pete scullion interview
pete scullion interview

From Dirt Issue 115 - September 2011

Intro by Rod Fountain.

Disappearing deep into the woods in bike laden vans with blokes I've never met before has been a recurring theme in my ragging life. In fact, that's how I first met Ed Cooke, then Nick Hamilton and later Jon the Dirt designer, all of whom I'm now proud to call friends. At some point this tactic may end badly, horribly badly, but last month I chanced it again and hopped into a Renault Traffic at Koln airport, Germany, with Pete Scullion. My virginity survived yet another risky foray into the hills, but on first seeing 'Wee Man' the pride I had in my beard evaporated. Like many small things Pete lives (and rides/drives come to think of it) at a thousand miles an hour, pausing only to tell you how completely excellent everything is. His trick is to draw you in with his ‘beard’ and then quickly infect you with his limitless enthusiasm for anything on wheels. A track–walk with him will leave you in stunned, happy silence and make you remember why you love bikes and the people who ride them, and you’ll soon understand that Pete is made for the bike industry. Strap yourself in as we endtroduce scenester, pinner and master multi–tasker, Pete Scullion.

Who is Pete Scullion?

A Welshman of Anglo–Irish stock living in Scotland, struggling to contain my excitement for bikes and the rate at which my hair grows.

Where do you live?

Edinburgh.

What’s your job title?

Marketing Assistant and Brand Liaison.

What do you do?

I keep the Hotlines Europe social media site content up to date, document and manage ad invoices, sponsored rider product, demo bikes, test product, test results, sales reps samples and show samples. I am also relied on to know as much as possible about Leatt DBX, Michelin, Rockgardn, Fire Eye, Straitline, Gaerne and iXS products.

How long have you worked for Hotlines?

Three years as of July 18th 2011.

How did you land the job?

I ask myself the same question every day. Sheer luck I think. To land a job this good the day I graduated was quite fortuitous.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I am lucky enough to travel a fair bit which allows me to see some great parts of the world and meet some even better people. Working with the best cycle products on the market makes my job a whole heap easier.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Washing dishes in a cafe at home when I was 13 has to take the top spot. £2.50 an hour bordered on slave labour and the owner was so overweight that even eating would have been a sweaty affair for him.

Where’s your favourite place?

I have yet to drive through Glencoe Pass and be uninspired.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

Dunkeld. Nothing like the feeling of launching it through a mess of boulders at speed.

When are you happiest?

Racing my bicycle. It’s what I get up for in the morning and what keeps me awake at night. I’d be nothing without riding bikes fast.

What makes you angry?

Far too much. Stupidity and ignorance are the basis for all the other stuff that grinds my gears.

What makes you happy?

Bikes, boobies and speed metal. In that order. All three simultaneously and I’d self–combust.

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

“Just f–king do it Peter!" Said many times by my older brother Rob while I’ve been fannying about above a jump/drop/section. I’d still be taking 10 minutes to get down the Hopton Castle track without that gem!

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

I don’t think I’ve ever imparted any words of wisdom worthy of mention.

(Rod’s note: He told me to ‘go and chew on a flavoured condom from the bog’ when I was starving in the veggie hell of a German airport. I didn’t).

What are your extravagances?

A sweet looking tee shirt. Any tee with blood, skulls, the Angel of Death etc. I’ve got Iron Maiden tees coming out of my ears.

Who do you admire?

Smart, intelligent, good looking folk who make really difficult stuff look easy.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

Independence. I’m not talking about the kind of independence Beyonce sings about, I’m no Charlie’s Angel, but the ability to do what I want, when I want to do it. Being able to go for a ride, go climbing, meet my friends etc without needing a wheelchair, a stick, a helper...I’m not too sure I could cope with all that.

What would you never throw away?

I’ve become much better at throwing worthless crap away so the status of some/all of my possessions are in limbo at present.

What’s your greatest fear?

Losing my independence and my legs.

What was your luckiest escape?

Watching my little brother Tom almost bleed to death after falling through our front door at home that was made of plate glass. That’s the closest I’ve been to losing someone so close to me. Thankfully he’s made a full recovery. I myself have been pretty lucky and I’m not aware of any truly close call.

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

This morning I told the alarm clock to “Just f–k off!" Normally though, I put my boxers on.

What’s the last thing you do at night?

Take my boxers off.

What would be your dream meal?

Starter of cantaloupe melon with raspberry coulis, main of garlic butter chicken kievs with peas and rice, dessert of lemon meringue pie. All prepared by my mum.

What things do you always carry with you?

Keys, wallet, phone. I feel weird if I leave without them.

Do you have any regrets?

I wish I’d put more effort into growing. Having to ask the shop assistant in WHSmiths to reach me down a copy of Playboy is an awkward moment for all involved.

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

The faster you go, the easier it is.

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

Steven Seagal, Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarznegger. I’d like to think they’d run off one–liners to their dinner like they do in their films. “Rest in peas", that kind of thing.

Who is your favourite rider?

Ben Cathro, hands down.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

Straitline SC Platform pedals. I’ve used a lot of flat pedals and just can’t seem to find anything better.

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

ISIS chainsets. This was one product that couldn’t be saved by marketing BS. They were shite and everyone knew it. Even I, weighing about 7 stone at the time destroyed seven sets.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

“Rad as ken" or “sick in your face".

What saying do you use too much?

“Get that up ye!"

What bike are you riding at the moment?

Custom build Lapierre Froggy 718 as a DH bike, Tomac Cartel X hardtail and a Lapierre R–Lite 200 road bike.

What was the last magazine you read?

Triathlete Europe.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Smooth FM.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

I’d like to be able to grow full–on mutton chops, from the sideburn. When that day comes, I will count myself truly blessed.

What are your weaknesses?

Going too slow in race runs, doing too many runs in practice, being generally shite on a bike.

What does the future hold for you?

Loads more wheelies, skids and turnbars; more riding in general, Joe Barnes and Stu Thomson threw me in the deep end of skiing last winter, so more snow sports, and a successful career with Hotlines (I hope). I’ve also submitted an application to the Guinness World Records, so may well be a record holder by the end of the summer.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

Higher speeds, bigger jumps and steeper tracks, all fuelled by an industry that doesn’t sit still for a second. We’ve just got to try and keep up.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a beast of a man, feared and respected by all, strong of arm and hard of heart. A slayer of dragons and other mythical beasts.

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