I used to be the marketing guy for another bike company. It was mostly online but we also had a couple of bike shops in and around Sheffield, and one day one of the part timers from the shop told me he was into film making. He was a young guy, still at Uni, working to pay his way and to fund his riding habit. His name was Tom.
Tom wanted to show me some of his stuff; and I must admit my expectations weren't that high, but I love to see other people's creative work and his enthusiasm for it was obvious. I was immediately and comprehensively proven wrong: the film he showed me was brilliant. He'd made it specifically to enter into that year's Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, a showcase for some of the best adventure films the world has to offer. And it won Bronze in the Steve Peat Best Bike Film category. You can watch North on Vimeo.
You don't pass up an opportunity like that, so I asked Tom to join the team. To be honest, it's a bit of a luxury having an in-house videographer, and not one that Airdrop Bikes will be able to afford for a while. But Tom more than paid his way with the quality of his work. He's not a bad rider either.
In the Summer of 2014 I left to start developing Airdrop. I was expecting the first prototype of the Edit - which looking at it now is a very different bike to the finished product - when Tom started to produce his next film. I had to get involved, so there was a frantic couple of days to get the raw frame built and some vinyl decals applied.
It was worth the effort. Forged is another brilliant film. And seeing my bike with the Airdrop name on it up on the big screen at ShAFF was a real milestone. I'd had my head down for weeks trying to get the design off the ground and for the first time I felt what it would be like if I actually succeeded, and made Airdrop a real thing.
Supporting local riders, photographers and film-makers will always be a part of Airdrop and I'm looking forward to producing some great content in the years to come.