Roman is one of our latest additions to the Hunt OpenDev Team. Hailing from the Big Apple, Roman can be found blasting through traffic, passing over Brooklyn Bridge and heading into the woods aboard his ‘cross bicycle. When the snow melts and the temperature rises Roman takes to the tarmac aboard his road bicycle to discover the ever-changing New York City. With a clear talent for photography which document his rides, Roman’s Instagram page (which can be found here) is one of the most stunning pages out! Capturing the city from a cyclist’s perspective his distinct style shows that his talents extend well beyond the bicycle.
Roman is extremely valuable to HUNT to help move forward how we can develop our wheels. Putting in huge efforts on his 38Carbon Gravel Disc equipped 'cross machine and his road steed rolling on 50Carbon Wide Aero wheels, Roman pushes his equipment to the absolute limit. His crazy effort in last year's festive 500 saw him push through snow blizzards, rain and extremely cold temperatures. You can rest assure he is putting in hard miles in tough conditions, giving us invaluable feedback. 50Carbon Wide Aero Wheels are Roman's road weapon of choice.
Roman is extremely valuable to HUNT to help move forward how we can develop our wheels. Putting in huge efforts on his 30Carbon Gravel Disc equipped 'cross machine and his road steed rolling on 50Carbon Wide Aero wheels, Roman pushes his equipment to the absolute limit. His crazy effort in last year's festive 500 saw him push through snow blizzards, rain and extremely cold temperatures. You can rest assure he is putting in hard miles in tough conditions, giving us invaluable feedback.
Name: Roman Siromakha
Born and Bred: Born in Ukraine, bred in Brooklyn from the young age of 11.
Ice breaker – describe yourself in three words.
Social, energetic, curious.
You’re located in one of the largest and busiest cities in the world, as a cyclist, does this ever get to you?
New York City certainly has its own pace and can be very overcrowded which often times makes me want to escape to the mountains or the beach for a while. This is one of the reasons why I ride so much – to get away, even if it is just for a few hours. However, there is always that feeling of finally being home when I get back, whether from vacation or from a ride.
First Bike and Favourite bike?
My first bike was this heavy steel commuter style back in Ukraine. I actually snapped it in half one time trying to do a trick. My grandfather welded it back together and I was able to ride it again!
It’s hard to pick - I have two favourites. My road bike, a custom titanium Kent Eriksen, sees the most miles but I also have a No.22 Broken Arrow CX bike that I love just as much. It fits almost like my custom bike. If there were more dirt trails and such around me, I would probably ride the CX bike more than the road. Versatility of being able to ride on and off road, the comfort of wider tires and how can you forget the hydraulic disc brakes? It screams fun times.
Finish this sentence: Climbing on my bike is… a beautiful pain.
I am built like a sprinter; short hills and flats are my thing. Last year, I told myself that I will climb as much as possible and try to get better at things that I am not good at. That means learning to love climbing big and steep hills.
As a photographer and a cyclist how do you try to balance both of these elements within your pictures?
The two go hand in hand for me. There are days that I feel uninspired or a lack of creativity. Going for a ride always fixes it. Whether it’s a hammer session or just an easy spin, riding helps me get back into my inspiration.
Photography is art for me. Snapping a photo, any one can do. But to take a photo that shares the experience is much harder. The more you practice the better you become. What’s that quote about spending 10,000 hours of doing something to become great at it? Exactly how I feel - practice, practice and try new things.
At first I started taking photos on the bike to share the rides, the pain and the beauty of cycling - I call it the Beautiful Pain. With more practice and thousands of photos later I still try to translate that massage via photography.
New York crushing.
Were you self-taught or have you had some formal training?
