I started messing around in the woods about 20 years ago. When I started Steve Peat was winning nationals on a rigid Kona. Now 20 years on he is still at the top of the sport, regularly in the top ten. To stay at this level Steve has had to consistently revise, adapt and change his riding. His ability to learn and re-learn is amazing. I often tongue-in-cheek call these high end racers warriors because the commitment to speed and the risks the guys and girls take is akin to going into battle. I think it's fair to say every warrior has a life span. What is it about Steve that has given him this outrageous ability to continue and develop? If you look at the other guys around his age when they started (Rob Warner to name one), where are they now (I know where Rob Warner is)? Do they still race? There may be a few but no one up at Steve's level.
I remember when Steve rode for the MBUK race team on Santa Cruz Hecklers - that team looked awesome in the magazines with the red and yellow colours - and then being signed by GT on the carbon Lobo and riding in Laguna Hills, followed by Orange for a vast part of his career and later back to Santa Cruz. He gave each sponsor a solid amount of time proving that their bikes worked! Its fair to say he has always had a great amount of respect for his sponsors and been a great ambassador! Steve also competed in the original Redbull Rampage. This was a surprise to me because he was never the back-flipper big-tricks guy, but he went out and showed he had the minerals going big with the biggest huckers in the sport, Steve Peat free rider, dude that was sick.
Peaty's regularly been referred to as a legend. That's kind of a big statement really. He's also referred to as the GOAT (greatest of all time). Why do people hold him in such high esteem when there are loads of other professionals doing the their thing?
For me Peaty has always been one of the lads! He is committed and trains as hard as anyone, but on the outside he also likes a drink, parties and gets up to a bit of mischief. I have a lot more in common with Steve than a lot of other guys on the circuit. It makes him more accessible to me as someone I feel like I can relate to. He has also done so much for the sport as someone people can look up to, as the grand master bringing many other racers on under his wing and bringing them into the elite of the sport. I believe he has done more for the sport of DH in the UK than we will ever really know. I have been lucky enough to meet a lot of the top Pros and its always a treat but even now when I bump into Peaty I'm not 13 years old looking at a guy at the top, I'm 35 years old still looking at the same guy at the top and I instantly remember what it was like when I started riding and why I still love it! He continues to inspire me today and just on the days you feel like you want to pull the age card I think "What would Peaty do?"...Well he would send it of course!
For me that's why he is a legend of the sport and the greatest of all time. He has a 'rideumentry' premiering in Sheffield on the 7th of December. If you don't know who he is, you want to!
Here's a link for the new trailer for Won't Back Down.