Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2011/05/13 Mervyn’s Ride

Notes from Mervyn’s Ride Fri 13 May
32 nightriders, again several new to nightriding, most of whom must have got caught in a sharp shower about 6- 6.15 assembled at the Kelham Island Tavern.
Representatives from the Green Party and CycleSheffield said a few words about Mervyn Smith and his dedication, enthusiasm and collegiality for green and cycling causes and activities.
Simon took some photos of the ride which can be seen
We set off and straight to Kelham Island where reps from Sheffield Renewables explained their plans for re-installing a water wheel on the site of a previous water wheel.
Then off through town to Sheffield College, admire the eco-buildings, up Granville Rd, left through the suburbs opposite Norfolk Park and down City Rd right along Bernard St, right onto Cricket Inn Rd and then bear left onto Woodbourn Rd
Took the road to Darnall and took in the Kettlebridge wood chip store for new biomass projects and saw the biomass furnaces in Darnall.
Then a gentle ride along the serene canal where we were entertained by the courtship dances of two swans and so to Jordan Dam the other side of Tinsley Viaduct. We had a really interesting explanation of Sheffield Renewables’ plans for an Archimedean screw at this site and much questioning ensued.
Some turned back at this point and the rest pottered along to the first lock in Rotherham and turned right up to Blackburn Meadows a nature reserve and bird sanctuary bult on reclaimed sewage works. It was getting dark and we decided not to go on to Centenary Riverside and headed over to Brinsworth past the works at Templeborough which were all lit up but as quiet as a thriller-film set with a lone umanned forklift truck blinking its orange light.
On into Brinsworth where the noisy, raucous pub could be heard a quarter of a mile away and as it came into sight it looked like a Hogarthian scene of mindlessly violent drunkeness so we headed to the chippy where we met some sanity and they must have been pleased with 20 servings of food and drink. Lovely communal experience of chatting and eating under an inky blue-black sky, punctured by orange streetlights all beneath a bright silver nearly-full moon. Who knew Brinsworth had it in her? Mind you before this ride, who knew Brinsworth?
Once replete we headed back past the pub and the police riot car outside the Pizza Parlour with wild-ish teenagers treating them with the disrespect they were obviously used to, up the hill and right into Sheffield where it all changed to peace and quiet as we were in Europa Park.
And then we split at Tinsley Park Rd by the canal as some stayed to fix a puncture and the others headed on to make sure the pub stayed open(!). It was a steady cycle ride back through the dark, calm of the works and deserted streets of Attercliffe as people steadily peeled off to make their way home. About 10 of us in the first group got to to Bernard Rd our last stop before the final winnowing ride before we stopped at the Gardeners’ Rest for more chat and our first pint(s) of the night.
A worthy ride to honour Mervyn with several of his friends, aquaintances and colleagues as well as many of the usual nightrider crew. Splendid! I got in at 2 am!!
Many thanks to Bob for his info and insight on the biomass schemes and to Abigail and Rob from Sheffield Renewables for joining the ride and explaining their plans and work

Next Sheffield FridayNightRide
Friday 13 May 2011
Mervyn’s Ride
Start 6.30 pm Kelham Island Tavern
(full Moon 17 May)

A ride on the theme of environment to honour Mervyn Smith (d. 2009), one of the founders of CycleSheffield (aka Pedal Pushers) and keen green activist. A URL of an obit for Mervyn is in the info on the map.
We will be visiting green roofs, “eco-buildings”, sites of wind and water power generation, biomass power generation, maybe a CHP site, riding out to nature reserves made from reclaimed land and past sites of former collieries and works now all part of the city’s ‘edgelands’ of light industry, warehouses and business and retail parks and returning past the controversial Bernard Rd incinerator – recycling waste as heat – hmm?.
We are going to go into new biomass plants for heating peoples homes because Bob is in charge and he has a key so this is not only exercise but educational; keep hold of the string will you?
I’ve asked if somebody from Sheffield Renewables can join us on the ride to give us the detail about their hydropower schemes but hey somebody who comes on the rides may already be part of that group.
Heads up! The route is on roads and paths and the canal towpath – lets be careful out there; we don’t want to be fishing each other out – so gravel, stones, ruts and all but urban bikes will cope fine, swish road bikes my be discomfited. We will also be in Rotherham – oooh; still, we were in Barnsley MBC last Friday. No bad hills but quite a long ride with a refreshment stop in Brinsworth
A map is up at
Each POI has some detail about the point and usually a URL to connect you to more info about that POI
Please bring locks and please bring lights!!
One of Mervyn’s bikes will also get a run out by yours truly
To see what they are up to go to Sheffield Renewables