Birthplace: Hamilton, Scotland
Bike Size: L
Bike: Alize Ultegra - Blue White Carbon
How would your friends describe you?
Passionate and funny but occasionally grumpy.
How did you start cycling?
I reckon watching Robert Millar perform heroically in the Tour de France in the 1980s was the impetus that got me into cycling. I'd spend many teenage summers days riding up little tiddlers on my Raleigh 5-speed "racer" pretending I was Millar in the polka dot jersey.
What is your special talent?
I like to think I can climb. There's something strangely enjoyable about the pain involved in climbing a big hill/mountain and the buzz delivered at the top is indescribable to non-cyclists.
What does the Epic Riders program mean to you?
I'm an editor/writer but most of the time I'm working on stuff that isn't close to my heart. So when I get the chance to write about the things that are important to me in life, like cycling, then it brings out my best work. So the NeilPryde Epic Riders program not only lets me test a state-of-the-art ride for a year, it also gives me a greater platform to deliver my thoughts and words.
Where would be your preferred place to ride?
Anywhere in France near mountains. My brother lives in France and so we go there every year on holiday, choosing a different base every year, and of course taking our bikes or hiring some when we're there. The hills and mountains and epic scenery everywhere plus the knowledgeable drivers make it a pleasure and never a pain.
What was your biggest success in cycling?
On Friday 13 February 2009, I met a car head on while descending Genting Highlands, a classic climb in Malaysia. My helmet saved my life but I suffered multiple fractures of the left leg and a broken right wrist. The parting words of the surgeon who fixed me up were: "I hope you get back on your bike one day, Alan." But just five months later, I reached the top of Mont Ventoux to complete the 2009 L'Etape du Tour. So I reckon that counts as a pretty big success.
Does your family support your cycling addiction?
Completely. My wife had basically never sat on a bike until she took a "if you can't beat him, join him" approach five years ago and now enjoys riding and racing as much as I do. My son Jack loves the sport too and won his first kid's crit last year while still eight years old.
Wine or Beer?
Both! Beer straight after a race or epic adventure but a soothing glass of shiraz for the evening calm.