Tag: bicycle

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Long Haul Trucker

I initially planned to close-crop the Featured Image but instead present it as shot. Both bikes are something of anachronisms in San Diego, where more and more riders mount motorized hybrids. Blame electric rentals or SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns—both, likely—for dramatic behavioral shift in a short span of about two years.

The Surly is a Long Haul Trucker model that the manufacturer describes as a “long-distance cargo bike ready to go anywhere”. The single saddlebag—pannier, if you prefer—suggests somewhere. The LHT was retired last year, after 17 years of production, which makes me wonder how much the sudden surge in popularity of electric (and some gas-powered) hybrids played into the bike’s end of life.

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The Future of Transportation?

As part of its strategy to reduce so-called carbon emissions, San Diego is building bikeways through various close-in neighborhoods. The one starting at Georgia in University Heights and ending at Fairmont in City Heights is complete. My wife and I drove the length along Meade Avenue on Jan. 29, 2022 to attend the free-admission Lunar New Year celebration sponsored by the Little Saigon Foundation. However, Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park and the surrounding area was so packed, and parking so scare, we did a drive-by only.

A series of traffic circles and speed bumps has greatly reduced vehicular traffic along Meade—not that a marked increase in bikers is apparent. What I do see, and this is something that should trouble city planners and their long-term goals: An alarmingly greater number of motor-powered bicycles. Everywhere. Some are pedaled, too, and most are battery-electric. But not all.

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Not My Masi

My walk to the pet store on Sept. 25, 2021 was an unexpected trip down memory lane. On the corner of Adams and Ohio, at the leading edge of San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood, someone had locked up their Masi Speciale Fixed. What a great roadster. I used to own the exact same color and configuration.

I bought my Masi in November 2008 and treasured her (my site, my pronoun choice)—the more after thieves tried to steal her (February 2010) out of a locked garage (they got bicycles belonging to my wife and daughter—bastards). The Speciale Fixed is what the name implies: single-gear. However, the bike sports a flip-flop hub that allows freewheel conversion. In fixed-configuration, pedals always move when the wheels are in motion. Freewheel is what most riders are accustomed to: Coasting when not actively pedaling.

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The Bicycle

My wife typically goes to bed and rises earlier than do I. When getting up to feed the cats, Cali and Neko, Annie saw bicycle handlebars sticking up behind a parked car; about 3:30 a.m. PDT. She assumed that one of the apartment building’s other tenants had a visitor who left the bike locked on the sidewalk. But daylight revealed a wayward fixed-speed roadster, apparently abandoned and unlocked. We both wondered where it came from and how in a neighborhood rife with bicycle thieves no one had ridden off with the thing.

Someone stole two of our then three bikes from a locked garage, in February 2010. Annie sees frequent posts on Nextdoor about bikes taken from behind locked fences or about neighbors reporting random two-wheeler chop shops. We wondered where the women’s rider came from. Perhaps someone, ah-hum, borrowed—then abandoned—it?

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Rusty Rider

This exercise bike is nowhere nearly as classic as another that I photographed two months ago today. Condition and color mark the difference. One is rustic, the other is rusted. Still, if you need stationary pedal power, free is the right price. Looked like someone was moving out of an apartment, as I walked by this morning—along Carmelina Drive—and the contraption wasn’t fit to take; of course, assuming the thing works, you could get fit taking it to ride.

Location is close to where lived Hope, who appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series last year. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image (warning: 34MB file), which is composed as shot. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 28mm; 10:06 a.m. PDT.

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One Woman’s Treasure

A few days ago, an overstuffed beanbag—suitable for someone of great heft—appeared in the alley between Alabama and Mississippi at Monroe in University Heights. San Diego residents frequently leave unwanted things for foragers to take. What’s that saying about one person’s trash being another’s treasure?

Today, my wife and I happened to pass by, seeing a new addition: The Vitamaster Slendercycle prominently placed in the Featured Image and companions. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 9:50 a.m. PDT. The second, composed as shot, is 1/200 sec, 9:51 a.m. I used Leica Q2 for both. The last, added after posting, is a closer crop of the first.

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Bicycle Brigade

I am ambivalent about the Featured Image and companion, both taken using Google Pixel 3 XL on Dec.8, 2018. Neither means any more than capturing an unexpected moment. I don’t know why the bicycles barreled down University Ave. past Mississippi Street towards Alabama and Florida in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood on that Saturday afternoon. I do recall being miffed at myself for not shooting video and for being disappointed with the seven shots taken.

The best of the lot has the bicyclists approaching with a billboard behind them advertising the local dispensary, which I won’t promote and can’t crop out adequately enough. So that’s awash. The first of the two pics that you see was previously discarded because of the biker partially shown to the right. But on reconsideration, the contrast is worthy-enough, subtle storytelling—the brigade of cyclists easily riding down the hill set against the loner peddling up and out of view (granted, you don’t see the banana bike, but his posture is seated sure enough). He is dressed in street clothes and backpack; they don fancy road jerseys and shorts or pants.

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The Sun’s Sidewalk Art

On my 8-kilometer (5-mile) walk home from the dentist today, bike rack shadows seemed so perfectly placed for a quick photo using iPhone XS. Composed and presented as shot, the Featured Image comes from El Cajon Blvd near Aragon Drive in San Diego community College Area. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/2833 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 10:47 a.m. PST.

A few blocks beyond, I saw someone’s personal belongings being moved from a building to the sidewalk. I wondered if the individual(s) had been evicted, when approaching seeing two cop cars and several officers. Many homeless folks encamp in that area, too. What I observed and heard: A healthy-looking, bossy black woman closing on a white policeman and demanding: “Put me in the car and let’s go”. She sure didn’t have that worn, living-on-the-street appearance. The lady was clean, neat, and articulate.

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My Leica M (Typ 262) Adventure Begins

I am no fan of Daylight Saving Time, which commenced today. Grumble. But warm breeze and sunlight pouring through billowing clouds, following heavy rains, made me want to walk—and carry along the Leica M (Typ 262); I need to practice manual focusing on the camera, which has been in my possession for a scant three days.

While the rangefinder pleases, a few gripes are unavoidable: Either my focusing skills are really bad, or the Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens that came with the Oberwerth Set isn’t as sharp as the Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens built into Leica Q. The aperture ring is a bit too smooth for me, such that I inadvertently change the f-stop when moving the manual focus knob. Someday, soon hopefully, muscle memory will keep stray fingers off the Summarit lens. What did I say about the importance of practice? Eh?