Finding and Losing Direction I never thought that I’d find comradeship in cycling: Nor did I ever think that I’d lose the love of photography by spending time with photographers. But here I am, perched in the window, on a bench of the dining table,  looking over the top of my Macbook, past a jumble of breakfast dishes and gazing at my track-bike, smiling.  And, alternatively, flicking through sparse and infrequent folders in iPhoto - moping at the lack of activity. Two or three times a week I ride at the Velodrome which is 2km from home.  It is normally a 05:30 start: a banana and a bidon of water upon waking, and then carry Frankie to the car and off we go.  Sometimes it’s an enduro session; sometimes skills training; and sometimes I go with the aim of 3 hideous lactic burns in an hour.  But here, in a very singular coliseum, I find comrades.  I am foolish and lack self-moderation (in almost all situations), so yesterday after a warm-up which descended into a farce of who can ride the fastest… I found myself lying on the floor on the infield and lost in full belly laughs at our idiocy.  As I pick myself up and shoulder the bike, ready to leave, I hear over my shoulder: “don’t forget to rest up Clive!”  Later this weekend, friends found at the velodrome will pop over for lunch. It is in cycling that I have found laughter, friendship, coaching, carousing, … and comradeship.  I never saw it coming. Yet, when it was suggested that I attend Photoclub I had every expectation of finding friendship and motivation, yet the instead I retracted into my shell and have decided to not go back.  It is in the company of accomplished photographers that I have lost the will.  I *know* that I take plain, twee, naff, ‘vernacular’ photographs.  But when sat amongst people of genuine talent and desire to shoot unique and moving scenes, I quiver and waver. I am not a strong enough photographer to be faced with other photographers and still remain standing.  Also, I respect the pain-cave on the track, and anyone who attends and rides at any speed which sees them knocking on the door of Messrs Pain, Exhaustion, and 170bpm is a legend to me. Yet I am perhaps self-reflective when I am reviled by the same efforts at a viewfinder. I used to find such joy and solace in cycling alone, and sharing my photography with friends and family.  Now I take no pleasure in blood on the floor from a heart on my sleeve that’s bleeding.  But instead actual happiness is found in being collapsed on the floor, sleeves soaked from sweat and my heart maniacally beating.

Finding and Losing Direction

I never thought that I’d find comradeship in cycling: Nor did I ever think that I’d lose the love of photography by spending time with photographers.

But here I am, perched in the window, on a bench of the dining table,  looking over the top of my Macbook, past a jumble of breakfast dishes and gazing at my track-bike, smiling.  And, alternatively, flicking through sparse and infrequent folders in iPhoto - moping at the lack of activity.

Two or three times a week I ride at the Velodrome which is 2km from home.  It is normally a 05:30 start: a banana and a bidon of water upon waking, and then carry Frankie to the car and off we go.  Sometimes it’s an enduro session; sometimes skills training; and sometimes I go with the aim of 3 hideous lactic burns in an hour.  But here, in a very singular coliseum, I find comrades.  I am foolish and lack self-moderation (in almost all situations), so yesterday after a warm-up which descended into a farce of who can ride the fastest… I found myself lying on the floor on the infield and lost in full belly laughs at our idiocy.  As I pick myself up and shoulder the bike, ready to leave, I hear over my shoulder: “don’t forget to rest up Clive!”  Later this weekend, friends found at the velodrome will pop over for lunch.

It is in cycling that I have found laughter, friendship, coaching, carousing, … and comradeship.  I never saw it coming.

Yet, when it was suggested that I attend Photoclub I had every expectation of finding friendship and motivation, yet the instead I retracted into my shell and have decided to not go back.  It is in the company of accomplished photographers that I have lost the will.  I *know* that I take plain, twee, naff, ‘vernacular’ photographs.  But when sat amongst people of genuine talent and desire to shoot unique and moving scenes, I quiver and waver. I am not a strong enough photographer to be faced with other photographers and still remain standing.  Also, I respect the pain-cave on the track, and anyone who attends and rides at any speed which sees them knocking on the door of Messrs Pain, Exhaustion, and 170bpm is a legend to me. Yet I am perhaps self-reflective when I am reviled by the same efforts at a viewfinder.

I used to find such joy and solace in cycling alone, and sharing my photography with friends and family.  Now I take no pleasure in blood on the floor from a heart on my sleeve that’s bleeding.  But instead actual happiness is found in being collapsed on the floor, sleeves soaked from sweat and my heart maniacally beating.

Clive SomervilleComment