Way back in 2015 I started a little blog about cycling in Cardiff. It was called Cardiff By Bike and it was my way of learning and engaging with the realities of cycling in Wales’ capital city.
Part of the reason I wanted to write about cycling was because so much of the internet and tabloid discourse around the humble bicycle appeared to be negative and I believed I could add some positivity to the discussion. I quickly came to realise that in an algorithmically driven web, all of what was bad about cycling (or indeed anything) was pushed to the top of the agenda.
However, cycling changed my life. Looking back, in my early-30s I was a tragically unfit, directionless and skint man barrelling towards middle-age with a whimper. Switching to a bicycle transformed my physical and mental health, my finances and my outlook on life. So, I had to write about it.
Sadly, absorbing yourself in a culture that in many ways is still trying to figure out what it is, has its consequences. Engaging in the politics of it all became difficult to avoid and quickly the enjoyment drained away. The good news is, in that time I met a number of great people, made a few good friends and had the opportunity to experience the Randonnée, or Audax as we call them. These are long days out on the bike, riding from checkpoint to checkpoint and getting a brevet card stamped along the way.
This year I decided to draw a line under the Cardiff By Bike project and will soon let the project go. My plan is to bring the ride stories under a new section on here, called Bicycle Tales. These stories are too important to me to let them wither on the vine, so I’m going to re-publish them. Along the way you will meet some of my riding buddies, but ultimately it gives me the opportunity to bring together two of my passions, photography and cycling.
Arguably there is no better way to find interesting things to photograph than to explore the world on a bicycle. To quote Earnest Hemmingway…
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”Ernest Hemingway, By-Line: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades
I hope that those of you following me already find enjoyment in these stories.