What is a Cycling Photographer?

The other day someone asked me What is a cycling photographer? Does that mean you just shoot cycling?”

Well…No. I had to think about that a bit. Just what is a cycling photographer? I like cycling. I shoot cycling. I shoot while cycling. I cycle to inspire me to shoot photographs. I photograph cycling experiences and events. I photograph bike races. I photograph bike rides. I photograph cyclists. I capture cycling moments, both in victory and in defeat. I photograph cycling in hopes of inspiring others to get out there and experience the world by bicycle. I’d like to think the definition of a cycling photographer is all of those things.

The road to Wonder Lake, Alaska – That’s Denali in the background – 1995 or 1996

That image above was taken by someone at a campground on the road to Wonder Lake, in Denali National Park on my bike tour from Alaska to Utah. My friend and tour mate John made it the Eugene, OR while I travelled all the way to Moab, UT to meet some friends and do a Canyon Lands bike and 4×4 tour. It was on this trip that I married carrying a camera with me while cycling.

To help define and answer the original question, I want to share a number of images that I have shared on Facebook over the years. I have thousands of images from around the globe like these in my catalog. These are low res, un edited from how I shared them originally so I apologize that they are not a uniform set. I think they will help add some definition and support what I am trying to say. For me, seeing this stuff together cemented the definition of a cycling photographer. I love cycling. I love photography. I love anything that puts those two things together. There are 50 or so of them so I hope you enjoy the slide show and then head outside to ride your bike or book a trip to plan your next tour or ride.

Click on any image below to go toea Lightbox Slide Show Mode!

Maah Daah Hey

Next weekend is the MDH trail race and I have a number of friends doing the event. I had the good fortune of riding and touring the trail recently. I took two day and rode much of it. I didn’t have enough time to do a full out and back or a coordinated drop off at the North end, so I parked at the middle at Magpie Campground and did a big loop south on day 1 followed by a big loop north on day 2. All in all, an incredible experience.

This is my fourth time riding the MDH in about 6 years. I love it out in the Badlands. In fact, I think it is my favorite place on earth (so far!). It is such an amazing landscape with incredible terrain, history and challenge. This time I rode my Surly Krampus all decked out with Porcelain Rocket bags. I also had a specific photo journey planned so I carried a lot of equipment on day one. This included 2 Fuji X cameras along with a tri pod. I had some evening long exposure photography in mind. In the end, my photo journey did not go as planned.  The forest fires in Saskatchewan filled the air with heavy smoke.  On day two when I rode past my car again I dropped all my pro equipment and just rode with a light weight point and shoot.

The MDH for me is an incredibly beautiful and challenging terrain. There is little momentum so it takes quite a bit of horsepower. It’s steeped in history and has the look and feel of the old wild west. One of my favorite things I found this year (you can see below) were the band of shells pushed up from the floor of an ancient lake. There are lots of ticks right now (I had about 10 of them) and the horseflies are fierce. I even ran over a snake this year. I think it was a rattler but I did not go back to check!  And while the trail is challenging, it is so energizing for me and that is why I try to make an annual pilgrimage.

I can’t wait to see and hear the stories from my friends that are going to ride it and see it for the first time. I bet each of them comes back with a story or two of great adventure and self discovery.  Good luck my friends. Here are a few pics to enjoy and inspire you.