Jonathan and Gareth are two New Zealand photographers heading out on a Schwinn adventure on the Schwinn Rocket 1s, Learn more about the duo on their first interview before the adventure begins below!
Schwinn: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Jonathan: I’m a 21 year old guy who is crazily passionate about photographing weddings – weird, I know. I love making people laugh, spontaneous fits of interpretive dance and great conversations. I’m a total extrovert with entertaining and inspiring people is what drives me. I also love getting out and exploring, whether it be cliff jumping, body surfing, or just driving down roads I’ve never been down before. Anything with wheels excites me, whether it be my skateboard always kept handy in my boot, my motorbike, or my new Schwinn mountain bike.
Gareth: I’m a classic New Zealand kid with a heart for the outdoors and a love for adventure. I’m a photographer and editor with a love for sport and lifestyle photography. In any spare time I get I enjoy heading outside and doing something fun, whatever activity that might be. Creating things and sharing moments have always been things I enjoy.
Schwinn: How did you first get into photography?
Jonathan: I feel like I’ve always identified with the idea of being a photographer ever since I was a kid. Whenever we were on holiday I was always the one with the family point and shoot in hand. It was a mix between being obsessed with technology and enjoying composing scenes in my mind. I picked up my first SLR camera when I was 16 and as they say the rest is history.
Gareth: I first picked up a point and shoot camera when I was 13 (now 21) and the passion has grown from there. I have always been interested in visual representation and story telling through images. Photography has always been a suitable fit for a somewhat restless mind like myself.
Schwinn: When did you first ride a mountain bike/what is it that you enjoy about mountain biking, or if this is your first experience why are you interested in getting into mountain biking?
Jonathan: I’ve always had a bike for cruising around the local streets and to the dairy etc, but I’ve never had a high quality mountain bike – my family weren’t into mountain biking and I didn’t have that kind of friend group growing up so I was never proactive enough to get into it. I’m super excited having moved out of home and having the active and encouraging flatmate that is Gareth. It’s the perfect timing to now be kitted out and to get stuck into it, with so much on offer in New Zealand it’s exciting to get to experience it all at this age of maturity for the first time.
Gareth: I remember when I was little, always riding bikes around the neighbourhood and with friends. I would say there was no particular time I started mountain biking, I sort of always seemed to be riding bikes of one form or another as early as I can remember. I am interested in getting more into mountain biking as I feel it is a sport and activity that suits my lifestyle and interests.
Schwinn: Is biking an important part of the culture in New Zealand?
Jonathan: Having a bike and that independence in your neighborhood as a kid was definitely something that’s part of the culture, the urban areas in New Zealand are generally speaking really safe and there isn’t a ton of traffic so everyone is just left to cycle around to their friends’ houses etc and get out and explore. However I noticed it’s definitely something which drops off as you get older, which is so weird given that there are so many amazing trails and options in New Zealand, but I suppose it becomes a bit more specialist.
Gareth: I agree with Jonathan. There are always kids riding around, whether that be in their neighborhood, to school and back, or around campgrounds during the summer but it really isn’t that popular amongst adults.
Schwinn: What sort of biking adventures do you have planned this year in New Zealand?
Jonathan: Firstly I’m just excited to explore some of the hidden local gems that I would have never seen otherwise, since getting the bikes I’ve found that there are actually some trails just up the road from me hidden away in a forest I would have never known about otherwise. I’m especially excited to hit up the incredible trails I have seen on Te Mata Peak, in the Hawkes Bay; seeing people going down those last year was incredible and I can’t wait to try them myself. We think we are also going to have to visit Desert Road in the North Island Volcanic Plateau.
Gareth: There are some local spots around Auckland that we have lined up and that I am pumped to try out. I am also super excited to see what some of the more well known places for mountain biking have to offer such as Rotorua and Taupo. We want to explore some of the more iconic New Zealand scenes on our bikes as well, which is bound to lead to some amazing photo ops.
Schwinn: What part do you look most forward to?
Jonathan: I’m looking forward to the challenge that growing my riding skills will be. It will no doubt involve pushing myself physically and mentally out of my comfort zone but I know it will be so rewarding. I find the process of progression extremely rewarding, and there is nothing that compares the rush and satisfaction of physical achievement. I can’t wait to experience riding the trails which look like so much fun and are in breathtaking locations. It’s going to be a great time applying my creativity different subject matter than my usual jam. I can’t wait to show off our country while trying to make us look hardcore on our Rocket 1s.
Gareth: Traveling around New Zealand and checking out some of the less known locations and seeing what they have to offer for mountain biking and cycling in general. I am also stoked to make some epic memories with friends as we explore some of these locations. Some of the spots we have in mind I have never been to and I am curious to see what they have to offer and how well our bikes can handle what we put them through.
Schwinn: Why do you think others should get on a bike?
Jonathan: It’s a no brainer – no doubt one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get fit. There’s also minimal joint impact compared to running and let’s face it, blasting down a hill on a mountain bike is way more fun than running. It’s a great way to get about, with most cities working on encouraging transport on bike with new infrastructure it’s future proof and you save on fuel and all the costs associated with driving.
Gareth: It is a super fun way to get outside, travel long distances, see amazing places for cheap and a great way to spend time with family and friends. For those longing for an adrenaline rush it is a super fun way to get a thrill, racing along a trail and weaving between trees and around corners. Let’s just say you’d never see an unhappy person on a bike.
See more from Jonathan on his Facebook page: Jonathan Suckling Photography
Learn more about Gareth on his Facebook page: Gareth Sutcliffe Photography
Jonathan and Gareth will be going on adventures on the Schwinn Rocket 1, check the bike out now and follow along as they report back on their New Zealand Schwinn Adventures!