Take any British mountain bike rider who’s been riding for a while and ask them who they think is the biggest legend in UK DH scene, and I guarantee that top answer will be Sheffield’s finest Steve Peat. I raced DH from 96 to 2002 and even back then he was the man, the one who turned up for any UK DH race and you didn’t just want him to win, but expected it! As someone who knows and has knocked about with Steve over the years, I know he is extremely powerful, skilful and capable on any type of bike, I remember him once placing 3rd Expert in a 3 hour Hare Scramble type motorcycle Enduro race, that he entered on his mate’s borrowed old Honda. His bike skills definitely don’t seem to be receding like his hairline, with that being proven by his awesome recent 2nd place result at the Sea Otter Dual Slalom, so I thought I would hook up with me old mucka and find out if he shall be gracing the world of Enduro with his ever popular presence.
For those who don’t know I think it’s you and our mutual good mate Titley, who must have been racing the longest in the UK, how long exactly is it now?
My first XC race was around 1990, so you work it out!!! Ha ha
Ace to see you can still cut the mustard stateside, how was Sea Otter?
Sea otter is always good, you get to see everyone on their new bikes and kit and catch up with sponsors and the USA fans. The DH track is not all that, but it makes for good racing, Dual is mint fun.
So the Bronson, what do you think of the bigger wheels, for a bloke who’s been racing so long, does it seem a bit mental going up a wheel size?
Not at all, it kind of makes sense for us taller guys don’t you think? The Bronson is a sweet bike and can be used in all disciplines, the bigger wheels are no different once you get used to the handling characteristics.
From someone, who’s raced so long from back in the days when DH was just a bit of a fun thing held after your XC race, does it seem like a natural progression that it has kind of gone full circle over to Enduro? You’d be amazed how many old skool DHers I see at the Enduro races now.
I think its great for the sport that the Enduro races bring the Old Skool guys back out, This sport has some great characters, so its awesome to see them back out and enjoying riding again. I still cringe at the Word “Enduro” a little though. Aren’t we just riding XC with a bit more tech Downhill sections chucked in?
I know you are booked into one or two of the World Cup Enduros, are you looking forward to it and what’s your opinion on the weird ruling the UCi have come out with about racing non-sanctioned events, will they fine you or something? I don’t quite get it!
I don’t get it either, does that mean I cant ride in “Peaty’s steel city Downhill race”? lets see them stop me riding in my own event….ha ha
Now don’t let this go to your head, but one of the things UK Gravity Enduro organiser Steve Parr said to me was “what we really need in this country is for Peaty to come over to Enduro to make it cool for the kids” So whats the chances of this happening in the future, as you’ve signed for Santa Cruz for another 5 years?
I will wet my whistle a couple of times this season and see how it goes, Unfortunately I have not had chance to hit Parr’s events yet but as soon as I can ill be there mate. Not sure if I will turn all the way to Enduro, DH is still the most fun thing to do for me!!!!
I’m sure you must be pretty happy with SPS signed rider, Neil Donoghue; will Enduro be something you will be considering a lot when signing riders up in future?
Its an area we want to expand into, I think we can give a great package for the guys to go race and have fun, while also learning from training tips, riding tips and having mates to ride with, it fits our SPS family feel properly.
Alright thanks dude, all the best for your future racing and riding for 2013
Interview: Jim Buchanan
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