new york | Fashion + Design

Big Apple Biking: BMX Legend Nigel Sylvester

August 5, 2014
Written by: Yasha Wallin
Photo via

In a metropolis of hundreds of thousands of bike-riders, Nigel Sylvester is one of New York City’s most legendary. His BMX skills have earned him partnerships with almost every major action-sports brand and he’s recognized around the world for his creativity and innovation on two wheels. His love of riding began at an early age in his grandmother’s driveway, growing up in Jamaica, Queens, and he hasn’t slowed down since. For our weekly installment of “Be Legendary” we caught up with this BMX biker to talk pedaling professionally, style, and music.

You’ve been riding since age 6. Who taught you how and what do you love most about it?

My older cousins Jody and Jay were the ones who put me on the bike at the age of 6 years old. I remember the feeling being super fun and exhilarating—so great that I’m still pedaling today.

You’ve partnered and been sponsored by companies like Nike, Gatorade, Animal Bikes, Beats by Dre, Sony, Dans Comp, New Era and G-Shock. What is the best part about working with some of the most iconic brands in sports?

Working alongside some of the best brands in the world is a true honor. I’ve learned so much and have been able to make BMX visible in places that people wouldn’t expect it to be, which I feel is necessary for the growth of the sport.

Do you have any signature tricks that define your riding style?

New York City defines my riding style! It has taught me so much of what I know as a BMX rider and I’ll forever be indebted to my city.

We hear you like to ride to music. What artists/songs are your favorites to listen to?

Music is my sanity, whether I’m just chillin’ with the homies, getting ready for my day or heavy in a session, I always have music playing. I couldn’t imagine a day without music. Currently I’m listing to Jay-Z, Pharrell, ASAP MOB, Drake and Meek Mill, just to name a few.

Do you have favorite cities you like to ride?

Hands down NYC is my favorite place to ride. It offers everything I need to be as creative as possible.

What does being legendary mean to you?

To me, legendary means leaving a long lasting mark on the world through what you’re passionate about. Being able to affect others because of the love, hard work and/or dedication you put into your everyday existence.

What legends or influencers do you look up to that have helped get you to where you are today?

People like Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Michael Jordan—they are legendary to me. They have impacted culture and affected people all throughout the world in a positive way because of the love they’ve put into their respective crafts. I hope I’m able to leave a mark through BMX riding in a similar way.

Meet our other sbe Legends: SoulCycle’s Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice; soccer star Jermaine Jones; Ice Cream Entrepreneurs, Coolhaus; and photographer Anna Wolf.