Tag Archives: bicycles as therapy

The view from my handlebars. A few photos and a few words.

So a couple things. Firstly, I haven’t been taking as many photos these last few months because of a few reasons, but mostly because at my not-so-new job I don’t always have a secure place to store my camera so I don’t always carry it with me. But there are other reasons as well. And as a person that needs some sort of creative output on a daily basis to survive (no joke), photography is a form of therapy for me. I woke today to a rather bleak morning. It was Sunday, grey, and the fourth Sunday of Advent. And as I lay in bed I wasn’t sure if I was motivated enough to get up, shower, and head to church. But I did, and am glad that I did for so many reasons. I brought my camera and the air felt crisp and clean as I pedaled; it felt good. But between the grayness and the holidays I was feeling a bit melancholy. So as I pedaled I whispered to the Universe…”Show me your beauty, I really need it.” And she did. Sometimes it’s the everyday things; things you see or do each day, but when viewed with a different view, can bring light into your life. It did for me today. And yes, the picture below is a rare selfie. I passed a mirror on my travels and I saw my own reflection and thought it looked sort of cool in a mirror outside. The mirror is at a sharp and narrow corner and is there so drivers can see if another car is approaching. Anyhow, it’s proof that I do actually take many of my photos from my bike. 

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#680 & #681)…

#680 (above)…A camera, an extra lens, a tripod, a pair of work clogs, a pair of pants, two books, a gym bag full of wet cloths, and $23 in groceries.

#681 (below)…A case of wine and slightly more than $80 in groceries.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#678)…

$170 in groceries, sundries, and dog food. Three liters of red wine. And a double order of Chinese take out.

Now if I were the type of person that liked to scrunch words together and put a number symbol in front of them (which of course is also known as a hashtag), I would likely do it to the following phrases… cars are optional, bicycles are vehicles, human powered, be the change you want to see, and freedom (and yes, I am aware the last one is a word and not a phrase but that’s what makes it special I suppose).

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#678)…

$170 in groceries, sundries, and dog food. Three liters of red wine. And a double order of Chinese take out.

Now if I were the type of person that liked to scrunch words together and put a number symbol in front of them (which of course is also known as a hashtag), I would likely do it to the following phrases… cars are optional, bicycles are vehicles, human powered, be the change you want to see, and freedom (and yes, I am aware the last one is a word and not a phrase but that’s what makes it special I suppose).

Urban Simplicity.

The view from my handlebars…

Some years ago I worked with a waiter who was from France, and he told me one of the things he noticed straight away about Buffalo was its trees…how even some of our busier streets have such beautiful and grand trees. The weather has been so incredibly idyllic and autumnal these last few weeks I have been in awe of the magnificent colors of the trees. And–as I’ve said on numerous occasions–one tends to see more when they are on a bike or foot. Anyhow, the above photo and the first two below were taken this evening on my way home from my second job (they were all taken on Linwood Avenue, which has a great two-way bike lane), and the bottom photo was taken in the morning on my way to my first job (Elmwood Avenue). This evening I was in fact so taken by the colors that I was looking up and almost ran into the rear of a parked car. Click any photo for a slightly larger image.

Urban Simplicity.

The view from my handlebars…

Some years ago I worked with a waiter who was from France, and he told me one of the things he noticed straight away about Buffalo was its trees…how even some of our busier streets have such beautiful and grand trees. The weather has been so incredibly idyllic and autumnal these last few weeks I have been in awe of the magnificent colors of the trees. And–as I’ve said on numerous occasions–one tends to see more when they are on a bike or foot. Anyhow, the above photo and the first two below were taken this evening on my way home from my second job (they were all taken on Linwood Avenue, which has a great two-way bike lane), and the bottom photo was taken in the morning on my way to my first job (Elmwood Avenue). This evening I was in fact so taken by the colors that I was looking up and almost ran into the rear of a parked car. Click any photo for a slightly larger image.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#677), and a few things I saw along the way…

On the bike… two 8′ boards, a new log rack, a tripod, a camera bag, a smoke detector, duct tape, and 3 liters of red wine.

