This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Frome lives Andrew Denham


THE FOUNDER OF FROME’S BICYCLE ACADEMY TALKS CROWDFUNDING AND SILLY CYCLING


Q. Why did you form the Bicycle Academy? A. Because it didn’t exist, and I felt that it should do. I was- frame building course and at the same time, no longer felt excited by my career as a design engineer. Q. How did you set it up? A. For months I was holding down a day job while working into the small hours to get everything planned out. Then after building up enough momentum behind the project I launched a crowdfunding campaign and raised the £40,000 I needed. Q. What does it do? A. We provide frame-building courses and skills masterclasses for novices, enthusiasts and pros, and fully equipped bicycle building workshop hire for those who don’t have their own. We specialise in teaching and are renowned for the quality of our students’ work. Q. We hear you now have a national reputation – what makes you special? A. I’m pleased to say it’s now


50 Frome Life www.mediaclash.co.uk


international; in the next few weeks our students are coming from Japan, Peru, the USA and Russia. It’s all about the way that we teach and the level of attainment that our students reach. While we’re only a very young company our work has elevated us to being the most popular bicycle- frame-building school in Europe. Q. How good are the provisions for cycling locally? A. They’re brilliant – we’ve got a great pump track and Frome’s Missing Link are working really hard to link up the local Sustrans route 24 into the wider network. We’ve also got plenty of scenic country lanes and some great mountain biking on our doorstep. Q. We know you also organise the Cobble Wobble – tell us all about it . . . A. It’s the world-famous bicycle hill climb sprint that goes up Catherine Hill in the centre of town. It was first organised to celebrate stage five of the 2009 Tour of Britain, which started in Frome and has evolved into a fantastically silly celebration of cycling


and dressing up. It’s something I’ve always organised in my spare time. I skipped a year, but it’ll be back later this year, which is really exciting. Q. Where’s home? A. Other than when I was at university I’ve always lived in Frome – it’s a lovely town, in a lovely part of the world, full of interesting and engaged people. Q. Any drawbacks? A. I’d like a little more sunshine, but otherwise there’s very little not to like. Q. If you weren’t living there, where would you like to be? A. The Alps or the Dolomites, in a little chalet, looking out into the mountains. Q. Where do you enjoy eating out in Frome? A. The High Pavement. The food is great, with a nice selection of wine and a lovely atmosphere. Q. Where’s your local, and what’s your favourite tipple? A. I like the atmosphere in the Griffin, and the pub quiz is great. Local cider, Elderfizz or a decent red. Q. Favourite Frome shop? A. Williams and Sons, the butchers. I’ve been going there since I was a little kid when my nan would send me to pick up their home-made faggots. Q. Most regrettable habit? A. My twitch-like phone checking. I often don’t realise that I’m doing it. Q. What has been your finest hour? A. I guess it would be successfully crowdfunding The Bicycle Academy. It was set up to either be a very public failure or, the start of something awesome. Thankfully all the hard work paid off and it was the latter. Q. What book is on your bedside table? A. The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. It’s really insightful and thought-provoking. FL


thebicycleacademy.org


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52