Mountain bikers unite in Sheffield

Aim is to safeguard and improve local trails

Mountain bike riders in Sheffield, England are uniting to improve their local trails and prevent the destruction of bridleways.

Campaigner John Horscroft says: “The lack of easy links into the National Park and the city council’s sustained campaign to pave every half-decent bridleway have led to a rebellious mood.”

Henry Norman, a local resident, mountain bike enthusiast and adviser to the council on improving public access to open land, has set up a group called Ride Sheffield, which held its inaugural meeting earlier this year.

Mr Horscroft, who was at the meeting, said: “Nearly 50 mountain bikers crammed into the back room of the Lescar Hotel and it rapidly became apparent that the mood was a 50/50 mix of enthusiasm and frustration. The latter was embodied by numerous members of the Wharncliffe Collective. 

“Wharncliffe Woods helped to produce Britain’s greatest ever mountain biker, Steve Peat, and has for years been the focus of a thriving downhill scene. However, attempts to build a cross-country loop have been repeatedly thwarted by the indifference, if not outright hostility, of the local Forestry Commission manager.”

A number of ideas were discussed, including a network of trails around the ski village in the Parkwood Springs area, which are hoped to be built with help from Peat.

It’s also hoped that access to the PeakDistrictNational Park can be improved by reclassifying footpaths and creating new bridleways. For more information, email ridesheffield@gmail.com or go to http://ridethepeak.vg-developer.co.uk or www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137235627849.

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Matthew Cole
Author: Matthew Cole
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