We know you love mountain bike racing and this Saturday Dual Slalom racing will take over the streets of Sheffield. The most exciting form of mountain bike racing is going to be the centre piece of the Outdoor City Weekender.Continue reading
Its time for a collective high five, followed by Knucks, fist bumps and wo/man hugs. Lady Cannings is finished and open for business. If you responded to any of our bullying to put your hand in your pocket and donate to the building of this trail. Well done! You did it!!
What has been built is a great swoopy blue, a flow trail, accessible to all and 1.4 km of fun. Even on the flat bits there are enough bumps to pump to not have to pedal.
The best postcode for the trail is the same as the pubs, S11 7TS. The trailhead is at this grid reference SK 28238 83343. If you need to drive there, why not ride?, then you can park on Ringinglow road or just off houndkirk road. Or perhaps in the pub car park if you’re stopping for a well earned post ride pint?
The trail is open access, its totally free thanks to everyone that has donated to make it possible. However, be responsible, ride within your limits and don’t ride it when it soaking. That’s what parkwood is for.
We’ve written several times about the developments spearheaded by our resonsonsible brothers on the south west tip of Sheffield. Cy Turner, with his Ride Sheffield hat on, came up with the idea of Crowdfunding a new trail in the ill managed plantation off ringinglow road known as Lady Cannings. Within a spit of the Norfolk arms pub it is a site that is a gateway to the Peak District for those riding out from town on our bridleway network.
It was back at the start of 2013 that the palm was officially out stretched for donations from from the very riders that would benefit from a new bespoke trail. It has taken until halfway through 2015 to actually realise the dream, but ambitions changed along the way, problems were encountered and a whole host more cash was donated. The fifteen thousand pounds of crowd funded cash was leveraged to persuade local businesses to pitch in big money to turn the project from a volunteer built prospect into picking up the phone to call in local legends Biketrack.org. Cotic Bikes, Avanti Conveyors and Norton Mayfield Architects as well as Sheffield City council have all parted with hard earned money to see the project through to completion. Go Outdoors then swung in at the last minute to donate the final £5k as part of a larger investment of £60k to build even more trails in these woods. Future mayor and Fixer Jon Dallow has made sure that everything actually happened as well as securing support from the council.
Bigs ups to all; Lets ride!
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
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 email@example.com
Winter Dual round 3 – Enter
the Death Chute Inspired
by a death downhill dual
video posted up on Dirt
and emboldened by certain
comments about the loop
the loop feature I decided
to change things up a little
for my Birthday special.
Now this is where things
get a little hazy and all
information contained in
the rest of this post has
been dragged through a
Rum filter. This is because
my so called mates decided
that for some reason I
deserved to be poisoned
with rum as a birthday
treat. Now I’ll admit
that on occasion I have
been known to encourage
the imbibing of Rum in
celebration and forfeit but
this is always with
Having taken the spring off organising mate’s races to concentrate on real life it was with great anticipation I announced the upcoming schedule for this year’s summer series. There had been some subtle and lots of very unsubtle prompting about when the new season would begin and so with the passing of the longest day, racing began.
This year’s series is planned to be a succession of 8 races taking in all ‘undisciplines’ of mountain biking, including a dual race open to the public and a Strava based round. The nature of these mates races is that they are just that, unofficial ‘races’ between friends, chaotic meetings of people all with the aim of having fun on bikes. As such it was great to have the opportunity to open up a couple of races to the public (other than Peatys Steal City DH) but more of that in another post. Also we’re still waiting for sanctioning from the UCI for points but ‘Ockers is working on it.
Round 1 this year was one of our old favourites and still the most fun you can have on two wheels, cycle speedway. Rob Mahwood of the Sheffield Stars once again welcomed us back to the newly surfaced oval to get our foot down and our bikes sideways. Apparently the lads that help Rob out when we come down look forward to it every time as the carnage that ensues is not quite typical of a speedway meet. Always happy to oblige. Every time we go down I’m amazed that this sport is not nationally well known: it’s so much fun; so hard to get right and such an amazing spectacle. It should featured every week on Grandstand.
