Queens born Nigel Sylvester honed his two wheeling skills on the streets of New York City, which prepared him for his career as a professional BMX rider – one who has actually never ridden in a competition. That said, Sylvester has crafted his own path to athletic stardom, leading to major endorsement deals with Nike, Beats by Dre, G-Shock, New Era, Casio, Animal Bikes, and Pharrell Williams’ Brooklyn Machine Works. He’s also racked up over 213,000 Instagram followers and has produced a viral series of GO videos where he takes you on anxiety-inducing, yet mesmerizing journeys through the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Dubai, via his perspective as he performs tricks, meets up with people, and races around in ways most of us would never have the nerve to. While normally he expresses himself on a bike, just recently Sylvester turned a bike into art in a project called 218 CAPUCINE. Working with upholsterer and artist Daniel McRorie of Rickard Guy, he pays homage to Louis Vuitton by decking out a BMX bike with the brand’s signature initial material. On top of the previously mentioned, he recently made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for 2017. (GET IT!) In this week’s Friday Five, this celebrity BMX pro connects us with some of his favorite things, including music, sneakers, food, toys, and places to bike.
1. Jordan 1
The Jordan 1 is my life shoe. Release in 1985; it quickly became one of the most controversial sneakers ever. Being banned from the NBA because of failing to meet league regulations. The regulation and fines didn’t stop Michael Jordan from wearing the Jordan 1. I embrace that same defiant attitude, and it has helped me live my dream. It has become the perfect shoe for me regardless of the occasion. Simple, classic and versatile.
2. Can I Live
‘Can I Live’ by Jay-Z is my favorite song of all time. It’s the type of song I can play in almost every setting. It was featured on Jay-Z’s debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ released in 1996, and even to this day, it captivates me every time I hear it. Jay paints a vivid picture with his lyrics all while teaching valuable life lessons about how the world turns. My favorite line from the song is “I’d rather die enormous than live dormant.”
3. Williamsburg Bridge
For me as a BMX rider going fast is imperative and I love to bomb hills. NYC isn’t known for having the hilliest landscape, but it does have its gems. The Williamsburg Bridge is one of those very gems. Connecting Williamsburg Brooklyn to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the mass steel structure stands 310 feet high and 7,308 feet long. Trekking up the bridge to get to the middle isn’t always the most fun, but the reward of blasting down the other side makes it worth it every time.
I’m first generation American, so I grew up in a Caribbean household. To be exact my parents and family are from a small island called Grenada. Avocados were always around and in abundance, but I hated them. As most kids growing up, I didn’t like eating anything green unless it was full of sugar. It took about 19 years but I finally came around, and I fell in love with avocados in Mexico on a BMX trip. Now I eat avocados with everything, multiple times a day.
I recently reconnected with my childhood love for LEGO. I have a small fleet of 1:17 scale LEGO cars I’ve been building. It has become one of my favorite pass times all over again.