Meet The Team
Introducing the motley crew responsible for keeping the wheels turning here at Stif! From helping you with your purchase decisions, to social media and web, to getting your shiny new gear out & on its way to you, we each have our specialities and character quirks.
One thing that we all have in common however, is that we all ride mountain bikes, so no matter which of us you speak to, you can be rest assured that we share your passion for our sport and we all practice what we preach!
Al 'Sasquatch' Atkinson
Our big, hairy, Yeti-like sales manager. Think ‘Big foot and the Hendersons’ with mountain bikes and you’re about there. Al has a preference for aggressive 29ers and all things edible. He’s currently favouring the stunning Blur from Santa Cruz, which he uses to traverse his natural woodland sasquatch habitat.
Usually heads up the crew of our sales stand at the popular Ardrock mountain bike festivals, where he once got so drunk that he didn’t realise he’d set himself on fire.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Blur | Many, many half finished 90's retro "Projects"
Rob ‘Dub’ Wilkinson
Rob is the longest-serving member of the sales team (despite still looking to be 7), and as such, his brain is crammed with useful product knowledge. It’s just not necessarily in any kind of order, so don’t be too alarmed if he starts telling you something halfway through some kind of obscure descriptive story – he’ll get to the beginning, in the end?! Chemistry graduate, Fish tank & rubber fetishist who knows more about tyre compounds than you ever want to hear about. Rob is infeasibly hard on tyres in fact, considering his relatively normal size and weight. Some say it’s because his legs don’t bend at the knee at all, like a cheap kid’s action figure.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower | Santa Cruz Megatower | Santa Cruz Stigmata
Rob ‘Bobbert’ Nichol
Arty, wordy and old, compact Bobbert has been riding MTB’s since 1462, and working in the industry for many of those centuries. He looks after the shop front and drives store presentation. Obsessively clean and tidy, he spends a great deal of time running around after people, armed to the teeth with a savage array of cleaning products. Bobbert is something of a perfectionist and will ensure that you leave the store knowing all that you need to know about your chosen purchase, and a whole load of stuff that you don’t.
Likes back-country Scottish gnar, rock climbing and history. He’s worked as an artist in the past, but ran out of room to paint on his cave walls.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Tallboy | Blur | Highball
We might be biased, but we’re pretty sure if there was a competition for the worlds nicest person, Gav and his smile would win it! A coffee connoisseur who’s quickly become known for his Tumblr worthy latte art, but after we found him cutting coffee beans in half to inspect their quality, we think it might be an obsession…. Gav has joined the sales team here in Summerbridge and will be on hand with his wealth of experience to help you with your next MTB related purchase.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower "For the big stuff" | Highball "Commuting and faster fun"
Ben ‘make it rain’ Raynor
Unflappable workshop head-man and qualified wizard Ben, is capable of fixing almost anything that gets thrown at him, all the while maintaining the same, calmly unguessable visage. Once he’d graduated from Hogwarts, Ben found an ideal vocation for his wizard skills in the form of motorbike trials riding, where he could put his ability to levitate over things to good use. He’s since transferred these talents to mountain bikes, where he continues to defy the laws of physics and gravity.
Has more bikes than Centre Parks hire fleet.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Bronson | Cervelo Aspero Gravel | Stif Squatch | DJ bike
If you follow us on Instagram, or regularly attend pretty much any Enduro in the country you’ll be no stranger to Matt’s face, or his insane riding ability. Whipper-snapper Matt has been on the Stif race team for a while now and is friends with many of the Stif crew so it’s awesome to welcome him into a full-time workshop role here in Summerbridge. When not riding or digging obnoxiously steep rut tracks, Matt can be found tinkering with his rather cool Mazda MX5.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Megatower | 5010
Tom ‘Turbo’ Dodsworth
We drafted Tom over from planet Endor to become our mail-order/warehouse manager (although we’ve since heard that the other Ewoks want him back), and have found him to be extremely capable. A challenger to Sasquatch Atkinson in the hairy stakes, Turbo loves mountain biking, despite the risk of his fur getting caught in the chain. He’s done his time as a seasonaire in Whistler and has genuine passion for the lovely things that we send out to you customers via his department.
