The queen of my heart, forever and always. Happy Mother’s Day, mama!!! #mamasboy
So, I will roll with the punches.
Today I revisited an old, memory laden trail - the Capital Crescent Trail (http://www.cctrail.org/). My good friend, Tim, and I road the path from Bethesda, Maryland all the way to Washington, DC. In total we covered 26.69 miles in 3 hours and 4 minutes. There was a lot of stop and go in the city but I am really getting a better grip on aggressive city riding. I really have to thank TIm for the invaluable training, I love cycling and traffic was always a big fear of mine.
The reason I say the trail is memory laden is because it was the nameless trail from my early childhood memories riding with my father, uncles and cousins. It was the same trail that I revisited in college to do my first stop action project. And it was the trail that I drove to to practice dragon boat racing in the Potomac for my ex’s chinese school. An ex that set up the framework for the impenetrable, trust robbed walls around my heart. Quite a trail! However, coming back to the CCT as I am now really opened up a new opportunity for me. With a newer, more mature mindset I looked at the trail as a closure with a lot of my past demons. As I pumped my legs and (made incredible time ~7 miles in 28 minutes) zoomed past trees and fences and memories I felt like I was finally saying goodbye to these memories. The good and the bad. I felt I was riding ahead and away from the younger me. Riding away from my dad and my uncles and my brother…I felt like I was finally old enough to lead my own trail and to discover my own paths. I felt like I was riding away from every poisonous relationship I’ve ever had. Literally running over and killing every “other guy” (god why is there always another guy). The trip was emotional and physical and amazing.
I have to hand it to Tim. He rode a single speed bike, only had a front brake AND was wearing long commuter pants sans chamois. I don’t know how his legs or prostate made it the 26 miles but they did! Riding through DC this time was more intense because I got to lead a couple of times and we got separated a couple of times. There was some seriously legit bus weaving done today! Our first break was at Union Station for smoothies (we discovered milkshakes were a bad idea last time). I saw a photo opp with the station’s hallway’s architecture and pulled out my DSLR to capture the moment. At first I took a test shot to gauge the exposure and then set up Tim centered and posed. As I looked through the pictures tonight I realized I liked the test shot so much more. Touching on the photographic conversation Tim and I had over beers and burgers after the ride, I thought about what makes a picture and what makes a photograph. I thought about photo journalism, I thought about composition, I thought about the rules and how to break the rules. I thought about fine art and I thought about a maturing photographer and I realized, yes, I definitely like this test shot more. Not to be that guy that analyzes his own picture, BUT. I saw the uncentered composition so much more intriguing. Tim is not the center of the picture, and one could argue, wasn’t even the subject. The mix of people at the end of the hallway, the homeless man passing Tim, Tim’s bike and Tim’s outwardly gaze cause the viewer to arc across the picture from the back to the left foreground. Even the overexposure fills the frame with a pure light that contrasts against the gritty, contrasty textures of the hallway’s ceiling and floor stirring yet more intrigue. The only thing centered and uniform about the hallway is the hallway itself and it encapsulates a variety of off-centered, busy subjects, as a hallway should! Both physically and artistically the hallways presents itself as a vehicle of transport for the viewer. Be it to the other end of the hallway to where we locked our bikes, or be it through the silent chaos of frozen action that is this picture. I may be looking too deep into it, but I think Tim, his teacher and my favorite professor would be proud.
I, of course, had to take a picture of my personal setup. A photographer’s glory is from behind the camera but sometimes I like to let the viewers see a little bit of me. What I’m currently working with is my blue/silver 2012 Trek 2.1 Compact aptly named Tuna.
After Union Station we decided to ride down to the historic Eastern Market area (hence the strange rhombus shaped detour we took on the bottom right). We ended up getting lost in a sketchy neighborhood, replanning and then ending up at a closed bar. So we gunned it back to the city center and decided to head back to Bethesda for food. It was getting overcast and we were afraid of rain. On the way back I couldn’t help but stop ever so often for instagram opps (@chrissogram). One particular spot had me turning around and calling for Tim to follow me. On the left of the trail was a uniform fence and on the right was a chaotic mess of dying trees and roots. Separating the two was a smooth endless pathway - I HAD to put Tim in the middle of it! What resulted was one of my favorite pictures of the day. A gentleman and his trusted iron steed standing unabashedly between industry and nature. Emblazoned on his chest, a stunning call to all those around him, “For the Greater Good”! Call me crazy, but when moments shout themselves out to me I cannot but help to shout back.
It was another fantastically spent day with an equally fantastic friend. I am really biking more and more and I have to say that I am loving it (at the cost of my BJJ gym time). My posts have been becoming much more happier and, I have to say I am becoming much more happier. Out of a long drought I have suddenly been refilled with hope and, dare I say it, excitement. Excitement for what there is to come. Excitement for how uncertainly beautiful the future is.
You get what you make of it.
Amazing write up on an amazing day, but on a completely different level than how I saw it. And I never knew it could’ve had a deeper meaning for Chris, as I was there to just enjoy his company and the ride! Good on you, brother. I can only hope to be on that trail you are blazing to your future right now as soon as possible (emotionally, mentally, career-wise).
Today was definitely the best ride of my life, hands down. Thank you, fellow City Hunter, for blazing this trail with me! There will be many more to come soon!Source: chrissotravels
Last thursday I went into DC for an impromptu shooting of the Cherry Blossoms. To my elation my good friend Tim Tolentino (http://www.timtolentino.com/) was free to come with me and show me the ropes of city riding! We metro’d in with our bikes and rode from the Smithsonian stop to the tidal basin. Of course my peugeot decided to pop its chain and after some playing around with it I got it stay on its inner chain ring, thus restricting me to ride single speed through the streets of DC. They cherry blossoms were as beautiful as I remembered, it had been several years since I had the time to come and see them. We walked our bikes around the basin starting at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. What was supposed to be a cherry blossom shoot quickly became a Tim & Scarlett (his beautiful road bike) photoshoot. Scarlett was a beauty Tim had built from the frame up. It’s rear wheel was single speed/ fixie convertible. The tidal basin waters where coated with the cherry blossoms giving it an illusion of a pink and white sea. It was almost surreal. However, taken at a different angle the purity of the petals gave way to a more realistic view of the basin. This would be reinforced a couple of days later when we received news that a body was found in the basin. As we completed our round about the basin I managed to snag a nice close up of some mallards enjoying the cool shade. As we were about to make our way off the basin into the city to find the famous, Shake Shack, a military helicopter came thundering past us. I managed to zoom in and get a quick shot of it - United States Army emblazoned on its tail. We wondered where it was going and why, and a part of me wondered how a different place and different shoes would have made this view mean some different things…In any case, it was an amazing thursday with an amazing friend. I gained a lot of confidence in city riding/ traffic dodging and will certainly apply it more to my weekend rides around my area. As for everything else, I’m still waiting on more news from SMSC and am going through my training at REI.
Things are very very good right now, and I am so grateful…
One of the best Thursdays I’ve ever spent with one of the best individuals I know.Source: chrissotravels