Archives: Ghetto

Spring Series – Round 6 – The Hill Climb

No togs this week so just my masterpiece (Painting: Leonardo da Fucking Vinci)

Spring Series – Round 6 – The Hill Climb

No togs this week so just my masterpiece (Painting: Leonardo da Fucking Vinci)

It was a hot and humid Tuesday that greeted the twenty racers taking on the double headed hill climbing monster of round 6 of Le Series de Spring. We rendezvoused on Clough Lane and went through the usual ritual of registration and chucking money and random prizes in piles. This fortnight’s donation bought two races for the price of one, a time trial and a technical hill climb testing both fitness and bike skills. First off was the time trail, up what used to be affectionately known as ‘The Rocky Bastard’ before Sheffield’s Highways and byways boneheads decided to make it in to yet another 2 metre wide perfectly manicured, accessible to all but satisfying none, right of way (see Ride Sheffield for more info on the struggle against the insanity). It’s been part of my local loop for as long as I’ve been riding mountain bikes and before being sanitised was a real technical challenge. As it is now, it’s a short steep climb which peters out in to three flattish corners before rejoining the road, the perfect setting for the first half of the race.

Time Trial
Position race # Name Time Points
1 18 James Swinden 01:49 16
2 3 Martin Baker 01:56 15
3 15 Rob Jolley 02:09 14
4 7 Dave James 02:11 13
5 12 Simon Bowns 02:23 12
6 2 Ally Fraser 02:26 11
6 13 Tim Pearson 02:26 11
8 1 Nick Hamilton 02:27 9
9 16 Chris Pearson 02:34 8
10 17 Alex Owen 02:36 7
11 20 Adam Wiles 02:36 6
12 11 Joe Malinson 02:37 5
13 4 Henry Norman 02:39 4
14 10 Marco Wood-Bonelli 02:41 3
15 19 Matt Hunt 03:02 2
16 14 Ol Green 03:05 1
17 6 John Horscroft 03:11 1
18 5 Jody Vallance 03:26 1
19 8 Oscar Monk 04:03 1
20 9 Jake Monk 04:10 1

We set off in number order at 30 second intervals up the hill. Marian was kind enough to start us off and Si Garrard was good enough clock the times at the top of the hill. I was first off and miss judged the length of the hill holding back a bit too much, leaving too much in the tank. As I rolled back down the hill to go and setup the second half of the evening I was greeted by many a grimacing face, most of them swearing at me and telling what I wanker I was for thinking this one up. They love it really. With only half a minute between racers and an average time of just under 3 minutes there was lots of overtaking going on which confused the timings slightly but we got them ironed out eventually. Swinny blasted his way to the win narrowly beating Martin Baker as the both got in under the two minute mark. Dave James’ commuting legs and lycra fetish brought him an impressive third place with a 2:11. We had four new riders join the racing for the first time for this one and hopefully they haven’t been too put off. Marco and the Monk Twins all competed well and I may have to consider adding some youngster categories to give them a fighting chance. Race done, it was a ride back down the valley to the steep bit.

Position race # Name 1st run 2nd Run Best Points
1 15 Rob Jolley 9 2 9 16
1 13 Tim Pearson 6 9 9 16
1 16 Chris Pearson 9 9 9 16
1 18 James Swinden 3 9 9 16
5 4 Henry Norman 2 7 7 12
6 19 Matt Hunt 4 4 4 11
6 20 Adam Wiles 4 3 4 11
6 3 Martin Baker 3 4 4 11
9 8 Oscar Monk 1 3 3 8
9 14 Ol Green 3 2 3 8
9 11 Joe Malinson 3 2 3 8
12 1 Nick Hamilton 2 1 2 5
12 5 Jody Vallance 2 2 2 5
12 12 Simon Bowns 0 2 2 5
12 17 Alex Owen 2 2 2 5
12 9 Jake Monk 1 2 2 5
12 10 Marco
2 2 2 5
12 6 John Horscroft 2 2 2 5
19 7 Dave James 1 2 2 5
20 2 Ally Fraser 1 1 1 1

I picked a quiet spot in Bingham Park and set up a series of gates meandering up the hill taking in various obstacles along the way. A bit more like a trials course than a hill climb really but all rideable, riders got points for every set of posts they got their front wheel though. Dave James and Si Bowns got the awards for chumps of the night, they both managed to completely miss the first gate. The first real obstacle came at gate two with a long set of slippery roots to be reckoned with and tape to stay within. Lots of riders pushed the limits of the tape only to fall foul when trying to get past the next post. The next gate surrounded a nasty rock step but it had just enough of a run up to make it rollable. However, with most folks in granny there were many legs spinning out. Following the step came a steep and loose loam covered bank at a point where most riders who’d made it this far were out of breath. Matt Hunt made it here twice but his big wheels couldn’t quite gain the traction needed. Then at the top of a testing climbing came a couple of tight corners with a short downhill section to mix things up. This was the downfall of Henry Norman who just under estimated the under growth. Rob Jolley was one of only two riders to complete the course on his first run ploughing through most of the obstacles like they were birds in Corp. The Pearson Bro’s used their trials skills to back hop their way to the top in impressive style, Chris doing it twice, Tim needing a second attempt. Victor of the first leg, Swinny, and current series leader also made it to the top on his second go after a poor first attempt getting to only gate 3.

