fiets cyclery

by Kyle Andries

Month: November, 2014

The Commute – Intro

As the title suggest, I will be writing about commuting to and from work on the daily grind.

I thought it would be a good idea to document stuff for those perhaps interested in doing so themselves and just give my take on it really. Things like how to prepare for shit weather, how far is too far to commute by biek and most importantly to rant and tell you my opinion on all things cycling – this is my blog after all and that’s what we create them for right?

There’ll be a series of these posts, much like my “Story of my situation” ones, as there’s waaay to much to cover in just one single post. Plus it gives you and I something to look forward to.

I’ve been commuting by biek most days for just over three years now. Started out on my heap of shit conversion (which I absolutely loved by the way!!) and was doing about 15 miles a day working two jobs, setting off to Highcliffe from Christchurch at 7am, then back and onto Bournemouth and back in the evening. This continued until I landed myself a job at an accountancy firm mid to late 2011. That’s beside the point though – for this post I’ll list general things to consider and take into account.

I wish I had something to refer to when I started and I think I learned the hard way really. Whilst at first I just thought, oh yeah lets get on my bike it’s only 4 miles down the road, how hard can it be? It was in the Spring of 2012 that it first went into full effect and to be honest I only really did it cus insuring a 20 year old car at the age of 21 wasn’t particularly easy. I really enjoyed pootering into work once the weather was on the up, plus in the evenings it was quite pleasant to take your time going along the beach in the sunset, headphones in listening to *Realise – Floating Points* (some of you wont understand – most of you actually), seeing people eating ice cream, walking dogs, etc. It was actually really relaxing and a way of de-stressing too!

I was saving a shit ton of money too, which would have usually have spent on road tax, insurance, petrol… However this was offset though against rent as I’d just moved out of the mother hub so something had to give really!

So surely you’d rather choose that over rush hour traffic, surely?

It was bliss for about two weeks to a month when we had one of those heat waves. Then, all of a sudden you realise:

1. Rain – weather is not always on your side.
2. Bike maintenance – things break
3. Smelly Kyle – I learnt that we have showers at work which turned into my very own #DisabledWetRoom™. Result!
4. As a result of 3. How am I going to pack clothes, towel, shower gel etc, lunch, gym stuff (Yes, gym stuff!!) all in one bag?
5. Rain – chafing bollocks
6. Soreness – I ached like a mother fucked every weekend. and my legs swole’d – I now have trouser problems.
7. Rain – I lost count of the amount of times my arse crack was wet – Mudguards? What is mudguards I asked my fine 21 year old self.
8. Food – I now eat alot. Which isnt bad at all, but it costs me more to fuel myself lol. I actually use this as an excuse to eat what I want. Another Result AIMIRITE?!
9. Rush hour – whilst it’s great sweeping past traffic in the morning, some drivers, and cyclists, are just dangerous. I’ve crashed 3 times so far, lol some funny stories to tell you…
10. Rain – Waterproof coat, waterproof gloves, waterproof overshoes? Which as I’m writing this I still don’t have – the overshoes that is!
11. Did I mention rain? Dont even get me started on the winter months FFS. Lights, Merino wool, bib shorts, Helmet, Warm gloves – but don’t let these things fool you – cus your body warms up after ten or so minutes and if you overdress, guess what happens then?
12 – MTB, Road biek, Fixie, Hybrid (lol) – What bike is best?

See what I mean? I cant fucking cover all those things in one post.

Lucky for you then I’ll cover a topic a month, or I hope so anyway.

What shall it be first?

Just know that it’s all good. I decided to take the plunge of cycling to work, and still do for various reasons.

Hopefully it will help you decide 🙂

Kyle

iPhotography

How am I doing?

Meh.

As I’m sure you can understand, I’m not really in the mood to write anything too wordy lately but I do still want to keep posting new content. It’s a nice way to keep focussed on positive things! Otherwise I could probably write my biggest post to date on how the past few months have been. LOL, I’m making that sound proper dramatic.. It isnt!

Anyway.

I’ve wanted to write a photography related post as I’ve only really ever done two – one, two!

I recently bought a book solely dedicated to this particular photography movement – haven’t got round to reading it yet though lol. But I think it’s pretty interesting altogether and makes it so much easier for anyone to get into photography…

The movement is one more in keeping with the new Apple releases recently – I thought I might as well wute about using your iPhone (or any other lesser phone, Android users!!) and what I think on it. Actually, I’ve been using mine alot more over the past year or so and genuinely cant remember the last time I got my DSLR out – probably the last Velo Sur Mer race I attended back in the summer. It’s quite clearly becoming more popular if you frequent Instagram a lot, which makes sense as technology keeps improving. Yeah you’ll find alot of people on there taking selfies 10 times a day but if you look hard enough you’ll find some really inspiring work too. I suppose not everyone uses it purely for highly composed images which is fair enough but the point I’m trying to make is that you dont really need to lug a DSLR (or your favourite vintage Nikon FE – Jacob) around anymore to capture good images. It’s massively convenient too as you can take these good images but also stalk your crush on FB a few minutes later. How elegant!

I suppose DSLR and film camera’s do have that cool element to them though, if you’re into that fixie hipster type of stuff.

As a result of me using my iPhone alot more and given everything I mention above, I cant help but feel that my Tumblr has suffered as a result. Bear in mind that this is meant to be my “portfolio”. Will future prospective clients take me seriously if they knew most of my pics over the last year or so was taken on my iPhone? It is quite easy to lose track of the standard/quality of pics when using your phone, I suppose that’s why I feel like my work can sometimes be shoddy.

Going back to Instagram though, loads and loads of inspiration on there and I try and use that to improve my images daily. I dont tend to use the standard filters anymore after discovering the VSCOcam app – so much better and if like me your 7 year old computer dies and you no longer have access to Photoshop it makes life so much easier/convenient!

Anyway, take a look if you wish, a few I’ve taken this summer are included below and above, and everywhere. I’d love to get feedback from other photographers as I’d be interested to know if I have what it takes to work in that field, probably freelance, as that seems quite appealing.

Funny enough Stretch Armstrong has asked me to exhibit some of my work at an upcoming event, which I’m fairly chuffed about to be honest. Havent ever done anything like that so will be good to have a bit more exposure, opinions and feedback. On the subject of iPhone photography, some of the iPhone prints I had done are way better looking that ones I’ve taken with my Canon 1000D. Now I make two things of this, I’m either not very good at setting my DSLR up properly, or using my iPhone to take pictures just takes away all that hassle of shutter speed, ISO, aperture etc etc. So basically making it easier to produce better pictures altogether – I dont know!

Email me at kyleandries@aol.com if you happen to read this. Would love to know what you think!

So yeah, in conclusion, use your iPhone and fuck anyone who tells you you need a fancy DSLR. You dont need that kind of negativity in your life!

lol.