Nigel Sylvester, Pro BMX Athlete and Internet Star, Is Riding from the Screen to the Page with New Book

Nigel Sylvester, Harrison Boyce, Rob Dyrdek Where was the image taken – Los Angeles, Paris, London, Dubai, New York When was the image taken – 2015 – 2019 Who took the photograph – Harrison Boyce Full credit line – Harrison Boyce/Rizzoli

Harrison Boyce/Rizzoli

Nigel Sylvester rode his first bike when he was four years old, and the New York native hasn’t stopped pedaling since.

“The moment that I touched the bicycle and took those first few pedals, I knew at that point that the bicycle would be present throughout my life,” the Pro BMX athlete tells PEOPLE. “I feel like the way we’re designed as people, we gravitate towards certain things. And the bicycle was my thing.”

In the years since taking that first ride, Sylvester has left his mark on BMX culture by blending the sport with music, fashion and art; a concept that is immediately evident in his popular point-of-view YouTube series, GO.

The videos have received tens of millions of views and show Sylvester riding his bike — or jet ski, or Ferrari — at a breakneck speed through major cities like Miami, Las Vegas, and Tokyo. But the spice of Sylvester’s videos comes from how they showcase both city streets and the things that few get to experience, like hanging out with the likes of Steve Aoki and DJ Khaled or, in the case of his Dubai trip, jumping out of an airplane with a bike.

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The videos, usually about five to ten minutes in length, can take weeks to plan and shoot, Sylvester says. And while that may seem like a complex undertaking (because it is), Sylvester says, at his heart, he likes to keep things simple.

“I feel staying true to yourself as a creative is the most important thing,” he says. “And for me, that’s how I found success. Throughout my career, I’ve evolved — any artist, athlete, or creative will evolve because your experiences are different. You get different influences, and different things inspire you.”

True to the title of the series, Sylvester’s GO videos are fast-paced and constantly in motion. Clips seamlessly transition into each other, and a clip filmed from a hotel stairwell will switch to a photo studio, then back out to the street moments later. GO videos are filled with fluid sequences like these and can be considered the visual equivalent of a rhythmic hip-hop beat.

But for one rare moment, Sylvester is slowing things down to take GO from the screen to the page.

Nigel Sylvester: GO, a photography book out Oct. 11 from Rizzoli, features more than 200 pages of Sylvester and his trips around the world, which were taken by photographer and cinematographer Harrison Boyce.

“It was definitely a process,” Sylvester says of choosing what to include in the book. “But we decided, man, what are the most important stories for each city? And also what are things that people haven’t seen before?”

Like the GO videos, the collection features cameos from celebrities such as A$AP Ferg, former NBA player Nick Young and Super Bowl XLVI champion Victor Cruz. But among the famous faces and places featured on the book’s pages, Sylvester — who also runs the Nigel Sylvester Foundation with the goal of donating thousands of bikes to underprivileged youth — hopes the images inspire more people to take up riding.

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“I hope that people are inspired and moved in some way, in a positive way,” Sylvester says of the book. “I also hope that people understand the boundlessness of bicycle riding. We always say the bike is the most accessible mode of transportation in the world. And to see the bicycle help facilitate this journey around the world — and we still have more to go — but this is the first bookmark to see how powerful the bicycle is, and I hope that people understand that as well.”

Nigel Sylvester, Harrison Boyce, Rob Dyrdek Where was the image taken – Los Angeles, Paris, London, Dubai, New York When was the image taken – 2015 – 2019 Who took the photograph – Harrison Boyce Full credit line – Harrison Boyce/Rizzoli

Nigel Sylvester, Harrison Boyce, Rob Dyrdek Where was the image taken – Los Angeles, Paris, London, Dubai, New York When was the image taken – 2015 – 2019 Who took the photograph – Harrison Boyce Full credit line – Harrison Boyce/Rizzoli

Harrison Boyce/Rizzoli

Assembling the book, and looking back at hundreds of photographs from his life, offered Sylvester a chance to reflect on a journey that began as a kid growing up in Jamaica, Queens, and one that has allowed him to reach more people with his bike than he could have ever imagined.

“One of the things we’ve been afforded by filming GO are the friendships we fostered throughout the experience. I’ve met amazing people throughout the process of the series thus far that I’ll know for the rest of my life and that I speak to on a frequent basis,” he says. “That is probably the most important part — the friendships and the community that we’ve built, and sharing with people that they could go accomplish whatever they want.”

“The ethos of GO is the unapologetic, relentless, graceful pursuit of any dream,” Sylvester adds. “We all have dreams and goals and ideas. So to have the GO brand reinforces that, a place where people can galvanize others, it’s a powerful thing, and I want to continue to build it.”