Finding Time – Riding every moment life gives you

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It’s definitely dusty in here. This film from Teravail shows Steve Bate MBE and David Smith MBE talking about their friendship, and what riding means to them in the face of their respective incurable conditions. It’s uplifting, moving, tear jerking and inspirational, all wrapped up in one short film. Grab a cuppa, and maybe a hanky, and settle down for the next ten minutes.

Here’s the press release:

Two Gold medal winning GB Paralympic athletes feature in a new short film presented by bike tyre manufacturer Teravail produced by Dave MacFarlane of DMTwo Media.

Having both wrestled with and tried to come to terms with life-changing medical conditions Steve Bate MBE and David Smith MBE talk about their friendship and a common bond of riding bikes that has kept them going through some of the darkest days they’ve known.

Steve Bate living a life of failing eyesight as he slowly goes blind and David Smith having been through his sixth spinal surgery to remove a tumour from his neck headed to the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland August 2022 for a rare ride out together on roads and gravel tracks that sees an emotional exchange as they talk about what has kept them going and of the support each other has given.

Steve Bate MBE is an adventure cyclist and two-time Paralympic Gold Medal winner, having won silver and bronze riding on tandems with a pilot, in addition he is a commonwealth games bronze medal winner, has won world titles across the track and road and soloed Yosemite’s El Capitan after receiving a diagnosis for the eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa.

David Smith MBE is a Nike Athlete, Speaker, Writer and Coach, he has competed internationally in several sports including GB Rowing, and British Cycling winning a Paralympic Gold medal and two world titles. David has overcome tremendous adversity and now shares both his experience in high performance sport and his first-hand experience of fighting for his life with a rare tumour and living with paralysis.

Dave MacFarlane of DMTwo Media has been producing films for over 10 years having screened at multiple film festivals around the world and filmed in some of the world’s most remote locations. Finding Time was put together as a short documentary with support from Teravail – bicycle tyre manufacturer and partner brand of Steve’s. Dave MacFarlane said of the filming process ‘It was as emotional to shoot the film and edit than it is to watch. Having the responsibility of trying to tell both Steve and David’s stories weighed heavy but I hope I’ve done justice to the power of the stories and of their sheer determination in overcoming adversity.’ 

Steve is just about to set off on an attempt at the HT550 – in winter, a challenge not completed by many, and one which will be especially challenging for Steve given the lack of daylight and his lack of night vision. You can dotwatch him here.

Steve says he knows times are tight, and he doesn’t usually ride for charity since riding is his job. But he reckons this is enough of a challenge that it might be worth a small donation to Rider Resilience.

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A post shared by Steve Bate MBE (@stevebatembe)

Steve is a STW local, and catching him in the off season is always a joy (though even after a night in the pub, staying on his wheel on the way home is a tough ask. If you want to feel inferior, try struggling to chase a man on a fat bike when you’re on a gravel bike). We wish him well on his winter HT550 and look forward to hearing all about it!

Credit: Dave MacFarlane

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Finding Time – Riding every moment life gives you
  • charliedontsurf
    Full Member

    I know Steve, I am his official Bum Butter supplier, and drinking buddy.

    It doesn’t matter how much money is in the bank, or how old your car is, or how prestigious your job title is… we all have to deal with the same scarce and diminishing resource… time.

    Steve is the expert at making time count, and we should all be a bit more Steve. Even if you are healthy there will come a time when you can’t catch another wave, or rail that berm, or can’t walk a mountain trail.

    Be more Steve.

    Free Member

    I needed that, I really did. Thank you.

    I’ve just given myself quite a serious tendon injury (I’ve torn the tendon completely away from the bone) & been given 2 options on rehab. Surgery or conservative & last night I had to give myself a talking to when anxiety got the better of me.

    See, the thing is like these 2 guys (& many others here I suspect) riding is more than just riding a bike. It’s all those impossible things that we can’t share with others who’ve never felt it. When David talks of an out of body experience we all share with him that feeling. It’s difficult to describe but WE KNOW what he means & I NEED that in my life to feel me & any enforced time away, away from that feeling is hard to bear.

    I’m facing a long layoff now (3-4 mths) but I will ride again, I’ve that to look forward to & it will be that knowledge that will get me there. But as dark as my immediate future might appear it’s nothing compared to what these 2 brave friends are facing. Thank you guys for giving me some much needed perspective, lifting me up & thank you for sharing your love of riding & of each other.

    Chapeau boys & happy, long & dry trails to you both.

    Full Member

    Blimey. Dusty innit.

    …there’s just moments in the deep darkness where you see the beauty of life…

    The only time I can escape death, hospitals, all this stuff is the moment I clip in. When I clip into the bike, I am cancer free, I’m no longer paralysed

    Full Member

    I have so much respect for these two. Steve is quite clearly a machine! And Dave… wow!
    To keep such a positive spirit during such unwanted challenges is amazing. I know that day-to-day life will be difficult for these guys, and others, but no mention of it… just positive drive in the right direction.

    I’ve just ordered my Rider Resilience T-shirt and beanie. Hope to get more involved with stuff like this over the coming months.

    Also, if anyone ever wants/needs a chat or help… I’ll try my best 🙂

    Free Member

    Nice video. Really struck a chord with my own love of cycling and difficulty walking.

    Full Member

    Steve is still going on the HT550, slow going in places!

    Full Member

    I don’t know how cold it is there, but if it’s colder than down south, then he’s a brave brave boy !

    Full Member

    I’ve been following his progress just wondering how on earth its possible to cover so much ground that fast on a studded fatty, loaded with winter gear…
    Yesterday was clearly a tough one, took him almost all day to get down the bealach horn descent, about 500M over 5K.
    From his insta, it looks like simply deep snow as opposed to any other issue.

    I don’t know how cold it is there, but if it’s colder than down south, then he’s a brave brave boy !

    Well it was -6.5 at teatime here at sea level the other night. He camped a bit further north at around 450M just below Bealach Horn….

    I’m hoping to take a spin into Affric in a few days and say hello as he passes.

    Posted 24 minutes ago

    Full Member

    Sad news from Steve, frostbitten out of his attempt!

    Full Member


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