I spend the majority of my free time shooting & riding my fixed gear bike in the city so I decided to do a project which would incorporate both. I work for a messenger company in the city and on a daily basis I see hard working bike messengers who bust their ass to deliver parcels through various weather conditions. To understand how intense this job is which many do for low pay, you would need to climb on a bike and get your ass from 2150 broadway to 1 wall st in less than 30 minutes without getting plowed out by a NYC taxi. One thing that is for certain is the intensity on these riders faces as they maneuver through the busy manhattan streets is indescribable so with this project my intentions are to try and capture these expression along with the environments which these cyclist deal with on a regular basis.
Essentially the goal would be to involve each cyclist with this project along with some follow up questions but its a pretty difficult to capture a subject in action then give chase on a bike. Not too many New Yorkers would stop for a big black man chasing them on a bike, I know I wouldn’t. Here are the 1st batch of shots which came from 1 day of shooting. Due to daylight savings, by the time I get out of work I have little ambient light to work with and about an hour to get as many shots in as possible. I still prefer quality over quantity . These shots were taken along broadway from w37th to w18th, Enjoy and please feel free to share the blog.
(Break for a smoke)
(Business As Usual)
I will continue shooting this project throughout the remainder of the year, hopefully all works out as planned. One a side note, November marks the 1 year anniversary of YourDailyJuiceBlog.com and I want to thank everyone who supported the blog and my work. Feel free to like and share the FB fan page with your family & friends. I have so much planned for the Blog for 2012 (If the world doesn’t end) trust me it will be worth it.
Link to FaceBook Fan Page —-> YourDailyJuiceBlog.com Fan Page
I haven’t anticipated a ride since the Philly trip 3 weeks ago. My seafoam green Leader 725 aka Flow 2.0 (named after my progressive love) was all tuned up and ready to roll while my Nikon battery was left charging overnight. Here it is 8am Sunday morning and I can’t seem t drag myself out of bed. I received a call from Mario at around 8:15am which somehow got me motivated to spring up and get myself ready for today’s ride. I met up with Johnathan and Mario on Boston rd and we made our way to the meetup point. 161st street & Grand Concourse would be the registration and starting location for the 17th annual “Tour De Bronx”. The 40 mile mark was my destination for the day and after registration I posted up on Mickey Mantle Plaza waiting for the rest of the rest of the group to arrive. I was expecting riders from San Francisco, Jersey & Brooklyn. I individually pulled people aside and began to shoot portraits to start the day off.
I quickly noticed that not only was my battery at the halfway point but my front tire was low. Seeing as the tour was about to begin I packed away my camera and went to the made way to the service station to fill up my tire. The tour began and I was quickly separated from the group. I had to make my way to the others through the crowd of bikers. In less than a mile I caught up to and passed the majority of the group. We rode through the south Bronx with the streets blocked off to cyclist. I noticed the first accident on prospect Ave as a car Made contact with a cyclist. Even in bike tours cyclist aren’t safe from impatient drivers.
The 1st rest stop would take place at the YMCA in Castle Hill about 9.76 miles from the starting location. Orange juice, water and bagels were available to the riders who wanted a snack. I got down on two bagels myself, cream cheese never taste so good.
From Castle Hill we made our way through St Raymond’s cemetery to the SUNY Maritime campus. Riding through cemetery gave me an eery feelings and with my respect for the dead I chose not to shoot any photos at that location. The ride continued waterside as we entered the SUNY Maritime campus. While on campus we would take a brief break to allow all to catch up. We would make our way through City Island and to the 25 mile rest stop which would be located at Orchard Beach. The Volunteers would greet cyclist with apples and water while we waited for the rest of the group to arrive. I decided to snap some shots while waiting. Upon the arrival of the rest of the group, I was informed that “Oski” took a nice spill along the way. Good thing his brake saved him.
