When out and about on your bike, especially on an adventure that is different from a daily commute or routine errand you may want to record your journey so you can reminisce about it later or share your memories with others. That is where photography comes in. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then photos can be helpful to collect snap shots of your surroundings, clever businesses, your cycling companions, beautiful plants and vegetation, and destinations worth remembering. Cyclists often include the bike itself in the photos as a reminder of what the journey was about. Below are some tips for photography that will make your photos from a cycling journey even more memorable.
Let me make it clear I have no intention of riding across the country or the world on a bike if there isn’t a support vehicle or a warm bed and flush toilet involved. But it is a guilty pleasure of mine that I like to read about others who have. I can’t really explain my fascination with long distance cycling because it is a hard, uncomfortable way to see the world with a few moments of wonder from the landscape or encounters with kind people interspersed with lots of drudgery, hardship, danger, and bad weather. But learning about those moments of wonder and figuring out the motivation and perseverance of those who take on the challenge of a multiday long distance bike trip is an opportunity to live vicariously.
It happens to everyone who rides a bike—you’re rolling along and all of a sudden it becomes hard to pedal, maybe you hear the hissing of air leaving your tires, maybe it’s the loud boom of a blowout. Or you go to get on your bike and discover that a tire is flat because somehow the air leaked out during the night. The result ranges from an inconvenience or it could be dangerous but it is always trouble. Not all flat tires can be prevented but there are simple steps you can take to reduce the likelihood.
The 108th version of the Tour de France (TDF) is now in the history books and as usual, it was filled with memorable moments. Whether you root for the overall winner of the Yellow jersey, winners of the other specialty jerseys, such as the White, Green, or Polka Dot, riders of a particular nationality, such as Americans, Columbians, Slovenians, or French, or the records broken, such as the number of stage wins, there was plenty to keep us interested this year in the world’s greatest cycling event.
I first became aware of the Tour de France in 2004 when I was on a mission to learn everything I could about cycling in preparation for opening a bike shop. When I learned that at that time there were 5 cyclists who had won it 5 times I named and decorated each of the 5 rooms of the Earth Rider Hotel after each of them. During the tour season I showed the race continuously on the TV in the bike shop. Interest has waned among some since then, possibly due to the publicity around doping and for us in the United States, lack of American contenders.
At Earth Rider we like to sell basic black bikes. It is a nice neutral color and no customer ever walked away from buying a bike because it was black. But with something as important to your well-being and transportation as a bike, it is nice to express your personality with it, just like you do with your clothing and hair style. So, whether you start with a canvas of all black or your bike has some color you want to highlight or compliment there are several options to customize your bike so it looks like all yours and is easy to pick out among others at a bike rack. We are going to suggest what you can easily swap out and add and what you should avoid doing without careful thought.
Unless you ride a bicycle built for two or carry a child on a bike, it is one person one bike. But cycling is a social activity and sometimes bikes travel near other bikes. When you and your bike join a group of riders, it is a way to meet new people or spend time with old friends who share your love of cycling, follow a leader and learn about new destinations and routes, and sharpen your cycling skills by modeling the behavior of more experienced cyclists. But riding in a group is different than riding solo so what are some of the dos and don’ts of group riding etiquette?
One of the upsides of the COVID-19 pandemic is a boom in outdoor recreation. Activities such as hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, camping, picnicking, and winter activities (skiing, snow shoeing, snowboarding, tobogganing) have seen increased interest. Participation in outdoor recreation usually hovers around 50% of the population, but last year it increased to 69%. As stay-at-home restrictions have relaxed, many people discovered that outdoor pursuits are an appealing response to living with COVID-19. The desire to focus on health and wellness and make the best of these trying times has resulted in more people getting outside to play.
The bike touring company Ciclismo Classico, which is based in Arlington, MA but considers the world its home, had to cancel all its European tours this year. But trying to salvage a bike touring season, they sponsored bike tours late summer following all the latest COVID-19 protocols, not to their signature destinations in Italy and Ireland, but in the Finger Lakes of New York and also Southern New Hampshire. This allowed adventure seekers to drive to the start and bike routes consisting of loops, out and back, so that they would be near their car at the end of the trip. These “close to home” tours were able to satisfy participants yearning for new experiences, outdoor activity, and camaraderie.
During this year of disruptions most of us have spent more time than usual avoiding other people and forgoing our favorite activities. It might be comforting this holiday season to reach out to our business associates, friends and family with a holiday card. In this age of social media, texting, and email, a physical holiday card with a newsletter or hand written message might be welcome. If you have been the recipient of bad holiday newsletters in the past you might think a newsletter is the last thing you want to do, but a newsletter or hand written message tucked into a beautiful card would probably be most welcome this year. Even if the newsletter is obviously sent to others, people will feel more connected to you just for received your special news. Just the act of mailing a holiday card signals that you took the time to think of them and create a bond during the holidays. The addition of a message makes it personal.
Earth Rider Blog about Cycling
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories