At the 2015 Rose British Downhill Series this weekend, Jamie Edwards chatted to the a few of the assembled ‘Legends’ – here, he chats to Dave Hemming, and some bloke called Steve Peat.
So. Whats your name then?
My name’s Steve Peat. I’m 41 and I’m from Sheffield mate!
How’s your weekend been?
The weekend has been awesome. We’ve been here to remember Jason McRoy and we’ve just had a real fun weekend. A lot of old guys came that used to race and its been fun and a fitting event for JMC’s 20th anniversary. I think he’d rather be here racing – and we’d rather he were here too – but it’s a great way to remember him. It’s 20 years; it’s been a long time. Some of the younger generation don’t really know Jason or what he did for the sport in the UK. For us to be able to educate people a little about who he was and what he did is awesome.
Obviously he was a big deal in British mountain biking … And World mountain biking too?
Yeah, he was massive! He was the first British rider to go and take on the rest of the World and fight his way into a pro deal and a big sponsorship deal. He lead the way for the likes of me and Warner and all the other pros that followed after him.
And how did your race run go in the Legends category today?
My race run went alright! It was real slippy up top but I caught Dave Hemming up, he’d had a crash. Then we pulled over at the bridge and all the other legends were waiting there with cans of beer and I popped a bottle of Cava and sprayed it all over Warner when he rode past! He got beers and Cava sprayed all over him which was pretty fun! Warner’s going to have to get Berty’s time tattooed on his arse now!
No worries mate!
My name’s Dave Hemming, I’m 43 today and I’m from Beckenham in Kent.
Happy Birthday! Can you let us know what your career in bike riding has included?
Thanks! I raced as a pro through the 1990’s and I raced for Great Britain at XC, downhill and dual slalom back in the day. I was the first British rider ever to win a UCI mountain bike championship downhill medal back in 1990 in Dorango Colorado. That was the first Inaugurated Mountain Bike World Championships. I was a 17 year old kid picking up a silver medal in the junior category.
Would you say that was your career highlight?
Yeah I think so. I raced all the nationals and the World Cup circuit through the 90’s. I was an ok racer but the sport progressed really quickly through the 90’s. Technology came in and took over and riders took over and got faster. It’s interesting to see where the sport is now and how much it’s progressed in the time I’ve been away. The bikes are much better at handling the courses and the tracks, like the one here at Antur Stiniog, are 30% harder than when I was racing. I’d struggle to ride anything we rode 15 years ago down what we’re riding today. But, first run down the course after walking it and being petrified you’re hitting bumps and they’re not even there!
You’re on a Pivot Pheonix today, what did you race back in the day?
I rode for multiple brands back then. When the sport was in its embryonic stages you changed teams every year. I finished my last 3 years with Marin Mercedes Benz, we were developing a lot of full suspension bikes that were a precursor to what we’re riding today. We were up to 7” of travel, multi-link suspension. I retired in 99 after I crashed and broke my back and decided to call it a day.
How often do you ride these days?
I ride most weeks – I was in Alp D’Huez this time last week. I work with the Royal Marsden breast cancer charity, Le Cure de France and the riders of Le Cure raised over £2,000 to get me to race in the pink jersey this weekend. We spent 5 months raising that and I’ve been out in France on my road bike for the last week.
And I heard that you might own a record with Jason McRoy?
Yeah! So 1991 Bingley NEMBA series Jason and I set a World bunny hop record on a tandem! 9 inches. It still stands to this day!