I'm not really a philosophical guy always looking for meaning in life. If I'm feeding myself every day, feeling comfortable in my ability to live sparsely (albeit with a pretty big collection of bikes), then I feel I'm doing ok. I have a love/hate relationship with the social media I maintain, most of which centers around my business, which is bikes, with the occasional music related post about the two radio shows I do. Lots of pictures of objects, few of people. In some ways, I feel that privacy is important and people pictures take some of that privacy away. My brother is a photo-journalist and probably feels the exact opposite - if it's in a public setting, it's fair game.
So, what's my point? I read today's All Hail The Black Market post, as I do each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and knew exactly what Stevil was writing about. I like taking photos. Have since I was a kid and in my middle school, there was a darkroom. I doubt it's still there, shame. I used to have binders full of photos and slides. Now I have a flickr page, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr... I think that's it. In some ways, it's all too much and is a bit overwhelming to manage and maintain along with running my business - which is two pronged with a retail shop and a brand of frames to manage. Yeah, that keeps me busy.
I like bikes. Mostly, I like bikes for their simplicity. But even that's changed. Bikes are no longer simple. They are now made with such a level of complexity that they are obsolete in the amount of time it took to properly age a tubular tire. As the level of technology in bikes and their accessories (does everyone GPS their rides?) increases, the more I am drawn backwards to less and less complicated bikes.
Case in point, I recently built up a 1985 Eddy Merckx with Campagnolo Super Record (not that Super Record) and shod it in tubular tires. No part on the bike is new, except for tires, cables/housing, spokes & nipples. Every part is from the 80s. And guess what? The bike is quickly becoming a huge favorite of mine. It's huge fun to ride. Compared to a modern bike, the shifting is slow, the brakes require thought and distance to stop, and forget about trying to shift when out of the saddle. But damn, I love riding this thing. I like riding for the sake of riding.
This started off more as a post about being hamstrung by all the pulls from the social media I maintain, which in a very large part are maintained solely to manage my business. Larger thoughts go on the blog. Links to the blog and some bike photos go on the Facebook page. Photos of bikes and bike rides go on Instagram with a few words. What's In The Stand photos go on the Tumblr page. Rules. I need some rules to maintain my life. To make sense of it all. Rules in my life to maintain my focus. And then when it all gets too much, I go on a bike ride. No cell phone (don't own one). No connectivity. But I will take a camera because if there's something interesting, I'll shoot it and share it and, in some way, work it to help promote my shop and brand so that I can keep on going on bike rides and feeding myself.
I'll be gone this weekend at the Eroica California. No computer, no phone, just a 1985 Eddy Merckx road bike and a camera. Three day recharge. And don't try to reach me now for the next several hours because I'll be out riding the Merckx.
(What's playing: Led Zeppelin That's The Way)