The future

I hope that clears up the confusion on why I shoot bike races.

 

So, I’ve been told that I am sharing to much on social media about my breakup with Martin. Here’s the deal, I share everything on social media, so I don’t know why when something like the end of an 8 year relationship happens, I would not share. I’m hurt, sad, hollow, but I’m also a grown up and am working through it the way I need to. There are lots of things to deal with now, moving 8 years of shit out of a house, finding a new house, dealing with dogs that don’t know why we’re not really going home. Also, what do I do about this… Detroit Spoke. I fell like I have to write this next part to justify my life. Which I don’t think anyone should have to do. But here goes.

Had I been a cycling photographer and Martin been a racer, we met, dated and broke up, when I show up at races it wouldn’t be weird. Because they were each of our things. But I think people think I only shoot races because Martin raced. And that’s where they’re wrong.

I have a degree, in Photography. When I was in 8th grade my grandpa gave me his old film camera and I was hooked. I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a National Geographic photographer since then. Life happens and things change. I went down the road to becoming what I wanted, saw the path and realized it wasn’t for me. So I moved to Detroit, went to Wayne State, got an art degree in photography and met Martin.

Martin and I got into cycling at the same time. He was racing, I was shooting. Yes, had he not gotten into it, I probably wouldn’t know it existed. But it’s not because he races that I photograph. It’s because I love it. I love the excitement, power, speed and the people. I love being behind a camera. I love that every race is different. Even if you go to the same course year after year, the people change, the weather changes, literally nothing is the same. And I love being able to shoot all of that.

I would like to say that bike races are the closest thing to National Geographic I’ll come, I’m still surrounded by mammals that have muscles so strong they could rip your face off. And I love every minute of it.

I didn’t put on Criterium Detroit City because Martin wanted to put on a race. I did it because I love Detroit and cycling, and wanted to mash them together. To bring together the things I love. And I did it. Martin was there for some of it, but after we started planning it, he straight up said – ‘this is a lot of hard work and I don’t have time to do it.’ I pulled that race off, he helped with the shape of the course. He and a handful of other wonderful people helped the night before and the day of. But it was me. It wasn’t for him. It was for me. It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. I had my first and so far only real mental breakdown, so much stress I couldn’t get out of bed. I just had to lay there and cry for a full 12 hours. It was miserable and amazing. I didn’t take over West Branch RR and Crit because Martin said I should, I think he was probably against it, since CDC was so terrible. I did it because I didn’t want to see a race die. There aren’t enough of them around to have one leave. I didn’t help out with West Branch the 2 years after because of Martin, I’m pretty sure he didn’t even go up one year. I did it for the love of the sport.

I didn’t start Detroit Spoke because of Martin, I did it because I take photos and wanted to make a brand out of them. Branding me. Branding my hard work. Martin’s been there for all of it, but it wasn’t because of him that I have done what I’ve done.

And just because we’re no longer together doesn’t mean I have to stop what I love. I get to be way choosier now, I get to pick what races I want to travel to. I won’t have to drive an hour to go to Wednesday Worlds. But you can bet your ass that I’ll be at the velodrome on Friday nights.

I want to photograph the Tour de France from the back of a motorcycle. I want to shoot all the 6’s in Europe. That has nothing to do with Martin. That’s me. Those are my goals.

So yes, I’ll be at races. Yes, Martin and I are friends. No it won’t be weird. Some things will be different –┬áMartin will be staying in shitty hotels saving money and I’ll be in a nice hotel because I’m to old to stay somewhere shitty – unless it’s Burlington Iowa, then I stay at the Ho-Jo, because who doesn’t love a Tiki bar, putt-putt and a pool inside an old skating rink…

 

I’m looking forward to the opening of the Velodrome in Toronto in January… It’s been killing me to think that I have to miss it. But I don’t. My life involves and revolves around cycling. My life doesn’t necessarily involve revolving around on a bike (that was a poor attempt at a track joke).

I love cycling. For me. I love it for the friends I’ve made, the places I’ve seen, the thought of the places to come.

I’ll see you out there, you’ll be on a bike, I’ll be behind a camera. Same as it’s been for the past 6 years.

 

I hope that clears up the confusion on why I shoot bike races.

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