Vincent Ribeiro is a passionate cyclist, videographer and blogger from New York. We first spotted Vincent in a moving cycling video called “First Crack” that we immediately fell in love with. We caught up to find out how the idea was born, the joy of cycling and the most inspiring of two wheel journeys.
H: What is it about cycling you like so much?
V: Cycling can be as pure and simple as being outside, with your senses constantly stimulated, all while getting you from point A to point B – if we expand on that – some people choose to commute by bike, some people race, some people tour, and some people are mechanics (or as I like to call them – artists). I find myself connected to all of these beautiful qualities of cycling, mostly because all of the concepts of cycling are 100% in tune with my beliefs in a healthier person and a healthier world. What I like – or love – about cycling so much is that you’re given the engine for free when you hop on a bike, it can be a top end custom bicycle or a mass produced frame that doesn’t even fit you, but the engine is always there – your heart. If you work hard on the bike, you’ll notice improvements in your fitness levels that go beyond the standard fitness crazes in this social media driven world – the muscle definition and image culture – instead, its about being able to breathe correctly and find a perfect place, that sweet spot, where you are suffering just as much as you are enjoying the ride, which is a way of helping you push your systems to work harder and harder to achieve a deeper connection with yourself. And bigger than whatever you feel as an individual on the bike, is that the act of traveling by bicycle is environmental friendly/low carbon foot print, which is something we should all be attempting to work together to make a difference, whether its recycling or eating less meat, or simply put, dusting that old bike out of the garage before you go to the grocery store instead of taking the car, every little thing counts.
Photo courtesy Emily Cheng emilyatcheng.com
H: What is in your kit bag?
V: Saddle bag – mostly clothes: outerwear and colder weather gear like arm/leg warmers and gloves, as well as my one change of cycling kit and one ‘casual’ wear outfit. It also hold my bivy shelter. Food makes its way in here too.
Frame bag – Cooking kit, electronics, my journal and a book, I was reading A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Thoreau on my latest trip from NYC to Key West, I wouldn’t go anywhere without a journal and a book – the connection you have with an author and their writing when you are on the road is unlike any other feeling you can have. My mini pump and food. Also, personal items, like toiletries and my wallet.
Handlebar roll – Bulky items, like sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a dry bag with a quick change of clothes if I need to put a sweater on.
Gas Tank – Easy to access food, my charger, phone for checking direction or, places to eat, and chapstick.
Fork Mount – tool kit (tire levers, tube, patch kit, multitool, etc)
H: You have a selection of blogs where you talk about your traveling around US. What have been your favourite places so far and what is your next journey?
V: This question is one I ask myself every time I undertake a journey like this, to find a ‘favorite’ place. It is nearly impossible, and I know it always will be, as you grow and change throughout your life then that means your favorite places will always change as well. On this recent trip along the East Coast of the U.S., I was zenned out whenever my course took me off road. Even though I was on a road bike with 25s, which was a bit bumpy to say the least, I found the solitude and proximity to nature on the trail absolutely spectacular, as well as physically and mentally challenging compared to riding on the road. It’s difficult for me to pick one route I rode, between the Biscayne Trail south of Miami along side the Military Canals, the Guana River Wildlife Management Area between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, and the Lowcountry Swamps of Francis Marion National Forest in S. Carolina, but if I HAVE to pick, I’d have to say the riding alongside dense foliage and scenery in Francis Marion National Forest is on the top of my list of favorite places. And where to next? Southeast Asia 100%
Photo courtesy Emily Cheng emilyatcheng.com
H: How do you prepare for your journeys? What is the hardest part during one?
V: When I’m seated on the side of the road, drenched in sweat in 100% Florida humidity and someone comes up to me to offer my a bottle of water, they ask how the riding has been. I am usually quite positive about things, even if there was alot of car traffic or a hot sun or high humidity or even cold weather or rain, so they tend to think I am out for the day, braving the elements for an hour or two, but when I tell them that, “I’ve been riding for 1,200 miles”, they can’t believe it and tell me that they wish they could undertake an achievement like this. And time and time again, I tell my friends, anyone can do it – when you get on a bike and pedal, you’ll end up 10 miles away, then 20, then 100, then 1,000. The hardest part is leaving the comforts of home.
Photo courtesy Jocelyn Chuang www.jocelyn-chuang.com
H: Our team has been truly inspired by the video “First Crack” *, can you tell us what the title truly means and how was the idea born?
V: Thanks! The video came together thanks to the genius mind of my old roommate when I used to live in Lower East Side, NYC, Didi Lin. He saw my passion for cycling (probably when I showed up the day we met in full kit, and furthermore, when I moved in with little more than a mattress on the floor and three bikes…) and wanted to create a video that was very visual, with heavy emphasis on movement. We sat around the dinner table and talked about what we can put together if I’m on a bike, so we started talking about what I like so much about cycling, then the idea kind of unfolded into filming a little window into what I like the most – my early morning ritual – a long ride before heading to work, actually leaving the state of New York, before heading back into the state when most of the city is still waking up. The title is meant to inspire people to not be afraid of taking the “first crack”, or first attempt, at something, even if means you need to wake up at the “crack” of dawn.
H:“First Crack” tells us about riding your bike early in the morning, what would you say your dream bike is?
V: I’m inspired by some racers in the underground, “alleycat” scene, as well as those who ride sanctioned races with USA cycling, and those who take their passion for cycling and build a creative industry out of it, like fashion. And here in NYC, the one brand that I’ve seen span across all these disciplines extremely successfully is No. 22, a brand manufactured here in New York State, and one that I hope continues to make its way into the hands of people who are passionate about what they do in the cycling community and can continue to inspire others.