Riding and Pictures

I’ve always loved taking pictures, usually I always have a camera in my pocket, in the car, or even in my lunch bag going to work. When I started riding my bike I would carry my Pentax point n shoot with me always ready to take a picture.

Recently I had a opportunity to upgrade myself to a Canon DSLR camera. I didn’t hesitate not for the deal I got it for. The camera is a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with a EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens wide angle lens and a EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens. Years ago I had a Pentax K100 SLR which I loved and used for many years, but then with life it drifted away and the digital point and shoots came along. With riding and taking pictures I got the bug for a better camera and my wish was answered.

I still had the camera bag from when I had the old Pentax and everything fit nicely in there, even the filters I had for the Pentax lenses fit the new lenses. Now there was one problem, the camera bag wouldn’t fit in my saddle bag, it was just to big and bulky. So I was still left with how to carry the camera with me on my bike.

The search began, it took me a while but finally I found something that looked like it was going to work out perfectly.

My answer came in the form of the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling.

It has been an answer to all my needs for carrying my camera with me when riding my bike. The camera fits in the main bag with the telephoto lens mounted on it and a side pocket for a second lens. There are numerous other little pockets for carrying spare batteries, memory cards, and other small items. The best part of this is the bag wears as a sling so I can have it strapped across my back while riding. Even with the camera in it the weight is negligible. The bag had a strap that goes around the waist to snug the bag to you so it doesn’t move around.

The other nice part about the bag is that it is compact enough to fit in my saddle bag with the camera in it if need be.

 

Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling (Black)

 

With the cool weather hopefully coming soon and the pasing of the summer storms I’m looking forward to some longer rides now that I am getting used to my bike and taking some photo’s.

Rain gear, who needs it.

It was early in the morning and I was wide awake, early enough that there was still an hour or so before the sun would be coming up.
Outside the air was warm but not overly hot for this time of the year. I decided to take the bike out for a ride.

Before I left I went and checked the weather and a peek at the radar. There was a band of rain showing north of me but it was moving west to east and not moving south in my direction so I decided to go for it.

On the bike the air felt cool and comfortable, I ended up riding for almost two hours before I decided to stop for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

Ending up at a Starbucks I settled in with my coffee and sandwich, I had my Kindle with me and checked some emails and did some reading while I was there.
A few times my eyes glanced to the sky and I could see the dark clouds looming north but I had myself convinced they weren’t going to make it close enough to rain on me.
Finally I decided to get back on the road and head south, it was still early enough that traffic was light and quiet.
A few drops of rain splattered on me; the big ole fat rain drops. When I looked at the sky it was just a small cloud and again I kept going on my way.

As I was going through one area I saw a sign for a local Tai Chi Society and I decided to stop. I’ve been interested for some time but had never made a big effort to pursue it.
I talked for quite some time to the folks there and gathered some information on when the next beginners classes were coming up.
As I was getting ready to leave one of the ladies I was talking to said, “I hope you don’t get wet.”
That was when I looked at the sky and how it had changed, the clouds had moved south, they were dark, low, and ominous.

Not much I could do at that point so I started riding, heading back north.

At first it wasn’t bad, I made some good time and there was just a few light sprinkles of rain. I began to think I was going to make it without any problem.

The sky opened up on me. The rain came down in torrents, luckily I was close to a shopping center and I was able to duck under there till the rain let up.
I was wet, but not soaked at this point, so when the rain let up I moved on.

No more then two miles up the road the sky opened up once again. This time I was not so lucky, there was no where for me to duck and cover.
I kept moving, at this point I was soaked. Having an open helmet didn’t help any either, the rain kept getting in my eyes.
It was another mile before I came to another shopping center I could pull over into. I left the bike at the curb and ran under the overhang.

The only spot on me that was dry by that time was the top of my head because of the helmet.
I stood there and watched the rain pelting down and watched the sky. It didn’t look good at all. It had turned into the kind of rain that looked like it would keep up all day.
While I stood there I head a door open at one of the stores and the owner came out, he greeted me and said he wasn’t sure if he was seeing right, that someone was out on a bike.
We talked for about an hour and with the weather he had no business coming in so it helped to pass the time till the rain let up.

When it finally did let up I hopped right back on my bike in the hopes I would beat the next wave of rain.
I was doing pretty well almost out of the last town which would have then put me on fairly open road and a straight shot.
Luck wasn’t with me, the road was flooded and it was too deep for me to try and go through. Then I had to sit and wait as no one would stop to let me turn around and go back the way I came.
Finally someone in a truck stopped and let me get back out on the road.

I began going through side streets to make my way around the flooded road, it took a bit but I did find another route, but not before it started raining again.
Thankfully though it wasn’t another gully washer of a downpour so I kept going.

When I made it back to the house I was a sight to behold; I was ready for a hot cup of coffee and a hot shower.

I will be investing in some rain gear very shortly.

Cruising

Last year, about 14 months ago; I decided to get me motorcycle endorsement and I signed up for the class.

Having passed the class but not having a bike I bided my time and saved my pennies. 3 weeks ago I bought my first bike.
A Honda Rebel, a nice small bike with classic cruiser styling. The bike is a 2006 with very low mileage, engine roll bar, and saddle bags.
The best part is it fit right in my budget with a little left over.

Really I’ve wanted a bike since I was in my late teens early 20’s.

 It was at that time I came across a book called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The book actually has very little to actually do with the mechanics of a motorcycle.
What the book IS about is how a motorcycle brought a father closer to his son; based on a motorcycle trip he and his young son Chris took from Minneapolis to San Francisco.
It also talks about taking the time to see things; how with a motorcycle you’re not confined to a box. It is about quality and not quantity that has become such a part of life still today.
You have the ability to really see things and not just see them but experience them. It is about seeing the details, the finer things. More than that it was also about self discovery.

 It was at that time in my life that I had some access to a dirt bike. I rode when I could here and there and I loved it.
At that time it never came about that I was able to get a bike of my own and from there it was pushed to the back of my mind and for quite a while actually forgotten.

 It was a couple of years ago just after I got my Kindle that I picked up a book by Neil Peart the drummer for Rush.
The name of the book: Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road; It is about how within the span of one year he lost his daughter to a car accident and his wife to cancer.
To say he was devastated would be putting it mildly. In the course of his grieving he decided to take a motorcycle trip. He started in Canada and ended in Mexico.

 After reading this book the desire for a bike once again returned and this time I wasn’t going to say no to it.

Yesterday I took the bike out for my first real ride, after neighborhood riding the first few times to get the feel of it. There is a road that runs along the coast; still very unpopulated and very little traffic.
The road twists and turns through pine forests, coastal creeks, salt flats, and a bird sanctuary. I’ve driven that road a hundred times since I’ve lived her, but never have I experienced it the way I did yesterday.
It was a cool morning and not a cloud in the sky, the wind in my face as I rode made me feel alive, the colors of the trees and grass so vibrant.

I logged 30 miles on that ride and I am already looking forward to the next.

Will I ever make the kind of journey Robert Persig or Neil Peart did? More than likely not; I don’t have the kind of resources to travel like that but it sure would be an adventure if I could.

Will I manage to do it in my own sweet way? You bet your bottom dollar.