Iain 'Ace' Woodley Interview | Endtroducing
You get to meet some characters in this industry, but I’m struggling to think of any that rival Iain ‘Ace’ Woodley ...
From Dirt Issue 109 - March 2011
Words by Ed H. Photo by Tim Grant
You get to meet some characters in this industry, but I’m struggling to think of any that rival Iain 'Ace' Woodley. I think it’s fair to say that he isn’t even one in a million, he’s a genuine one–off. It’s also fair to say that the first time you meet him you don’t quite know what to think, but as he himself says, once you get past that initial, and slightly scary, first impression you find that the face of Hardtailnation (and Dirt blogger) is not only one of the most passionate cyclists you’ll ever meet, he’s also ‘lovely’. Whether we’ll ever manage to coax him back onto a full suss is still debateable, but one thing is for sure, I can’t ever imagine a day when Ace won’t be thinking about bikes. Anyway, here’s the ‘endtroducing’ of the champion of hardtails...even if he’s not the champion on the result sheet.
WHO IS ACE?
I’m old enough to know better, been riding for years, but racing/crashing hardtails for five years. Many find me a bit intimidating and scary, don’t know why, cos really I am lovely.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Split between the DH haven of Exmoor and flat ass Grimsby.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
I have a real world job that funds my antics as the face of www.hardtailnation.co.uk where I do everything apart from run the website. That’s Dave Hardy’s job as he knows computers, I just crash bikes and hate computers.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
Skip dive for bikes and parts so I can race, then crash and write about my antics on HTN and guest blog for Dirt. I also arrange the unofficial hardtail champs.
WHAT’S THE WORST JOB YOU'VE EVER HAD?
Forget the worst, but best perks have been VIP membership to a strip club and the title of ‘Bladerunner’...I left before I got killed in a messy way.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO RIDE?
Scotland, because they have ski lifts and I don’t have a passport.
WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
When I’m going home.
WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
My wife, fine wine, single malt, waking up with a tiger hat on (cat curled up asleep on your head), and Zen rides.
WHAT MAKES YOU ANGRY?
Too many things to list, but stupid people has to be at the top.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN?
“If you don’t know...ask for help". And Dirty Harry told me “a man’s got to know his limitations". That’s sound advice.
WHAT ARE YOUR EXTRAVAGANCES?
I don’t earn enough to be extravagant, I get bikes from skips. I suppose a treat is a bottle of fine wine or obscure whisky, and maybe one day a pimped out custom lugged steel frame.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE?
I don’t do the hero worship thing really, but anyone who gets on with life whatever it has dealt them.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE?
Health is life, look after yourself, you only get one life.
WHAT WOULD YOU NEVER THROW AWAY?
A full glass of wine.
WHAT WAS YOUR LUCKIEST ESCAPE?
Too many to list, but I got out of bladerunning for a reason.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
Killed by death scares the crap out of me.
WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU DO IN THE MORNING?
Get savaged by the cat who wants feeding, or jump the wife.
WHAT’S THE LAST THING YOU DO AT NIGHT?
Jump the wife.
WHAT THINGS DO YOU ALWAYS CARRY WITH YOU?
Keys and wallet.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS?
I was aiming for the Paras/Commandos but I have some genetic defects that made it a no go (why I can be seen limping at races sometimes). I should have just had a go at selection, I would have failed but I would have tried.
WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT?
Never be afraid to ask for help.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH THREE FAMOUS PEOPLE (DEAD OR ALIVE) WHO WOULD THEY BE?
Ian Flemming, Steve McQueen, and Dita Von Tease at the Casino Royale where the house band would be Beethoven and Rammstein with Kylie on vocals. My wife would have to be there to protect me from being jumped by Kylie and Dita.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE RIDER?
The ones I line up with at the start gate.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BIKE PRODUCT OF ALL TIME?
Tyres. The future of tyres is looking interesting.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE BIKE PRODUCT OF ALL TIME?
Cheap shit bearings in hubs/bottom brackets/pivots etc. that fail after two rides.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOTTO OR SAYING?
Ahh...unprintable, next question.
WHAT SAYING DO YOU USE TOO MUCH?
What you doing?
WHAT BIKE ARE YOU RIDING AT THE MOMENT?
The Superfly Styler Deluxe is having a little rest as AtomicMike and Upgrade have lent me an Atomlab Pimp2 frame to abuse the living piss out off. I’ve also got the Ghetto29er skip bike and a SX Trail in bits, which hasn’t been ridden for years. It may get used this year, or it might lose more parts.
WHAT WAS THE LAST MAGAZINE YOU READ?
Razzle, and in my attic I found a box of old ‘Journal of Professional Adventurers’ so I’ve been flicking through them.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AT THE MOMENT?
My mp3 is stuffed with Rammstein, Rollins band, Hawkwind, Dead Kennedys, Alice Cooper, Type O Negative, Eagles of Death Metal, etc, etc. Got some good stuff on vinyl and tapes for the secret bunker.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?
No idea, a job in the bike industry would be nice, but if I knew my future it would take the adventure out of it.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING?
The way things are going someone will reinvent a ‘mountain bike’ that can do XC/DH/trails, it will be retro chic, and we will be back where we started from, except bikes and parts won’t break as easy. You won’t need an XC bike for XC and a DH bike for DH, one bike to do it all, and maybe with big wheels. Oh, and DMR will have flavoured steel frames that don’t give you toothache.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?
That’s in the future, that’s unwritten, I would need a time machine to find out.[series]