As a Brooks graduate with a major in professional photography, it’s odd spending much of my time photographing with a cell phone or point&shoot camera. However, the ever dominant factors of aerodynamics and weight dictate the right tool for the job, and in many cases this is not the 1DX slung across your back for 100-mile stretches. The best camera is the one you have with you, and one can play to the strengths of any camera. Lack in resolution and exposure latitude only require a more intentional approach to lighting and composition. I attempt to capture roads and weather patterns that make for interesting landscapes, then incorporate the aspect of cycling. It is easy to develop tunnel vision on the road, but photography promotes an awareness of surroundings. An opportunity to stop and smell the redwoods.
Not everyone understands this desire. It is a gift and a curse. One that requires you to drain yourself entirely in efforts that could be regarded as the least efficient intervals imaginable. Whether you fall back and sprint to catch up, or take off only to lie in wait ahead, the sporadic effort results in the potential for images that are more than a mere memento of the day’s experiences, stories, laughs, and thoughts. They are a glimpse into what motivates us to cover thousands of miles per year. In the right scenarios, I’m able to relay this beauty even to those who may not understand the allure of a life of cycling.
Words and Photos by Bryan Markwardt