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GUEST BLOG: Henry Norman of Ride Sheffield

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Richard Baybutt Photography, Lady Cannings Trail.
Lady Cannings Trail. Photo © Richard Baybutt Photography.

In this guest blog, Henry Norman, President of Ride Sheffield, tells us about the group's plans for the proposed RADmires trail. The campaign follows on from Ride Sheffield's Lady Cannings project, which enabled the opening of the UK's first crowdfunded MTB trail in 2015.

Ride Sheffield has been part of Sheffield’s burgeoning mountain bike scene for the past five years. Started as an advocacy group in response to a number of negative changes to the rights of way in the area, it quickly expanded its remit to improving, preserving and promoting MTB access for Sheffield’s mountain bikers. It also provides an online meeting point for the city’s riders, which has helped strengthen the scene in the city. Along with This Is Sheffield and Steve Peat, they are also organisers of Peaty’s Steel City Downhill. The group is totally volunteer managed and run.

Ride Sheffield was instrumental in the opening up of the bridleway network on the Eastern Moors and has protected bridleways from downgrades, as well as carrying out monthly trail maintenance. Using money raised by Steel City Downhill it has built an all-weather circuit in Greno Woods and most recently opened up a new trail in Lady Cannings Plantation; this trail was crowdfunded by Sheffield riders and businesses (the first crowdfunded trail in the UK) and has been phenomenally popular with riders of all ages and abilities, the next phase of this trail is being built later in the year and has been generously funded by Go Outdoors

Lady Cannings, Richard Baybutt Photography
Riders enjoying the Lady Cannings trail. Photo © Richard Baybutt Photography.

On the back of the success of Lady Cannings, Ride Sheffield’s newest crowdfunded trail plans are for Redmires Plantation. Affectionately known as RADmires, it will be a descending trail in the woods, which run alongside the byway up to Stanage Pole from Redmires Road. It will enter the woods at the top corner just below the existing gate in the byway, and descend 1.8km down to Redmires Road. This is fifty-per-cent longer than Lady Cannings Phase One, which opened earlier this summer.

Design will be similar to Lady Cannings: blue-grade flow trail in that signature the-faster-you-go-the-tougher-it-is style, which makes that trail so much fun, yet so accessible to all abilities. The added interest this time is that there are some land features and gradients available in the woods which will allow some opt-ins to keep things challenging for more advanced riders. The intention here is not only to add another brilliant link to our trail network, but also add some progression. As new riders enjoy and develop their skills at Lady Cannings, RADmires aims to up the intensity a little to act as a bridge between Lady Cannings and some of the jumpier, faster, more featured trails over at Greno, and the rockier, steeper, more technical trails around Stanage, Blacka Moor and Rivelin.

We are really looking forward to opening up another fantastic flowing trail to complement all the other great built and natural trails we already have in the Outdoor City. Started at the end of 2015, the support from riders has been fantastic so far and we have already crowd unded over £10,000. We still have a little way to go before we reach the £45,000 total that will enable us to add 2km of sweet singletrack to the city, so all donations are welcome!

Throughout June, Vertebrate will be donating £1 from the sale of each of its White Peak and Dark Peak mountain biking guidebooks to the Ride Sheffield RADmires crowdfunding campaign. You can support the campaign by buying either of these books or, if you’d rather donate directly to the RADmires fund, click HERE for details.

For more about Ride Sheffield visit www.ridesheffield.org.uk

Lady Cannings Trail, image copyright of Richard Baybutt photgraphy
The Lady Cannings trail. Photo © Richard Baybutt Photography.

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