Spring Series – Round 6 – Hill Climb
Overall Race # Name Time Tech Total Series Points
1 18 James Swinden 16 16 32 16
2 15 Rob Jolley 14 16 30 15
3 13 Tim Pearson 11 16 27 14
4 3 Martin Baker 15 11 26 13
5 16 Chris Pearson 8 16 24 12
6 7 Dave James 13 5 18 11
7 12 Simon Bowns 12 5 17 10
8 20 Adam Wiles 6 11 17 10
9 4 Henry Norman 4 12 16 8
10 1 Nick Hamilton 9 5 14 7
11 11 Joe Malinson 5 8 13 6
12 19 Matt Hunt 2 11 13 5
13 2 Ally Fraser 11 1 12 5
14 17 Alex Owen 7 5 12 5
15 8 Oscar Monk 1 8 9 2
16 14 Ol Green 1 8 9 2
17 10 Marco
3 5 8 1
18 5 Jody Vallance 1 5 6 16
19 6 John Horscroft 1 5 6 1
20 9 Jake Monk 1 5 6 1

Making up the scoring system on the spot, the winner of the first leg was awarded 16 points with second place gaining 15 and so on. The same applied for the second leg but points were awarded equally to any riders reaching the same gate. The total of the two then gave the race winner. This would have been easy enough had it not been for the infestation of midges biting at every exposed bit of flesh. Thankfully everyone was patient enough and the prize giving went without riot.

So to the series standings. Swinny is still way out out in front but Timmy has pulled ahead of his brother and is now in equal second place with me. Martin Baker continues his climb up the table nudging ahead of Chris Pearson. Jody takes over as the current Ladies champion putting quite a lead in to Katie Hallam.

Spring Series Standings
Position Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Total
1 Swinny 15 16 16 15 16 78
2 Nick Hamilton 12 11 11 9 11 7 61
3 Tim Pearson 16 6 15 9 14 60
4 Will Swinden 16 14 13 1 2 46
5 Martin Baker 14 1 1 1 14 13 44
6 Chris Pearson 8 10 1 12 12 43
7 Jolley 1 10 7 8 15 41
8 Ruari Hallam 11 14 13 1 39
9 Steve taylor 12 12 1 13 38
10 Jordon Gould 15 15 6 36
11 jody Vallance 1 15 16 32
12 Joe Mallinson 1 13 8 1 6 29
13 Ally Fraser 10 2 7 1 1 5 26
14 Dave James 1 10 11 22
15 Adam Wiles 1 7 1 10 19
16 Katie Hallam 1 16 17
16 Simon Choppin 1 1 15 17
16 Matt Hunt 9 1 1 1 5 17
19 Jack read 16 16
19 Liz Bowman 16 16
19 Hanna Jonsson 16 16
22 Tom Stewart 15 15
23 Davi Birks 14 14
23 John Inman 13 1 14
23 Luke Meredith 14 14
23 Rob Stokes 13 1 14
27 Cheggers 1 11 12
27 Ed Thomsett 12 12
27 Steve
6 6 12
30 Danny Whitehead 5 2 4 11
30 Dave Camus 1 4 6 11
30 Chris Davey 10 1 11
30 Simon Bowns 1 10 11
34 Malco 9 9
34 Nat Hay 9 9
36 Henry Norman 8 8
37 Sam Taylor 7 7
37 Oli Cooper 7 7
39 Shane Townsend 3 1 1 1 6
39 Joe Bowman 2 4 6
39 Alex Owen 1 5 6
42 Dean Dobson 5 5
42 Dave Mitchell 5 5
42 Duncan Philpott 2 3 5
42 James Irwin 3 1 1 5
42 Ivor Biggun 5 5
42 Ol Green 1 1 1 2 5
48 Duncan Wiggans 4 4
49 Franky
3 3
49 Denis Cumming 2 1 3
49 Neil Hunt 3 3
52 Oscar Monk 2 2
53 Harry Tate 1 1
53 Simon Fagg 1 1
53 Tom Kahler 1 1
53 Will Shaw 1 1
53 James Crossland 1 1
53 Sam Reeve 1 1
53 Chris Palmer 1 1
53 Rich Baybutt 1 1
53 Marco
1 1
53 John Horscroft 1 1
53 Jake Monk 1 1

Its amazing that we’ve had over 60 riders having taken part in the series but I’ve decided its about time to draw a line under spring and to roll on summer. We will have two more races in this series, the next one will be Cycle Speedway, the following race will be a classic Peaks XC route heading out from 18 bikes. More details will follow and calculations of series points to see who can still clinch the win??


