I’ve been cycling to work since late last year. It’s good, for me and the world. But there are more convenient alternatives, and they tempt. So here’s a little incentive: #Bike2WorkPix. Consider joining in!
The Hashtag · It’s like this: You can autopilot a bike commute; but it’s harder than in a car. You can ignore the world too; but that’s way harder. What’s easier than in a car is to stop and take a picture, and everyone’s got a phone in their pocket, most with good cameras. So I’m gonna try and do that every day I ride, and post it somewhere tagged #Bike2WorkPix. I suggest that my fellow-bikers out there give it a try. Geo-tag the pic if you like. It’ll add less than a minute to your commute.
Ever been on a “photowalk”? It means you head out with the idea of taking pictures. The effect is amazing: you start to see pictures wherever you look. Since I got this idea, I’ve seen lots of opportunities each leg of the commute; but I’m only stopping once per leg. Call it a “photopedal”.
Why bike? · Well, it’s really cheap. You can get a perfectly decent brand-new commuter bike for $500-ish, and spend a whole lot less if you’re willing to take your chances with Craigslist or consignment stores. Or if you want a high-tech ultra-light, you can drop thousands. Bike repairs and maintenance are absurdly cheap. I’ve never driven to this gig, so the competition is $4.20/day on public transit, or $15-ish when I succumb to the temptation of the car-share service.
It turns out my office building has a nice bright heated locked bike room in the basement, which makes the whole proposition more attractive. Yours might too. If it doesn’t, just a little bit of activism might fix that, what with green urbanism being the new hotness.
It’s OK exercise. This US NIH data suggests my 50-minute round-trip is burning less than 400 calories; I’d do better playing softball and a lot better running. On the other hand, I am now meeting NIH’s recommendation of 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week. Also, it’s low-impact. Also, the downhill parts are hella fun. Also, I get to cross a bridge over the ocean. Also, there are lots of attractive women walking, jogging, and biking.
Confession · I don’t bike every day. Factors apply, including temperatures below 5°C, extreme precipitation, icy ground, and a car-share parked right outside. But more days than not I do; and purism about this kind of thing isn’t helpful. I’ll take any help I can get; for example, turning the commute into a photopedal.
Speaking of not being a purist, these photos are dressed up in Lightroom a bit, while sitting on a nice cozy sofa at home.
Associated equipment · My wheels are laughable, a 15-year-old Specialized mountain bike, good in its day. Theft is a threat here in Vancouver but I protect my bike by never having washed it. I could probably get there faster by buying something lighter and newer.
All these pictures are the Nexus 5X, which is just dandy for this purpose, as long as you remember that for low light, you need a Real Camera, or to brace against a solid object. My fave accessory is a pair of Lizard Skin “Monitor” gloves that let me use the phone’s touch-screen to take pix.
Looking forward · So far, this being midwinter, the pix are mostly urban-experience things. But the days grow longer and the sprouts are sprouting; I foresee more nature in this space.
As I write this, the five pix herein are the only ones in the world in #Bike2WorkPix. All aboard!