The Annual Ride Sheffield social

This year, Ride Sheffield changed the format and venue of their Annual social a little. The venue was switched to the Showroom workstation, and as well as the usual update on news, trail work and access issues, the evening included a Shred talk/panel discussion on the future of MTB with various different folks from the local riding scene and bike industry.

The panel was made up of;

Bex Baraona - Ibis Enduro Team racer and currently ranked number 5 in the EWS World rankings

Josh Lewis - Santa Cruz Enduro Team, 50:01 world traveller and rider extraordinaire

Jordan Gould - Biketrack chief designer and digger and former 4X World cup racer

Duncan Philpott - Photographer of World Cup DH, EWS, and many other events

Jon Dallow - Sheffield city Council, instrumental in driving The Outdoor City project and mountain biking in Sheffield further

And me! Owner and Chief Guide at Endless Trails MTB and Juliana Bicycles Ambassador

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The new format and venue seemed to be popular and there were roughly 130 folks who came along, from local land managers, racers, enthusiasts, trail builders, and members of the Sheffield mountain bike massive.

Topics such as the issues around unsanctioned trail building as well as how the MTB trade can support mountain bike advocacy aroused some heated discussions but it was great to see so many people engaged in what is going on in the Mountain Bike community and keen to push things forward and improve the riding scene even further in Sheffield.

Thanks to Ride Sheffield for the opportunity to be involved, and also for inviting me to be an ambassador this year!

Lakeland mini adventure!

Lake District MTB by Pete Scullion

It doesn’t often happen that when you plan something a long way in advance, everything falls into place and you’re blessed with the most perfect conditions you could have wished for. Back in October though, we were lucky enough that one of those rare occasions occurred.

I had been trying to sort a trip with Pete and Rosie from online WideOpen magazine for a while, but with all of us leading busy lives, it just didn’t happen through the Summer. We pencilled in a date for late October, and in my mind I was already envisaging murky grey wet days and a shortish ride with the emphasis on searching out some of the Lake District’s best tea and cake.

As the date drew closer, the weather forecast looked suspiciously optimistic. Bright sunny skies, a daytime temperature of 17-18 degrees, and an overnight one of no less than 15. Anyone who has visited the Lake District knows that the forecast in October does not often look like that! With the promise of exceptionally clear skies, and the the tail end of the Draconid meteor shower, there was no other option….we HAD to plan a 2 day epic taking in a bivvy somewhere high to make the most of the opportunity!

With vehicles parked at either end of our route, we set off from Glenridding, tackling the beast that is Helvellyn for a warm-up. You could have been forgiven for thinking it was the middle of Summer as we sweated our way up in the warm sunshine and sat enjoying spectacular views on the summit in nothing but short sleeve shirts and shorts. A classic Lakeland tech-fest descent followed, before we headed over another pass on one of the few trails in the Lakes I’d never actually ridden before. It was a hideous ordeal of a climb none of us probably want to ever repeat! Thankfully the dry Summer meant the ride from the top was rideable, I don’t want to imagine what it would have been like if it was wet! Needless to say, this trail won’t be featuring on any of our tours in the future!

Night ride up to our bivvy spot

A long ride out through a valley eventually brought us to the pub in Borrowdale, hours after we had planned to be there, all feeling fairly ravenous and suitably tired. Bikes were abandoned outside as the priority became devouring large quantities of food to fuel us for the next leg of our journey.

The Milky Way: Pete Scullion

We left the pub in darkness, working our way up to yet another pass. It was a long old slog, but the mild temperatures and incredible starry skies took our minds off the effort required to reach the top. It was amost 10pm when we finally made it to the spot we had picked to bivvy, a truly epic day out! Lying cocooned inside bivvy bags, we watched meteors overhead, and the clearest views I have had for ages of the Milky Way and billions of stars above, before sleep came to weary eyes and bodies. It was a pretty special spot to spend a night.

The next morning brought the return of drizzly and windy weather, and feeling the effects of the previous day’s epic, we were all keen to take the shortest route to the cafe. This was still a good few hours of slippery sketchy fun away though! We slithered our way down rocky steps and along rough tracks, dreaming of bacon sandwiches (even the vegetarians amongst us!), and weren’t disappointed when we got there.

Like all good epics, the story didn’t end there, as we returned to one vehicle with a flat tyre, and a realisation that the keys to the second were in the other van we had left at the start of the route the previous day!

All in all it was a great couple of days and fantastic to share it with others as enthusiastic and keen for an adventure as myself.,,,the Lakes never disappoints, especially when conditions are as perfect as this!

All credits for the fantastic photos above go to Pete Scullion, cheers Pete!

Home is where the tarp is!

Stories from our Summer Bikepacking courses!

Bikepacking Summer 2019

This year has seen the first of our Bikepacking for first timers courses run in the beautiful Peak District, with both trips being a great success, but very different!

Bikepacking August 2018 - swim time!

The first trip took place in early August, right in the middle of the UK heatwave. Six intrepid ladies headed off from Bamford, after a morning spent loading up the bikes with luggage and working how to attach handlebar and seatpost bags. The weather was incredible, and the trails as dry as they ever get! It was so warm that almost everyone took the opportunity for a swim in the river part way through the day, followed by ice-creams at a cafe before we headed up to our bivvy spot for the night.

Sunshine and smiles on our Bikepacking trip

A warm, still, clear night made for perfect temperatures to practice setting up tarps, and to sit around and chat over dinner cooked on the stoves and a mug or two of red wine!

Our second day saw us finish off our route, again in perfect sunny conditions, finishing at the cafe for a well earned lunch. There were big smiles all round and plans for future bikepacking trips already being made by several in the group, great to hear!

October Bikepacking in the Peak District

The second trip in October couldn’t have been more different! Torrential rain eventually stopped just before we set out, but wet trails and a cold wind meant everyone was glad of the hills to warm up on. We picked a more sheltered spot for our bivvy, and by this point it had turned into a beautiful clear evening thankfully.

Izzy on the Chapel Gate descent into Edale

Temperatures plummeted overnight though, the first night of the year below zero degrees! We awoke to a frosty morning and were glad to have stuffed extra clothes into the bike luggage to stay warm. The sun rose and eventually warmed us up though as we set off after coffee and porridge, and it was a day where it was lovely to be outside.

Everyone finished feeling proud of themselves to have not only survived their first Bikepacking trip, but one where conditions were definitely testing…future trips will seem like a breeze for this hardcore bunch!

The sun sets on our overnight bivvy spot

We’re already excited about next year’s trips, with dates on the website now, and trips to the Peak District, Lake District, and Yorkshire Dales on the cards. Due to popular demand, some of these will be open to all too, not just the girls!