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Daily Archives: October 13, 2016

On Photographing a Bicycle:  Getting the Angle Right on the Handlebars

And now for an eye candy post…

I checked out a post on Bike War this morning and found these two choices:

First, let’s get one thing straight, those are both very expensive, well appointed bikes.  Guessing, the cost is north of $10,000 each.  The De Rosa would be the one I’d buy, it’s the high-end name, Italian-made steed.  I voted for the first one though, simply because it’s staged better.  The angle of the bars in the photo of the De Rosa is all wrong and knowing that De Rosa gets most of the angles right in their stock photos, that mistake surprised me.

This is a recent photo of my Venge:

Now, the perfect angle would be to get the drop at the back to line up perfectly with the one in the front so the rear drop would be hidden.  I took that photo with my phone and holding it in my hands.  The two pro shots above were taken with a much better camera, presumably on a tripod.  Here’s the trick – to get the angle right, so the bars line up, I have to half-squat so the camera is at the perfect level, within a half-inch up or down and I have to favor the right, towards the front of the bike.  This is the important, classic “this is my bike” photo.  The valve stems are at Six O’clock, the crank arms are in line with the chain stays (so the rear is hidden – another viable option is to hide the rear crank arm with the seat post, so the front arm is on a steeper downward angle), and the drive train (cassette, crank, chain) are facing out.  The final piece of the puzzle is that the rear gear doesn’t matter, but you’ve gotta have the chain on the big ring up front.

The rest of the photos, like the one below, we probably needn’t worry about staging so much:


Here’s another from DALMAC:

Now for the photo above, that’s where we stopped for lunch on day three.  We were 65 miles into the 100 and we weren’t about to waste time staging the bikes properly – we were too busy with how quickly we could fire a burger and a Coke down our gullet.

Here’s another that I took just because the sun hit it at a really cool angle:


In the end, you’ll have those who absolutely refuse to stage their bikes for the “this is my bike” shot because it is kind of a pain in the butt to remember everything.  Either that, or they’re antiestablishment about the whole thing.  I personally don’t care what anyone else does, but you look at my Venge (half the cost of those two examples at the top) and I don’t think this can be argued against; my properly staged bike looks better.
UPDATE:  This, from DeRosa, is more like it:

The Three Ways I’ve Done Fitness….  And the One That Sticks the Best.

Grab a cup of coffee and stick with me a minute.  This gets good, I promise…

I’ve been ridiculously fit almost my whole life.  Say the first six years don’t count so I’m looking at 40 years.  30, I’ve been varying forms of awesomely fit.

It started when I was four or five.  I couldn’t sit still as a kid so my mom would cut up a hotdog on a plate and place it on the oval coffee table, at one end, in the living room.  I’d do laps around the table and take a bite every two laps, chewing as I went along.  Idiots would think this a choking hazard nowadays and call the nanny police statists but my mom knew her son – and she was a nurse so she could have Heimliched a horse out of my throat if need be – mom-strength is nothing to be trifled with.  I’ve seen it in action, my brother felt it, and witnessing that still hurts me.  

As a kid, I rode a bike everywhere and learned to play baseball, basketball, hockey, golf and football.  It’s just what we did.  On summer evenings, all of the neighborhood kids would meet at Paula’s house and we’d play kick the can till well after dark (a mix of hide-and-seek and tag… lots of running).

There were a couple of years in there where I was too drunk to be bothered with any of that, though a friend at college took pity on my skinny ass and dragged me to the gym to lift weights a few days a week.  It did some good but not much.  I frickin’ hated it.  Still, I could bench 225 when I quit going.

Rollerblading, just after I sobered up, was my first fitness “love”.  I dug everything about it – above all, the speed.  I bought a $350 pair of blades, and keep in mind, this was back 1992.  You think that’s a lot of money for skates today, it was a ton back then.  I had the brakes off two minutes after I took them out of the box.  Brakes, sheesh.  I also didn’t bother with those lame wrist protectors, or knee pads, or even a helmet.  Just shades (gotta protect the eyes!), shorts, socks and speed.  No shirt – and I was hot enough to pull it off.  Dated a hot doctor for a while on that.  😎

Anyway, then came my period of lethargy.  I had an active job as an inspector of aircraft chrome and cadmium followed by my entry into carpentry…  It was the carpentry that was the problem.  It turned out I was smarter than I was fast with a hammer so my apprenticeship turned into a desk job.  I’d loved golf and was decent but I finally had use for it so I went hog wild.  I had my clubs fitted, an inch added to swing speed-matched shafts, loft and lie adjusted and I worked with a pro for two years and I became good.  But we all know, golfing is only a sport if you carry your own clubs and walk the course.  Believe it or not, I played better when I walked.  In my heyday, before kids, I could drive a ball accurately 300 yards and my longest was 340.  I digress.  I loved golf but I started gaining weight and losing fitness.

Next up was running, after I decided I’d rather not be a fatass but I couldn’t rollerblade anywhere interesting within 40 miles of my house.  Running was slightly better that the gym.  I didn’t hate it but I definitely didn’t love anything about it except the runner’s high.

One of only two photos in existence of me actually running….  I did it to stay slim, and it worked.

Then cycling, and we all know how that’s turned out…

“Frickin’ love it” doesn’t quite get it, but with cycling I stay slim so I can be a better cyclist.

So, after all of that backstory horse$#!+, here’s the three ways I’ve done the fitness shuffle:

Hate it but did it anyway (Gym)

Liked it and stuck with it because the ends definitely justified the means (Running)

Love(d) it, can’t wait to get out and do it again (cycling, rollerblading)

Put that way, it should be plainly obvious which one has been easiest for me to stick with.

Here’s another, the purple is swimming, green is running, yellow cycling:

Don’t bother looking for the “gone to the gym” sliver, there isn’t one.  The cycling is four shades of yellow for four forms:  Indoor trainer, mountain biking, transport (easy/fun efforts), and cycling sport (rockin’ it).

The point, my friends, is that while I obviously promote cycling, I always advocate whatever it is that puts a smile on our mug.  Triathlons get your juices flowing?  Awesome.  Cycling?  Sweet!  Let’s meet up at DALMAC next year – just be ready to hold 22-24 mph (20 average).  Running gets your motor runni…? Um…  Cool!  Crossfit?  Dude, crossfit away!  

I would ask that while we all love our activity and want others to join us, the emphasis should be more on the “love” and less on the “activity”.  The activity works itself out in the wash while the love is what makes it stick.  Do what makes you smile and wanna shout, “WOOHOO, OUTTA MY WAY, BITCHES!  DADDY’S/MAMA’S COMIN’ THROUGH!”

The “bitches” is obviously in the non-gender specific sense, before you get your granny panties in a Holier than Thou bunch.