Has exhausted the internet’s supply of cat memes. Recently succeeded in baking a cake that had 11,000 calories in it, which reduced us to shaking, sugar-crazed wrecks after we ate it all.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower | Highball grocery/pub machine
Koski AKA Lance "The Calf" Armstrong
The keen traveller of the bunch; when Koski isn’t getting your orders out to you, he is seen on driving holidays all over Europe with his girlfriend Aleisha. His Chameleon is his second favourite ride, after his 1971 Audi 100, which he and his friend Peter are currently restoring. He also assists running local car shows, with a specific focus on modified Vauxhalls. Larger than life and louder than concord, you certainly wouldn’t miss him on the trails or in store. A bubble wrap aficionado, you can be rest assured his delicate touch will ensure your order arrives safely.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Stigmata
Behind The Scenes
Sammy ‘literally broken’ Smithson
The general manager, and easily the most adept among the staff at finding elaborate ways to hurt himself. Sammy is an efficient communicator, namely due to being exceedingly loud – complimentary in-store ear defenders can be issued to visitors on request. Considering his life-long experience of bikes, it’s possibly a bit ironic that he should be kept away from anything with wheels on it in the interest of his own health and safety. Keeps gamely coming back for more though! Sammy is the driving force when it comes to choosing which shiny things we should stock, and also the main man behind our lovely Squatch bikes (and their predecessor Morfs). Says ‘literally’ a lot.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Bullit | 5010 | Stif Squatch | Skateboard
Si ‘Mr broken things’ White
Dapper Si has now branched out into our product buying arm, after some years heading up Warranty in-house – he’s responsible for choosing many of the lovely items you’ll see in store and gracing the pages of our website, whilst looking damn sharp all the while. His orderly mind comes in useful for retaining vast amounts of product knowledge (he’s also heading up our in-house product training these days) and cataloguing his truly colossal collection of sneakers.
Si loves extraordinarily repetitive dance music, so we’ve given him his own office where none of the rest of us can hear it.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Tallboy | Dusty old 26" Trials bike
Recent tests have revealed that Jed has genetically more in common with a Bison than a human being. He also has all the youthful exuberance and seemingly boundless energy of an adolescent spaniel. Couple all of this with a long standing love of mountain biking, and you’ve got an ideal candidate for a role here in Stif – he looks after our ‘Rider support’ and warranty / returns departments. We’ve known Jed for many years, and now that he’s come on board as an employee, he’s proved to be a great addition – his positivity and enthusiasm shine through in his dealings with customers. Winner of the local tractor hurling competition for three consecutive years, Jed then went to spend some time in New Zealand, spending many happy hours honing his skills on two wheels in the legendary NZ bike parks. Now that he’s with us, he’s just finished building his new Santa Cruz Megatower, which should suit his riding style perfectly!
So imbued with energy is he, that occasionally Jed has to release involuntary howls as an outlet (we have quickly learned that gentle use of a cattle prod and a ready supply of raw meat are all that is needed to keep this under control – a small price to pay). Indeed, when he’s not at work here, our lively friend can sometimes be seen bounding across the local moors on all fours, with a hapless grouse in his smiling jaws.
Current Ride: Santa Cruz Megatower | Santa Cruz Stigmata
Pete ‘Neat Pickles’ Nicholls
Master of the dark arts of the ‘pokey board’ (web nerd), Pete is our in-house techie and can take much of the credit for our latest shiny website. Not content with this somewhat behind-the-scenes role, Pete also graces our digital pages as a model for much of the ride/casualwear that we sell – he’s much cheaper than a professional model, and slightly less of a diva.
Pete likes riding ‘little bikes’ at skate parks and jump trails, but in the midst of all the madness of 2020 found himself buying a Stigmata and is now a secret part-time curly-bar enthusiast. Part-time scraper-up of former colleague Rob Harvey when he breaks himself.
