Q&A with Tough Rides: Brazil’s Ryan Pyle


The new season of Tough Rides kicks off on Travel Channel on 23 July. Check out my Q&A with host, Ryan Pyle to see what he gets up to in this season of Tough Rides: Brazil:

1.    On 23 July, your show Tough Rides: Brazil kicks off on Travel Channel, channel 179 on DStv. Riding a bike can be nerve-wracking at the best of times. Do you get nervous leading up to a new show’s debut on TV?
RP: I don’t get nervous when I am riding motorcycles, but it can always be a little bit scary when you travel around a country as wonderful as Brazil and you have so many honest and intimate moments with people, and you wonder if your television audiences around the world will “buy in” and want to follow in your footsteps and watch the rest of the episode. My goal is to explore, educate and storytell, and I think we did that in Brazil.


2.    In this series, you’re riding across South America’s biggest country, Brazil. What is the best aspect about traversing a country like this on nothing but a bike?
RP: A motorcycle puts you in touch with a country the way a car or bus or train never can. On a motorcycle you are connected to nature, to the weather, to the landscape and to the people. It’s a 360 degree experience that is real, rich and incredibly fullfilling.


3.    How did this idea come about?
RP: We are now in Season #3 of Tough Rides. I’ve already completed journey’s in China (S1) and India (S2). Originally my brother joined me in China and India and it was a wonderful experience, it was something that we had always wanted to do. Instead of “riding around the world” I always just wanted to learn as much about one country at one time; so riding a motorcycle for a few weeks or months around a single country and learning as much as possible about what makes that country special is just wonderful and very rewarding. The best way to explore the world is on two wheels.

4.    In the first episode, you’re in the incredible city of Rio de Janeiro, which is amazing. It can also be a bit scary in parts, can you tell us a bit about that?
RP: Rio is a city of great contrasts. If you stay near Copa Cabanna beach where all the tourists are then there are no real issues. If you go wandering off in other parts of the city there could be some issues. We toured the favella’s as part of our series and it was a unique look at a city of great constrasts. Highly educational.


5.    When you’re in these different cities, or making your way from A to B, do you ever get time to just pull over and admire the beauty, the scenery, the people?
RP: Sure, we always stop and film and meet people on the road and take our time. We are never rushing from A to B, and most of the time the best stories and the best people we meet are in those places inbetween. My series is un-scripted for the most part so we are always on the look-out for chance encounters.


6.    What were some of your personal highlights that perhaps didn’t quite make the TV cut?
RP: There is so much content that never makes it in to the TV Cut. Wow, where do I begin? There were a lot of challenging moments along the BR-319, the most dangerous road in Brazil, that we were just unable to film because of extreme conditions due to personal safety. But that could have been an entire series all by itself. I hope I can go back at some stage.


7.    What was the most difficult thing about the trip?
RP: The most difficult thing for me about making adventure television shows is being away from my family for long stretches at a time. As “tough” as I am in traveling by motorcycle through the Amazon, I have an incredible support team in my family….that I miss dearly everyday.


8.    If someone is going to Brazil for the Olympics next month, what are some of the words or phrases can you share with them to get by while they’re there?
RP: In Brazil, you don’t need language. You need body language. Be loose. Be fun. Smile. And be sure to drink and dance the night way, just like all the locals. You’ll be embraced but what it means to be Brazilian. What a beautiful way of life.


9.    You’re an adventurer by trade. So what’s next for Ryan? Maybe a trip from Cape Town to Cairo?
RP: I make a lot of different television shows, and Tough Rides is one of my absolute favorites. I would love to do an adventure in Africa but I would prefer to visit only one or two countries at a time and really try to learn about their diversity and what makes them special. I am less interested about crossing continents or doing “round the world” rides. I am on my motorcycle to connect with people and learn about places that I want to visit.


10.  In closing and in two sentences, why should people watch Tough Rides: Brazil?
RP: You should watch Tough Rides: Brazil because it is real, it is honest and it is epic. Enjoy the adventure!


