In recent months, I’ve started to find myself in front of a lens almost as much as behind it, especially on this recent tour. Riding through China was overwhelming from a photography standpoint. Everything was rich in texture and as a foreigner, the everyday was visually engaging. When I could, I’d stop and shoot, or ask one of the riders to pause for a portrait.
Just about everything was natural and that’s something James from Adventure Refugee tried to capture in his video pieces for Mission Workshop. We’d leave with no plans, or script and would point out shots, or spaces when we came across them. In a land like China, nothing is predictable, you’ve just got to go with your instincts. That applies to the subject and the subjected.
This morning, after a night of coughing up pollution and desperately trying to catch up on sleep, I took to the streets of Shanghai on my bike. Seeing the city by foot yesterday was a completely different experience when compared to riding through the congested streets. Tyler and Drew from Factory 5 were Lyle from Mission Workshop and my guides for the day. We had an early morning agenda and since the sun was out, we were surely in for a warm ride. Shanghai is a beast that is best slain by two circles, two triangles and instincts…
Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery and keep an eye on Mission Workshop’s (@MissionWorkshop) and my Instagram (@JohnProlly) during the day for updates.
When Josh from Avery County Cycles won the rookie of the year award at this year’s NAHBS, I don’t think anyone was surprised. I for one, was not in the least bit. His self-described Colorado front-range commuter is a mixture of things. Part cross bike, part light-tourer / commuter, with a trail suitable for off-roading. He kept the rear end tight, at 405mm and a nice, even bb drop of 65mm. While there are rack provisions on the rear, Josh prefers a bit of backpack camping.
Enough about the use and geometry, this is a show bike with all the suiting accoutrement. The hardware is copper-plated, there’s a machined lamp tab on the non-drive fork, Avery “A” fork crown inlay and a ‘perty blue matte coat of paint. The color really looks great in person. In fact, this whole bike looks great in person and in photos. See for yourself in the Gallery!
Last week, before the SxSW shit storm settled in on Austin, I had some friends in town from New York. Wilis and Josh from King Kog wanted to get out on some trails, see the sites and eat some BBQ, so I arranged just that. For what felt like every single day, Wilis and I were out hitting my normal trail loops I’ve worked out, while still finding time to stop for some rope swing action.
We ended the week with some Austin BBQ and as the guys packed their bikes up in my living room, I could tell they were a little bummed to be leaving… Can you blame ‘em?
Since this Recent Roll is almost 36 exposures, I narrated the photos.
NAHBS is always a difficult event to cover. There’s no feasible way for me to go to every booth and talk to the builders, or select one of their frames to shoot, so I tend to just walk around, aimlessly and stop to shoot when something catches my eye. This Photoset is filled with randomness from the show, check the captions for more information and check out my other NAHBS coverage here.
The guys at Alchemy began their operation here in Austin and last year the company relocated to Denver, the home of the 2013 NAHBS. Since relocating, the team has pulled together an empire of steel, carbon and titanium bikes all of which were displayed in their booth. My favorite was the stainless road with Dura Ace.
I didn’t get the chance to visit their facilities in Denver, but all the more reason to return to that awesome city in the spring.
Ok, ok. I’m playing hookie right now from the interwebs and am probably staring down the rear brake yolk on this beaut, ripping through the limestone and singletrack of Austin. There’s something to be said about a bike that’s usually seen from the rear during a race, which is what a lot of Wilis‘ race companions had the pleasure of admiring. Cross bikes aren’t meant to be dainty, precious objects that you wipe down every day. They’re meant to be dirty, muddy and fast.
Wilis showed up to Austin with his Rosko cross bike and it was too clean to shoot photos. We’ve been riding a lot, #corndogging and just having a blast hitting the local trails and hills. After a couple days of that, his bike looked good and happy, i.e. primed to shoot photos. I love Seth Rosko’s work and was very pumped on his grassroots support for King Kog during this year’s cross season. The team did well and the bikes did exceptionally well, even Wilis’ Campagnolo beast saw the podium on more than one occasion.
There’s something very metal about a black bike and this one’s got battle scars just about everywhere, save for the Cadence bar tape. Oh and the Pearl Velo bottle was my touch! We’re both fans of H.G. Wells.
As I await for my film to get processed and scanned, I figured I’d post a little bit of love for these two parties: Pearl Velo and Avery County Cycles. Last year, when Josh from Avery was hanging around Pearl Velo, he and Tyler chatted about making a run of singlespeed cross frames for the Pearl Velo ‘cross team. This one’s Tyler’s personal frame, the first from the batch.
He prefers his cross frames a bit smaller, with a positive rise stem to put him at the proper riding position. Built with Columbus Spirit tubing and a sparkle clear over the olive drab paint, this is a no-nonsense race machine.
Jeff from All-City has been rambling on and on and on and on and on about how much he loves his new Macho Man Disc. You know what? I totally agree. It’s a good looking bike and everyone’s been really stoked on it. Even the Frost Bike reception was very positive. If you want to read Mr. Frane’s thoughts on it, head to the All-City Blog.
Bottom line: MSRP for the frame is $625, with the complete coming in at $1795.
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Prolly is not Probably started in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York. For over 6 years it has thrived as John Watson, the sole author, documents multiple facets of cycling. With the boom of urban cycling, Prolly is Not Probably has grown to be the number one blog for the culture surrounding it. In recent years, a large push for original content has spawned a steady flow of photosets, profiles and portraits.
Known for his A Day in 10 Photos, Merckx Mondays, Recent Roll, Shop Visits, and Beautiful Bicycles features, John continues to document bicycles of all kinds and his daily life through photos. Over the years, Prolly is Not Probably has been cited in the New York Times, COG Magazine, Urban Velo and other notable publications. In March of 2011, John moved to Austin, Texas where he continues to cover a cross section of cultural influences.