Current Rides: Santa Cruz 5010 | Santa Cruz Stigmata | The Rise Partymaster
Emma ‘Nut Butter’ Whitaker
Emma has joined us after a elongated jaunt around Europe in a campervan she knocked up herself. Having raced on the national circuit in her (not so far gone) youth, she prefers to take things a little less seriously these days and is happiest when causing a ruckus on the natural trails of the Dales and moors. Having not taken a rather big spill on the bike in the past couple of months, it’s now worryingly overdue. After a spell in the corporate end of the outdoor industry she joins our webteam to take care of the magical ‘behind-the-scenes’ bits.
Off the bike; brownies, doggies and exotic teas make her smile.
Current Rides: Juliana Quincy | Santa Cruz Blur
Salad Man (Adam Nolan)
It’s difficult to know where to start when trying to sum up this softly-spoken Cumbrian in just a few lines. Rider of many miles at high speed, Adam will think nothing of 130km + days in his native Lake District on almost no food & water – we suspect he isn’t human! Self-effacing and humble yet has a seemingly endless supply of hilarious stories of past experiences that suggest he’s crammed more into his life thus far than Errol Flynn. Once ate the world’s hottest pizza in record time, resulting in anaphylactic shock and an ambulance trip, along with other unspeakably horrible side effects. If you’re after sound sales advice about a particular bike, you can rest assured that Salad Man will probably have ridden one to Saturn and back and can thus tell you all you need to know about it!
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Megatower | Santa Cruz Stigmata
Down South! Meet our new Bristol Team
We’ve drafted John in as the Stif 2 chieftain. With a lifetimes experience in the bike industry, he’s the posh coffee drinking machine that will be using his wise head of knowledge to keep the Bristol operation well-oiled and smooth running. Having spent a chunk of his life in London, time will tell how him, and his eclectic collection of plaid shirts will enjoy the lack of hemp, vegan, gender-neutral Himalayan beaned flat whites in Winterbourne. Can do a pretty mean tabletop on his bike but scared of getting his haircut? Rumour has it John rips on guitar too!
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Bronson | Some hipster fixie number | A BMX | A DH Bike | Too many more to list
Isaac is the equally smiley and cheery ‘bro’ to his and Elliot’s ‘mance’. Isaac enjoys pick-up trucks, riding his bike and smiling. As part of the sales team you can be assured that whatever you’re looking at, Isaac contains the knowledge. Having recently experienced his first Yorkshire pudding this could be the perfect in-store bribery tool, he’s a big fan!
Current Ride: Santa Cruz Nomad | DJ machine
Resident Cider aficionado Dan is the latest addition to our Bristolian wolf pack. He’s joining us after a 2 year stint cruising through Whistler’s world class jump lines, but even after this lengthy sabbatical his southern accent remains strong (think Hot Fuzz esque!), as such we’re thinking about employing a translator for all essential communications with northern Stif staffers. Handy on a bike Dan is just as happy on a technical trail ride as he is at an jibby jump session, so you can be assured his advice will have a positive effect on your trail time.
Current Ride: Santa Cruz Bronson | Some weird metal DH rig
A recent addition to our Bristol crew, action man Dan (Actiondan?) is well catered for in the bike department, even before he came on board. His mighty fleet includes full-suspension bikes, hardtails, dirt jumpers, gravel bike…..the list goes on. He’s worked previously at Bike Park Wales before joining us, so it’s fair to say that he’s bike-mad. Don’t assume he’s a one-trick Welsh pony though! When he’s not riding bikes, fixing bikes or hoarding bikes, Actiondan can be found paddleboarding, climbing, swimming and adventure seeking (we’re assuming not all at the same time, but keeping an open mind as to the limits of the man’s talents). Dan joins our Bristol team in a workshop role, and takes their total number of Dan’s to two – we hear that they are aiming to have an equal ratio of Dans to our northern store’s number of Robs. We are sure he’ll fit in very well!
Current Rides: Santa Cruz Bronson
- choosing a selection results in a full page refresh