Alex Donnachie Interview BONUS - WHEELS OF GLASGOW | FISE Up

30 Sep 2021 11:00

portrait glasgow fise up interview

Second bonus of our "Wheels of Glasgow" project with more words and images from the famous Glasgow street rider Alex Donnachie who was so nicely presented in our collaboration with Glasgow Life. We take the time here to learn a little more about this discreet character whose mind-blowing riding speaks for itself. To understand the phenomenon, also takes a look at his latest BSD part.

The early days
My first bike was a purple Raleigh 16-inch bike, I was just pedaling all day every day in the garden. One day my dad made me a ramp out of plywood and car tires for a perfect springy ramp. As a kid I would get up early to ride before school. One time I fell off and was covered with cuts and bruises all over my shins, I don’t know what the teacher would think of me. I have no idea why I enjoyed it so much. At that age I just loved to be outside and enjoy that feeling of being able to control the bike the way I wanted.

Into the scene
I was the only one in school that was into riding a bike. And the only people that would be at the skatepark were late teenagers, I was the only little kid down the skatepark. The first park I went to was at a local village. Just some old metal rusty ramps, a box jump you had to pedal from across the grass onto the concrete to hit the lip. It took me a long time to even get any air on that thing. Later we started building trails in an abandoned horse field and that’s when BMX started to get a bit more serious.

Discovering street riding
About 12 or 13 I was only riding trails and hated street, I said I was never going to run pegs hahaha. And then all of a sudden, we had the worst winters 2 or 3 years in a row. We spent months and months digging the trails and we didn’t get anytime riding it in the summer. There was no street spot in my local village so street came about when I was able to travel to further cities and towns. 

First sponsors
I first got sponsored at the age of 14 and I was quite oblivious at this age, I didn’t know what it meant. I remember I had a free pair of pedals and I couldn’t believe I didn’t have to pay for them. I never even thought I could be in a magazine. One day the local photographer came to the trails and he shots some pictures for Dig Bmx Magazine, those are my first pictures in a magazine. I remember going to the supermarket with my dad and we got the magazine, I opened up and I could not believe it.

Glasgow as a playground
I first came to Glasgow when I was finally old enough to get to the train myself. There was so much stuff to ride I could not believe it. We spent all day everyday riding street and filming. Glasgow is one of the best city to ride BMX there is so many different spots to ride, from old brick banks to steel rails, to new marbles ledges. it’s endless. We could spend longer looking for spots than actually riding spots, and then sometimes I’ll go out on my own on the road bike and just look for spots myself and go down every street.

Technical riding
I think I ride the way I do because I love riding so much, so for me I just like to session anything I can ride for a long time. I also love the whole process of trying a trick, sometimes it takes hundreds of attempts and it really tests your patience but I am really stubborn so as soon as I start trying a trick I find really hard to give up. Once you land a trick the sensation of landing it is overwhelming, the relief to not have to try anymore is so good.

BMX for life
Riding a bike is a great thing to be doing. It’s healthy, it keeps you outside. You can express in so many different ways, it doesn’t matter what type of bike you are on, it’s a great way to get outside. When you are on a BMX you are in a completely different world you forget about all the problems of normal life.

Since I have been a child, BMX is everything to me, it’s all I have known and I can’t wait to see where it’s going to go.

Thanks Alex for letting us enter your life with so much kindness. Passion is definitely creating beautiful human beings.