BikeBiz talked to the team at Madison and Sportline about their roles, where they love to ride and what it's like to work for the distributors.
Name: Alex Cubbage
Title: Telesales Assistant
Describe your role at Madison: I predominantly process phone and email orders, as well as offering technical information and assistance for our fairly vast product range. I like to think I can make a half decent cuppa when the time comes too!
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Fort William World Cup 2013 is definitely up there. It was my first World Cup event working for Shimano, in the sunshine and it was just a great occasion. I love the atmosphere up there.
Where do you like to ride? Locally I spend most of my time at Aston Hill or Woburn. My favourite trail Centre has to be Bike Park Wales.
What do you enjoy most about working at Madison? Great product range along with a good friendly atmosphere in the office. We are also lucky to get the opportunity to get out and support events, which I really enjoy personally.
Why should people work with Madison? It’s an ever-growing company, with great range of brands/products providing support and back up throughout all aspects.
Name: Freddy Smith
Job Title: Cycle Technician
Describe your role at Madison: Day to day, I am kept extremely busy smashing out the bike builds for all occasions. There is plenty to keep my hands full whether it’s assisting staff with their bikes, assembling press bikes, fixing what’s broke or building super fly custom one-off’s with all the latest tech, I’m never clock watching!
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Cycling the Dunwich Dynamo with my good buddies all through the night, watching the sun set and the sun rise while in the saddle…the most romantic and surreal experience I’ve had on a bike so far…
Where do you like to ride? Ride?! I don’t ride…. I just make pretty bikes, but I have been known to throw my leg over the saddle in the car park…dressed as Santa…while doing skids and wheelies…
What do you enjoy most about working at Madison? I love building bikes and that’s what I do.
Why should people work with Madison?Because crime doesn’t pay and we’re all awesome!
Name: Jack Geoghegan
Title: Saracen Brand Manager
Describe your role at Sportline: Helping to develop the already awesome range of Saracen bikes, including input to spec, testing and a bit of spreadsheet smashing as well.
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? I’ve been pretty lucky, racing downhill has given me many awesome cycling experiences! I think competing at the 2008 Fort William World Cup as a junior has to be up there with the best, nothing beats the noise when you cross the finish line.
Where do you like to ride? Having a nine month old baby, really restricts my riding these days, so I’ll take anywhere on a bike! Woburn Sands and Aston Hill are two local spots I like to squeeze a sneaky ride in every now and then….
What do you enjoy most about working at Sportline? Working in the industry in which I have a big passion for and getting to work with a RAD bunch of people every day.
Why should people work with Madison? We are a relaxed but professional company, we just want to make killer bikes that puts smiles on people’s faces!
Name: James Champion
Title: Sponsorship Manager
Describe your role at Madison: In brief, I look after a range of sponsorship activity for Madison/Sportline including support of our team managers for Madison Saracen and Madison Genesis, individual athletes, any event sponsorships and venue partnerships. Ensuring that we get a good ROI from our relationships with all of these.
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Riding the inaugural Ride London event was special. Not least for the surprise of seeing so many friends out on the road… and Boris but seeing the streets of London traffic free and riding past those landmarks was very cool. It’s a close call between that and the atmosphere the fans created at the Cyclo-Cross World Cup held in Milton Keynes. Madison is obviously based in MK so it was a great opportunity for us to showcase some of our key brands which are synonymous with the discipline and witness some great performances by UK riders. I now live right next to that park!
Where do you like to ride? Bike Park Wales is amazing and we have a great partnership there with Shimano. It’s a case of getting it in when you can for me so whenever we go away and there’s the opportunity to ride I’ll do my best to take it. Fort William is always a treat. Otherwise the most cycling I manage at the moment is around the city on my Genesis Flyer.
What do you enjoy most about working at Madison? The experiences Madison has offered me over the course of my time so far has been fantastic and I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great people and big names within cycle sport and go to some cool places and races.
Why should people work with Madison? If you’re a hard worker Madison offers great opportunities for development. With so many great brands both within our own brand stable and externally, there’s always fresh opportunities to broaden your experience.
Name: Jim McConnel
Title: Brand manager for Profile Design, Garmin, MuleBar, Stealth, Strip, SiS
Describe your role at Madison: The brand team are the hub at Madison, without our department the business wouldn’t function. The brand person knows the most about a brand and their products. We manage supplier relationships, bring products to life with the help of e-commerce and marketing and provide product and promotional support to sales and other parts of the business.
