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A photographer's lesson on a bicycle

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

I experienced something that, up to this point, I had only read and heard other people talk about it. But, honestly, like most of us think about issues, I felt that it would never happen to me. So, here is the back story.

I have always enjoyed cycling. I love the freedom and the sense of achievement I get after climbing a steep hill, finishing along a bike ride, things like that. To occupy my time during the pandemic, I decided to take my riding up a notch; ride as a professional cyclist. I bought a new bike had it properly fitted, which was another experience in itself. Everything I did and all the equipment that I purchased, I followed, while respecting my budget, the professional cyclists “book.”

While immersing myself in the art of cycling, I come across a phenomenon called bonking. Bonking is when a cyclist loses steam when the tank gets empty, and there is no more energy to pedal the bicycle. My reaction was not me. This would never happen to me am strong, healthy, and have been riding, albeit haphazardly, for a long time.

Not me? I set out a couple of days ago for one of those blowing-out-steam bike rides. It started all well. My cadence and speed were above average. I climbed a couple of hills with confidence, zoomed past other riders with ease. It was going to be a great ride, so I thought. I was 20 kilometers in when it happened. My body gave up. It was a feeling like no other, and it came in out of nowhere. My mind was telling me to push, but my body, though wanting to follow the command, could not. I bonked.

I disembarked, lay my bike down, devoured a power bar while swallowing my pride and thinking how the hell I was going to get home. Then, as energy started to trickle back in, I realized my mistake. I forgot to check the most crucial piece before I left home. That was me. You see, I had made sure all my gear was in good working order, but I forgot I had not eaten all day.

This experience made me realize how often we forget to check the essential piece of equipment we have. Think about it. As a photographer, how many times have you checked yourself as you check your equipment?

Stress, lack of sleep, poor eyesight, all these things can affect our creativity. It is therefore essential to check yourself before you inspect your equipment. Remember, you make your equipment great, not the other way.

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