I’m not sure why I am so interested in taking pictures of bicycles. Maybe it is because I really enjoy bicycling, but don’t get to do it enough. For whatever reason, when I pass ones that that is interesting or aesthetically pleasing during the course of my day, I take pictures.
I just got back from vacation in New Mexico, but I confess I kind of slacked off when it came to photographing bicycles. I missed some good opportunities, especially in Albuquerque where most buses has cool bikes on the racks on the from of the bus. There are also a fair number of cyclists on the roads, but I usually don’t photograph these because it’s hard to get a good shot of a bike with a rider on it that’s in motion. I didn’t have my bike and I wish I had, because it definitely seems like a bike friendly place.
If you are fortunate enough to live in or near Marlinton in Pocahontas County, WV, make your way to the Opera House this Saturday, November 12 to see The Steel Wheels in concert at 7:30 pm. I’ll be there! I’ve been a fan of these guys for a while now, but this is the first chance I’m getting to see them live. I can’t wait. I learned about them from Bicycle Times magazine’s June 2010 issue which reported on their pedal-powered, seven night, concert tour. They strapped their instruments and merchandise to their bikes and headed from town to town, covering nearly 300 miles. This wasn’t some stunt, followed by a support vehicle in case they got tired and needed a lift; this was a genuine concert tour on bicycles. In fact, they did another this year. As I read I learned that they were based in Harrisonburg, VA, a place I knew well having gone to James Madison University for my first two years of college.
Those two things alone were reason enough reason to like these guys. They hail from Virginia, and they tour by bicycle. (Not always, of course. They have a national following, and a bicycle tour across the entire country is impractical, at best.)
They were praiseworthy, but were they any good? Now I had yet to check out the music.
I could leave here tomorrow and this will already have been an extraordinary experience. I’m not planning on it, mind you. I’ve only been here three weeks and have barely gotten started on the project that is my main reason for being here, and I’m really just getting settled in.
Nonetheless, it’s been an exciting three weeks. I’ve heard some amazing bluegrass music played live, nearly run over a black bear, spent some time riding along one the best bike trails on the East Coast, seen a stunning display of fall foliage, been visited on my front lawn by a family of deer in the wee hours of the morning, learned that Pearl Buck was a much more fascinating person than I ever gave her credit for, met some really interesting people, and hopefully made a friend or two. That’s just some of the highlights of these three weeks.
I’m no stranger to the countryside. Between the Boy Scouts and family trips, we did a lot of camping when I was growing up. Yet I’ve been astonished by the wildlife I’ve seen in just a few weeks, ranging from the wide variety of birds, to small mammals and arachnids. Continue reading →