‘May The Fourth Be With You’...
That was the theme chosen by Sheffield’s world champion mountain biker Steve Peat as he donned a Star Wars themed costume to join riders on Peaty’s Steel City Downhill race.
Steve, who organised the event, dressed as a clone trooper from the movie series as he took part in the race through Greno Woods with around 200 other riders.
The bikers were cheered on by hundreds more spectators.
Star Wars fan Steve, aged 38, from Chapeltown, said: “With the race being held on May 4 I thought it would be good to have the Star Wars theme of ‘May The Fourth Be With You’!”
The course for the event was designed by Mosborough-based mountain bike race course designers Bike Track and Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trusts.
It included a ‘rollercoaster’ section of jumps and a ‘bomb hole’ to put riders to the test.
Steve said: “The course is awesome. It takes a minute and a half to get around and, although it’s not world competition standard, there are a few nice jumps and gradients.”
Bikers, who came to the event from around the country, competed in a range of categories divided up by age and ability.
Steve said competitors ranged from youngsters to pensioner Pat Horscroft, aged 69, from Sheffield, who was taking part with her husband John.
As well as the races themselves - which were sold out - there was a fancy dress competition, and South Yorkshire bike organisations manned information stands.
Funds raised from the race will be given to the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trusts, and will be used to improve and maintain bike trails in Greno Woods.
Arson set back for plan to create mountain bike centre
Further arson attacks at the former Sheffield Ski Village site have caused a setback to Steve Peat’s plans to create Britain’s first urban mountain biking centre.
The remaining buildings at the site were destroyed in the latest large blaze almost fortnight ago - a year after the main ski village facilities were burned to the ground.
Steve said: “It’s quite a mess down there now and there have been no further developments with my plans.
“We have no meeting planned in the near future, although I hope to be able to have discussions later in the year, and the proposals could still be achieved.”
The Chapeltown star’s plans involve transforming the hillside at Parkwood Springs into Britain’s first urban mountain biking centre, while retaining the old ski slope for use by Sheffield Sharks ski club.
The chairlift would be brought back into use so bikers could travel up the hill to the start of the trail.
Steve was working with Sheffield Council on his plans – which could involve a bid for funding set to be made to the £700 million Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund, which provides Government cash to support development projects around the area.
Money would be needed to improve road links and car parking at Parkwood Springs, and to create facilities such as a café and shop for bikers.
Work has already taken place to build mountain biking trails at the site.
The trails include routes given a ‘red’ or difficult rating, on a par with mountain biking trails in Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands.
Steve said: “Our plans would create a mountain biking centre which would be a first for a city in England.”