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!

Fargo Reunion Ride Portraits and Pics

I had the best of days yesterday. It was my birthday and I had the privilege of spending the day with my three favorite things; my family, my friends and my bicycle. Honestly, it may have been my best birthday ever.

So….Let me first share with you a few pics I am excited about. If you have been following here for a while, you know I like ride portraits. Today I share with you a series of portraits taken during the ride. I like these because sometimes I get it just right and you see the personality of the individual truly come out. It’s much different than posing portraits. I just take my camera out at the regrouping/rest spots and snap away without much warning and without much fan fair. I also broke the rules and shot these with a wide angle as I only carried a single lens with me for the day. Too bad. I like breaking rules and I like these pics of my friend.

Click on any pic below to go to slideshow mode.

And here are a few random shots from the day. Roads. Friends. Bikes. Whisky. Craft beer. Meat. Yep, pretty much perfect.

Thank you again my friends. Until next time.

FARGO ADVENTURE RIDE & REUNION

I’ve been hating Facebook more and more these days, but today it redeemed itself. My friend Guitar Ted posted this image.

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It’s an image I took many years ago on one of my official, unofficial Fargo Adventure Rides. I later printed an extremely small run of mini prints and shared them with just a few folks, the source for this image above.

In the FB comments, instigator MG mentioned we should do this again. I proposed a rough date and idea and off it went. It looks like Friday, October 28th (my Birthday) I will be pulling together another Fargo adventure ride. Here is a end of ride picture from the last one I held.  Look at all those Gen 1 Salsa Fargo bikes! So good!

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So….Save the date. I’ll fill more details in and create an event page here on my blog, but on Friday, October 28th I will be leading a little Fargo Adventure Ride out of Northfield, MN. I don’t have the route planned, but all my previous Adventure rides have been between 60-75 miles. I would suspect this to be the same. While the pace won’t be fast, I think pretty much everyone that’s been on them has found some type of challenge with my route and come home a bit knackered. This will be no death march. It will be fun and focused on a route that is multi surface. I will try to hit pavement, gravel, dirt, grass, mud, river or stream and who knows what else?

While the title of the ride is the Fargo Adventure Ride, any and all bikes are welcome as long as they are multi surface capable. Ask anyone whom has ever been on one of my routes, a road bike will not cut it.  It is an unofficial event. In fact, it isn’t an event. It is a bike ride in the country. No entry fee. Travel at own risk. No drop. Not officially sanctioned by anyone. Zip. Nadda. Nothing. You are doing this on your own will and at your own risk.

For those that wish to camp, I’d suggest Nerstrand Big Woods State Park. I think it is open into October although some of the nicer amenities close mid October. LInk here:

For my friends considering coming, do it. Just know though that I am not able to do a whole weekend event and guided tour of Minneapolis. Please stay, but you will have find another tour guide. We are nice people up here so I don’t think that will be a problem.

Did I mention this ride is going to take place on October 28th, 2016? Save the date!

One last request. Please leave me a comment if you are interested and/or committed to coming. That will help me build a communication strategy and gathering page.

OK….I am going to bed. I have to go start exploring these roads in the AM to put something special together.

Update here: Also no camping. Parks are closed.

Souris Valley, ND – My first big Fargo Adventure – 2008

After the introduction of the Fargo at the GTDRI, I spent some time traveling to both visit family and to also keep testing the Fargo. The bike I was on was still in prototype form and we were still tweaking the bike as it moved to production for introduction to the masses later that fall. My first big trip was to North Dakota to visit family in Minot, ND. I had been up there many times but never with a bike capable of both pavement, two track, gravel and dirt. I was excited to go explore.  With the help of my wife’s father, we pulled together some maps, talked about the valley north of Minot and the stretch to the Canadian border. My route was set for the border and back.

I still had the Fargo in touring mode from the GTDRI  with both front and rear racks. I put a rack bag on the rear and carried my nice camera (A Canon DSLR with a whopping 5 MP!). It was on this trip that I found out how hard it was to shoot with a DSLR while moving on a bicycle. I also learned that when it is in a rack bag (or any bag) you just don’t shoot it that much.  But….I did manage to get the camera out a few times on this gorgeous route.

