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!

May 2014 Image Dump – Wow, what a month!

As I sat down tonight to review images and memories from May, I knew I had a busy month but until I looked at the images, I didn’t realize just how much I did. I had to trim the pictures quite a bit or we’d have to break these up into two posts. I really tried hard to get back some old habits and the custom of Friday AM rides. I did pretty good actually thanks to my friend John whom kept me honest. Our family had a fun wedding to go to. We played lots and lots of soccer. I even had a special photo project up at the MNSC velodrome. But no month is complete without lots of hanging out with family and friends. I got that too.

I really was set back at all the things I did in May. I think I may have pushed life just a bit too hard. Then again, I am not happy watching life from the sidelines so I guess it must have been just right.  So with that, let’s get to some pictures!

GNAT_MAY2014_ID_13 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA GNAT_MAY2014_ID_8 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA GNAT_MAY2014_ID_6 GNAT_MAY2014_ID_5 GNAT_MAY2014_ID_4 GNAT_MAY2014_ID_3 GNAT_MAY2014_ID_2 GNAT_MAY2014_ID_1

Preparation

My blogs have been kind of short lately. I’d like to tell you what is going on. Besides being busy with home and work, I’ve got two things that are fairly big on the horizon. I expect both to happen here in October. The first is that I have a multi-day bikepacking tour coming up on southern California. This is a full on vacation for me and not related to work. I haven’t done a trip like that in so long as my trips always revolve around work.  Not this time.  Four of my friends are coming with me and we are doing a 375 mile route with something like 30,000 feet of climbing called the Stagecoach 400. I’m pretty darned excited about it. A little scared too as this hasn’t been my best year for fitness. It’s given me a goal though and I am trying to ride every chance I get. I’ve been shooting quite a bit on those rides. In fact, I have come out of my creative slump and believe I have gotten some amazing stuff lately. Looking forward to sharing it possibly later this week or the next.

Not only am I prepping my body, I am prepping my gear. The above shot was from my last bikepacking tour in California. On that trip I carried a bit too much stuff. This time, in an effort to go further, I’m going to carry less….Except for camera gear. On my last California tour I carried a small point and shoot camera. I had considered shooting this trip on film, but I just can’t imagine carrying film and dealing with film when I am hot, sweaty and dusty.  I also don’t have a bit of extra space for the extra film. On this trip, I plan to carry my full size Nikon DSLR with 2 lenses stuffed in my trusty Osprey Talon 22 backpack. I’ve gotten my gear worked out now and I really hope to capture this trip in a way that is both honest, inspiring and breathtaking. Send me good thoughts that I can do all of that.

In addition, I will have a new website up later this month. It will be quite a change and I am looking forward to sharing it. My friend Erik Mathy is helping me build it….OK he is doing the entire build out, but what time I have right now is being used to think about that and create content for the new site. I’m excited as it marks a big step forward for me and my wife. So….If you are wondering why the short posts, that is what is going on in my world.

All that did, I managed to go back through my last California tour pics in search of inspiration. Here’s one last shot.  I can’t wait to see what I get on this upcoming trip.