I still have a lot to do with live music in this city. So I go to many gigs - mostly in Stokes Croft. One of the better parts of this fair city. I've never had an issue here, and nothing has ever happened to my bike in that part of town. It feels like a really friendly place late at night (but I am a big bloke - so maybe others would disagree).
Unfortunately, some gigs happen in the 'Strip', which I'll define as Corn Street to Blackboy Hill - it takes in The Centre, Park Street and Whiteladies Road too.
These gigs are generally fantastic - Mr Wolf's, Mother's Ruin, Start The Bus, The Folk House, St George's, The Cooler - all in or close to the 'Strip'. These venues exist outside the normal constituency of 'The Strip' (by which I mean tacky clubs, 2 for 1 drinks, etc., etc.).
They are rather special - and are mostly ignored by the binge drinking gangs of [insert whatever type of person you dislike wandering around at 01:30 in the morning here].
The deal for me, though, is that if I want to go to one of these gigs I have to interface with these people sooner or later. Usually later. I usually do it by cycling up Park Street, quite late and quite quickly. Simple.
I did it a couple of weeks ago - taxi to The Cooler, then walked home at about 23:30. Awful. No wonder some people are scared to go out at night!
I did it tonight. Cycled to the centre, into Start The Bus, great gig, out at 01:00 to find my bike (watched over by CCTV and bouncers) had been vandalised and the front wheel removed. Probably in the docks by now. So dragged the carcass of my bike home. Past the other vandalised bikes at every other 'Cycling City' Sheffield stand provided by our Council.
58 (yes 58) times the same stupid comment was made, by an oaf, or gang of oafs, about a missing front wheel as I carried it up Park Street! Morons.
Lucky for me I'm slightly older than I used to be. Violence did not feature tonight. But I am livid.
I wonder if city centre CCTV actually works?