Fatty Rides Again


In a post earlier this month I mentioned how happy I was to be back on skinny (40c) tires and off of the Farley for a while. That time off of the Farley lasted about two weeks. It’s not that I found myself longing to ride slow, soft, heavy, four-inch tires on dry dirt roads or anything, but with Saturday’s ride time temps hovering around 30˚ I figured I might as well roll fat and slow, work harder and thus stay warmer.

Nearly every cyclist in Michigan and surrounding states was at the Barry-Roubaix yesterday. I was not. I made the executive decision upon crossing the finish line last year that I was done with the Barry. It’s not that Rick [Plite] doesn’t know how to put on amazing races or that the course isn’t fun, or anything like that. It’s just that while some folks love to be surrounded by thousands of other like-minded bike geeks, I find it a bit overwhelming and not all that much fun. I know what you’re thinking–”this dude’s a whack job!” And you’re probably right, but keep in mind I was drawn towards training for, and doing, long races… by myself for a reason!

I felt bad not doing the race for the first time in five years, but I digress.


My photographic collection of dirt road hump shacks continues to grow.

Just because I wasn’t racing didn’t mean that I didn’t want to get out on my bike and enjoy the blue sky and bright sunshine of a cold ass Michigan spring day. So I readied the Farley for the first time in weeks, grabbed a small back pack and took my DSLR with me for a nice Saturday photo ramble on the dirt roads south of town.


Somewhere south of town, there is a coyote with a full belly.

The dirt roads are in perfect condition right now. In fact, I can’t believe how dry they are. Even after the heavy rain and freezing rains we got last Wednesday, they are fast and dry. Getting passed by a car (or dung hauling tractor in my case) results in a huge clouds of dust, rich with particles of cow manure and deer hooves.


Don’t shit on the gate!

It was nice finally to get out for a ride with my Nikon D3200 in tow. Amongst hard-core photo-nerds the D3200 is not considered to be a top of the line DSLR, but I have found it absolutely awesome and it’s proven to be perfect for learning my way around a camera and not just pointing and shooting. I am really anxious to get my hands on a new bag that Porcelain Rocket has in development called the Slinger. The Slinger is a handlebar bag, similar to the feed bag, that is larger and can accommodate a DSLR camera. This should help make these random photo taking rambles way easier.


As far as the ride, I didn’t set any distance or time PRs but I was happy to be out riding and enjoying the sunshine after a stressful (and painful) week of travel, a funeral and a tooth extraction which continues to be pain in my ass jaw.


A dirt road, Guantanamo bird house.

I was also happy with many of the pics I shot. I tried out some filters I picked up recently, thinking that they would help with the extremely bright sunshine that I was shooting in, and that did help me get some shots using lower f-stops and increased depth of field, but they were probably unnecessary. All part of learning. I sure wish that I got as much enjoyment out of “real,” academic education as I do from learning new creative skills. God knows the creative stuff has led me down the path less paid.


Two fatties, one photo (look hard).

I think I am going to spend today taking my recent roll of Holga film to get developed, scanning the photos in, lounging around taking shelter from the 25 mile per hour wind gusts, and maybe making up another batch of Bolognese sauce to irritate the gaping hole in the back of my mouth. Funny, I don’t feel like a fat, slack-jawed troglodyte, but I know I am. Sorry.


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