About Riding, With Brendon Tyree
Here at Curbar Cycling we are strong believers in the ‘adventure’ and how cycling can take you to places you have never been before. Fortunately we are not alone in thinking this and one of our good friends regularly puts this into practice.
Brendon Tyree is a photographer, filmmaker and artist. He also shares a strong passion for all things on two wheels. During his youth he raced around the roads of Europe competing in the GB development squad, but after a change of heart he began to develop his passion behind the lens.
His most recent adventure took him across the world to South America where he rode from the bottom all the way to the top, seeing the sites, meeting the people and recording his journey the way he knows best, through a camera.
Recently we had the opportunity to chat to Brendon over a coffee about his relationship with cycling and his most recent trip across South America.
What makes you decide to embark on such a big adventure like cycling across South America?
I've had South America at the top of my travel hit list since my early 20's but I knew It would have to be a fairly big trip which is why it's been on my dream list for so long.
Having experienced the positive vibes of cycle touring in Europe and realising how much more you can see on a bike, I decided that if I was to experience South America, it would have to be on the bike.
Finding time for a 6000 mile bike ride at the other side of the world can be tricky especially when you run your own business and have a mortgage, But it was in actual fact my photography clients who made this trip possible by offering expedition sponsorship in return for some heavy product testing and some brand Imagery beamed back from places like the Atacama Desert and sub Antarctic Patagonia.
In short the planets aligned and I went for it.
How does riding so far on your own compare to your racing past and riding with a bunch of other cyclists?
Although I'm a really social person and love the feeling of riding along with my mates having a laugh or the sheer excitement of a bunch sprint at the end of a race. All of that is pretty safe and familiar, it also has a relatively predictable outcome too and with that, only a certain level of excitement and fulfilment can be achieved.
Riding this far, through alien environments on your own is a totally different thing all together, it takes you far deeper and higher than you could ever imagine.
It's a massively positive and immersive experience. Just being cut off from the noisy modern world gives you the chance to really get to know yourself and see the planet for what it is, a beautiful place full of nice people.
When you were our in South America you were not only riding and exploring, but you were making a film about the time you spent in many differing landscapes. Did the thought of the film make you ride differently or change the way you approached the task in hand?
Yes it did. the first thing that springs to mind was the weight of the equipment.
Because it was such a huge task on a physical level, carrying a laptop, a full frame camera, lenses and a tripod increased the overall weight by a third!
That is an awful lot of extra weight and at times I would have done anything to get rid of it, especially on some of the 3000m Andean climbs.
Not too many people carry this much stuff or can be arsed to film themselves when they're regularly on deaths door but being a film maker, I'm driven by capturing new places and feelings. The positive drive to capture it all was bigger than the negative impact of the extra weight. But the weight did slow me down quite considerably.
Making a film also eliminated any possible loneliness by opening up this whole extra dimension to my daily routine. Stopping to get a shot also opened up conversations with locals that wouldn't have happened had I not been at the side of the road shooting a clip so yea it really shaped the way I approached the daily task in hand in a good way.
I must admit though I would love to ride it all again (maybe from the top down) armed with just a Bivvy Bag and a small point and shoot camera.
So in a more general sense, as a creative individual do you find that your cycling helps what you do within your photography and do you often think about the relationship that they have with one another?
Yes cycling and creativity go hand in hand for obvious reasons like clearing your head, balancing your soul and giving you an endorphin fuelled afternoon, but for me it also increases productivity too, after a ride I just seem to dive into the to-do list and nail everything on there as opposed to just blankly staring at the screen like I can find myself doing if I haven't been out.
Also, just as meditating increases your ability to focus, I find that regular cycling also does just that in exactly the same way.
If you could describe why you ride a bike in one sentence what would that sentence be?
To keep my body tuned and my mind positive.