by Robynne Stastny

Sheffield is home to a thriving mountain bike scene, built upon the natural topography of the city and grown by a psyched community of riders, diggers and advocates of the sport. Ride Sheffield are one of the most active volunteer groups in the city, grafting to maintain and protect the built and natural trails, as well as working with land managers to ensure the best outcomes for both riders and the natural environment.

Here are 10 of their favourite riding spots:

1. Blue Steel and Cooking on Gas, Lady Cannings

Blue Steel is a riot of features, whoops, drops and beoutrms that is rideable by a complete beginner yet a ton of fun for experienced riders. Cooking on Gas, by contrast, is mellow and cruisable with berms so big you can see them from space (okay, we’re exaggerating). Funded by a combination of crowd-funding and massive sponsorship from local businesses, these two trails have become instant hits.

Find it: Off Sheephill Road, Ringinglow, Sheffield, S11 7TU

2. Steel City DH, Grenoside
“The greatest little downhill race in the country” – according to ex-World Cup racer and race organiser Steve Peat – takes place once a year on this trail, and you can watch it this bank holiday weekend, May 5 2018. Steel City DH has recently undergone a major redesign, beefing up some of the black options. Thanks to trail builders Bike Track working their magic, it is another trail that combines rideability with radness throwing a constant succession of tables, berms, gaps and kickers at the rider culminating in the famous drop into the bomb hole…

Find it: Grenoside Woods, S35 7DS

3. Parkwood Springs/Dual Slalom

Not many cities can boast a quality two kilometre mountain bike trail in the very heart of the metropolis, but Sheffield’s Parkwood Trail is guaranteed to put a smile on any rider’s face. Combining a short stiff climb with three contrasting downhill sections it is a superb all-weather workout complete with a dual-track alternative.

4. Devil’s Elbow

Once upon a time, a large section of Devil’s Elbow was so easily flooded that it made the trail unrideable for the wet months of the year. Thanks to a joint initiative by Sheffield Wildlife Trust and Ride Sheffield and lots of volunteer effort, it is now an all-weather trail. Rocky, rooty and fast – it is a real Sheffield MTB rite of passage.

Find it: Hathersage Road, Sheffield, S11 7TY

5. Cut Gate
If you’re looking for an adventure then add Cut Gate to your list – it’s a ride that combines peerless singletrack with a real sense of remoteness. Cut Gate is only rideable only after a long dry spell, and it combines ferocious climbs with steep switchbacks and rocky descents. A joint initiative by Ride Sheffield and Peak District MTB is currently raising money to improve some of the wettest sections, which you can donate to here.

Find it: Start at the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre carpark, Fairholmes, Bamford, Hope Valley, S33 0AQ

6. Wharncliffe Woods
Good enough to have produced world-champion and all round good guy Steve Peat, as well as Peaty’s protege Craig Evans (winner of the 2017 Red Bull Hardline), Wharncliffe Woods has a wealth of trails. A few of them are relatively straight forward, but they are overwhelmed by a welter of steep, technical, death-defying gnarliness.

Find it: Start from the carpark at 4 Woodhead Rd, Wood Seats, Sheffield S35 8RS

7. Bolehills

Not long ago, Bolehills BMX track was returning to nature. Now, thanks to Ride Sheffield volunteers, it has undergone a remarkable resurrection. Hard work and tons of aggregate have transformed the track and it is once again busy with all manner of riders from those who go big to rippers. With rollers galore, it’s perfect for getting your pump on.

Find it: Bolehills, Longfield Rd, Sheffield S10 1QW

8. Stanage Plantation

Another trail that is on every Sheffield rider’s hit-list, Stanage Plantation tipples over the lip of a magnificent gritstone cliff and almost immediately challenges the rider with a tight left-hand-turn on grit slabs. From this vertiginous intro, it becomes a succession of small drops, serpentine turns and stepping stones. Be Nice Say Hi (an initiative to encourage bikers and other’s using trails to be friendly to one-another), because it’s popular with walkers, too.

Find it: Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S32 1BR

9. Froggatt and Curbar Edges
Formally the preserve of walkers and rock climbers, thanks to land manager Danny Udall and Ride Sheffield, it is now a superb bridleway that is suitable for all riders and takes in some beautiful moorland scenery.

Find it: Hay Wood National Trust car park, Grindleford, Hope Valley S32 3ZJ

10. Radmires

Thanks once again to local riders and businesses, Ride Sheffield’s latest project is fully funded and only awaiting the go ahead from the Peak District National Park. Destined to be nearly a mile of a super-slick red trail with a substantial black option, Radmires will be a superb addition to the Sheffield repertoire of first-class mountain biking.

 

Find it: TBC once the trail is made public


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