Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

2008/11/14 Bridges I

Sheffield FNR

Fri Nov 14 2008


Meet 6-6.30 for 6.45 start

Meeting place The Grapes, Trippet Lane


Total Distance approx. 16 miles for canal, Don and Sheaf – 25/20 miles if we do the Sheaf/Porter extension

Heads up!: Again a route that does involve some off road cycle paths, footpaths and about 10yds of towpath so really for touring bikes and town/hybrid bikes; you are advised to leave the thoroughbred road bikes at home


Map at,-1.474743&spn=0.090915,0.219727&z=12


When the climber George Mallory was asked why climb high mountains, he responded, “Because they are there”.  In the same spirit let’s see how many bridges we can cross over the three of the five rivers and the canal – because they are there; they may not be grand and there are not many that are fancy but there are more than you think and this ride will put you in touch with some parts of the waterways that are the reason for Sheffield being where it is and for its industries.  We will try to keep on low contours and low gradients if we can – cycling for all!

NB George Mallory disappeared ascending Everest in the 1920s and his freeze-dried mummified remains were only recently found – so bring a warm jacket! – as well as lights and locks!


Proposed route. Head towards Blast Lane and then over canal bridges on road and cycle paths until we get to Tinsley Viaduct – across the viaduct (on the lower platform!) so finally crossing canal and initially crossing Don and then back along the bridges over the Don in Brightside and the Five Weirs Walk into the Wicker, circle round Lady’s Bridge, and then off through the lower part of town to where the Sheaf goes under Sheffield city centre and follow the Sheaf criss-crossing bridges on paths and roads through Heeley (stop at Sheaf View about 16 miles by then – nice pub; parking for bikes) and the those who want to we can then carry on following the Sheaf up to Archer Rd and then down Abbeydale Rd to Nether Edge, over the ridge by the old hospital down to the top end of Endcliffe Park and criss-cross  the Porter back into town until it too goes under the city and a final social stop back at The Grapes for a ride of just under 25 miles (I’ve only just realised how many miles I must put into a week!) ( could do Fat Cat instead if you want and that will involve crossing the Don again.) 


Ride report

12 nightriders for bridges of whom six were new to the pleasures of the FNR and over 25 people so far have joined at least one of the Sheffield FNRs.


Mick’s organisation was rubbish as the Grapes on Trippet Lane doesn’t open until 7 so we all met on the pavement outside, although Dave had grabbed some refreshers in the wine bar opposite. Just before we set off a passer- by accosted us to check out who and what we were; turned out to be a CTC and Pedal Pushers’ member who wanted to know how he could join this ride – another name on the email list.


Anyway a dry, fair, mild night with glimpses of the moon so pretty good for cycling.  Off we went, lights ablaze, out past Castle Market and into Blast Lane.  Over the first canal bridge (1) on Cadman Lane, down onto Effingham Rd and over the bridge (2) on Bernard Rd.  Turn left.  Mick’s a rubbish navigator as well as he blithely cycled past Bacon Lane, which we all had to go back to and cross the canal (3) again.  The light fixed to Andy’s helmet didn’t seem to work but if he plays with the connections I’m sure he will pick up BBC2 wonderfully.  On to Staniforth Rd over the canal again (4) and then into Attercliffe over the TPT bridge (5) and

through the tram stop into Shirland Rd and cross another bridge (6).


Turn left and left again onto Darnall Rd and under the aqueduct (is this minus 1 – to go under the canal?) on Darnall Rd, round the back of the stadium and over the canal bridge (7) on Coleridge Rd and behind the Arena (where the tannoy announced ‘Welcome to Sheffield’ – it must have been for us!).  Into Park Rd and at the right hand corner take a left and cross over the canal (8) on the footbridge to reach the towpath and go under the outer ring rd and then hike the bikes over the bank up onto Broughton Lane.  Over the canal again (9) and south eastwards to turn right into Shepcote Lane where some of us got into some fast cycling on a brilliant-for-Sheffield road surface all the way up to Tinsley.  Cross over the road and the canal again (10) to turn left at Tinsley Viaduct and take a surreal group cycle ride along the lower deck and cross the canal for the last time and the Don for the first time (11).


Turn left into Meadowhall Rd at the end and across the bridge (12) into the coach car park where we stared at the panorama of the parallel horizontal constant streams of cars and trucks on the brightly lit yellow Tinsley Viaduct against the ink blue sky – a great wide-screen screensaver.  Through the car park and over the bridge (13) on the exit road and back onto Meadowhell Way to cross the next bridge (14) back onto MeadowHall Rd and head towards Brightside.  Screeched to a halt as the footbridge (15) over the Don into Meadowhell had been re-opened and continued along the cycle path – listened to a few bars from the band they had put on to welcome us! – to cross over the Don (16) at the other end of Meadowhell Way.  Main Rd to Weedon Rd, cross over the Don and turn right onto the cycle lane.  Out into Carbrook and through the edges of Centertainment where we may as well have been Martians according to the bemused looks we got.  On the cycle paths down Hawke St where we – Shock! Horror! – didn’t go over the bridge (17) and turned left to go on the TPT and over the footbridge there (18) and all of us being wild anarchistic rebels we ignored the Cyclists Dismount sign – take that Establishment!


Over the Don (19) on Newhall Rd and take Richard’s excellent suggestion of a stop in the Cocked Hat just by the stadium on Leeds Rd.  OK, they didn’t have any draught beer but that is not Mick’s fault.  Nice pub and they took us all in very politely and with some curiosity.  Refreshed, back on the bikes and back down Newhall Rd to the Five Weirs Walk and belt along to Stevenson St turn right to cross the Don again (20) and then take Brightside towards town and turn left into East Coast Road where we cycled over the Don (21) and followed the back streets out onto Attercliffe Rd to cross the Don (22) and reminisce about the Great Sheffield Flood of 2007 when all this was flooded or nearly flooded.  Gave the Norfolk Bridge over the Don (23) at Leveson St a miss and instead followed the path to go over the Bailey Bridge (24) back into Effingham Rd.  The spider bridge (25) on the TPT still not open so we continued down Furnival St and did an illegal right turn into Cutlers Way to cross the Don (26) and turn left onto the Wicker, turn left onto Blonk St over the Don (27) follow the road round to Lady’s Bridge (28) and return down Blonk St (can’t count the same bridge twice) to spin off towards Park Hill roundabout or Square as they grandly call it.


Past the railway station out to Queen’s Rd where we picked up on the Sheaf and missed the first bridge (29) on Duchess St so we could cycle round via Edmund Rd to cross the Sheaf (30) at Charlotte St where Andy taught us about the structure and use of the bridges as snow chutes – do you remember snow?  Down onto Queens Rd and over the Sheaf again (31) and then right up Myrtle Rd and another crossing (32) of the Sheaf (two bridges rail and road on top of each other).  Roundf the Sheaf View and down across Skelly’s bridge – again Andy a fount of interesting local knowledge – by London Rd through the footpath round the back of the shops and through the car park to emerge on the pavement by Heeley Bridge above the Sheaf.  Cycle over this (33), turn left into Gleadless Rd and back into the Sheaf View where Mick informed all that Endcliffe Park was being dug up so the extension to the ride to the Porter was off. Then a splendid time was had by all those left – and we picked up another name for the email list.


33 bridges in all of which we crossed 29 (of which one we crossed twice), looked at three and one was closed.


may your wheels keep turning


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“We have nothing to lose but our chains!”