Spring Race Series – Round 4 – MegaDeath!

Your truly presiding over the prize giving (Photo: Dom Worrall)

Spring Race Series – Round 4 – MegaDeath!

Round 4 will go down in history as the one on broken road, where two world champions turned up and half the racers puked on the finish line. Carnage from start to finish, just like it was meant to be. Dreamed up drunk in the Lescar and held back until the time was right, it couldn’t have gone better. Watch out for a write up of this race and the whole series in Dirt soon.

You’ve probably seen this video Duncan edited together of all of our amazing helmet camera footage,  it captures the atmosphere perfectly so you can witness the carnage first hand.

ThisISheffield Team Kit, Stokes, Bowman and Hamilton (Photo: John Alexander)

We all met up for a ride up the broken road on Mam tour, 36 of us in the end. Steve Peat came along and brought along his house guest Brian Lopes who was in the country to race at Dalby. Rob Stokes even made a guest appearance flying in especially from Chamonix again and the new This Is Sheffield team kit also made its first appearance. We met at the bus terminus, geared up and rolled out. As we crossed what would be the finish line I explained a few rules. In order to complete the race you had to neck a pint of ale on the finish line. Spilling or chucking away of beer would be severely punished by DQ. We continued to ride up and everyone took in the features they would have to negotiate on the way down. Nothing too bad but elbow to sharp elbow with you mate put a new perspective on things.

Pushing up to the top (Photo: Dom Worrall)

World Champions Rolling Through (Photo: Henry Marsh)

Once at the top, everyone was instructed to turn their bikes upside down and line them up. 36 bikes actually take up a surprisingly amount of room. We walked down the hill about 50 metres with loud groans from most complaining that they were riders not fell runners, some of us are both! The Le Mans style start worked brilliantly and it was carnage from Peaty hollering ‘Go!’. We all battled for position pushing and shoving for all we were worth. Ruari POD obviously hadn’t been listening too closely as he ran straight to his bike rather than running round the back with everyone else as instructed. Joe Bowman was similarly deaf as he took off straight down the hill rather than following everyone else around the end of the line. Thankfully Lopes set him straight as sent him back up the hill with the rest of the pack. The first few corners were open and uneven meaning lots of shoulders were rubbed and places stolen. Swinny was well out in front from the start, a combination of talent and pole position, he took advantage and shot back down the hill, closely followed by Timmy. Tim had turned up somewhat late and had sprinted all the way up the hill to catch up, he and his brother Chris were still panting at the word go.

The Off Camber Shale (Photo: Dom Worrall)

Checking out the lines (Photo: Henry Marsh)

Once through the first gate we hit tarmac and the big ring was engaged. To keep it interesting we used grassy parking lumps to slow us down or catch air depending on your speed. Shane Townsend took a tumble here and left a bit of skin behind, all in a nights riding. Further down we slid through the next gate on to the Broken Road Proper, where the sides got distinctly precipitous. Negotiating a descent drop at speed or risking a pinch puncture chute was first up. Several riders punctured that night, including Alec Hartley who had a flat by the time he got to the start line. After a fast grassy or tarmac corner came a brilliant off camber shale slope with multiple lines. Steve Taylor made a last minute course correction on entry and nearly lost it on the way in, thankfully his skills saved him and Joe captured everything on video. Rob Jolley took a tumble on entry here too thankfully stopping before the edge and getting going again quickly.

Jordan, Nick and Ruari riding the Shale (Photo: John Alexander)

The next feature was a bit of a step up with a couple of line choices then it was on to a sharpish right hander and in to a grassy chute. At the bottom there was a narrow get-off gate just before the road sprint to the finish line. I rolled in 5th place to the finish following Swinny, Timmy, Luke Meredith and Jordan Gould. By the time I got there Swinny was across the line with his pint empty and Tim was well on the way. Taking a couple of deep breathes I managed one large mouthful, that was it, breathing required again. Next to me, Jordan was in even more of a state, he puked as soon as the amber nectar hit the back of this throat and couldn’t hold anymore of it down. One lad spilt most of his pint down his face then chucked the remaining half away, he was DQ’d for such brazen waste of Ale. As my Father said despairingly “you’ve taken a health giving sport and turned it in to a drinking game”, he’ll get to know the CGCC better one day. There were some real wrecks on the finishing line, lots of little voms and quite a few big ones, however after we’d all got our breath back, you could see the grins spreading again. This had been something to tell your mates about, to say you were there.  To laugh about and talk about for the next week and especially bring up at Stoke’s Birthday in Corp on the Friday night.

