Back in 2015 I rediscovered cycling. Truth be told, I became a little obsessed with it. What started out as a desire to get a little fitter and improve my health became an all-consuming obsession that saw me take on 100-mile rides around south Wales and south-west England. I then really leant into it and started a website which I’m still running today.
However, in 2017-18 I started to become depressed and withdrew from much of this. It came on gradually and I didn’t realise what a mess I was in until I was up to my neck in it –as it so often goes. My fitness started to ebb away and the medication I’ve been on ever since has left me with a chronic case of the munchies. This summer I decided to get back into the saddle…to get a little fitter and improve my health…again.
Curiously, 2015 was also a year where I embarked on a 365 project. That year the theme was monochrome, so I have a stack of black & white photos from out on rides in amongst the collection. Last year’s 365 was mostly photographs from the neighbourhood, but each day it became harder to find interesting things to photograph. By combining the bicycle with the camera, I should be able to broaden my horizons.
When I think of all the places I cycled through over the years –Bath, Ferryside, Symonds Yat, Little Mill, Llandovery, Lampeter, Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Berkeley, Slimbridge, and places along the way. So much potential, but armed only with a mid-2010s iPhone and with only a limited amount of time, I really need to revisit these places, give myself a lot more time and see what else I can find.
The next challenge is to find a way to carry the big camera. My phone works fine in a pinch, but it’s not quite the same. It is also a much lower resolution, so print size over on the store will be limited. I’ve tried the “bag” idea, but that warm spot on your back becomes sweaty in a hurry –and I always seem to be in a hurry. Even though I’m not as fit as I used to be, my muscle memory is telling me to pedal like I’m being chased by an angry hornet. Next I’m going to try just the strap.
Strangely I’ve not listened to as much music lately. I don’t know why, I haven’t really been in the mood for it. There has been a couple of things on repeat those times that I am –the Oh Hellos four EPs –Notos, Zephyrus, Eurus and Boreas. Four excellent, albeit short folk EPs. Also, Mr Little Jeans (Monica Birkenes) has a new album out, which is very good. It is indie synthpop in a similar vein to Chvrches.
I’ve also picked up a few CDs this month, including Die Krupps excellent Paradise Now. This is industrial metal, crunching riffs and samples galore. I also bought a bunch of Nickelback albums, but we won’t talk about that (OK, I liked them before they became popular…then universally loathed).
Finally, I re-bought White Zombie’s best two albums –La Sexorcisto and Astro Creep 2000. They’re knocking on for 30 years old now and that’s quite a scary thought, as I bought them back in the early 90s.
Still, it says a lot about the enduring appeal of CDs. They last a long time and still sound great.
Until next time…