Looking out of the office window at 3 and seeing another of this summers deluges running off the soaked earth I banged my head repeatedly against my keyboard. Somehow it spelt out ‘Fuck this summer’ 5 times in and email and sent it by accident to my most important client. Happily as 5 rolled round and I left the building, the sun cracked out from behind the clouds and our luck once again held. Descending upon Cookson park at 6 Rob had again rolled out all the stops, the full starting gate was in place the track had been bailed out (literally) and swept ready.
By now most of us are old hands at Speedway so the practice laps were quickly racked up once a suitable bike had been selected from the pile. The lankier of us always suffer with choice but that just adds further to the fun. 16 of us elected to race, with many just coming to watch the carnage, which meant the 3 lads and Rob himself were included in the line up. They have these brilliant grids already setup which set out who races who and when making sure everyone gets a go in each lane and shouldn’t race the same person more than twice.
Racing got underway quick and it was a full 4 lap affair. Considering the track is only 200m around, 4 laps is such hard work. Its balls out sprinting off the line, foot off, corner, drift, then back on the pedals as soon as possible to sprint to the next corner. The first corner is all important as once out in front it is possible to control the race if you have the skills, naturally we don’t and it’s just a balls out battle.
There are a few memorable moments from the evening; my favourite though was when I lined up against Rob for the first time. Such a pro, he’d been showing us how it was done all night and was very generous with advice. I was in lane 1, him in lane 2. He said to me “you remember Liam don’t you ?” as he signalled to the lad in lane 4. It was then that I remembered why I recognised him, it was from this incident, at 1:15, during last year’s Spring Series Speedway session. I’d used some rather dubious tactics to put him out of the race and it was as these neurons fired that Rob delivered the knife as the grin spread across his face “ …because he remembers you!”. That was it, purely psyched out, and I didn’t see any of them for dust but the team were being kind enough to let us invaders win.
During their 3rd round battle Rich Baybutt and Henry Norman had a bit of a coming together on the last corner of the last lap. Scrambling off the floor to get back on their bikes Baybutt was lagging well behind as Henry was first back on his feet pushing/pedalling/paddling his bike over the line. Not able to get back on his bike on the time Rich took the only logical choice and sprinted on foot towards the tape dragging his bike by the rear wheel behind him to the jeers for the assembled crowd. Victory was his as he crossed the line just ahead.
Surprise speedway star of the night was John Jones. He turned up late missing the practise and the first couple of rounds still in his steel toe cap work boots. Rob was immediately impressed by his style (you’d have thought he should be good being one of the most over qualified coaches in the country) and was trying to sign him up for the Stars.
Will Swinden was dominant all evening only dropping one point throughout which was in a first round battle with Timmy. Tim starting in lane 1 had the advantage and made the most of it. Ruari was also on form only dropping two points which left the final two spots in the big final to Chris Pearson and myself. I picked lane 1 out of the bag which put me next to Will in lane 2. As the tape flew up we sprinted off and I clashed with Will and went down like a sack of shit. Will went on to take a well deserved first with Ruari second and Chris in Third.
And so ended the first round of the Summer Series, the seal had been broken and it was on to the next race. This was scheduled to be the Dual in Endcliffe park but more of that in the next race report.
Back in May we came up with the idea of Strava Smashing. Following a bit of internal rivalry and one-up-man-ship at TiS towers over supremacy on a certain Strava segment we decided to open up our mate’s race to anyone. This seemed to go down very well and got a positive response from everyone that took part.
While doing a bit of research in to such things I came across stravatrailracing.co.uk a site set up by Dan Nisbet doing exactly what we were only automatically and oh so slickly. Based further up north and using segments from trail centres Dan was doing what I wanted to do, only he wasn’t pouring over a spreadsheet and producing dodgy looking tables. He’d got the skills to do it properly. Wondering if Dan would be interested in a collaboration I dropped him an email and low and behold he had heard of TiS and was keen to get involved. Amazing!
A few months later, here we are, ready to Smash Strava Properly! Dan has been kind enough to develop us our own version of his Strava race system. It’s so good. We set a monthly segment and Dans code does the rest. It even has a monthly series so we can keep a tally on who’s been performing best over the year.
To introduce the main man himself, Dan Nisbet, he was kind enough to answer some of my inane questions.
Name: Dan Nisbet
Star Sign: Aries
You are responsible for the development of StravaTrailRacing.co.uk, which is a bloody brilliant idea, how long have you been Stravaing?