I had to go the the big box hardware store today, which is about 4.5 miles from my house, so I brought my camera to make it more interesting. Sometimes it’s not so much about the destination as it is the journey. At least that’s what I’ve read. Anyhow the photos below are as follows. The building below is where Spot Coffee is located, the photo isn’t so much abut that building or business as it it the billboard located on it’s roof. Next is the Church of the Assumption in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo (as seen from an overpass). Below that is the iconic HH Richardson Towers (also known as the Buffalo Psych Center). Next is Colonial Circle. Then a random railroad track photo. And finally, the view of the evening autumn sky from my front porch, shorty after arriving home. I haven’t made it to the gym in more than a week for a few reasons, but today I road probably 12 miles on a really heavy bike into the wind while loaded with a few things. I was huffing and puffing. And now I am tired 😉

Urban Simplicity

Things that can be carried on a bike (#677), and a few things I saw along the way…

On the bike… two 8′ boards, a new log rack, a tripod, a camera bag, a smoke detector, duct tape, and 3 liters of red wine.

I had to go the the big box hardware store today, which is about 4.5 miles from my house, so I brought my camera to make it more interesting. Sometimes it’s not so much about the destination as it is the journey. At least that’s what I’ve read. Anyhow the photos below are as follows. The building below is where Spot Coffee is located, the photo isn’t so much abut that building or business as it it the billboard located on it’s roof. Next is the Church of the Assumption in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo (as seen from an overpass). Below that is the iconic HH Richardson Towers (also known as the Buffalo Psych Center). Next is Colonial Circle. Then a random railroad track photo. And finally, the view of the evening autumn sky from my front porch, shorty after arriving home. I haven’t made it to the gym in more than a week for a few reasons, but today I road probably 12 miles on a really heavy bike into the wind while loaded with a few things. I was huffing and puffing. And now I am tired 😉

Urban Simplicity

Things that can be carried on a bike (#675), and a recipe.

On the bike…a camera bag with an extra lens, a jean jacket, a pair of socks, a chef’s coat, an apron, a book bag with various items, a bucket of raw bread dough, and four bread pans (recipe below).

100% Whole Wheat Bread 

Makes 2 loaves

6 cups whole wheat flour, divided 

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

3 cups water, divided

4 teaspoons instant yeast, divided 

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil 

1/4 cup honey

Separate the ingredients in two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, the vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups of water. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. In a second bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups flour and 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Allow the bowls to rest for at least an hour. After the ingredients have rested and have begun to ferment, combine the contents of both bowls to an upright mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Also add the remaining ingredients: the salt, olive oil, honey, and remaining two teaspoons yeast. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two pieces, gently shape it into loaves, and place them either on a baking sheet or in loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F/218C. If making free-form loaves, slash them with a razor just before they go into the oven. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. As the bread bakes rotate the loaves in the oven once or twice to ensure even baking. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#675), and a recipe.

On the bike…a camera bag with an extra lens, a jean jacket, a pair of socks, a chef’s coat, an apron, a book bag with various items, a bucket of raw (and rising) bread dough, and four bread pans (recipe below).

100% Whole Wheat Bread 
Makes 2 loaves
6 cups whole wheat flour, divided 
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
3 cups water, divided

4 teaspoons instant yeast, divided 
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil 
1/4 cup honey
Separate the ingredients in two bowls using this ratio: In one bowl combine 4 cups of flour, the vital wheat gluten, and 2 cups of water. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. In a second bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups flour and 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons of yeast. Stir it just until combined; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Allow the bowls to rest for at least an hour. After the ingredients have rested and have begun to ferment, combine the contents of both bowls to an upright mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Also add the remaining ingredients: the salt, olive oil, honey, and remaining two teaspoons yeast. Knead the dough on medium speed for about 8 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour. Transfer the dough to a work surface, cut it into two pieces, gently shape it into loaves, and place them either on a baking sheet or in loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes. Preheat an oven to 425F/218C. If making free-form loaves, slash them with a razor just before they go into the oven. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on. As the bread bakes rotate the loaves in the oven once or twice to ensure even baking. Remove the bread from their pans and allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#673), and a few thoughts and photos from a rather long ride…

On the bike…a camera, and extra lens, a tripod, a change of clothes, three bottles of water, a jean jacket, and a few things to eat.