Rob Jolley hits the deck (Photo: John Alexander)

The usual prize giving followed with Swinny taking first pick and selecting a nice looking packet of cookies, Tim took the Malt Loaf. Katie Hallam took the ladies crown, 16th place out of 31 finishers and the only lass. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of lots a people: Simon Garrard, Adam Wiles, Anna Dearnley, Phil Taylor (I think), Ester Stokes and Jeff King all did their bit, many thanks. Also thanks to all the came to shoot photos and video, Dom Worrall, Henry Marsh and Rich Braybutt, its great to have this shit documented for posterity.

Yours truly presiding over the prize giving (Photo: Dom Worrall)

So to the points, 16 for first place as usual but I’ve now instigated a new rule, everyone that attends gets a point. Also in this case, Jordan got a bonus point for best puke and Stokes got an extra 5 for travelling the farthest to compete.

MegaDeath points

This leaves the series standings with a new leader, Wills poor performance and Swinny’s winning streak catapults him up to first place. Ruari and Tim are also rising up  pushing Jordan down a couple of spots.

Series Standings after Round 4

This was one to remember, but the next race will be too. XC in Endcliffe Park, as many laps as you can complete in an hour and lycra is compulsory, extra points for fluro!

The Spring Ghetto Series

After the success of the Winter Dual series and in the aftermath of Peaty’s Steel City DH a new challenge is needed to fill Sheffield’s racing void. Much talked about and plotted the idea with the Spring Series is to do something a little bit different. Everyone loves Dual, if you haven’t tried it, you should. Just get some posts or jumpers, stick them in the ground on a bit of a hill and race your mates. Believe me; you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before. That aside, the C.G.C.C. and T.I.S. consist of all kind of riders riding all kinds of bikes and I wanted a race series that would reflect that.

Will Swinden and Tom Stewart at the race of the series (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

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Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 7 – The Obstacle Course

25th January 2011

Cycling home from work in the drizzle my hood was up and my head was down to hide from the drizzle. Bugger. We haven’t had a wet dual since the first round of the winter series in Swinny’s field. Having spent half an hour securing new Slap Wraps (many thanks Henry) to the poles  with a mile of tape I headed over to the park to get setup. Having a bit of time on my hands (not having to wait for Bowman to turn up with the poles “I maybe late, but I’ve never actually missed anything that important”) a slightly more imaginative line was carved out of the hillside. Round 6 had highlighted the value of a few more natural features in the course to stop creative cornering, with fallen branches and plenty of trees around this wasn’t a problem.

James Irwin, big left hander Swinny on the far side (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

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Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 3

Winter Ghetto Dual Races – Round 3

23rd November 2010

Continuing the progression of Sheffield’s ghetto dual scene, round three proved to be another classic. Back up in Swinny’s field word had spread further and this season’s largest attendance braved the cold but dry and clear night. Moving up in the world, the usual bike lights on posts/trees were supplemented with a generator and halogens to light up the course. The normal format applied though, practise from 7 and racing at 8. Spikes are banned to keep everything loose and fair and the course is marked out with short lengths of plastic overflow pipe cut for purpose. Every racer has to supply a random prize as an entry fee with the winner taking first dibs on the best. Ranging from tasty 5:10 jerseys through to cable ties and tea bags, it pays to be fast.

The racing is usual dual style, a head to head knockout with two runs, one on each lane, and the fastest combined time moving through to the next round. With 27 racers turning up seeding runs were in order with the top 16 moving on to the finals. The finals start order was chosen at random and paper plate number boards handed out.

The track (Photo: Duncan Philpott)

The course was a long one with a high stakes gorse corner to start us off, too tight and your gloves wouldn’t be saving you. In a grass field with an hour’s practise for 27 riders the surface soon cut up to reveal the mud below. It became so slippy that even the first corner was proving too difficult for some who went down hard. Foot out, committed turns were the winning formula with some unbelievable drifts being laid down. Once through the long peddley start traverse and around the gorse the course tightened up and the turns were difficult and tight. The surface was unpredictable giving rise to many a spectacular off accompanied by big grins all round. However serious the racing may get, it’s all about fun after all, we are dealing with bikes here.


Rob Jolley (Photo: Dom Worrall)

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