BMX is not a sport for the faint of heart, or the fragile of bone. Its name alone hints at the kind of creative madness demanded from its athletes—those three letters stand for ‘bicycle motocross,’ which sounds a bit odd considering that bicycles aren’t typically known for having motors. But if you’re going to succeed in the wild, frenetic world of BMX, you’d better get comfortable embracing the absurd, because that’s where the magic happens.
Alex Donnachie is living proof of this. A wiry rider from the small county town of Perthshire, he became the first Scotsman to win a medal at the X Games when he took home the gold in BMX Street at the 2018 X Games in Sydney, Australia. At the time, he was only the third person to ever win gold in the event. All of 13 previous competitions had been won by his childhood idols, Garrett Reynolds and Chad Kerley.
Donnachie’s biggest triumph, though, came just after his biggest setback—one that he feared might end his BMX career altogether. George Kruis, co-founder of fourfivecbd, caught up with Donnachie to talk about the highs and lows of living life on the edge.
Answers have been edited for clarity and concision.