Steve Walker, or The Butcher as he’s better known, is a name that you may or may not be familiar with. The Butcher is a contributor to Dirt and a man who knows his bikes.
A self-confessed ‘bike junkie’, The Butcher (he’s a butcher by the way) isn’t a pro rider, he’s a representative of the everyday bike rider, just with a little more motivation than most of us can muster.
The Butcher rides and races all sorts of bikes, from cyclo cross to downhill and absolutely everything in-between.
We’ll let Steve do the talking.
Words by Steve ‘The Butcher’ Walker
Do any of us really know who we are? It’s taken me forty years to get to this stage in my life and yet I still question who I am, what my purpose is and why I used to (and still do) listen to Chaz and Dave and Micheal Bolton.
I do know one thing, that being I love riding bikes. Any sort of bike. Everything I do is based around riding a bi-cy-cle. If I couldn’t ride, I’d probably die (probably from being forced into listening to Micheal Bolton constantly).
I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike
I’m as close to a pro bike rider, who isn’t a pro bike rider (because I’m not good enough) as it gets. In other words I ride a lot.
On a Monday I usually do 2 hours XC.
On a Tuesday I don’t ride at all. Instead I either watch a Disney movie or listen to Celine Dion (who’s the female version of Micheal Bolton).
Wednesday is a busy day for ‘bike riding’. It usually consists of a couple of hours of ‘flat out’ XC and then a night time session down the B.M.X track (Birmingham B.M.X. is floodlit), followed by at least a couple of banana milk shakes, a snickers bar and a child’s portion of pick and mix. Wednesday is my favourite day of the week (usually because of the pick and mix).
I struggle to walk on a Thursday. This is either because of withdrawal symptoms from the sugar rush of the night before, or I’ve crashed trying to keep up with the kids down the B.M.X track (who I actually have conversations with as though I’m a teenager). They bang on to me about nightclubs, dance music and alcopops (whatever the **** they are). I listen intently to their stories about dance music and I realise how old I actually am. Ironically they probably don’t even know who Micheal Bolton is and the cool kids would be sick on me if I played one of his tracks.
Friday is TURBO day. It’s for building POWER! To be honest turbo training is as anal as it gets, but it’s a must if you race Cyclo cross or XC. I don’t look forward to turbo training, but at the end of the day our Micheal gets me through it (as he’s my soul provider).
Saturday is my money day. The daytime is all about bacon, sausage and chicken fillets. The night time is about consuming as much ‘junk food’ as I can. After riding all week, sticking to the slimming world programme that my annoyingly healthy wife makes me adhere to throughout the week, by Saturday night I am like a junk food junkie. Finally after hours of gorging, I usually curl up on the couch and metamorphose into Jabba the hut. Just picture it, a big fat worm like creature that’s ginger to boot. It isn’t pretty I tell ya…
My wife (Kate) is a Roman Catholic. My kids (Grace and Amelie) both go to a Catholic school. Roman Catholic’s are big on religion and like to support the men of the cloth, so, Sunday is a BIG day for those boys. I show my support to the people who have ‘the faith’ so to speak, by going bike racing! I don’t care what kind of a race it is, as long as there aint any preachers there and the background music is either soft rock or at least one or two songs from Chaz and Dave. Where I finish is of no importance to me, I just like bike racing. Every bike race is like a mini adventure. Adventure is out there, you just ‘gotta’ go find it.Keep on dreaming
I do and so should you. I always dreamed of writing for a bike magazine and if honest my dream came true partly by chance and partly by being a pestering, over enthusiastic idiot. I failed English language and literature at school and yet here I am writing for the best mountain bike magazine on the planet (DIRT) and hoping to be a regular contributor on this ‘ere’ site BIKEMAGIC. I’ll be doing bike tests (as I’m a bike addict), race reports, regular features and soft rock music reviews. I will not be using big words like photosynthesis or Mississippi (as I said before I failed English) but I will be using words like ‘IT’, ‘RAD’ or ‘DUDE’ as I know what they mean and hopefully you do. This way you won’t need a dictionary beside you every time you log on.The whole truth and nothing but the truth
That’s what you’ll get, nothing more and nothing less. If I do know one thing about myself it is that I am not a sell out. I’m in this game for the working man and I realise that spending your hard earned dollar wisely and on the right product is important. If a bike is shit, I’ll say its shit. You know what I mean, dudes?For god sake, let the bastard cat out of the bag
Even after writing this (little self indulgent) piece, I still don’t know who I really am and I don’t suppose you do (or really care) either. But what I will say is I’m here for you. If you’re a fellow bike rider/racer and you want to know about this bike, that bike, or tell me what your favourite bike/discipline is, please get in touch. Just don’t ask me to go to church on Sunday.
Dirt Magazine contributor.