WHAT ARE YOU ABOUT?
Recently I’ve been busy crafting the new issue of Shredder MTB Zine, I’m currently working on the fifth installment and enjoying it more than ever. It can be fairly time consuming but I try to get out on my DH bike whenever I can. I’m spoiled for riding spots at the moment as I’ve started building a small network of trails close to my house and the locals have been killing it with build days at a few locations around the city/shire. I’m also a massive BMX fan and love getting out on my S&M for a play around on a curb whenever I get the chance.
As well as riding bikes I could well be the worlds biggest bike media nerd… I recently moved house and have created a home office area to host over 20 years of bike memorabilia. The collection covers an unbelievable amount of magazines, large quantities of VHS tapes and hundreds of DVD’s. Aside from bikes I enjoy listening to music, collecting ‘zines and eating lots of pizza.
DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME? IF SO HOW’D YOU EARN IT?
I acquired the nickname Stuz when I was 8 years old and have been known as that ever since. Unfortunately there’s no cool story behind how I got it, my friends and I were goofing around putting Z’s at the end of our names but for some reason it only stuck with me… I didn’t think I’d still be getting called Stuz 23 years later!
WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND? BIKE AND NON-BIKE RELATED.
My background has very much been all about bikes. There was never really a time when I wasn’t riding. My dad taught me how to ride a bike at a very young age, although I’d say it was probably when I was about eight years old when I really got into mountain biking. I remember my friend Ben invited me over to his place after school and told me to take my bike. At the time it was an Ammaco BMX. His house was surrounded by a forest and his older brothers, Giles and James, showed us around. That was my first taste of mountain biking and I couldn’t get enough of it, despite having the wrong tool for the job!
I didn’t really know much about the sport outside our local bubble so I saved up my pocket money to buy MBUK each month. That was the beginning of my fascination with the media side of the sport. Thinking about it, the Aberdeen scene was an amazing crew to grow up with. I had a few guys around my age, Ben, Rob, Jack and Neale who were great fun to ride with. We all looked up to the older riders who had the best bikes and were way quicker than us. Robin, John, James, Giles and Stevo made up the cool crew. Those older guys really helped me gain a lot of my riding skills, normally by bullying me into doing huge jumps! As I grew up I continued riding through my years at school, mostly on my own every night and then with my pals on the weekends at either Pitfichie or Scolty Hill if we could snag a lift from someone.
HOW LONG HAD YOU BEEN IN THE BIKE INDUSTRY/BIZ BEFORE SHREDDER?
I started working in my local bike shop part time at the age of sixteen, I was appointed the position of chief coffee brewer/junior bike assembler. When I left school a few months later I began working in the shop full time as a sales assistant and quickly moved through the ranks over the years from salesman to mechanic, workshop manager, assistant manager, concession store manager and then finally the store manager. I was with the company for eleven years and loved it, although by the age of 28 my interests started veering towards more creative work, which led me to leave the shop to pursue my passion for graphic design.
Whilst studying Visual Communication at North East Scotland College as a mature student I worked for a local BMX shop called 20Twenty where I did a bit of everything–sales, spannering, graphic design, videography and anything and everything in-between. Sadly the shop closed down recently which marked the end of an era for BMX in Scotland. Shout out to Mike ‘Mingo’ Ellington for putting in the work over the years!
Bizarrely I still feel like I’m an outsider looking in at the bike industry with Shredder as the ethos and aesthetic I’ve built around the brand isn’t really what I’d associate with the bike biz.