Wow! Last weekend was truly a special one! A few folk from CGCC, ThisIsSheffield and notably Steve Peat himself, had been busy at work organising a downhill race in Grenoside Woods. Titled 'Peaty's Steel City Downhill' the race took place on the Saturday. Tash and I drove up to Sheffield and stayed with some CGCC mates on Friday before heading over to Greno woods on Saturday.
The weather wasn't great on Saturday (it was Sheffield - what do you expect!) but the constant mist that hung in the air made the woods look great and made for some great photos. I'd not ridden the track before, it was pretty great though - very pedally throughout, full of rocks and as slippery as hell, especially on my balding high rollers.
I really enjoyed the track despite not really being able to get to grips with it. Some of the faster boys and girls were managing to carry speed through the rocky, muddy, heather mid-section where I just seemed to lose all control! The drop at the finish was top fun though, although I did have a moment of panic during practise when someone fell at the finish directly where I was about to land!! Fortunately we managed to avoid a collision so all was well... *phew*.
Despite the wet the turnout was fantastic - I couldn't believe how many people came down both to race and spectate. I was also impressed at the number of companies who had rocked up with their various bits and pieces, some were even giving out free stuff!
After the results and (frankly incredible) prizes were handed out at Greno we finished the day at the Showroom watching a series of Alex Rankin films followed by a short interview with Rob Warner and Steve Peat.
One of my favourite aspects of the day was the fact that all the pro bikers were so easy going and were happy to race with all the people who just ride bikes for fun - quite rightly thrashing us in the process! I love the fact that there was no elitism in this way and that world champs like Steve Peat make an effort to get so involved with the general mountain biking community. Can you imagine this happening in Formula 1? I think not!
Also - I should mention - one of the main points of the race was to raise money for the Greno Woods Appeal - in an attempt to raise money to save the woods. A worthy cause!
There are already a few photos and videos of the event cropping up, here are some links which I'd highly recommend checking out:
And the vids (I don't know how these guys get their stuff edited and put together so quickly!)
Just want to say a HUGE thanks to the organisers Steve Peat, Nick Hamilton, Joe Bowman, Steve Hardcastle and Henry Norman for organising such a great event, also to the marshals who braved the grim Sheffield weather all day and to John and Anna for being such generous hosts! I won't be forgetting this weekend for a long long time!