A story told by Vitor Büchli
I was born in Brazil and grew up in São Paulo, where I lived until the age of 14. Before moving to Switzerland in April 2014, I went on a cross country bike ride with my uncle and fell in love with the sport. The first thing I bought after moving was a used and crappy XC mountain bike. I rode this bike to school every day and after school I explored the trails near my house with a few classmates. The bike survived an amazing three years and after using it as an enduro hardtail, I built a dirt jumper out of the frame to ride pump tracks and dirt jumps.
After living in Switzerland for over nine years, finishing my apprenticeship and becoming a full time mountain bike freerider, I could finally afford to return to my hometown and experience what my "Home-Land" has to offer in terms of mountain bike freeriding. Since Brazil is largely unknown to mountain bikers around the world, I wanted to not experience the Brazilian bike scene first hand, but also share with you the amazing opportunities it actually offers in this blog and film.
For this job, I needed a filmmaker and someone to help with the logistics. I already knew who they were going to be.
Meet Gustavo Bez Chleba aka "Guto." He is one of my oldest friends who also rides a bike and – coincidentally – works at a film production company called "Urge Films". Guto and I have known each other for a long time. Before we started riding mountain bikes, we used to go off-roading with my dad in a 1949 Jeep (the same one used in our video, by the way). Yes, it's still running with 74 years of age and over 500'000 km.
Our logistics guy had to be Julio Campos, whom I met last year in Whistler. He is a photographer and the best Brazilian mountain biker I know. Julio helped us film and also showed us a great spot in São Paulo, which turned out to be the best spot I've ridden in a long time. It's called "Nitro Sitius".
Okay, okay... Disaster is perhaps a bit too aggressive a word to describe the situation.
When shooting videos and photos, you always have to expect the possibility of something unplanned to happen. I like to factor in at least an extra day or two for a shoot. So, originally we had planned to film everything in five days and extend it by another day if necessary.
Because of an accident I had at the Freeride Fiesta the week before, however, we had to wait three days to start filming, and after we started, it rained every day for a week. In the end, we waited for two weeks and could only film for three days in total. Nonetheless, Guto did what he does best and managed to create a sick edit of the trip. I must say I was more than impressed with the end result.
Filming projects like this can be frustrating when things go south. But if it works out, it's a lot of fun. Next time I'll plan for more spare days and shoot different types of footage in case the weather is bad or something else doesn't go according to plan.
Guto is a sick filmmaker and it definitely wasn't the last time we filmed together. I already have many future projects in mind.
Brazil was amazing and, so far, I've only really seen two spots of this huge country. I will definitely come back to explore more and see what else it has to offer.
I am really proud of how the edit turned out and I'd like to tackle more projects like this in the future. For now, I have to pause my adventures in Brazil and continue my ongoing projects back home in Switzerland.
PC: Gustavo Bez Chleba / Vitor Büchli
VC: Gustavo Bez Chleba
Thanks to my sponsors who made this trip possible: BiXS, ONZA Tires, Cushcore, Bike the World (Title), Intercycle (IXS, Camelback, MucOff)