Sometimes I need to be reminded how much I love cycling…

If it sounds ridiculous, that’s probably because it is – why would anyone need to be reminded? Especially someone like me, who earns a living through cycling photography.

There’s not a time in my life I can’t remember loving cycling. I got my first Saturday job so I could buy a mountain bike, and in all the years between I’ve ridden everything from downhill and dual slalom to commuting and riding road. So why would I need to be reminded that I love it?

The truth is I can be pretty down on myself when it comes to my rides. I tend to remember the pain of the hills and the ride-long headwind rather than how amazing it felt spinning my legs or how fresh I felt when I finally settled into a rhythm on that climb. There are so many things we forget about or take for granted – whether you’re riding with friends and enjoying the conversation, or riding alone and trying out a new route – and taking photos of the ride helps me remember the good times as opposed to getting hung up on the bad.

I’m not a strong cyclist by any means – I eat too much cake and I’m not competitive enough to be chasing Strava segments or trying to tear the legs off the people I’m riding with – but why does it have to be about that? My rides become one of the few occasions I can really disconnect, and while as a freelancer I’m never really ‘off the clock’, I can use the time on the bike to practice – test out my eye. I don’t want to run the risk of not getting a shot when I’m on a paid job, and so you’ll find me looking for interesting shots in an unlikely place.

I suppose people might feel a little underwhelmed when they look at my Instagram feed and see that there aren’t that many epic mountain shots, or that the riding shots I take are shot with my phone rather than the full frame SLR I use for my work, and it can be frustrating sometimes when I come across an amazing scene where the light is just right and the phone just can’t meter the shot the way I want it to, or capture all the detail of that stunning view, but that’s ok – the fact was that I was there, on my bike – and in the days to come when my legs ache or my head’s not in the right place, I can look at that shot, remember how amazing it felt being on the bike, pull on my jersey and head out the door, ready for the next new memory…

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