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Frontline; Violeta Beral Vazquez

exploring the Frontline with Spanish, London-based bike obsessive...

Frontline; Violeta Beral Vazquez
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Continuing our series of interviewing real people in real scenes, we caught up with London-based Madrileña, Violeta Beral Vazquez, a bike obsessive with a passion for photography. Violeta Beral discusses her passions, the differences between London and her hometown Madrid, the current biking phenomenon and, erm, ‘Bike Polo’…

Name: Violeta Beral Vazquez
Age: 28
Occupation: Climbing Instructor
Hometown: Madrid
Current Location: London
Favourite thing to do?: Whatever on a bike

Tell me more?
I like anything to do with bikes. I love riding in the city, in the mountain, jumps, downhills…building bikes, photographing bikes in action.. watching other peoples bikes… anything!

Frontline; Violeta Beral Vazquez

BMX Supercross World Cup Madrid 2010, Photography by Violeta Beral Vazquez

So London or Madrid? Which is better?
Each one has their bits. Madrid is my hometown and I love it. I would choose Madrid because of the weather, the mountains, the beach nearby, the friendly people and the nightlife. London is amazing as well, and I would choose for the mix of people and culture floating everywhere, it is bike friendly, it is a city that absorbs you, I love it!

What bikes do you own or would like to own?
I have a fixed bike, a jump bike, a bmx and bike to play polo with. I would also like to have a racing bike, a downhill mountain bike, a xc mountain bike, and another one made to my measurements to see what it feels like.

You really do love bikes!
Yes, it is more like an obsessive compulsive disorder.

A polo bike? Is that what i think it is?
Well, my polo bike is just a bike to play polo with! not in the grass but on a hard court.

Frontline; Violeta Beral Vazquez

Bike Polo, Photography by Miguel Udaondo

Where do you play that?
In London there are some courts, they are just like basketball courts but they have to be closed in the sides so the ball doesn´t go out. People usually meet in Newington Gardens, Downham Rd, Hackney Downs… or anywhere you can make a court.

And can you tell me favourite spots in Madrid & London?
I think my favourite ones come with the surprise of finding them. I mean, I really like to discover new places, so it would be more the action of finding them than the places themselves.

Brilliant! So I assume there is a bit of an exclusive community?
More than exclusive I would say small, since it is not as big as many other sports, although it is growing fast.

Frontline; Violeta Beral Vazquez

Photography by Pablo Conejo

Why do you think bikes are fashionable and/or a way of life?
Well, they are fashionable for some people… you can express yourself through your bike a little bit. It becomes a fashion item when you only think about how it looks (rather than how it rides) no matter how much money you spend on it. It can became a way of life very easily if you start to get involved with it. If you ride your bike everyday you may have to change bits and bobs and realize how they have changed your bike for good or for bad and you start changing everything to make it to your own taste. That already will take you deeper into bikes, then you start looking to other peoples bikes and see how they changed them and then you may meet somebody who also likes bikes and have a freaky conversation about bikes and feel like it was a very interesting conversation! And that would be just the beginning!

I have two last questions for you…

Best bike shops in London & Madrid?
Hmm, this is free advertising, isn’t it? In Madrid I would have to say Ciclos Noviciados, the guys who run it are amazing and they love bikes. In London is harder to say since some shops are amazing as in the quantity of material they have, but then the service is not so personal so I don’t have a favourite one.


What’s your bike motto?
Why walk if you can ride!