Pictures: Gamble pays off for filmmakers

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How the thrills and spills of mountain biking in Sheffield are being seen in North America, Europe and New Zealand.

Sheffield’s Steel City Media have just released their new ‘Gamble’ film, showing the world’s top downhill mountain bikers hurtling down their favourite rocky tracks around the globe - including Parkwood Springs above Neepsend.

“The aim of this film was to depict how fun it is to ride bikes, whatever the location or your ability. Sheffield has one of the strongest communities in the mountain biking sport which will only continue to grow with the re-development of sites like the Ski Village,” said film maker Joe Bowman.

Over the last month Joe and team have been premiering the film in Sheffield, Canada, New Zealand, Croatia, France and the USA, and Sheffield Council Woodland Officer, Jon Dallow, (who helped create the original tracks at Parkwood Springs) is sure the film will help cement Sheffield’s Outdoor City status.

“This is another film made in Sheffield that really does showcase our homegrown talent. Joe Bowman and Steel City Media have made a film with a stellar field of international downhill mountain bikers old and new featuring The Outdoor City’s King of mountain biking, Steve Peat, raising his crown to the world!”

Chapeltown-born Steve Peat is a star of the film, narrated in Guy Ritchie gangster-style by actor Alan Ford of ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’.

Former mountain bike world champion Peat is shown in gritty inner city locations posing as a crime boss before taking to his saddle to descend a specially-made trail at Parkwood’s derelict ski village site.

“With Steve Peat being the un-official king of Sheffield (plus our love for the place) we challenged ourselves to try and create something unique which would do both Steve and the Sheffield riding community justice,” said Joe Bowman.

“Over the past few years the Sheffield Mountain Bike scene has been exploding, thanks to a strong community of riders, advocates and builders who have created a great network of tracks in and around the city, drawing attention worldwide.”

The film company worked with the council and local track builders Bike Track to make a new route for the film. “We wanted to create something that could be a legacy for everyone to enjoy in the future,” said Joe, “leaving a line fit for a king, in the heart of the city.”

The ski village footage was shot during a temporary lifting of access restrictions, since the site is not open to the public at present, although nearby trails accessible from Shirecliffe Road are available to mountain bikers, Jon Dallow added.

“The film shows snow capped New Zealand mountains, Canadian forests and other exotic locations from around the globe including a small hillside above Neepsend and Kelham - but those Parkwood Springs mountain bike tracks in Sheffield city centre shine through,” he said. “Once again the mountain biking scene in Sheffield delivers the goods and looks on a par with the best in the world.”