Starting Fresh - Brian's Ride

And so it begins!

For the past few years, I've been wanting to build a website that would be a central place to show my photographs, post my musings, and tell stories. It all came to a head, however, when my cousin Brian passed away in August from cancer. I'd already been considering a ride following the Adventure Cycling Association's new Route 66 cycling maps. With Brian's passing, I decided to try to put together a much different approach to the trip in order to honor his memory.

Brian had an endlessly curious mind. When something caught his attention he carefully and methodically learned everything he possibly could about it. In doing so, his life became an incredible series of experiences: Certified ice diver? Sailing? Touring the Midwest by motorcycle? Self supported backpacking on the remote Royal Princess Island in Canada? Building his own Jeep for a 4x4 club? HAM radio operator's license? Helping build and maintain a stock car for his sister to race on the dirt track with? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Brian did all that and more. He also wholeheartedly loved everybody in his family, especially his nieces and nephews.

Brian was quiet, but he lived fully.

After some consideration, I've decided to try to use a large format film camera to document the ride down Route 66. I haven't used a 4x5 camera since college back in the 90's. Even then, I used one maybe twice over the course of a single week for a class. Shooting with a camera like that requires everything that I don't typically do well: Patience. Control. An eye for detail. A methodical, reproducible approach to not only taking the images, but also to developing them in the darkroom. All of which embodied the kind of approach Brian took to everything.

Or, in short: I am going to try to learn one final lesson from my cousin before I bid him goodbye. While doing so, all the proceeds for the images I produce and donations that I collect will go to fight cancer.

In this effort I've been fortunate enough to partner with:

  • Salsa Cycles, whose new Marrakesh touring model is the perfect bike for Route 66.
  • Huckleberry Bikes, a fantastic shop here in San Francisco, that's been all about cycling adventure and touring from the outset.
  • The Adventure Cycling Association, a non-profit whose sole purpose for existence is to encourage more people to travel and explore new places by bicycle. They created the Route 66 maps, as well as others like the Tour Divide and the TransAmerica.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a line. Come back often for more updates, print sales and information on how to donate in Brian's name!

And, last but not least...HAPPY NEW YEAR!