The back country of North Dakota is simply stunning and once again I was reminded of it’s beauty. As I rode around the country all I could think about was the writings of Teddy Roosevelt and why he loved the rugged and beautiful North Dakota landscape. It was on this trip that I really understood just what the Fargo would mean to me and possibly to others. I could ride anywhere. I could carry food and water for hundreds of miles. It had big tires and was comfortable.  I found out first hand that the Fargo was a ride all day on any road type of bike.

Let’s get onto the pictures and the beautiful North Dakota landscape.  Most of these pictures are from the Souris Valley Wildlife area. Since this ride, I’ve ridden in this area every year when I return. It is a special place in this country and for all you folks that think it’s flat, it’s not really. That said, the real challenge is the wind and the sun.

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Next up in my Fargo story; The new build, introduction to the masses and Las Vegas.

The Introduction – GTDRI 2008

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It started out with a little bike ride. I had a short tour planned to test out the rig I was riding. I had it loaded up with gear and food. I had planned on camping with some guys on day one, ride the GTDRI and then my wife was driving down with our young twins and we’d stay in a hotel and go swimming in the swimming pool.  Little did I know how this would play out. I knew we’d have fun at camp. I knew we’d all love the death ride through Iowa’s beautiful country roads. I did not know how it would impact me with lifelong friendships, common bonds of a shared experience and personal path in my profession.   Little did I know that a vehicle, a common bicycle, could become the central cog in my wheel of life.

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One of the folks that will be a common thread in my Fargo story is my friend Mark. He wrote about the Fargo and some of his, and our, experiences today on his blog. Check it out here. For some time, this yet to be publicly named bike was dubbed the black electrical tape bike (story on his blog). Little did he know that I stopped just moments before meeting up with him to put the tape on and cover the Fargo name.  Hee, hee, hee!

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The ride out to camp was beautiful and this is one of the first of countless sunsets that I would experience on this bike. It quickly became dark though and we we may have had one too many beers for the long death ride that would come all too early.  Thankfully, I learned that the second of the two things mentioned here did not help my bike rides.

What some of my friends know leading up to that weekend was that it had been many years since I had ridden 100 miles. My twins were born several years earlier. I worked hard training long miles in secrecy with this bike. For me this weekend was as much about the bike as it was about myself re entering cycling as a true enthusiast.  This bike was part of that personal journey and I was so focused on killing the death ride. Even the late night and beers would not stop me!

The crew - David Pals is just coming over the hill and the horizon line. Look closely!  What a group!

The crew – David Pals is just coming over the hill and the horizon line. Look closely! What a group!

Our morning roll out went well. Here is my favorite image from the weekend. I should also mention that this was also the start for me to enter the photography world as well. I was shooting this little tiny point and shoot I got a few years earlier.  Just another small start to something that would become very important to me. Dang, so much related to this bike and this time in my life. Hard to believe it was several years ago.  But….Onto the ride.

Here are just a few amazing moments of our roughly 120 miles day in the sweltering heat.

The crew rolling forward.

The crew rolling forward.

Rest stop under the water tower in Tama County

Rest stop under the water tower in Tama County

Some people know I love barns. Some don't know that love started on GTDRI 2008

Some people know I love barns. Some don’t know that love started on GTDRI 2008

We saw more than one of these. I grew to love them immediately.

We saw more than one of these. I grew to love them immediately.

Is this a B or C road?

Is this a B or C road?

We rocked it. It did not end.

We rocked it. It did not end.

We had truly an incredible day. Looking back now and imagining this trip, I would have one regret. That being not getting a picture of the elderly woman in her night gown and walker that came out to get the mail. We stopped and talked to her. Mighty strong woman that lived, and worked, here in the midwest. That would have made my photo memories complete.

For me personally, I finished the ride feeling really strong. I had made it. My bike was perfect. My new friends made the experience better. I was back and I was hooked.