Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2008/10/17 Cemeteries


Fri Oct 17 2008


Meet at the Vine Inn (, Cemetery Rd,

6-6.30 for a 6.45 start. (This seemed to the best time for most)


Let’s get ready for Halloween!

Bring lights for the ride and torches for this one especially the visit to the abandoned Wardsend Cemetery

Heads up! Approx 17 – 22 miles (depends if we take the detour as well) in all with some hills (gently up; steeply down) and some on trails so not for road bikes with super slim slick tyres. Take approx 3 h in all. 

Map at,-1.520233&spn=0.090799,0.219727&z=12,

Check out the maps for points of interest and general route Suggested stopping places/’sights’, General Cemetery, City Rd Cemetery, Burngreave Cemetery, Cholera Monument, Norfolk Rd,Jewish Cemetery, Parson Cross, (see the deserted cinema at Parson Cross) then detour up Club Mill Road – Wardsend Cemetery, Owlerton – well spooky,(possible detour to Wisewood Cemetery (for a woodland burial!)), back to finish at The Fat Cat, Alma Rd. 

Ride report

12 nightriders – fantastic! especially as 5 people were new to the pleasures of the FNR – gathered at the Vine Inn on a dry, slightly overcast and quite mild night and set off 100 yds up the road to the General Cemetery.  Unfortunately the Necropolis is fenced off at the moment whilst being restored.  Mick did his tour guide impression and succeeded in even boring himself.  Then round Sharrow Lane Top and down Sharrow Lane past the Blades ground – all of us looking like a lantern parade chatting, enjoying the exercise and each others’ company – and over Queens Rd to climb up through Norfolk Park.  A quick stop (it seemed like for me to get my breath back; why can’t I act my age?) whilst we illuminated a spooky monk’s head sculpture in the ground near the top.  Onwards and upwards on St Aiden’s Rd and Manor Lane where we met the guy who thought he was seeing things as these bright spots bobbed up the slope and jokingly started clutching his heart and exclaiming ‘Bloody hell! I couldn’t work out what was coming up the hill’ .

Into City Cemetery on Dovercourt Rd but we were not sure if we would get locked in so we took stock (imagine having to phone the police and explain who you are and what you are doing) and then turned back down the hill, Granville Rd (Decathlon lights flying off behind some of us!) and into Norfolk Rd and up to the beautifully lit Cholera Monument, the largest mass grave in Sheffield, where we could savour the splendid close bird’s-eye view of the city centre and the noise of it all as well.  We exchanged greetings with the two bemused (a look of who are these crazies?) community police who came to investigate the lights and crowd there and then out and over to and down Bernard Rd, across the canal bridge and round Saville St over to Brightside and into Burngreave passing a Brueghel type scene of ordinary men and women folk under street and pub lights in an amber glow, standing outside the pub, chatting, drinking, smoking as they peacefully started their Friday night.

Up Burngreave Rd a bit and then right into Burngreave cemetery, where having spotted a ped started walking through we boldly went to.  None of the cemetery residents disturbed us but some teenage girls nearly died with fright as they stood on the street watching all these lights coming through the dark depths of Burngreave Cemetery, I could see they were getting agitated, one had even legged it down the road, so we started making ghostly noises as well, and then when we burst through the gates they screeched in surprised, “Who are you?”. “We are the nightriders”, we say, continuing, ” We ride all night; we are the undead”; “When do you stop riding?”, and a wit in our group said “When we’re asleep” Brilliant! A shop stop and then down past Osgathorpe Park and past the men coming out of the mosque in Pitsmoor who didn’t bat an eyelid and politely greeted us as we gently rode past.

Through the streets to Herries Rd up to Longley Ave(?) and then down and past Longley Park and up into deepest Parson Cross, over a ridge and down to cross the TPT (NCN 67) and arrive on the other side to stop at and view the Jewish Cemetery.  Then cycle parallel to the TPT back to the actual TPT on Deerlands Ave and at Chaucer School we turned left to plummet down Wordsworth Avenue with a brief stop to look at the 1930s deserted cinema, – a bit more menacing I felt where the locals lurch in front of you shouting a Father-Jack-type “Feck!” and I did hear” You didn’t want to make a habit of riding round here”.  Good job it was all downhill to the Hillsborough end of Herries Rd at the Wednesday ground; wasn’t like that on the daytime recce.

OK, then some of us stayed on the Pensitone Road and others braved the dangerous (continuously crossing side roads) cycle path along the eastern side, passed the lit-up dog track at Owlerton, all the way to Neepsend Lane.  By which time we were all thirsty and none of us light-weights went up the unlit, unmetalled Club Mill Rd to the spooky, overgrown Wardsend Cemetery – I do recommend it as place of interest to visit though – so we all kept going to Kelham Island and as we pedalled up to the Fat Cat a bloke opening his car door looked up and blurted, “Crikey, its the Tour de France”.


It is performance art; see  we just do something similar on bikes – incongruous experiences for all!

And then a very pleasant sojourn with snacks and beverages to just before 11 and home for one and all – in clusters or singly.  Hope you all got back OK.  It gives me a really pleasant high that sets me up for the weekend.  20 people have now participated in one or more of the four FNRs so far. Thank you for joining me.

079 49 59 67 02
“We have nothing to lose but our chains!”