So a couple things. The first is that I had a great ride today. The weather was idyllic. And it was the first longish ride I took with the somewhat new Boda Boda. The round trip was a little over 30 miles/ 48 kilometers. I really enjoyed it but at the same time I have come to full acceptance that none of the bikes I ride are made for distance, at least not for this middle-aged body. The Boda Boda is the lighter of my bikes and it still weighs in at about 35lbs/15kg with nothing on it. Another thing about this ride that–in retrospect–seems almost comical, was getting over the Peace Bridge (I rode from Buffalo to Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada). I only cross the bridge a couple times a year by bike and each time the security measures seem to change. The photo below (two below) shows what I am talking about. This is new, at least since last year. In order to leave America by bike one has to traverse this revolving jail. And if they manage to make it through–which I did barely–on the Canadian side bicyclists now have to wait in auto traffic and go through a toll booth for immigration inspection. Anyhow, that being said (or I should say…having that off my chest), it really was a great ride. I rode the Friendship Trail, which is pictured below and is pure joy to ride. Also below is an image of Old Fort Erie, which dates back to 1763 (before the US or Canada existed). And also, which I like to do when I cross the bridge by foot or bike, is stop at the international boundary line, with one foot in each country (pictured below). The image directly below is of my beautiful hometown, Buffalo, NY, as seen from Canada. So would I make the ride again on the Boda? Yes, without question (I already have plans on doing it again in autumn). Even with the difficult security measures? Yup. But maybe I’ll see if I can circumvent the revolving jail somehow (I was actually stuck for a minute or so (breath, Joe, breath). And hey, if security gets any tighter maybe I’ll see “the Donald” collecting tolls at my next trip over.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#673), and a few thoughts and photos from a rather long ride…

On the bike…a camera, and extra lens, a tripod, a change of clothes, three bottles of water, a jean jacket, and a few things to eat.

So a couple things. The first is that I had a great ride today. The weather was idyllic. And it was the first longish ride I took with the somewhat new Boda Boda. The round trip was a little over 30 miles/ 48 kilometers. I really enjoyed it but at the same time I have come to full acceptance that none of the bikes I ride are made for distance, at least not for this middle-aged body. The Boda Boda is the lighter of my bikes and it still weighs in at about 35lbs/15kg with nothing on it. Another thing about this ride that–in retrospect–seems almost comical, was getting over the Peace Bridge (I rode from Buffalo to Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada). I only cross the bridge a couple times a year by bike and each time the security measures seem to change. The photo below (two below) shows what I am talking about. This is new, at least since last year. In order to leave America by bike one has to traverse this revolving jail. And if they manage to make it through–which I did barely–on the Canadian side bicyclists now have to wait in auto traffic and go through a toll booth for immigration inspection. Anyhow, that being said (or I should say…having that off my chest), it really was a great ride. I rode the Friendship Trail, which is pictured below and is pure joy to ride. Also below is an image of Old Fort Erie, which dates back to 1763 (before the US or Canada existed). And also, which I like to do when I cross the bridge by foot or bike, is stop at the international boundary line, with one foot in each country (pictured below). The image directly below is of my beautiful hometown, Buffalo, NY, as seen from Canada. So would I make the ride again on the Boda? Yes, without question (I already have plans on doing it again in autumn). Even with the difficult security measures? Yup. But maybe I’ll see if I can circumvent the revolving jail somehow (I was actually stuck for a minute or so (breath, Joe, breath). And hey, if security gets any tighter maybe I’ll see “the Donald” collecting tolls at my next trip over.

Urban Simplicity.