That time rolls round once again for over 3,000 people to head up to Grenoside Woods, and no it's not some unofficial rave action, well not this time anyway, but the seventh Peaty's Steel City Downhill (SCDH). With world champion mountain biker Steve Peat at the helm, this local competition has grown year on year to become one of the biggest mountain biking events in the UK calendar. A huge well done to Peat and the team who organise this race; raising much needed money to invest back into Sheffield trail building and maintenance in the woods. What we love about the event at Hop Hideout is the family feel and inclusive nature of the event (and epic track!). It was inspiring to see little rippers, men and women all heading down the challenging course last year. In 2016 we sponsored the Men's Veteran race, this year we'll be sponsoring the Senior Ladies, that beer love needs to be spread around.
Steve Peat took some time out to answer a few questions for our blog ahead of this year's action; have a read and we'll see you up in the woods Saturday May 20th!
Was there an inspiring moment that made you set up SCDH back in 2011?
Yes, it was a bashing of heads together and a decision to bring some good old fashioned MTB fun racing to the great city.
How has the event grown and changed over the last seven years?
It has grown massively, the entries alone are now a big headache for us as we get over-subscribed by hundreds, and controlling the parking and spectators is a rather large task these days. It all good though and the day is made by all these people wanting to be a part of our little big race.
What's the most difficult element in organising a downhill event of this scale?
Preparing for the big day, there is more and more stuff each year to get ready for our one day event, but we have a great core group of four that get the big stuff done and a smaller voluntary group that help with everything closer to the event. It really is a get together of the mountain bike community in the city.
We noticed you were involved in the recent Sheffield city centre downhill event during the Outdoor City weekend. What was it like to race in such a urban environment?
Yes, the Howard Street Dual Slalom, Nick Hamilton was the main man behind this event and it was awesome fun to race. I love the dual format for both racing and for spectators, so to be able to bring it into a city centre location was even better. I have raced many urban events over the years and the dual was one of the best.
Do you think urban downhill events in the UK will become more common place, like the Red Bull races in Brazil?
As the dual format it would be very good, you don’t need a very long course to make an exciting track and something that the racers and fans will both love. It's a great way to get people from city centres to know about what can be achieved on bikes.
What's your favourite downhill route in the UK? And overseas?
Wharncliffe Woods is the best of course!! But I also really like Whistler as an all round destination, it has great tracks, accommodation and bars.
How's life been since retiring from World Cup racing last year?
As busy as ever……..ha ha, bit strange also, its the fist time in 24 years that I have not had a training goal to get ready for the first big race of the year.
Any major plans ahead you'd like to share?
Loads, but none I can share………….sorry.