A month or so ago I was given an opportunity that no mountain biker could pass up. CRC had run a competition with Muc-Off for a customer to win a day’s riding with Steve Peat and they asked me along to represent CRC.
With a career spanning 20 years in which time he’s been British Champ nine times, won three World Cup titles and been a World Cup Champion, who wouldn’t?
The venue was UK Bike Park in Dorset, a well recognised downhill and freeride venue in the south of England. We arrived at the park around 9.30am where bacon rolls, coffee and light hearted banter were order of the day until Paul, the park owner, shouted: “Give me ten minutes to warm up the uplift truck, (ex army troop carrier) then take your first run.”
The group was made up of Peaty, James from Muc-Off, Adrian, the competition winner, National level downhill racers, motocross riders and me. That comment was the cue for the guys to get their race heads on and suddenly it all got very serious.
Geoff blazes a trail down the UK Bike Park downhill run.
There are several trails at the park; we started out on a red grade named 'Wiggly Woo' in the morning. We cruised the first run to get to know the track then each run got faster. The track was made up of tabletops and long straights that had kickers half way down each straight. On the fourth run I came over one of the kickers to see Steve at the side of the track, as I went past I could see him start to pedal. Having Steve on my back wheel made me pedal like I’ve never pedalled a DH bike before and I think it was the fastest run of the day on that track.
After lunch we moved onto one of the black run, Devils Dyke, which there’s plenty of helmet cam footage of on YouTube:
This was an altogether different track with drops, two rock gardens and where every corner was off-camber with slippery chalk just under the surface. It was on this track I got the opportunity of a lifetime, a track walk and How To with Steve where he talked James, Adrian and myself down the track.
All of his tips made perfect sense: “Do all your braking in a straight line, come into the corner slow and go out quick,” that was until he showed us what he meant, he came in at 100mph and out at 150mph! The day finished with four more runs of Devil’s Dyke then a final sprint down Wiggly Woo with James and Adrian. It was the best day of biking I’ve ever had.
Steve Peat shows how it's done.
Big thanks to the James at Muc Off for inviting me, Steve for the track walk and crazy line choices, UK Bike Park for the tracks, food and uplift and CRC for giving me the chance to ride with The King.
|Five futuristic bikes that could be on a trail or road near you soon||Bike lights buying guide||Is 650b the magic number for mountain bike wheels?||Hot product: GoPro Hero3 Silver Edition|