4th and 6th March where they will be required to undertake a multistage sprint test on an ergometer. This will be in the form of five 5 second maximal sprints with a rest period in between each sprint. An introduction to the equipment and procedure will be given on the first day of testing.

Data will be obtained from the output of the Ergometer which gives power output and pedal force measurements for the duration of the test. A camera system will also be used to track the lower limbs throughout each rotation. To aid the tracking of the hip, knee and ankle small markers will be placed on the joints. All equipment will be provided by the University including pedals and shoes. Subjects will need to bring in their own bikes to enable setup of the ergometer.

If you are available on the dates in Sheffield and would like to be part of the study please contact Tom Duncan directly on


MTB Specific coaching in Sheffield

MTB Specific coaching in Sheffield

Coaching is a funny one. Why are riders happy to pay hundreds of pounds on shiny new bits for their bike but reticent to pay tens of pounds to learn how to actually ride it better. The investment in learning is much more rewarding and will last a lot longer than the new component or bike that you just must have. From a beginner learning the basics to a pinner breaking bad habits: swallowing your pride, investing in yourself and not your wheels will make you a much better rider.

John Paul Jones of Aline Coaching has spent the last few months developing a set of coaching courses which will be delivered around the trails of Sheffield over February and March. Grenoside, Parkwood Springs and Bolehills will all be used as venues for the courses on either a Saturday or Sunday.

John is a highly trained and qualified coach with years of experience in the Whistler Bike park. Bringing back what he’s learnt to his homeland he’s able to help every rider improve their riding whatever level, from beginner to expert. Practising what I preach, I’m personally currently receiving some tuition and couldn’t be happier.

All the details of the Courses are available over on Alines website but I’ve copied over a summary of the next batch with dates and locations.

Do yourself a favour, get booked on and improve your riding forever.

Level 1:   Limited experience on a bike. You can control bike speed and direction on paved surfaces, but have little or no experience riding off-road terrain.
Beginner 1 (10th of Feb Grenoside)

Level 2: Experience of riding off road on various terrain surfaces and mellow gradients.
Beginner 1 (10th Feb Grenoside)
Beginner 2 (16th and 17th Feb Grenoside)

Level 3: Ridden offroad for at least 1 year at various locations in the UK, comfortable on most blues and maybe some blacks.
Beginner 1 (10th Feb Grenoside)
Beginner 2 (16th and 17th Feb Grenoside)
Intermediate 1 (24th February morning Bolehill BMX track, afternoon Grenoside)

Level 4: Comfortable on steep and rough terrain but struggle on flow trails with berms and jumps.
Intermediate 1 (24th February, morning Bolehill, afternoon Grenoside)
Intermediate 2 (3rd of March morning Parkwood Springs, afternoon Grenoside) Security on steep ground (10th of March Grenoside)

Level 5:  Can ride steep technical terrain, you are comfortable with jumping and drops but you can improve technique for speed. Can hit and clean the jumps at most trail centres (backside, table-size drops are no problem).
Intermediate 2 (3rd of March, morning Parkwood Springs and Grenoside afternoon)
Security on steep ground(10th of March Grenoside).

Bowman at Kendal

Bowman at Kendal

Tha’ Knows, are Joe’s got some reet talent. Next weekend this is being recognised with the appearance of his work at the world famous Kendal mountain film festival. An annual festival bringing together the best films from around the world covering an very wide range of genre and giving out some very coveted awards.

Joe, as SteelCityMedia, will be part of the Santa Cruz bike night on Saturday 17th alongside such luminaries as Alex Rankin and Chris Akrigg, screening highlights of their work and Alex and Chris will be interviewed. The evening will be chaired by Great Rocks Ed Oxley and is one not to miss.

Parkwood Springs – Lets cut the Ribbon!

Parkwood Springs – Lets cut the Ribbon!


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.



Dunc’s Dirty Cover

Photo: Sven Martin

Dunc’s Dirty Cover

Photo: Sven Martin

This is the moment when Dunc was presented with a Carbon (rimmmed) framed copy of next months Dirt cover. It just happens to be his shot of Minnaar on route to his World Championships win! Boom!!!

Massive congrats PhilPOD… I think you’re grin says it all.

Joe and Sven setup Dunc with a surprise presentation from Greg. You can watch this moment in full HD video goodness over on DirtTV which also has a great Bowman cameo opener.


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<p><a href=”″>DirtTV:Hafjell World Cup Finals</a> a <a href=””>Mountain Biking video by dirt</a></p>
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