Zen and the art of bicycle touring

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by thegimprider, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. thegimprider

    thegimprider Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Douglas Coulter
    How many photographers also tour by bicycle? Micro four thirds was invented for us. I have been touring since 1971 and got serious about photography in 1977. Since then I've toured with TLR's and a Nikon FM for 25,000 miles. I did not shoot much film because I was in a big hurry to get somewhere. Motorcycle toured for several years with a Mamiya 645 until I found a Cannon EOS cheap at a swap meet. Digital did no approach film back then but it did not carry the cost per roll. Images cost nothing! I bought a Nikon with three lenses for $1,000.00 and thought I had THE KIT but they became dinosaurs overnight.
    Equipment gets better and cheaper but I get old and broken. I ride a recumbent trike now and it qualifies as a wheelchair. I've shipped my pro gear home to shoot with a pocket camera trying to cut bulk and weight. My full time tour camera now will be the Oly PL-7 with 7-14pro a 20mm prime and Panny 50-200. An older Samsung NV-7 in my pocket and a light tripod.
    crazyguyonabike.com gives me a good journal photo space to share my tours. 15migerlach.jpg
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  2. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    130429 Elfsteden-11-.jpg
    This is as far as I went. Not thousands miles from home, but a mere 100 maybe.
    Not for a year or so, but for 5 days.
    But my friend and I had lots of fun.
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  3. thegimprider

    thegimprider Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Douglas Coulter
    Distance is not as important as speed. A bicycle is slow motion and offers a slow motion perspective. One can drive a highway 1,000 time and never see its details. Photography is all about perspective.
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  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I've only done a few 100 kms of bike touring at a time, strictly weekend trips, but I always enjoyed it. For years I had ambitions to do a tour from Ontario out to the Atlantic in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, about 2200 km one-way, but life and work (and now an annoying knee injury that nags after longer distances), have all gotten in the way. Maybe I should just break up with my partner, quit my job, and get to it while I still can! With life expectancies these days, am I still allowed to call it a quarter-life crisis at age 30?
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  5. thegimprider

    thegimprider Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Douglas Coulter
    Injury forced me onto a recumbent trike but it was a blessing. Perspective is unique low to the ground and a recumbent looks forward, not down. Diamond frame bikes require a forward lean while recumbents offer laid back.
    Too bad my trike is broken and I'm in a wheelchair for a few months to recover from surgery. I miss the freedom of self contained tours into places I've never seen. A camera allows me to share some of that.
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  6. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Gerlach puts you out in the middle of nowhere. Black Rock Desert.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  7. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Hope you recover soon and find yourself on a bike again, be it a diamond or not :)

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
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  9. thegimprider

    thegimprider Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Douglas Coulter
    A point and shoot with 20X lens is ideal if you just want to capture tour images. They have become so good and so cheap it is hard to justify bringing high end mirrorless system cameras along. But there are those of us who love quality glass. Zoom lens design is very complex and the pocket zooms cut big corners. A high end pocket camera with two adapter lenses would meet my needs but nobody makes one that fits my ideals. I spend several months at a time homeless on my trike wandering back roads and shooting thousands of frames. MFT offers the most versatile choices for the money right now. I'm looking at Lumix ultra zoom 400mm as a better option than Oly pro 300mm The Pro 300 is a very specialized lens and weighs like a bucket of bricks, (try pulling 10 mile grades with extra weight) and you understand the draw of versatile vs quality. If National Geographic funded my tours the Oly 300 would travel no question.
    My Oly pro 7-14 is a lens I won't leave home from a tour of any real distance. 20mm prime and 45-200mm Lumix makes for a complete Holy Trinity but I do want a high end mid zoom. 75-300 Oly 4/3rd lens works well with PL-7 and is the lens I have now for long reach. I don't like it much but it was what I could afford at the time. Almost worthless for action wildlife but OK on a tripod. I've found some amazing eagles and owls in flight and slow lens makes it hard to get good results.
  10. PNWRider

    PNWRider New to Mu-43

    Jul 4, 2016
    I love bicycling and 4/3 format systems are fantastic for it. I had tried the Sony rx100 but found I like the interchange lens cameras better even if a bit bigger.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    A very long time ago, in a galaxy... Uhm, no. But it was some time ago. Not with M43, but at least it was an Olympus XA.
    As far as smaller goes: back in those days I did my main work with medium format, but after one trip the Mamiya stayed home. For a few years I just used the XA. And then I invested in a limited SLR set. Despite good quality gear, it was hard to get used to the lower image quality of 35mm film. My more recent transition from DSLR (which felt as cumbersome as once my medium format gear) to M43 was a lot easier with far less quality loss in prints (if any).

    afd 1994 sittard leende peel sittard 15.jpg

    1996 trektocht haarlem kampen 17.jpg
    For those who do not recognize the name of the path: Guilmet-path; André Guilmet was one of the people who shaped the bicycle as we know it. More or less same sized wheels back and front, and a chain to the back wheel (1869).
    The fact that I was riding a dirt road that was overrun by a motorway seemed strangely appropriate for our time.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  12. thegimprider

    thegimprider Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 12, 2016
    Douglas Coulter
    I've shipped camera gear home from tour when I discovered it was not being used. I did many day rides in USMC with a Mamiya C330 and three lenses but those were just photo rides and I was not carrying camping gear also. A Mamiya 645 and three lens outfit was fine on Motorcycle tours but just too bulky/heavy for my bicycle. Nikon FM and 43-86 zoom plus a 135mm was my full kit for long distance self contained bike tours but speed was my demon then and I took few pictures. 80 miles per day was my requirement and I did not stop unless amazed at view.
    2003 I went recumbent trike and 40 miles per day is max. 200 photos per day is common, 1,000 is not rare. Olympus 4/3rd system is giving way to MFT and its clear advantage for weight and bulk.
    A clamp and screw ball head for steady shots and a zipshot tripod when I need freestanding support.
  13. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I hope your recovery goes well. Your story inspires me that as I grow older I can still find ways to enjoy life and photography! Thank you thegimprider!
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