Returning to the city centre for a second year, Sheffield's unique dual slalom mountain bike event, Howard Street Dual, is set to take place on Saturday 10 March.
One of the headline events in The Outdoor City Weekender, this one-of-a-kind urban bike race will see riders race head-to-head, two at a time, down a course in an exhilarating knockout-style event. The fastest two riders of the day will then take each other on in the Grand Final.
Featuring a line-up of specially invited riders, the race will be a chance to see some of Sheffield’s home-grown talent, who are usually out at the likes of Wharncliffe, Grenoside and Parkwood Springs, right here in the city centre. Among the impressive talent set to participate in the 2018 event are mountain bike legend Steve Peat and one of his most successful protégés, Craig Evans.
The racing line-up of 64 men and women also includes last year’s winners Brett Penfold, Ben Moore, Carrie Poole and Anya Tolwinska. Sam Dale, national 4X champion, and Joe Wallbridge are also ones to watch.
Once again, the course will take the riders from the top of Howard Street towards the railway station via a descent along grassy and gritty slopes, across the front of Sheffield Hallam University's main central campus building and finishing behind The Howard pub. The course even includes some special custom-made wooden features to provide extra thrills. With cow bells and noise makers lining the track, the racers will be cheered from top to bottom making it great fun for the whole family and the best hecklers in town.
The event is FREE for spectators to come and watch.
With a slightly later start time for 2018, qualifications will take place in the afternoon before the racing begins for real, and as dusk falls, the course will then light up- making the final rounds even more dramatic.
This dual slalom style of riding has its roots in the Sheffield ‘mates racing’ scene. These informal races see everyone from world champions to amateurs pitch up and race each other. The success of these events is thanks in large part to the profound sense of community in Sheffield’s mountain bike scene – which will certainly be in force on the day of the Dual.
The invited racers, selected for their race performance, represent a wide range of Sheffield talent as well as riders from further afield. If the inaugral 2017 event is anything to go by, then it should be an amazing show, as much fun to watch as is to take part.
As well as the Howard Street Dual, headline events of The Outdoor City Weekender include the Magnificent Seven bike race, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) and the Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF).