Gravel Cycling: Just Ride (then print)

A black and white photo of a man walking in a wet gravel car park near Joukouji Temple, Aichi, Japan.

2021 was such a terrible year when it came to riding that I made my 2022 goals as simple as possible: just ride more every month this year than I did in the same month last year. The plan is to do the same for running but we’ll see how well that goes.

Taking the camera helps with motivation and helps me to look at things more carefully. I’ve ridden on the same roads for years and years now and am quite frankly bored out of my mind. I can’t think of a single paved road anywhere that I want to cycle on at the moment (except maybe along the Nullarbor Plain in southern Australia). Give me off-road gravel any day of the week.

Combining the gravel bike and the camera makes riding more interesting. I rarely come back with any photos that I find particularly interesting (these photos included) but at least it helps me to see. After all, the bicycle and camera are two of the most wonderful inventions humanity has ever come up with.

But these photos work well as sketches for inclusion in a personal visual diary and can be turned into physical photo books or journals almost instantly with modern day publishing software. Of course you can also just print them out and add them to a diary, too. Just get them off your phone! When I do make books out of them they motivate me to do it again and again.

A productive creative-fitness cycle set to repeat which acts as a useful tool in reaching those goals I’ve set myself.

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