I was very pleased to be asked to write a piece for Redbull/bike to promote Sheffield and the Howard Street Dual. I’m a massive fan and very thankful for their coverage of the Downhill world Cup, literally the only sport I watch on TV. They wanted a potted history of the Sheffield Bike scene in 600 words, from mates races to the howard st dual, what follows is my first go. I wrote a more in-depth piece years ago for Dirt working with Grant Robinson to document what was going on in with bikes in sheffield in 2011.
All images Sam McQueen unless specified
A short history of the Sheffield MTB scene – from mates races to the Howard Street Dual
I’ve been running mates races around Sheffield for a many years. It started back on a misty November weekend on a DH track me and my mates used to session. We met up with a stopwatch and a pair of mobile phones, that’s literally all it took. Everyone loved it and wanted to do it again and from there, things grew quickly. The 4th time we ran the race 40 people entered including one world cup champion. From this acorn spawned the This is Sheffield winter dual slalom series which has been running since 2010 and countless ridiculous ideas for races which just had to be made reality: Megadeath, TryAwfulOn, Two pint time trial, Hardcore Hartails, Mini Bike jousting, Gravity racers, Special Olympics, the list goes on. In the city the dual mates racing ethos goes way back to the late nineties at the Sheffield Ski Village with the legendary Iron Justice. What’s brought it together are a group of likeminded souls (mountain bikers) and the opportunities (radness) Sheffield offers to ride our bikes on all kinds of different terrain.