Photos and intro by The Duck.
Cast your minds back to the summer. What did you do? Probably messed about on your bikes and did a bit of racing. If you were a young lad called Billy you would have gone to the Wharncliffe Weekender, the legendary charity event hosted and set up by Steve Peat and a few of his good friends. Billy did the usual thing of getting his picture taken with Peaty but that wasn’t enough for him. He mentioned that every month he took part in grass roots downhill racing at Cannock Chase attended by around 100 riders and a timing system that consists of one guy at the top of the hill with a clock and another guy at the bottom with a syncronised stop watch. He also mentioned, with perhaps more than a bit of tongue in cheek, that if Peaty wanted, he could turn up and ride with the locals.
So, lets get this straight. Billy asked Peaty, International mega star, top quality rider, all round nice guy and now a an honorary degree holder of Sheffield Hallam if he wanted to take part in a downhill event which doesn’t even have a burger van or a bar?
Peaty, Max, Miami and Billy
To everyones amazement, Peaty said yes and lets do it for charity to benefit Athletes Recovery Fund and Stephen Murray. Miracles do happen.
So, the 15th November 2008 became the date, Steve arrived with not only his mates (and a special mention goes to Max Feetham for making it all happen at his end) but he also brought a bit of Miami to Cannock Chase in the form of the boy Bryceland.
The idea was, you raised a set amount of cash to enter the seeding run and then more cash to battle against Steve Peat on one of Cannocks many downhill tracks.
It’s best if I now hand over to Racers Guild organiser Aaron Newmann.
For the Racer’s Guild session in the morning which included the seeding for the afternoon, the results looked like this:
1. Steve Peat 0:51.7
2. Mark Milward 0:56.0
3. Andy Hughes 0:57.0
4. Greg Hampton 0:57.1
5. Josh “Miami” Bryceland 0:57.1
6. Dave Cotton 0:58.4
7. Si Paton 0:58.4
8. Harry Heath 0:58.8
9. John Hayes 0:59.5
10. Jamie Munroe 0:59.7
For the afternoon, using the handicap system, it looked like this:
Best Adjusted Best
1. Dan Green 0:55.5 0:46.5
2. Steve Peat 0:48.7 0:48.7
3. Tristan ‘Terror x 10’ Tunstall 0:55.8 0:49.8
4. Matt “Smithy” 0:59.9 0:49.9
5. Mark Milward 0:52.9 0:49.9
6. James Hopkins 0:59.4 0:50.4
7. Greg Hampton 0:54.7 0:50.7
8. Josh “Miami” Bryceland 0:54.7 0:50.7
9. Dave Cotton 0:55.8 0:50.8
10. John Isaac 1:02.9 0:50.9
So how did local lad Dan Green beat Steve Peat?
Well, for the afternoon feature event we used a handicap system based on the times from the morning timed runs. Dan Green put in two clean and consistent runs on Wonderland in the morning, with his best being a 1:02.3. Steve’s time on Wonderland in the morning was a staggering 0:51.7. The difference of 10.6 seconds is put into an equation which pops out Dan’s handicap for the second race, which turns out to be an even 9 seconds.
So if Dan can get inside 9 seconds of Peaty in the afternoon, he’ll beat him! Well Peaty clocked an incredible 48.7 second run in the afternoon on the New Line. That means Dan would have to beat the time of 57.7 seconds, and he had one run to do it.
Dan’s a good rider and he’s always at the Racer’s Guild meets working on his speed, and he pulled out a corker of a run, completely pinning it for a 55.5!
I have got loads of respect for Peaty, and let me tell you why. It’s not because he came down to little ol’ Stile Cop hill and gave everyone a smile, an autograph, a handshake, and even a kiss, as the case may be with my wife (it’s true!). It’s not because when he could have half-assed it down our little hill, he gave it full welly and put on a real show, inspiring anyone who wants to ride bikes fast. It wasn’t because he showed up and paid his £100 that he raised himself to get his two runs in the afternoon just like everybody else.
It’s because after everyone had left, he handed my wife a big heavy envelope. In it was his sponsor form with a load of handwritten sponsorships, along with a load of cash and coins. It added up to £551. That’s on top of the £105 he paid to get into the event. He’d gone around and done things the old fashioned way, raising more than any of us for his friend Stephen Murray. And he’d waited until the end of the day to quietly give it to us so he wouldn’t steal the glory from any of the other top fundraisers. In fact, he probably wouldn’t want me to tell you this. But I’m going to, so you can see the kind of man that he is.
After the event, the money raised has smashed the target of £3000, is currently £5675 and it keeps on climbing.
This young trooper put in a storming run. (That was an awful caption)
A magical days racing.
Beat the world cup downhill racer steve Peat at cannock chase