In print, photograph, and film

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Recently, friends from all over the globe have published an array of media that capture a specific time or unique aspect of our lives.  In the deepest part of winter, is is nice to have such sun-bleached memories to use as fuel for the next season of riding.  It is nice to know such an amazing network of people.

Print and photograph:

Our friend and Polish riding companion Przemek has published a series of beautiful stories on his blog In Between Spokes.  These photographic journeys document some of the time we spent riding together in Poland.  I especially enjoy the post entitled “Born on the trail: Chabowka to Szczawnica“, and this one detailing our first days on the trail together, “Days better than other: Zwardon to Makow Podhalanski“.  Our last days of riding together in Poland are captured in “Goodbyes, Hellos: Szczawnica to Krynica Zdroj“.  Without knowing at the time, we would eventually reconnect with Przemek in Ukraine to ride together in the Carpathian Mountains, and also on the Crimean Peninsula.  All told, we spent nearly a month living and riding with Przemek.  It was the best experience we have ever had sharing the trail with someone (Lael excepted).

Look for more of Przemek’s words and images in the upcoming issue of Bunyan Velo.  The fourth edition of this free quarterly magazine is due to be published next week.  Finally (finally!), it will also have some of Lael’s words as well.  Catch up with the wide world of bicycle adventure by revisiting the first three issues of Bunyan Velo.  Full-resolution copies of the magazine are available for download for a few dollars, and the BV web store now includes some cool paraphernalia.  I’ve been wearing a wool Randi Jo Fab hat with Bunyan Velo logo all winter.  Or, just donate some dollars to keep Bunyan Velo alive!

All photos Przemek Duszynski.

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My friend Mary has also published an interview with me on the Chasing Mailboxes blog.  We first met on the C&O canal outside of Washington D.C. in 2010, by chance.  Mary has been documenting the lives and minds of various cycling bloggers over the last few weeks, including interviews with Shawn Granton of the Urban Adventure League and Kent Peterson of Kent’s Bike Blog.  I am happy to have shared some very personal thoughts about riding and blogging with Mary, including some insight into why I’m tired of classic bikes, and how much my load of electronics weigh in comparison to ultralight camping equipment.

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At the time, I was only reading a couple of blogs, irregularly, although I was heavily interested in bikes and was learning at a rapid pace.

In the past years, I had spent a lot of time digging through Sheldon Brown‘s webpages and learning through my own mistakes and experiences. I was also reading Dave Moulton’s blog regularly, and enjoyed discovering some of Jacquie Phelan’s old articles from 80′s MTB magazines. I loved the concept of a literate mountain biker. I was keeping up with news from Velo Orange and Rivendell, both of which postured themselves in a unique position against the mainstream market.

By the time Lael and I went on our first bike trip in 2008, I still hadn’t explored the blogosphere deeply. However, I remember such things were more sparse back then. There are more blogs now than ever, which is a good thing.

I started the blog after leaving my job at Velo Orange in Maryland, on my way out to Banff, Alberta, to the start of the Divide. I felt young and energetic, with a whole summer of riding ahead of me.

I had been touring for over two years already, and felt like I had something to share that could be valuable to others. I also felt like I had something to say for my own benefit, as a personal outlet. That summer, and for the next year, I managed the blog entirely from an iPod Touch.

Read more on the Chasing Mailboxes blog.

Print, photograph and film:

Finally, our friend Vital from Ukraine, has compiled an awesome film of our two day ride up and over Kemal Egerek, one of the tallest peaks in the Crimean Mountains, just a few kilometers from the Black Sea.  His humorous edit– set to the Beastie Boys song “Sabotage”– will surely put a smile to your face.  The five minute film gives an honest impression of some of the roads and trails in Crimea, Ukraine, and also captures our camaraderie on the trail.  The film also features my favorite trailside repair, ever.  Highly recommended.

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Vital has also published a nice report of our time together on his blog, whose title translates to “burning or blazing saddles”.  Check it out, and if you dare, filter the Russian language through the Google translator.  I’m sure that some of the original meaning is lost, but the result is hilarious.  Thanks for such great memories Vital!

I wrote about our ride with Vital over Kemal Egerek on the post “Above the Black Sea, Krym, Ukraine“.

6 thoughts on “In print, photograph, and film

  1. I love this quote from Przemek’s blog “If you can’t lift your partner, hold in your arms and smile for the rest of your life you’re holding the wrong person. Watching those two share their days is a bliss.”

    My wife and I have spent 15 years together. I hope that last sentence can be said about us too. Wishing you guys the best.

    BTW the YouTube video is blocked for copyright issues I can’t view it.

    With the 20 inches of snow last week I’ve gotten some good winter mileage on the Pug and I’m pretty happy with it. Not sure if you have written about it before but I think the wider bottom bracket is better for me. It felt much more natural.

    • Jeff, I really loved Przemek’s presentation of our time together. It is especially nice to be able to travel through someone else’s eyes.

      The video link works on my end. Not sure why you can’t view it.

      We finally got a dump of snow up here as well. After weeks and weeks, it is good to let some pressure out and ride.

      While many new fatbike riders are concerned about the 100mm BB, I actually think it is ideal for slogging though snow, climbing, etc.

  2. Hey Nick, have you ever tried Jones Loop H-Bar? I am really curious about these but fear they may be a bit too relaxed, but the added hand positions could be a definite bonus! The 710s have my attention.

    Going with your advice i ordered rabbit hole 29 rims for the pugsley and also a set of knards. X7 rear hub, which is always my go to, cant beat the cost for sealed bearing, and Surly ultra new front hub. My thought is they will make a great summer wheelset, and i could even throw on some big apples for speed around town.

    I am hopeful for a 135 dynamo soon! with that i could eliminate a bike from the collection. one step closer to that simplicity we strive for!

    Boston, MA

    • Landon,

      I have only tried Jones bars on a few brief occasions. I like them a lot, in theory, and at one point I was really sold on bars with 25-45 deg sweep. These days, I prefer wider bars with 10-30 deg sweep. This is partly due to more shred time, and the realization that my wrists prefer less sweep (but not none).

      When sitting extremely upright (as on a Jones frame, or an ECR), more sweep feels good as I am reaching more from above. But in a more aggressive position, I feel like I am jamming my wrists into the bars from the back. A flatter bar feels more natural here.

      I’ve got Dually rims on the way to be built to the Mukluk. I would also be interested in a 135mm dynamo. Schmidt sells one, but it goes for about $450.

    • Mark,

      I think the current events in Ukraine are proof that the Ukrainian people have a strong interest in their own future. Freedom without bloodshed would be desirable, but is not often the case, even in our own history.

      In many decades of oppressive Soviet rule– ever since a brief period of independence between 1917-1919– I think many Ukrainians had lost the ability to imagine Ukraine in a different light, outside of the Russian sphere of influence. It seems young people who have grown up in the post-Soviet era are providing propulsion for the current activities. They have witnesses the successes of other Slavic states (Poland, Slovakia, Czech…), and have had access to ideas and media from the west. However, nationalism is a strong part of the Ukrainian identity, and people of all ages seem to be involved in Kyiv right now.

      The Yanukovich administration is neither the first or the last of its kind, but a pro-western replacement would be a step in the right direction.

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