Neil Donoghue Interview | Endtroducing

Mountain Biking Magazine



Neil Donoghue Interview | Endtroducing

Neil ‘The Don’ Donoghue is one of the most stylish and fluid riders I have ever met. He has ridden in the past for the likes of Royal Racing and MBUK to World Cup level…and possibly never quite reaching his full DH potential (but that would be harsh). After a dodgy team deal back in 2009 (that left him high and dry) he pretty much retired from the WC race scene, working the odd stint in a vintage clothes shop, hiring out Bongo vans and starting up a skills coaching business. The Don now concentrates solely on his company, and racing gravity enduro…maybe as a professional once again in 2013. He’s a ruler, and here he is…


Words by Mike Rose. Photo by Laurence Crossman–Emms

Who is Neil Donoghue?

A 31 year old bike rider/hoarder. I like to own more bikes than I have space for.

Where do you live?


What’s your job title?

Professional Mountain Bike Rider and Skills Coach.

What do you do?

I coach people how to ride their bikes better and I race Gravity Enduro.

How long have you been doing this job?

Four years as a coach and 12 years as a pro mountain biker.

How did this job come about?

My downhill career came to an end in 2008/9 and I wanted to make use of the experience I had, and although I like to think I am not daft, I was virtually unemployable. My CV shows good GCSEs, A Levels then a big gap where I discovered racing bikes and thought about little else. Coaching was a perfect way to stay riding and make a living doing something I enjoy.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Order picker in a stationary warehouse.

Where’s your favourite place?

New York.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

Eastridge, Shropshire.

When are you happiest?

Riding with a good bunch of mates.

What makes you angry?

People who throw rubbish out of car windows.

What makes you happy?

A freshly groomed, loamy motocross track and my YZ250.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Look for a job where your skills earn the money and not your time.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

Your speed looks about right – to Gee Atherton on a practise run up for his infamous snow jump.

What are your extravagances?

Motorbikes, beer and trainers.

Who do you admire?

Driven people who aren’t scared to try something new.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

Friends and family.

What would you never throw away?

My junior national champs jersey.

What’s your greatest fear?

Running out of teas bags.

What was your luckiest escape?

In ‘09 I washed out above a cliff face at the Pietermaritzburg World Cup and fell 15 feet to the top of my head. I got away with a dislocated finger, whiplash and sore ribs. I felt very lucky to not break my neck.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Dogs out, cup of tea.

What’s the last thing you do at night?

Dogs out, check Instagram.

What would be your dream meal?

Beef Burrito and a cold one.

What things do you always carry with you?

iPhone, wallet and a positive mental attitude.

Do you have any regrets?

I always wanted to podium a World Cup before I finished and I felt like I could have done a few more competitive seasons.

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?

Don’t take your health for granted and if you want to do something then nothing can stop you.

If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?

Lemmy, Keith Richards and Michael Palin.

Who is your favourite rider?

Brian Foster.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

The disc brake.

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?

Rear mudguards.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.

What saying do you use too much?


What bike are you riding at the moment?

Santa Cruz Nomad C.

What was the last magazine you read?

New Scientist.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Motorhead, Rancid, the XX and Bjork.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

My reliance on coffee at 11am.

What are your weaknesses?

My instant scepticism of new bike technology.

What does the future hold for you?

More bikes, motorbikes and racing. I can’t ever imagine not racing something. As much as I love just riding XC, trails or whatever I need that mental focus racing brings.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

More accessible/open to the public riding spots for downhill. Fast young kids beating the old men. More acronyms. New standards.

How would you like to be remembered?

A nice bloke who could still do one foot tables well into his 60’s.


  1. Elmar Keineke Interview | Endtroducing
  2. Dan Brown Interview | Endtroducing
  3. Brian Vernor Interview | Endtroducing
  4. Jerry Schipper Interview | Entroducing
  5. John Lawlor Interview | Entroducing
  6. Ian Luff Interview | Endtroducing
  7. Nicolas Menard Interview | Endtroducing
  8. Jonas Mikolayunus Interview | Endtroducing
  9. Albert Steward Interview | Endtroducing
  10. Michel Lethenet Interview | Endtroducing
  11. Jeremiah Boobar Interview | Endtroducing
  12. Pete Drew Interview | Endtroducing
  13. Christina Orlandella Interview | Endtroducing
  14. DirtTV: Josh Bryceland Endtroducing
  15. David 'Tally' Tallontire Interview | Endtroducing
  16. Olly Wilkins Interview | Endtroducing
  17. Tahnée Seagrave Interview | Endtroducing
  18. John Pentecost Interview | Endtroducing
  19. Mick Kirkman Interview | Endtroducing
  20. Brian Finestone Interview | Endtroducing
  21. Ali Beckett Interview | Endtroducing
  22. Steve Smith Interview | Endtroducing
  23. Morgane Charre Interview | Endtroducing
  24. Brook MacDonald Interview | Endtroducing
  25. Rachel Atherton Interview | Endtroducing
  26. Neil Donoghue Interview | Endtroducing
  27. Martin Astley Interview | Endtroducing
  28. Niall Davis Interview | Endtroducing
  29. Chris Garrison Interview | Endtroducing
  30. Claudio Caluori Interview | Endtroducing
  31. Matt Andrews Interview | Endtroducing
  32. Chris Conroy Interview | Endtroducing
  33. Rob Scullion Interview | Endtroducing
  34. Chris Bukovansky Interview | Endtroducing
  35. Rachael Walker Interview | Endtroducing
  36. Frazer Coupland Interview | Endtroducing
  37. Iain 'Ace' Woodley Interview | Endtroducing
  38. Dave Ziegman Interview | Endtroducing
  39. Brett Tippie Interview | Endtroducing
  40. Mark Fitzsimmons Interview | Endtroducing
  41. Dan Stanton Interview | Endtroducing
  42. Pete Scullion Interview | Endtroducing
  43. James Renwick Interview | Endtroducing
  44. Alex Perry Interview | Endtroducing
  45. Will Ockelton Interview | Endtroducing
  46. Chris Ball Interview | Endtroducing
  47. Lyle Barton Interview | Endtroducing
  48. Rolando Galli Interview | Endtroducing
  49. Endtroducing: Martin Murray
  50. Endtroducing: John Oldale
  51. Endtroducing: Tom Caldwell
  52. Endtroducing: Max Commencal


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.