Andrew Denham: Headmaster
Andrew, 30, is a mechanical design engineer who loves cycling. And he gets things done. He founded the Black Canon Collective mountain bike club, now in its fifth year of designing, raking, digging and building trails at a magical spot in Longleat woods. Andrew is also the organiser of the ‘World Famous’ Cobble Wobble bicycle hill climb, an annual (steep!) celebration of cycling, cobbles and tomfoolery in Frome, Somerset. Andrew is the founder and director of The Bicycle Academy, he learned to braze from Brian and he loves to teach.
Brian Curtis: Brazing master
Brian knows a lot about brazing bicycle frames. He’s seventy years old and has been making frames since BMXs were born. Before that he was one of the UK’s top motocross scramblers, riding on the frames he built himself at Rickmans. Brian still brazes every single bike for Curtis Bikes, the company he founded, and makes all the bikes at Curtis Frames, his very own brand of bikes. He is our resident frame builder and brazing master.
Chris Sheppard: Workshop wizard
Chris is a trained Engineer having served his apprenticeship at Brewis Engineering in Frome. With a background in making tools, jigs and fixtures, and a keen interest in problem solving Chris went on to run the whole milling section at the works. Along with making things Chris loves riding bikes, he’s been mountain biking since the beginning and is a qualified mountain bike ride leader and skills instructor too. Chris teaches frame building, sharing his wealth of knowledge, and is working to design and make our range of TBA frame building jigs and tools.
Sam Chedgy: Apprentice
Sam, 19, was one of the crowd-funding backers who pledged their time to help get things started. He painted and plastered and enjoyed himself so much that he asked if he could work off the cost of a frame-building course. Well, we were so impressed by Sam’s attitude that we offered him a job! Sam takes care of all the course material prep, he keeps the workshop stocked and and is learning to braze, build frames and operate tooling from the rest of the team.
And 200 people behind the scenes
There might be four of us in The Bicycle Academy workshop, but there are many, many more people who helped us get up and running. Our brazing stations, pillar drill, jigs and tools are all here thanks to a crowd funding campaign. In just six days we raised over 100% of the funding we needed, thanks to donations from 183 people and 23 more who offered their time and skills on top.