Albert Steward Interview | Endtroducing
I might as well tell you now; Albert Steward is classed as nothing less than a legend in the Dirt office. Why? Well, we seem to spend a hell of a lot of time on the phone chasing up or getting hold of new products or just some random (but essential) bit to get a bike build finished, but we all know that if we give Albert a bell then whatever it is that we’re after it will arrive pretty much without fail the very next day. His unbelievable efficiency is impressive enough, but I think the icing on the cake is the cheeky banter that always seems to accompany this efficiency. The only problem with Albert is that we now wish he could be cloned so that certain ‘other’ companies we deal with have their very own ‘Albert’, then in many cases our lives would be a whole lot easier. Actually knowing Albert, if we asked him to do that he’d probably manage to sort it out for us somehow. Anyway, here’s his Endtroducing...
WHO IS ALBERT STEWARD?
A muscular, kind, and kind–hearted guy with a GSOH…oh sorry, wrong form! A 26 year old bike nut with country–boy roots.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
Press Officer for Madison.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m lucky in that I’m given quite a bit of free reign at Madison, so I’ll get involved in sponsorship, events, product launches, shows, and anything that takes my fancy really. My day–to–day stuff is mainly dealing with press contacts and Madison’s monstrous portfolio of brands and products across the cycle, MX, and now snow markets (which includes the likes of Shimano, Commencal, Ogio, Bell…the list is endless).
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED FOR MADISON?
Getting on for three years now.
HOW DID YOU LAND THE JOB?
I was stuck in a rut after uni wondering what the hell to do. My mum suggested that I write to a few bike companies to see if they had any available positions seeing as all I was doing at the time was riding bikes and working in a bike shop. Madison were kind enough to consider me and I landed a job. Thanks mum! I know you didn’t just want me out of the house.
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE JUST ONE PRODUCT FROM THE MADISON RANGE WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Probably one of the new Giro winter 2010 snow lids with the full–on SkullCandy wireless audio/mobile Bluetooth setups.
WHAT’S THE WORST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
Roofing – a two month favour that was only meant to last “a couple of days". Still sends a shiver down my spine.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO RIDE?
Diamond Head Trails (Squamish BC) – Thanks Tav!
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
When the sun’s shining, and I’m sitting in a beer garden enjoying a cold one after a ride with friends.
WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
Crazy drivers in London who try to kill me on
my way to work.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Politeness and good deeds.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Never trust a man with brown slip–on shoes.
WHAT ARE YOUR EXTRAVAGANCES?
Bikes, music and shoes.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE?
Anyone who has the strength and will to do
their own thing.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE?
WHAT WOULD YOU NEVER THROW AWAY?
I’m not really a hoarder and so if something is worn out or not getting much use anymore I’ll either sell it or bin it. That said I have got some Vans slip–ons with more holes than material. Despite their hobo looks they are still the comfiest pair of shoes I own and I can’t bring myself to chuck them.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Losing the use of my legs.
WHAT WAS YOUR LUCKIEST ESCAPE?
It’s a toss up between the run in with a bendy bus two weeks ago, or going to ‘retrieve’ my mate’s stolen car from the infamous Manor House estate in Sheffield at 3am. Both were pretty hair raising experiences that I’d not like to experience again.
WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO IN THE MORNING?
WHAT’S THE LAST THING YOU DO AT NIGHT?
Set my alarm clocks. I’ve got two, one by my bed, and the other is over in the far side of the room – getting up in the mornings is tough.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM MEAL?
Johnny One–Stop on Landor Rd in Brixton. The best jerk chicken you’ll ever taste.
WHAT THINGS DO YOU ALWAYS CARRY WITH YOU?
iPod, wallet, keys, phone – the usual pocket pat down.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?
Regrets?...I’ve had a few.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON THAT YOU’VE LEARNT?
Opportunity can arise anyplace, anytime. It’s a case of recognising it and grasping it with
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH THREE FAMOUS PEOPLE (DEAD OR ALIVE) WHO WOULD THEY BE?
Barry Sheen, Bob Dylan, and Ernesto Guevara.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE RIDER?
Johnny T – what hasn’t that guy done?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BIKE PRODUCT OF ALL TIME?
The hydraulic disc brake. We wouldn’t be able to ride half the terrain and at the speed we do now without them.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE BIKE PRODUCT OF ALL TIME?
Neon helmets covers – what were you thinking?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOTTO OR SAYING?
‘Keep the faith.’
WHAT SAYING DO YOU USE TOO MUCH?
‘Live the dream.’
WHAT BIKE ARE YOU RIDING AT THE MOMENT?
Genesis Flyer fixed gear – I’m city bound most of the time.
WHAT WAS THE LAST MAGAZINE YOU READ?
Vice, Heat, erm…I mean Dirt.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?
Some Ska–Rock–Rap fusion band called Imperial Leisure. I picked up their album when they were supporting Ugly Duckling in London recently. They’re shit hot.
WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOURSELF?
Become more organised.
WHAT ARE YOUR WEAKNESSES?
Finding it hard to say no.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?
A beautiful wife, riches beyond my wildest dreams, and early retirement…hopefully!
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING?
Hard to say really, but with the economic downturn malarkey I think we might start to see a bit less bling doing the rounds. In an already competitive market meeting certain price points will become ever more important, and I think we’ll see a few new ones established as the market readjusts. I think bikes will continue to get lighter and more capable, but whether they’ll be within the majority of people’s grasp or not I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?
As a nice guy who always had a smile on his face.[series]