Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2009/11/20 Ghouls, Ghosts and Spirits

Ride report
Shall I take my first-aid kit? Oh, I don’t know, we never use it anyway. What about the puncture repair stuff?– never seems to happen. But the night was to turn out differently …

Mild night, all the rain had stopped and the roads were even drying out as I cycled under the flyover over the university concourse. 6.10 me, 6.15 me, 6.20 me, then 6.25 Paul, then Ed plus two, then two more, then a posse of riders and bikes, texts and phone calls, “Wait for me” or “Wait for us”, by 6.40 a massive 23 of us with seven new to the pleasures of FNR.

Fantastic, bikes old and new, customised or not, some riders “lycrad up” and some not, all with brilliant lights so time to go. It is such a buzz riding out with so many bikes in an urban setting. The sight of a caravan of bikes with all their riders and the procession of bike lights along and across the road stops the bystanders and demands respect from other road users. It just feels good.

So onwards and upwards on Glossop Road left into Westbourne Rd and then round the corner into Melbourne Ave, a brief stop there to tell the story of the 1981 arrest of the Yorkshire Ripper, and then out down Newbould Lane where no driver could get into the ASL even if s/he had wanted to because it was jammed with FNR riders & bikes.

Down into Broomhall with the peloton filling up Broomgrove Rd to stop and cross Ecclesall Rd (a 4×4 rat run) and cycle gently up to the end of Cemetery Avenue, through the arch and up into the General Cemetery and then illuminate the temple in the Necropolis with our bike lights and advise all to come back and take a dekko on a quite Sunday on this Sheffield treasure.

Up through the cemetery, passing the derelict chapel and then onto Cemetery Rd, whizz down into town through the London Rd bus gate and round the cycle route into Paternoster Row and down Pond St, across the pavement into Pond Hill and head past the haunted Old Queen’s Head to the inner ring road where one goes straight through the lights (whatever their colour) and turn left onto the pavement and cycle along to the walkways (I think you are allowed to take your bike) up to the top of Park Hill roundabout, across the tram lines and then up South St, past Park Hill flats and across Shrewsbury Rd to get onto Norfolk Rd and cycle up to the Cholera Monument, unfortunately unlit as the ‘vandals took the handles’ as the St. Bob Dylan once said – the local yobs had comprehensively smashed all the lights to bits. We all enjoyed the sounds and sights and continued the ride.

Up through the Victorian Norfolk Park and onto St Aidan’s Rd and a slight climb up to City Rd and up Manor Lane to turn left onto the City Rd Cemetery where we had a ride down one of the avenues (and nobody was receiving visitors) before we turned back to get out onto Manor Lane again.

Whiz past the ruins of Manor Lodge, where Mary Queen of Scots ghost failed to appear, down onto the TPT opposite Maltravers Rd and the through the dark to the bridge over the Parkway to Darnall. A stroll over the bridge gazing at the incessant traffic on the Parkway gave us all a chance to catch up and regroup on the Darnall side. The down the cycle path across Parkway Drive (to be a real daredevil do it with your eyes shut!) and across the Kettlebridge Rd and then something happened …

As we careered down here (20 mph?) Paul Roper’s bike went into a ‘groove’ in the tarmac in the middle of the road and came crashing down with a hell of a clatter. Just like hitting a tramline at speed I suppose and no joke. So 1st Aid kit out, Ed remembered he had recently had 1st Aid Training and he patched up the gouged out leg under the kneecap with a makeshift dressing of an eye patch with bandage and we just cleaned up the other grazes. Shocked Paul got back on his bike and rejoined the peloton. (Just to let you know Paul did pop in to the hospital after the ride and was told to just keep it clean and keep off the bike for a week to give it time to all knit together)

Into Darnall over Staniforth Rd, past the Ball Inn on Darnall Rd (whose ghost was out), and turn left through the Darnall Cemetery where we stopped for fixing punctures picked up – anywhere in this town. Wee left one group to fix them whilst the rest went through the Greenlands Estate and onto Broughton Lane (missing out going across into Tinsley Cemetery as we had lost time), across the canal and past the Noose and Gibbet (with its dummy of a man in a gibbet) and Centertainment across Attercliffe Rd to arrive at the most haunted pub in S Yorkshire(according the staff’s T-shirts), Carbrook Hall. Plenty of room for the bikes and everybody locked up and went into the Elizabethan oak-panelled front room with original plasterwork to rival Hardwick Hall, where the puncture party joined us. The ghost of the Parliamentarian general, John Bright, was represented by a mannequin in a New Model Army armour. If you have never been; go. Its worth it although there is no decent beer on tap. The back room has the original brickwork of the kitchens.

Mick dragged everybody out of there and then the ride went out through the office blocks at the back to pick up the 5 Weirs walk onto Newhall St and across Brightside Lane up to Carlisle St. One group split off and went on ahead for as curry on Spital Hill. Unfortunately we had missed the turning to Burngreave Cemetery and Mick proposed that we head back into town past the other sites and head for the Bath Inn on Victoria St with railings opposite to lock up the bikes. And with some mild protests from those who wanted the full tour that was what we did. Nine of us got back to the end and six ended up with a couple of refreshing beers each!

Paul’s OK, so great fun, and a good ride out in a welcome break from the wet and windy weather.

See you on the next ride!

Sheffield FridayNightRide
Fri 20 November 2009
Ghouls, ghosts and spirits
Return to the Cemeteries!
Meet at the University in front of SUSU
6.30 p.m. .

A ride that was to have marked Friday 13th – which turned into a foul night anyway

Start University of Sheffield Concourse and then through Broomhill passing the site where the Yorkshire Ripper was arrested and then on to the Victorian Necropolis at the General Cemetery (bring torches!), down into town past the haunted Old Queens Head pub and then over into Norfolk Park area to the Cholera Monument (Sheffield’s largest mass grave), up to and through City Cemetery (for the 2nd largest mass grave in Sheffield and the remains of some of the University Chaplains amongst many other Sheffielders) to go out past the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots at Manor Lodge and down Manor Lane onto the TPT and across the bridge on the Parkway into Darnall, then through Darnall Cemetery and Tinsley Cemetery to the Noose and Gibbet or haunted Carbrook Hall for a chilling drink, and then we will return via Burngreave Cemetery (well spooky!) and down Spital Hill and on to spectral sites in the City Centre and back to the University – about 15 miles
Map and route up on the website or click on,-1.453457&spn=0.074324,0.222301&z=13

for a more detailed map go to

Heads up! Approx 15 miles Suits all bikes – mostly on road but some off road but all on paths (in the cemeteries) and trails.
Take approx 3 h in all.

Sites used for info