11.  Where do we find you on the social networks?
RP: Facebook (@ryanpyle) – Twitter (@ryanpyle) – Instagram (@ryanpyle)

Q and A with Hollywood Cycle star, Nick Hounslow

HOLLYWOOD CYCLE -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Nick -- (Photo by: Mathieu Young/E! Entertainment)
HOLLYWOOD CYCLE — Season: 1 — Pictured: Nick — (Photo by: Mathieu Young/E! Entertainment)
  1. Thanks for taking the time today. Tell us about this new show. Hollywood Cycle follows the lives of the 3 main instructors of CycleHouse. Myself, Aaron & Nichelle. It is fast paced and jam packed full of blood, sweat, tears and laughter. Viewers will get to see the inner workings of Los Angeles top workout studio and why every celebrity vies for a bike in the highly coveted classes.
  1. How did you get involved in the show?

Actually, the show came to us. One of my good friends and regular members is a top movie executive. She had witnessed the birth of our studio and everything else that comes with starting a new business. Everything from expansion struggles, to handling celebrity clientele, to inside drama. One day she said ‘you guys need a show!’. Initially we laughed it off. It turned out she was serious and within the next month we started filming! It was surreal. We just carried on life as normal except now cameras were following us!

  1. Joining a channel like E! is pretty big. Did you ever in your wildest dreams think that being an instructor for indoor cycling would lead you to becoming an E! star?

Haha, no….I never thought it would lead to a show on E!. E! is the most amazing network and has really taken care of us. We definitely feel like part of the E! family.

  1. Tell us about the dynamics between you and your fellow instructors? Who offers some entertaining storylines?

Myself, Aaron & Nichelle play and fight like family. Emotions definitely run high at CycleHouse. You will see inside that drama and how everyone has an opinion! It can be exhausting. All 3 of us offer very different story lines follwing our personal & professional lives. You will see me juggling classes, designing all our lifestyle and workout apparel, babysitting my twin godsons and attempting to make a modeling casting with the twins in tow!

  1. You’re obviously fit and healthy, but do you ever have little cheat days? If so, what’s your guilty pleasure?

Absolutely! Eveyrone has to have cheat days (if you’ve earned them!) I definitely have a sweet tooth so anything with sugar works for me. I miss my Mum’s cooking for sure. All of that is cheat day to me. It’s proabbly a good thing I don’t live in England as I would have to spin 24/7 to keep lean! Haha

  1. In terms of TV watching and when you get a chance, what are some of your other favorites on E!?

I’ve always loved E!’s programming from The Kardashians to the newly premiered ‘I am Cait’. I find Caitlyn Jenner such an inspiration and incredibly brave. Those are two of my favourites.

  1. In SA, we’re pretty health conscious and as we build up to our summer, loads of people will be hitting the spinning studio. What tips do you have for the newbies?

Show up, work hard and HAVE FUN! Don’t be intimidated. A great studio should welcome all levels of clients and make everyone feel welcome. As long as you keep moving and sweat then we are golden! I promise it does get easier and you’ll be flying with everyone else in no time!

  1. Any other health tips for the healthy enthusiasts that you can share with us?

HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE…so important! Also post exercise your body is craving protein. Ideally you want to get protein inside you within the first 30mins post workout.

  1. In closing, why should we watch this show of yours?

Because I’m in it! J Although depsite that I have to say the show has everything from fitness to drama but it also has a lot of heart. I think it will appeal to all viewers and all ages. I’ve also been getting the most amazing social media messages saying that I have motivated people to go back to the gym and even try spinning! That in itself makes it all so worth it!

  1. Where can we check you out on social media?

Come follow me and see what I’m up to daily via:

Twitter: @nickhounslow

Instagram: @nickhounslow

Snapchat: nickjho

For more on the show, catch it on E! Entertainment, channel 124 on DStv or check out their showpage here.

