This March, Sheffield hosts its annual Outdoor Weekender, as part of a month long Festival of the Outdoors. Amongst a whole host of outdoor activities sit two of the UK’s most unique cycling events, the Howard St Dual and the Magnificent Seven.
Returning to the city centre for a third year, Sheffield’s unique dual slalom mountain bike event, Howard St Dual, is set to take place on Saturday 23 March.
One of the highlights of Sheffield’s Festival of the Outdoors, 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 in the city centre.
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.
Our friends over at Cotic look set to push current pros and downhill legends to their very limits, with Will Swinden having just missed out on the podiums last year. Keep a look out for them tearing down the course in their Polaris kit.
If you prefer your riding more road based, then the Magnificent 7 will be the event for you.
The Magnificent Seven is a unique cycling event in Sheffield. Not for the fainthearted, the race is a cross between a sportive and a hill climb that invites participants to face seven of the city’s toughest and most challenging hills.
The 2019 event will feature five new climbs. The full route is just over 23 miles long, presenting each rider with over 3,200ft of climbing around Sheffield, with inclines ranging from 9 to 23 per cent. Spectators are welcome and encouraged on all of the 7 climbs.
So how does it work? Cyclists ride with motorbike escorts and lead cars between each of the seven hills, where the riders then gather at the bottom of each climb before racing for points to the summit.
Each of the seven climbs will be subject to a full road closure managed by Sheffield City Council, giving the competitors the unique chance to race up traffic-free closed roads, something only professional riders normally have the opportunity to do.
Spectators are really encouraged to come out and make some noise, using cow bells if they’ve picked them up in previous years, musical instruments or anything you can bang, rattle or whistle.
The event will once again start and finish in Bradfield – a picturesque Peak District village which sits within the Sheffield boundary just seven miles outside of the city centre.
Our Marketer-in-chief Joe rode last year’s Magnificent Seven, if you’d like to know how he got on, read here.