Stephen Bartlett

Stephen Bartlett is an RCC regular, devoted New Yorker, and music producer - a career which, we’ve come to suspect, was chosen so that it would allow him to ride with New York’s other cycling freelancers on weekdays.

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Stephen's Ride

This ride is something like a highlight reel of RCCNYC’s best rides. You’ll find great roads, great off-roads, climbs, picturesque views, and some of the most thrilling descents within riding distance of the city.

Download the GPX route

I’ve been lucky enough to live on three continents and travel extensively, but I knew as a kid I wanted to live in NYC. The first time I got out of the subway from JFK airport, I knew it would be my home. Back then, I never could have guessed that there would be so much access to the outdoors and incredible riding, right outside one of the biggest metropolises in the world.

Since moving to the city, the Rapha crew has become a central part of my life in New York. We have formed a tight friendship group, from all walks of life, who are united by riding as hard and far as we can, climbing fences and finding dirt roads everywhere we can, and being friends as much off the bike as on. There are bankers, photographers, even an undertaker, and we all know that we can depend on each other on and off the bike, and we’re always be pushing each other to be the best we can be. A bunch of us this year will even start racing together under the RCC colors.

I still travel a lot with work, and I’m fortunate enough to have friends who ride around the world, so I’m pretty much guaranteed to get on the bike wherever I am and find a smile a hill and some dirt.

New York has more riding than you’d think, and my quintessential local rides are a short loop that takes in River Road, a nine-mile stretch along the Hudson River just after the George Washington Bridge, or an RCC ‘transfer ride’ through orchards, Seven Lakes Drive, and Bear Mountain. It’s beautiful, great roads, good climbs, and a pub at the end. What more could you want?

When a ride ends in the city, more often than not we finish at The Cannibal, just off the West Side bike path – your first beer is free if you arrive in full cycling kit. The owner is a lover of cycling – hence the restaurant’s name, in honour of Eddy Merckx. In summer we do a weekly night ride called ‘River Road & Beers’ that ends there.

I’m a music producer and engineer. It’s been a great career, that has taken me to several continents and allowed me to work with some amazing people, in amazing locations.

I’ve also been lucky enough to apply my experience as lead producer and engineer to the Movement Tracks project, which is a cutting-edge research and development program that uses recorded music therapy to help kids with Cerebral Palsy and adults with Parkinson’s to learn to walk and control their muscles. Last year I also co-founded and lead a project called The Audio Hunt, that is seeking to democratize the production industry, connecting music makers the world over to the best engineers, studios and equipment available via technology.

The thing that cycling has taught me is that you never feel a tailwind, but you always feel a headwind.