September 25, 2019
If you're a follower of Airdrop you'll probably know that it started life in my garage a few years ago. All the best companies start in garages apparently. Eventually it all got a bit much for me to handle alone so James came in to help, and we moved into the workshop (read the Two Man Brand blog post here). Since then it's been just the two of us with Obi the dog lending a paw and moral support. Sometimes it surprises people that it's just the two of us but through a combination of hard work and stubbornness we somehow manage to get everything done.
It's been great for us to work this way and we've had some good times with the Edit v3 launch and the recent Fade To Black limited edition, but that's just the tip of the iceberg as they say... There's so much more we want to do and some of that stuff is already in the pipeline. So we decided we needed a bit more help, and not just anyone would do. For a brand like Airdrop it's so important to get the right person; someone who understands the values and cares enough to do the job well - and maybe even make us all better. Someone who gets it.
That's where Andy comes in.
When James started I borrowed the questions from the old Dirt Magazine Entroducing segment so we thought we'd put Andy through the same grilling. It's as good a way as any to get to know him a bit better:
Who’s Andy Donnachie then?
Originally born in Lincoln 28 years ago. I’ve lived near Perth, Scotland most my life. Just returned to the UK from living the endless summer lifestyle going between Queenstown and Whistler riding bikes every day for the last 3 years.
Where do you live?
Just moved down to Sheffield.
What are you going to be doing at Airdrop?
A bit of everything really, there’s only 3 of us, so we all just muck in doing what’s needed and hopefully give us some time to develop some new bikes, expect big things!
How did you end up working here?
I was lucky enough to work with James at Vertigo bikes in Queenstown a few years back, we kept in touch and when I told him I was coming back to the UK and I was really keen to try and continue working in the bike industry. James told me about the opportunity at Airdrop and the rest is history!
What would you be doing if you weren’t working here?
I would probably be packing up my life again to continue the endless summer dream and head back to Queenstown to work at Vertigo for another summer season.
Where’s your favourite place to ride?
For downhill riding, Queenstown bike park is hard to beat. For trail riding, Whistler has some of the best trails in the world outside of the bike park.
When are you happiest?
In the hills riding bikes with mates in the sun.
What makes you angry?
I’m generally quite a calm, happy guy, so getting angry isn’t really something I do very often.
What makes you happy?
Riding bikes, being in the mountains, corners, new bike parts and my girlfriend.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t be a sheep and do your own thing.
What are your extravagances?
Bikes, breakfast cereal and t-shirts.
Who do you admire?
My Mum & Brother.
What’s the most important thing in your life?
My health and having fun
What’s your greatest fear?
At the moment, the thought of my first winter in the UK since 2015.
What was your luckiest escape?
10 years ago, I had a massive OTB at Innerleithen, I jumped straight up and felt a little pain in my back, nothing major though, so I carried on riding down, I then jumped in my car to make my way home, but I thought as I was passing the local hospital I would just go in and get a quick x-ray on my back to make sure. Turns out I shattered my L1 vertebrae in to 6 pieces, requiring plates and screws to make it stable.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Think about breakfast, then eat breakfast.
What’s the last thing you do at night?
Check my alarm and how many hours sleep I’ll be getting.
What would be your dream meal?
Roast chicken, Roast veggies, Yorkshire puddings.
What things do you always carry with you?
Phone in my left pocket, keys in my right pocket.
Do you have any regrets?
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
Do whatever makes you happy.
Who is your favourite rider?
I love watching Amaury Pierron at the moment.
What’s your favourite bike product of all time?
I like a quiet bike, so the invention of the clutch derailleur is a favourite of mine.
What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?
Anything marketed as ‘Enduro Specific’ and helmets with removable chin pieces.
What bike are you riding at the moment?
Airdrop Edit V3, Giant Glory.
What was the last magazine you read?
Shredder issue 6.
What are you listening to at the moment?
BBC 6 music.
What one thing would you change about yourself?
To be able to sit around and relax more.
What are your weaknesses?
My Girlfriend Emma’s cooking, breakfast cereal, biscuits, someone messaging me asking to go for a ride when I have stuff to do.
What does the future hold for you?
Getting settled down to life in Sheffield, house ownership is on the cards fairly soon hopefully. But for now, exploring our new home down in Sheffield.
What does the future hold for mountain biking?
Faster speeds, bigger jumps and steeper tracks.
How would you like to be remembered?
A helpful, nice guy
Andy's going to be in charge of the workshop downstairs and we have a refit planed, so watch this space for that. It should be good when it's done. He'll also be looking after the demo bikes so we're hoping to expand our demo options a little bit in the near future. But as is the way with such a small business, he'll also be helping out with pretty much everything else so if you give u a call or drop us an email, you'll get either myself, James or Andy.
Oh, and Andy's Edit v3 is a little bit... different. But in a good way. We'll bring a bike check soon.
Big thanks to Callum Wood for the riding photography.
Ed is the owner of Airdrop Bikes. A former web and graphic designer, he sacked off his job one day and decided to start up a bike brand.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
We're always working on stuff behind the scenes, and we'd like to share some of those stories with you. Some things work out, some things don't - but it's always interesting.
Sign up to get the inside line.