Bikes, Bikes and More Bikes

I have been meaning to write and share this post for a while but it never came to fruition. I guess being home and sick for the past three days is making me dream about feeling good, adventure, riding bicycles and thinking about bikes.

As of yesterday, it was exactly 6 months since I left QBP, my former place of employment for the past 25+ years. One of the reasons I left was to prioritize myself and my well being and to hopefully regain my fitness. I’m happy to say that all of those things are in process and I have one added benefit that wasn’t on my original list; I have re fallen in love with the bicycle and all things bikes.

My purpose in leaving Q was not specifically to find my passion for bikes again. It was really more focused on health and well being. However, I quickly became consumed in building bicycles, riding them and photographing them. I sold a bunch of my old stuff and purchased some new stuff. I often rode alone as I worked through changes and focused on building up some fitness and mental toughness. I also had a blast riding with friends. In the past 6 months I have spent a fair amount of time on the following bikes.

  • All-City cross & gravel road bike
  • Salsa Cutthroat drop bar mountain bike
  • Salsa Horsethief mountain bike
  • Knolly Cache gravel bike
  • Ibis Ripley Carbon mountain bike
  • Surly Wednesday fat bike

I also found that selling my old Q branded bikes helped me with closure so I sold both my Salsa Cutthroat as well as my Salsa Horsethief, two bikes I really loved. I also have two new bikes ordered to come in and build sometime in 2022. I’ll reveal those as they get built.

While my fitness is taking longer than I hoped to regain, I am once again in love with the bicycle. Honestly, for me, nothing even comes close in freeing my mind and helping my body feel freedom like a bicycle does. True freedom. Nothing helps me work through challenges and problems like a bicycle does. Nothing helps me focus my energy and thought like riding a bicycle does. Nothing helps me feel better about life and myself like a bicycle does. Hard to believe, but after 40+ years or riding bicycles, I still feel like a kid pedaling my 1st, 20″ wheeled, red Schwinn around the family farm.

And with that, here are a quite a few pics from last 6 months of riding my bike. No particular order to this gallery. Just pics as they appeared in my digital catalog. Click on any of them to go to slideshow mode! Enjoy!

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!

An It’s Not Winter Yet Gravel Ride

Can’t believe I am writing this, but I got out on a gravel ride today. Usually at this time of year I am fat bike river rambling on snow and ice in the Minnesota River Valley.  Not today. I woke up, saw the fog, had coffee and breakfast and hit the road with my Salsa Cycles Deadwood, unlearnpavement style!

What a ride. One of my best of the year. It had it all. Rain. Ice. Wind. Mud. Gravel.  You name it. So incredibly good. I rode my Salsa Deadwood and while I know the 29+ are overkill, I can’t get over how comfortable this bike is and how it handles. It is truly an incredible machine.

But enough words. Pics below. I hope you got out too.

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Hope you all had an incredible Thanksgiving. We sure did here. I am heading into the week filled with both joy and thankfulness. I have a fun adventure later this week too. Stay tuned.

Thankful – Bikes are truly a vehicle for exploring the world

I am sitting here drinking coffee with my family around me and awaiting the arrival of my sister and her new adopted daughter. It’s moments like this that remind me just how thankful I am for my life and the experiences I have had in this life. It’s also moments like these that I go back and reminisce. Today I am sharing some old, forgotten, and lost bicycle exploration images. These are just images that I have shared here pulled from random blog posts over the past several years. I hope you enjoy them. I thought they deserved to be seen again.

As always, click on any image to get to slideshow mode.  

 

Enjoy your weekend folks. Thank you for reading and following along.

Eurobike 2015 – Have bike. Will travel.

It’s been a few weeks and I am finally getting back around to going through my Eurobike images and thoughts. I am not going to write too much about bikes other than share my favorite bike of the show. It’s a looker for sure and represents a trend I suspect you will see for the coming years.

But before I get to pictures, let me talk a little bit about Eurobike. It’s the biggest and best industry tradeshow in the world. Unlike Interbike, held in the armpit of hell called Las Vegas, it is held in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Friedrichshafen is on the beautiful Lake Konstaz and the lake boarders Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The lake itself has a very popular bike route around the lake of roughly 220Km that tours folks through little towns, beautiful countryside, farms, hop fields, apple orchards, wine estates and on and on and on. It is one of my favorite areas I’ve ever traveled.

My pre Eurobike plans always include a flight to Zurich where I build my bike in the airport, check the bike bag into long term “held baggage” and leave. This year I took the train to Romanshorn Switzerland and rode around the southern tip of Lake Konstanz and up to the apartment we rent about 15km from the show. All in all stunning.

For this trip, I took two cameras. The first being an old Yashica T4 point and shoot film camera and the second being a Ricoh GR (which I returned after the trip due to a glitch and manufacturing issue). Two tiny cameras. Here are just a couple of my shots that I love followed by a much larger gallery of images.

Solace on Lake Konstanz

Solace on Lake Konstanz

A room with a view - My rooftop sleeping quarters

A room with a view – My rooftop sleeping quarters

An evening in Langenargen, Germany

An evening in Langenargen, Germany

Sunset in Langenargen

Sunset in Langenargen

Kilometer after Kilometer of hops

Kilometer after Kilometer of hops

My trusty steed for the week.

My trusty steed for the week.

An evening flight - I held the shutter open during takeoff just to see what it looked like

An evening flight – I held the shutter open during takeoff just to see what it looked like

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The German countryside isn’t just hops, apples, pears and plums. Beauty is everywhere.

All in all, an incredible trip. I had a couple of crazy moments though. The first being a bee that crawled into my beer and I took a drink ending in a bee sting on my tongue. The other being when I got to the airport to fly home and I left my passport in the apartment I stayed at (many Km’s away). It all worked out and I got home after what could be it’s own movie of boats, trains and bicycles. But….I  made it.  Here are a few more pics.

Oh….And here is my favorite bike of the show. A Van Nicholas custom ti B+ (27.5+) with a custom titanium lefty fork. Wowzers!  So good.

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That’s a wrap. Onto the crummy Interbike Las Vegas experience…..If you can’t tell, I HATE that place.