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? I love competition and have tired everything from road cirts to offroad triathlon. But back in 2010 I was working as a bike guide for a charity cycling group and one of the best cycling experiences I ever had, helped people to complete a 10 day London TO Barcelona challenge. After 1000 miles, seeing their exhausted happy faces at the end was powerfully rewarding.
Where do you like to ride? Anywhere, but I always like to make a loop, Never out and back! A special place for me is to go on the mountain bike in Lanzarote where there are great XC sandy trails and a four-day stage race.
What do you enjoy most about working at Madison? The constant change in what we do and how we do it. The bike business is evolving faster then ever and the Madison business has to be flexible. You never get bored here.
Why should people work with Madison? We have a very competitive after work table tennis league.
Name: Rob Mance
Title: Design Manager
Describe your role at Madison:I work with a team of designers creating anything from trade catalogues, consumer catalogues, advertisements and exhibition stands to online ads, marketing promotions, point of sale displays and even vinyls for the various team vehicles. It’s varied and often frantic but it’s always interesting.
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had?I like the Sunday club rides with Towcester’s very own A5 Rangers, the ‘D’ ride is about as fast as I will ever want to go. I commute in to work regularly just so I can keep up with them. Best sportive ride was the tour of the Black Mountains or the Autumn Epic, both in Wales a few years ago. The weather was beautiful and the scenery spectacular, but both very nearly broke me.
Where do you like to ride?The Cotswolds are near enough to where I live and great for local climbs and café’s. Bizarrely if I could choose anywhere to ride regularly it would be Budapest as it is super cycling friendly. You can get around the city easily as it’s not too big and ride along the Danube past parliament all the way to Margaret Island for an ice cream. My kids thought it was great and they don’t hang about.
What do you enjoy most about working at Madison?Of course, I’m going to say it’s the people! There’s a general enthusiasm for all things bike related and the corridors are usually lined with bikes so you get a sneak preview of next year’s bikes and all the product distributed by Madison. It really is bike nerd paradise.
Why should people work with Madison?My personal experience is that nothing is too much trouble. People here are passionate about what they do and very creative so if you have an idea, people will go out of their way to support it. That really helps with the stuff we produce, last minute photoshoots are not out of the ordinary. Overall, the spirit in the office is one of collaboration and fun which makes it a great place to work.
Name: Ruth Schofield
Title: Head of Trade Marketing and Events
Describe your role at Madison: My role at Madison includes overseeing all of our Trade Marketing projects from in store Point of Sale design, creation and stocking to large shop installs, including in store graphics and window displays as well as any other dealer support required. I also oversee and organise, alongside the rest of our Marketing Team, all of the events that we attend with Madison/Sportline. These include events such as; The Cycle Show, The Rouleur Classic and The Dirtbike Show, as well as many of our in house events including our biggest in house trade event iceBike* and The Sportline Bike Launch.
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Whilst on holiday in Italy I rode 40k on a Saracen Kili Flyer through the Italian hills to the Pietra Di Bismantova, in the Province of Reggio Emilia. The scenery en route and the views along the Apennine ridge from the top of the Pietra Di Bismantova were really impressive.
Where do you like to ride? The local trails in and around Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise.
What do you enjoy most about working at Madison? Being able to work alongside like-minded and very creative people who all work incredibly hard to produce some amazing projects with and for the brands that we distribute.
Why should people work with Madison? Madison has a brilliant work ethic, with people of many talents. We are always looking at new ways of getting our brands out into the marketplace and the best ways of communicating with all of our customers; trade, press and consumers.
Name: Sean Green
Title: Operations Shift Manager
Describe your role at Madison: To manage and develop team members and other resources to provide high quality warehousing services to internal and external customers, cost-effectively achieving service standards set out by the business. Motivate team to deliver exceptional customer service in accordance with company values. Communicate business, departmental and personal objectives to s and provide feedback on performance. Manage and direct operational teams to ensure task completion as required, in accordance with changing priorities
What’s the best cycling experience you’ve had? Completing the Wiggle Cobbler sportive at 92miles 4 months after buying my first road bike.
Where do you like to ride? I love to ride around Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire mainly as I live in Milton Keynes. It doesn’t take long before you’re out into the countryside which goes on for miles and miles.
What do you enjoy most about working at Madison? Being a bike nut! I love to see all the new product launches for Genesis, Shimano and Madison Clothing. Seeing so many brands evolve over the ten years I have been working at Madison it also something I take particular pride in seeing.
Why should people work with Madison? Madison has an epic portfolio with regards to Cycling and they are always promoting new and exciting brands into the UK market. We also provide excellent customer service and are dedicated to providing our customers with the latest and greatest products on demand.