Photography was all self-taught for me. I tried taking a photography class in college, but they have other pre requisites that I had no time for because of my course load. I’ve spent countless hours and lost many nights of sleep reading about cameras, compositions, rules, angles, shadows and lights. Watching tutorials on editing, different techniques and everything you can think of, I have researched myself. There is always so much to learn and I don’t think I will ever know it all. I try to always ask questions, advice and tips to my fellow photographers. I have been lucky enough as a model to work on sets with some of the most amazing photographers in today’s world and try to pick their brain on sets and in between takes. “You can never stop learning” is how I feel about life in general.
Outside of cycling and photography, is there anything else which inspires your work?
My girlfriend and I like to go gallery hoping, go to museums, explore new neighbourhoods, watch creative movies, etc. Living in this city certainly has its benefit to provide exposure to so much art, inspiration and little moments.
When we first started talking to you about joining the OpenDev team we noticed you mentioned that you don’t race – has this changed or are you still all about chasing your buddies and having fun without the clock ticking away?
I competed in many sports my whole life. I was raised by a single mother, who wanted to keep me out of trouble by singing me up for every after school program there was. I fell in love with cycling for what it is and not for its competitiveness. Some people need to compete to ride. I am not one of those people. I enjoy riding my bike, going places, seeing things, meeting new people and trying new things.
With that said, I am thinking about competing in Road Time Trials and later maybe with actual TT bike. This came to me recently after I made a new friend who does these sorts of races. I ride a lot and have a lot of fast friends that motivate me to ride harder and further. Time trials are the purest and simplest form of racing. It’s you against time. No other riders, less room for error (accidents), just pure power of who is the strongest on that day.
Outside of cycling what are your favourite things to shoot?
Landscape and Architecture. I was never good at drawing. I always had an image in my mind but I could never transfer it on paper using a pencil. Shooting landscape is beautiful. The lines created by nature, the colours, the curves and the horizon. Architecture is something I’ve always been impressed by. The lines, the spaces and the position of objects create that peaceful feeling inside. Try this out… look at your friend who has a major in architecture or better yet an architect. You will notice this eye for details and eye for angles that they have in common with photographers.
New York, New York.
What grinds your gears?
Bad drivers. I spend a lot of time on the road. As a cyclist, you’re more vulnerable and less protected. When there is a collision between a cyclist and a vehicle, who do you think gets hurt more? I am not saying that all divers are bad or that all cyclists are good. I am just saying that bad drivers are the worst because they don’t have empathy or understanding of others.
Jersey pockets or Saddlebag?
Both. You don’t want to end up like the man I saw last week, walking from the park due to a flat tire, in his socks because he didn’t want to scratch his cleats.
Unless you’re racing, then you can take the saddlebag off and maybe remove a few items from the jersey.
Dream place to ride?
Italy. I consider it to be the Mecca of cycling. Yes, many have been there and every one may have seen everything. But I haven’t, I didn’t, so I want to.
Favourite bicycle part (apart from your wheels of course)?
That’s a tough one. It would be either the group set or the saddle. Not much will matter if you can’t ride your bike or even sit on it comfortably when you’re racking up the miles.
Most memorable ride for all of the wrong reasons?
Again, I have two answers.
My first long distance ride (at least long distance at that time) was 70+miles ( 112+ km) on a track bike, meaning fixed gear. It was my first time riding clipped in pedals and had only brought one water bottle on that hot and humid day. To top it all of, I had no bibs or chamois, just good old workout shorts. Let’s just say I learned a LOT that day.
The second one was recently. It was the last day for my Festive 500 Challenge. It was a 140+ mile ride (220+ km) through 3 snowstorms. It was all worth it in the end when my friend and I chased the most amazing sunset. While riding across the George Washington Bridge into the city, we stopped to watch a sunset during a passing snowstorm. It was very rewarding to see something this beautiful, after spending an entire day dodging black ice, hiking down a mountain, riding through 3 snow storms and frozen toes and fingers for over 7 hours.
You can view more of Roman's work on his personal website in the blog section at:
All pictures provided by Roman Siromakha (@romanshotthis)