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Inlägg taggade med: bicycle

Kitchen trainer

Bicycles on the wall

It’s Friday afternoon and it’s hot outside, I would guess around 26-27 degrees. The Swedish summer has hit us with its’ might and the days to come doesn’t seem to let us down either. When most of us would enjoy a summer day like this by the water, eating an ice-cream, finding a free chair at the nicest bar or at least just be outside, others do the opposite.

Regardless of the situation outside, Marcus has to keep focused and do his thing. Today is bicycle time. Intervals. At home. ”Inside?” you may ask. Yes inside. In fact, the best place for his bike is in the kitchen. Sweat will drip down on the plastic floor instead of the wooden dito in the living room and the view from the kitchen is also a little more teasing since he can see the world outside. Today it’s hot, but it could of course also be the opposite. Just imagine the view 6 months ago when he was fighting the pain while seeing falling snow. But when he sits there, pushing and pulling the pedals at 100 rpm, does he really care about the weather? I’m not so sure… His head may be pointing towards the window and the green trees outside, but his vision is definitely somewhere else.

But why the heck train inside during summer when you can be outside feeling the warm wind against your newly shaved legs? Marcus explains and even though I wouldn’t do it myself I undersand how his mind works.

I use my trainer all year around. Most people move it away as soon as the snow is gone, but for me it’s so much easier to do my intervals right here in my kitchen. I don’t have to care about what I wear, or ride my bike to a decent road where I can push the limits. There’s also no red lights, cars or other disturbances that may take away my focus. Doing my 40 minute intervals here at home feels so much ’easier’ and then I also have time over for something else when I’m done.

The intervals he does are based on his pulse. He pushes himself real hard for four minutes and when the time is up he stops pedaling to enter a four minute rest period, where he waits for the pulse to go down to 100 bpm. When the pulse is low enough he starts pedaling in normal pace and when the rest is over he starts all over again. This whole procedure is done 4 times and even though you usually never get real high pulse peaks during cycling (as you do when running) you get the same effect: fill your muscles with lactic and train your body to push it away as fast as possible.

After about 45 minutes Marcus hops off his bike and starts the stove at the same time. When the bike has been stored away (by hanging it up on the wall) he goes back to the kitchen to spend even more time there, but this time to do dinner. He opens the refrigerator and asks me if I want a cold beer. If I want a beer? How could I not want one? I mean, it’s hot outside but even hotter inside.

I guess this is where the line between an athlete and elite is drawn.

All photos are also available on Flickr, click here.

Photo test: cycle training

So where do you start on a project like this? Obviously for me as a photographer it’s all about the photos and since I’ve never used my camera to document an athlete before I had some very cloudy ideas about certain things.

Like bicycling. I mean, how the hell do you take nice documentary photos on an object that usually travels around 35-45 km/h? Do I want motion blur or not? Should I perhaps rig up a lot of flashes to be able to freeze the fast moving two-wheeler? Is it possible to take picture while riding the bike at the same time? How do other people on Flickr do? Or should I just go my own way? Help!

As you can see I had really no idea what so ever on how to take these first photos. But why be scared? This is the most fun part of photography: new challenges!

I met up Marcus around the recreation area Hellas, which is quite close to where I live. When I rode there I found some nice pieces of asphalt and thought that a small climbing hill could be a good start. This would mean that Marcus couldn’t bicycle too fast, since going uphill, and I would also get a better overlook over the scene.

About 100 shots later I decided to go more with motion blur, placing the camera directly from the side of the road, having Marcus bicycle from left to right (or vice versa). I think that these photos really grabbed the moment better, since this part of triathlon is all about speed and optimizing your aerodynamics.

When we headed back towards the city I suddenly stopped and decided to try this really unsafe photo technique: taking photos on Marcus while riding the bike myself. This was actually really fun and even though 80% of the material turned out blurred or out of focus I got a really huge kick out of it! I will definitely try this again. For those interested I have some tips: since you don’t look through the lens while taking pictures, auto-focus is a must, but remember to point towards the object before pushing the button since it’s very easy to end up with out of focus photos…

So, the first photos of this project have been taken. Maybe not a biggest step for mankind but certainly I smiled the whole way home and even more when I realized that the so called ”photo test” ended up with at least 5 photos that I would consider ”good enough”.

Judge for yourself!

All photos are also available on Flickr, click here.