After all were rested we continued to the next check point which would be located in Van Courtlandt Park , we made our way through Baychester towards Wakefield ave. I was tempted to get off the path to go say hello to my daughter seeing as I was in the area. We made our way to the Woodlawn cemetery when I noticed my front tire had gone down again. We stopped at the local BP across from the cemetery to fill up at the $1.00 air pump (robbery). We cut through yet another cemetery which was a full up hill ride. The path made way through the Van Courtlandt green way to the 35.61 mile checkpoint.
Water and granola bars would be available for the exhausted riders at this location. By walking around I could see fatigue starting to kick in on some riders, others were good to go. The final destination which would make the 42 mile mark would be the NY Botanical Gardens. Along the way I thought I would die while going down a steep gravel path on Palisade Ave. We made our way up Ft Independence rd where I passed BXclusive Ink (Shameless Plug for a tattoo shop I know). At this point I was basically riding on a flat tire with about 2 miles to go. Once I saw Bedford Pk, I knew the finish line would be right around the corner. We were greeted by various flavors of coconut water from Zico, Pizza from Dominos and water. Although the line was long, having a fancy DSLR in hand always gets you to the front of the line. What do you expect, I’M THE PRESS BABY. Overall the ride was intense, I have never rode to all these destinations in one day. It’s always great ride and meet new People. We ended the Day with a group shot before everyone scattered in their separate directions. I cant wait to next year.
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I recently embarked in a 15 hour Bike Ride to Philly on my Fixed gear bike with 2 friends. This ride was definitely one to remember with all the bullshit that occurred along the way, Fixed Gear, no breaks and juiced up on protein bars…oh BTW Fk you Google maps! Along the way we met up with some cool individuals who made the ride that much better.
Edgar caught a double flat (both front and rear) on a bridge and was pretty pissed, while fixing the flats, a cool dude by the name of Adrien drove by and saw the struggle and without us knowing went home and got his high powered air pump, rode back on his bike to assist us. This dude didn’t know us from a hole in the wall and we damn sure didn’t look like we were from the nice suburbian area. while fixing the flats he spoke of a short cut that he takes that would take off a couple of miles and put us right back on the path to Philly. We made it across the bridge only to find Edgars front wheel begin to go low again. Adrien kindly invited us back to his home to fix it up, while there he offered us water, power bars and what tasted like the best apple ever. After all was fixed Adrien took a ride with us along the short cut for a few miles before heading back home. After dealing with assholes on a daily basis in NYC its a breath of fresh air to know there are genuine kind hearted people in this world who will look out for total strangers in need. Thanks again Adrien
The ride was going fine although Mike trailed behind which was pissing me off since I’m used to my pace, I will continue to throw it in his face although he gets much props for making the trip and not frontin like everyone else (yea you!). So we get to Trenton NJ which is the hood and Mike decides to not keep up when a local was giving us directions and he gets lost for about an hour. Trenton isn’t really the place where one would want to get lost and Mike being the genius that he is, didn’t put batteries in his walkie (dick head) Edgar and myself wait for him expecting the worse because, well IT’S MIKE. I get a call from a strange number and yes it was mike saying he was already across the bridge in PA. At this point I was heated and really didn’t want to say anything to Mike and the batteries on the phone was dying which was our GPS. it was around 10pm so we stopped at a WaWa to get some beverages and charge the phone. Finally we Arrive in Philly but by this time the cheese steak spots would be closed so we got a hotel for the night and rested getting ready for tomorrows city ride.
We woke up and checked out of the Hotel and made our way to McDonald’s for a Breakfast before mashing to the City. We passed through the Philly streets which reminded me of the hood back in the 80’s. I almost got taken out by the A-Team Van which took 3 years off my life.
Overall the trip was amazing, I cant be mad at those who never showed up because they missed out on the great scenery and epic ride, Sucks to be you Dude. We rode to the Musuem steps, saw the rocky statue, Love Park and the cheese steak spots on Main street. I cant wait to do this ride again in the spring regardless if its with a larger group or alone. It was definely what I needed to clear my mind. Check out the rest of the shots from this adventure.