@monArkband ready to rock out at @OM_Concerts

Old Mutual Music at the lake series is back and this weekend they have a killer line up. The highly acclaimed, Gangs of Ballet together with SAMA nominated band Monark will take to the stare on the 10th of May. I caught up with the guys from Monark to find out what they have in store for us and also how the rest of 2015 is looking for the band:
1. You’re going to be out and about at Old Mutual Music at the Lake this weekend. What have you got in store for us?
Well, hopefully there is a certain standard of live show you have come to expect with bands such as Gangs of ballet and Monark so we will as always trying to deliver and maybe exceeding it with a touch of something new.
2. Sharing the stage with Gangs of Ballet is…? Tell us about touring and hanging out with them for such a concert
They are such an inspiration to all of us! SInce our first tour with them on their album launch they have inspired us to always work on our live show and make sure it is the best it can be. Hanging out with them is just a lot of random jokes and also some serious conversation about life!
3. If you could cover one of their songs it would be which one and why? 
   Their latest single…what’s it called again…oh yeah Love is on it’s way. Such a hot Rocking song!
4. It has been quite a busy year and a half for you guys, since you burst onto the scene in 2013. Tell us about the Monark ride so far. Highs, lows and everything in between.
   It is really difficult to describe the ride so far in words. Thankfully a lot more ups than downs. I think part of our success is the fact that we are never happy with where we are and trying to better in all areas of our band and business.
5. Did you ever imagine you’d crack a Best Pop Album nomination at the SAMAs?
   Secretly deep down we really hoped for one. But to get three nominations in the end was totally mind blowing!
6. Whenever I’m with friends or family in the car or near a radio and we hear one of your tracks, people always comment on how international your sound is. How does that make you feel?
  That is definitely a major compliment for us, but also in the South African market it creates a bit of a stumbling block when you really are Proudly South African. So we are working hard to get  people to realize that we are not in fact international but from SA and mostly Afrikaans for that matter…:)
7. Do you plan on branching out and taking your music to international shores?
  We have definitely talked about it, but for now we are happy to just work on our craft here in SA!
8. What else do you have on the cards for the rest of 2015?
   We can’t wait for the release of our next single called Hush. The music video is so hot and was done by the SAMA winning Ryan Kruger. Then we are also planning a re-release later in the year of our debut album with some extra content on there.
9. Your favourite track to play live is?
   Smiling! It’s the song that started it all for us

Gates open at 13h00 for pre-sold tickets (R140 through http://www.webtickets.co.za) and at 13h30 for on-the-day ticket sales (R160).  MonArk starts playing at 14h30, followed by Gangs of Ballet.

For more information, you can follow @OM_Concerts on Twitter, like the Old Mutual Music in the Gardens page on Facebook or visit www.dogreatthings.co.za.

DJ Koula’s plans for 2014

imageOne of my favourite female DJs on radio was the lovely Koula. I listened to her for many years while I was at varsity and even when I’d finished up there and hit the big bad working world. I met Koula on many occasions and enjoyed watching her various successes unfold throughout the years. At the end of 2012, Koula and her hubby packed their bags for an adventure in the US.

Wondering what she has been up to? Read my Q&A with Koula below to see what she has been up to…

1. It has been a quite a year for you. Take us through some of your highs; your winning moments in 2013.
Definitely signing the Management Agreement with Octagon Entertainment. It’s been a fascinating experience, transitioning into a new country and learning the ins and outs of how the broadcasting industry works here. But with the right representation, I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds!

2. Was there a moment, an experience or something significant this year that made you go ‘WOW” or that changed your perspectives/ plans?
I think trying to start from scratch in a new country, you learn to be flexible and adapt/adjust plans along the way. We arrived in the US on 28 December with 2 bags of clothes to our names and big dreams in our hearts. My husband, PJ, and I have continually had to adjust our time frames that we were hoping to have achieved certain things by but when I step back and look at how much progress has been made in a year, then I guess we can go ‘Wow!’.

3. What does 2014 hold for you?
I’ve got several key meetings lined up in LA early in 2014. How those meetings go will have a big impact on how the rest of the year pans out!

4. Any tips and/ or tricks from you to your fans to get through 2014?
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this year, it’s to take things one day at a time. I’m very impatient and like to see things happen ‘yesterday’. And what I’ve been forced to learn over and over again this year is that what’s urgent for you, is not necessarily of the utmost urgency for other people, so patience is key – especially when you’re feeling stretched. And to love and cherish your family and friends. Really soak up that time together!

5. Any last thanks or New years wishes for your fans?
I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve got from everyone back in SA – when it came to returning to South Africa to run the Comrades, to the exciting news about Octagon. It can feel very lonely when you’re in another country so far away… But the support from back home has definitely given me momentum through the year to keep pushing on. Allow yourself to dream in 2014. Love God, love people.

It looks like 2014 will be a goodie for her. Can’t wait to see more: