On yer bikePosted by: Maria Iliffe
Hit the trails this winter and experience everything our region has to offer… on two wheels. By Maria Iliffe.
With Sheffield just a stone’s throw away from beautiful countryside, forest paths, disused railways, the Peak District and National Park, you’re spoilt for choice on where to start cycling. While riding will always be a great means of free transport and an environmentally harmless alternative, it’s more than that! Cycling is a chance to reconnect with local nature and embrace health and fitness in one of the most enjoyable ways. Decide on a solo mission or convince your friends and family to join you, but either way.. you’re getting on that bike! It can be so easy in our day-to-day lives to never venture out and appreciate our surroundings. As you are lucky enough to live in a beautiful place with many different and stunning cycling routes, take advantage of them and enjoy spending your weekends exploring. Whether you’re an adrenaline-seeking downhill addict, a cross country fanatic craving a leg-stretching long ride, or simply want to get out and experience off-road biking in a beautiful and inspiring environment, we’ve got the bike trails near you and for you.
Sheffield’s Tour De Bradfield
Tackling the same hills as when the Tour De France came in 2014, this route is Sheffield’s own. Starting at Forge Valley Community Centre, head to Malin Bridge before starting the gentle climb up to Dam Flask reservoir. Here you can follow the water’s edge in the heart of Sheffield’s Lakeland and then head to Agden reservoir where you can sit and enjoy the water’s beauty. Next, following the Tour De France route up Mortimer Road, a climb is rewarded by more spectacular views. Passing through High Bradfield and resting your legs on the decent back. Freewheeling until Hill Top, providing more breath-taking views to bask in, before enjoying the downhill ride back to Forge Valley Community Centre.
Head out of Sheffield on Ringinglow Road and you’ll arrive at Lady Canning’s on the edge of Houndkirk Moor. A crowdfunding initiative saw the creation of two mountain bike trails – Blue Steel and Cooking on Gas. The aim with Lady Cannings is to offer fun trails for children, beginners and intermediate riders to enjoy and improve their skills before building up to the more technical trails in the Peak District. Blue Steel is 1.4km in length and is packed full of fun but there are no jumps or features that will put off the novice, with the trail twisting and turning through berms and rollers from top to bottom. The surface is generally smooth. Cooking on Gas is slightly longer at 1.6km and incorporates less in the way of features and is more of a flow trail with loads of opportunity to pump for speed over rollers and out of the massive berms. There’s nothing that a beginner can’t handle.
Parkwood Springs Mountain Bike Trail
In the centre of Sheffield, only a short roll away from Kelham Island, this purpose-built bike trail stands as a 2km long adventure. After ten years building the track, adding jumps and turns, Parkwood Springs is perfect for cyclists with any level of expertise, wanting to get their adrenaline racing with mountain biking (MTB). The trailhead is located on Shirecliffe Road but you can access the trail from a couple of different points, the most popular one being via the Bridleway on Rutland Road. Used as a training ground for new riders through to Olympic athletes, as well as hosting a round of the Nutcracker MTB series; the UK’s first ever urban MTB trail remains a resounding success.
Tissington Trail / High Peak Trail
This is a secluded trail in the Peak District that takes you across the former Buxton Railway lines, proving a perfect circular cycling route for all abilities, with bike hire available. Starting at Parsley Hay you’ll cycle a very scenic route to Carsington Dam Reservoir where you can rest and refresh by the water, before continuing to The Pudding Room, a small café that sells delicious cakes. Riding on to Bradbourne and further on to Water Splash Ford until you continue to Tissington. Here you’ll start riding across the old rail line, following the track and enjoying the beautiful blend of history and nature, until you’ve used the Carsington tail to circle back at Pasley Hay.
Green to Grey / Blake Street
Go Sheffield sight-seeing on this central route, experiencing amazing city views and trying Sheffield’s newest stretch of traffic-free, segregated cycle lane along the side of the Don. Starting at Sheffield train station and riding a short distance to The Cholera Monument and Clay Wood, which stand guard over the city skyline, head down to the Grey to Green cycle path to Esteli Parade. Cycle along the River Don and experience the little gems of wilderness within the city, before tackling the famous Blake Street climb; one of Sheffield’s steepest roads, with a rewarding pub at the top. Then, taking you to great views of the Peak District, Dale Dyke and Strines Viewpoint, before routing back to the city, riding 30 miles until you reach the Crosspool’s tawny owl (an actual owl). Expect to cruise though Crookes Valley Park before you head back to the train station.
Sheffield is full of hidden gems and scenic wonders, often best seen by bike: Crookes Valley Park, Rother Valley Country Park, Curbar Edge, Redmires Reservoir and Stanage Edge, to list a few. If you’re not familiar with these places, perhaps that’s exactly why you should be trying the routes; take a ride out to appreciate your local countryside, go sight-seeing on wheels to re-ignite your senses.
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