I started to play around with Strava at the end of last year, after racing my first segment there was no looking back. I was hooked.
Have you found that it has changed your riding? Has this been a good or a bad?
It’s certainly made me push myself that little bit more both on the ups and the downs. Ultimately, I ride because it’s fun. A big part of that is trying to get that little bit better, that little bit faster. Anything that helps keep me on my toes is a good thing.
Some of our mates have started taking things a bit seriously and now never ride without a GPS or a segment in mind. Have you found a similar effect?
Yeah, especially with riding in the STR series. As casual as it is, I’ve found that it’s really focused my riding. It’s amazing what a common goal and little competition can do. Sometimes though, you need to forget the virtual leaderboards and just have a good old blast out in the hills.
What inspired you to develop this application and what is your day job that’s given you the skills.
I love the idea of mates races and after gunning for KOM bragging rights against a friend of mine, it struck me. Would it be possible to combine the two? Armed with some local knowledge we’ve cherry picked the best segments, given you specific time window in which to race and weaved it all into a regional point based series.
The skillz… I’ve been designing and building websites for around 10 years. By day I’m an Art Director for a digital agency based in Newcastle. By night… well, that’s probably best left unsaid.
What do you think the future of Strava and mountain biking is?
Strava seems to have really set alight a competitive spark within MTB riders. Whether you race regularly or would just have never considered it, we all want to get a little higher on the leaderboard.
I don’t think the connection between real trails and the online world has ever been done so well, if at all competitively. With the explosion we’re seeing in cycling at the moment they seem to have struck gold. You never know, this may yet prove to be a major catalyst in getting people interested in organized racing.
For the future. With personal GPS devices getting ever more accurate, could we see something slightly larger in scale? gpsenduroracing.com over in the States looks to be a pretty interesting format.
Do you know how Strava works and why its not very reliable on some segments which means my mate has beaten me when I’m sooo much faster than him????
Ha! I know what you mean. I have a friend who has a habit of leaving his fastest run till the very, very end of the month, managing to just edge ahead every time. Infuriating!
Strava takes a GPS file which you can record using their smartphone app or Garmin. It then tries to match your GPS tracks to any number of nearby ‘segments’. A segment is a section of pre-defined trail from someone else’s ride. If your GPS tracks fall within a reasonable tight threshold, your time is taken and you’re automatically placed into a leaderboard. If your GPS is inaccurate or you stray too far from the trail, it fails to match and doesn’t count.
Some segments are better suited for racing on then others. One of the benefits of the STR Series is that we nominate trails that help keep everyone playing the same game. Given the amount of different devices people use, Strava is never going to replace a professionally timed event. It is however, as close as you’ll get without taping out the course.
Thanks very much Dan! You can get in touch with Dan direct here: firstname.lastname@example.org
This all kicks off on Tuesday 1st August right here at:
You’ve got until the 31st August to put in your best times and you can have as many goes as you like. All we ask is that you do so 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 dude. Simple. There’s not prizes, only bragging rights. You race completely at your own risk. We take absolutely no responsiblity for your actions or any injuries sustained.
We’re kicking off with a bit of a different trail to last time; it’s got up and down. You’re going to have to pedal. Racing around the well used trails of Blackamoor we hope you have some fun. Have a look on the map and figure it out where it goes, it makes in to a good loop.
We’ll be offering a new segment to race on each month and that’s where we will need your help. If you have a good segment you think we’d like to use, drop me a line at StravaSmashing@gmail.com.
See you out on the trails!
This is all we’re allowed to say right now, but the future is coming to Sheffield. Currently under construction and not ridable yet, but opening to the public in September.
More news when the embargo is lifted. Its so good.
Hopefully you’ve had a read of the Sheffield article in Dirt #118, please leave comments below letting us know what you thought.
Dirt ‘Tog Grant Robinson has strangely agreed to produce a set of prints from these Nug’s. Normally he wouldn’t do this. However, on this occasion his love of Sheffield and our scene, means you can get an very high quality A4 print for 15 quid, 30 for a A3.
Email Dirty.Nugs@gmail.com before December 18th to place your order. Send me the filenames you would like and payment will be via paypal only. £2.50 for postage for A4, £4.00 for A3 or pick up for free in Sheffield.