A Celebration of Trail Advocacy – Steel City DH

Last weekend’s Steel City DH was a phenomenal success. An incredible atmosphere, huge crowds, great racing and above all the absolute confirmation that trail advocacy works.

The Steel City DH is the blue riband event in Ride Sheffield’s now very busy calendar. Held in Grenoside woods on the north of Sheffield, the event is only possible thanks to the great work Ride Sheffield, This Is Sheffield and of course a certain Mr Steve Peat have done in building relationships with those who can make or break an idea like it.

They’ve worked hard to build a good working relationship with the Rights of Way team at Sheffield City Council and the Wildlife Trusts who own Grenoside woods. This has opened the doors to allow them to run the event – now in its fifth year – and raise vital funds to support trail building and advocacy projects elsewhere in Sheffield.

It’s a domino effect which is delivering fantastically for riders; Lady Cannings is well under way, Bolehills BMX track has had a comprehensive facelift, Blacka Moor has been regularly maintained and the relationship with landowners goes from strength to strength.

There is a core group behind Ride Sheffield; a small cohort who have turned a desire to improve things locally into a nationally recognised example of how trail advocacy and campaigning should be done.

Without a few thousand riders behind them though, it would just be a bunch of mates tidying the local trails – precisely how they started out.

You are no doubt one of those few thousand riders. Without your support, Ride Sheffield won’t have the political clout to push for the great things we’ve seen so far. The same can be said for Peak District MTB or any other trail advocacy group up and down the country.

So buy a t-shirt, follow them on Twitter, attend dig days – do whatever you can to support the work of these groups.

It all helps show that we’re taking responsibility for places we ride, organising ourselves and seeking to work constructively with the powers that be to make a positive difference for all – and not just mountain bikers.

And that can only be a good thing.

Cheers Ride Sheffield. See you on the podium next year ;o)

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