02/10/2023 - Dig For Victory

Dig For Victory

Dave Camus...

"The nights are drawing in, the air feels cooler – summer is over. But should a tear drip down your face at the loss of the ‘riding season’? Fear not – the best conditions are here, and with it comes dig season. The crisp mornings, perfect grippy dirt and a load of shovels moving in the woods. It’s the best time to get out on the bike.

For our riding crew and myself, the end of October and the clocks going back marks the start of dig season. We have always done work at Bolehills BMX track, our local riding spot, but a few years ago, with another dark winter looming in 2020-21, the prospect of dark nights stuck alone inside was too much to bear. We stuck the headtorches on, strapped the spades to our backpacks and headed to the woods. It became a solid, twice-a-week mission, slowly picking away and maintaining tracks. We’d sample our creations on the weekend where we could get out in the light – nothing is better than a trail you’ve had a hand in creating.

One thing lead to another, and the quiet dig sessions turned into birthdays in the woods - with tunes, cake, candles, big bags of 50p out of date beer, and a customary takeaway stop on the way home. Years later and we are still going to the woods, twice a week without fail. It’s not just us that got the lockdown trail digging bug – loads of creations and maintained trails are now in our neighbourhood. It’s created even more of a scene for mountain biking in Sheffield. This has filtered down to the youth too – we’ve never had so many keen kids up at Bolehills helping us out. They even help beyond Bolehills and often show the local trail association a thing or two about how to shape lip!

Last weekend we headed out for POETS*, tools and cans in the bag. It was a treat to ride some of the fresh trails in the woods in the light. As darkness fell, the work lights came out and the graft began. Another trail ticked off the long list for winter maintenance, in only 3 evenings of hard work. 10pm and I was back at home tucked up with a takeaway – like a night out but with maybe slightly less alcohol and definitely more digging.

If you can take anything from my ramblings – get out, get involved in dig day with your local trail association, or take a pair of snips or a rake out on your ride and give your local a little spruce up. Or go get a bit tipsy in the woods and swing some mattocks about. You won’t regret it.

*Pi$$ Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday"

Shovels we can't help with (buy quality though - Bulldog are great), but bikes we CAN do. Dave rides a C3 Mullet RocketMAX with a Kitsuma coil and Lyrik forks, on Hunt rims with Sram gears and Hopetech brakes. Order yours on the link below