I love photography. I love the art, the gear, the work, and the impact. I love the seemingly small-knit community that is our commercial photo industry, and I love the almost-incestuous relationships (professional, personal, and romantic) that fill it.
That being said, you need something else in your life to stay sane. Starting out my college career, I had very little in my life besides photo. I had played the violin for 12 or 13 years (to little success due to a lack of practice…) and dabbled with building model cars, but photo was life. Suffice to say, beyond f/ stops, I was pretty boring.
After about a year in college, I unknowingly picked up not only a lifestyle, but a motivator and improver of my health: biking. As a result of class scheduling issues, the size of campus, and an unwillingness to walk, I started biking (the first time in an number of years). On a woefully undersized department store bike from years ago (it was the same model notoriously ridden by Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite), a friend advised me on some changes to make.
He sold me a classic steel frame and wheel set, and showed me how to build it up as a fixed gear / single speed bike. The feedback and connection of riding 700C tires on pavement is unlike anything else… it still makes me a bit giddy when I go for a ride after a long week.
Over the summer, the bike was not only a hobby, but a tool. I used it to get from place to place, experiencing New York City without being on a train or stuck in a car. Riding across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise, and Manhattan as sunset, is still one of my favorite memories. As a result of my 18-mile (round trip) commute from South Brooklyn to the Chelsea, I dropped a satisfying number of pounds and clothes sizes, and it has since motivated me to lose more.
I love biking. I love building up bikes, repairing them and the reward of solving a problem with greasy hands and tools. While photography will always be my first love, biking takes a close second. Along with that, I hope I’m just a little be less boring too.