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Frisky Friday – Lewis Buchanan

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Interview: Tommy Wilkinson / Images : Ian Linton, Tommy Wilkinson, Innes Graham

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So we’re back and now hopefully a part of your staple diet. Consider Frisky Friday like a Jåger bomb on a night out. Your night might be ok without one, but get that rocket fuel into you and the world is your oyster.

This week we’re with a rider that has had what I’d call a roller coaster of a career so far but has talent and a work ethic that is undeniable. Had it not been for injuries we might be seeing him as WC top 10 regular.

Here’s our ten questions with none other than Lewis Buchanan.

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DW: So Lew, you seem to be being chased by drones quite a bit in the hills above Innerleithen, what’s been going on up there?

Lew: So yeah, me and a few mates have been building a track up the golf course side for a good while now. We started around June and have been digging since then. Its taking a lot of work but we wanted to build some totally unique and different as everything up there is normally tight and in the trees. I think we have built something amazing for a few guys with a couple of tools. The response from the community and local riders we have had so far has been rad. It’ll be done soon so keep it in ya pants!

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Making the most of the terrain; with both mattocks and wheels. Credit: @innesgraham

And you seem to have an official photographer in Inness Graham too! That must be pretty handy having a photographer who can race you down the track?

Yeah Innes is a good dude. It’s nice he takes the time to take photos and always takes awesome photos and I appreciate that a lot!

Tell us a little bit about HLTN Co. They seem to make some pretty nice threads.

Yeah so HLTN have been so damn awesome to me this year. They are a lifestyle clothing brand from the US and they are a unique brand that are building and progressing rapidly. For sure having people like Jason Anderson who is ama 250 Supercross champ Involved with them and Josh Grant former MXGP winner at Glen Helen who is the owner certainly helps build the brand. Everyone there is awesome and Tony who I deal with is such a rad dude and I love what the brand is about. I’m Just #happylivingthenow to be honest haha!

It seems like the Tweed Valley, once the UK centre of Downhill, is geared a little more towards all day missions these days. You won the last Scottish Enduro series race, is Enduro something we’ll see you doing more of?

Yeah for sure it is. With the EWS having been here for past couple years it’s opened everyone’s eyes to getting out on trail bikes that you can access easily with your mates and go have a good time instead of pushing up a hill for a 2 minute run. As far as enduro…yes but keep your eyes peeled soon and hopefully there will be some news in the coming weeks.

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Winning the last Scottish SES. More to come? Credit: @linton_photo


I remember once coaching you at a DH training day – how things changed quickly! You had a pretty insane pace as a youth and junior and we saw glimpses of that again this year – are you racing WC DH again next year?

Yeah I remember this haha. This season was ok but I really struggled after having almost 2 seasons away because of injury and not having the money to travel to the rounds in 2014 when I was a privateer. It was cool to be back this year and show face but in 2016 I will not be racing DH World Cup.

You’ve got some pretty large amounts of ink your arms now, any more to come?

Em yeah sure I’d love more. But trying to fit that between training etc is tough and it costs a fair bomb too haha!

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Innes Graham is an awesome rider and a mean photog. Here he catches Lew cutting some skatepark laps.

Would you rather fight a Nathan Rennie sized Duck, or a Duck sized Nathan Rennie?..

Damn…for sure I’d rather “try” fight a duck sized Nathan Rennie!!

Going a bit mores serious again here ; You’ve had quite a few injuries over the years and at one point you were right there, knocking on the WC top ten door. I think injuries affect racers a lot more than they realise and for longer; loss of momentum being a big factor. Do you think they possibly affected your chances of being a top 10 WC rider?

So yeah back in 2010 I was only 16 years old and like you said I was knocking on the door for top 10 results. Once you have some mometum behind you and confidence from one good result it seems to snowball in to greater results. I ended up as of 2011 having a couple injuries that resulted in me having a huge amount of time off the bike. Ever since then it’s been a battle to try catch up with the pace and I’ve had some stand out results but other than that it’s been a big challange. It’s tough and its a part of the sport but injury for sure affects your performance and training. I’d like to think I could have been a top 10 World Cup rider. After 2010 my goal was to be in that top 10 but dislocating my shoulder early 2011 completely threw that out the window..

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Credit: @innesgraham

Top three tunes?

Schoolboy q – Studio, Kendrick Lamar – Money Trees, Evil Ebenezer – Sunshine ( Editor – see Lew’s top three in the playlist below )

Lastly, if you could be anything in the world, what would you be?

A professional motocross/supercross racer In the USA.

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Known for outrageous speed when sectioning, injuries have held Lew Back for a few seasons but the attack was back this year.Credit: @tommyawilkinson

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