Friday, May 13, 2011

Knowing When to Stay off the Bike

While riding late in the afternoon almost two weeks ago I stopped to catch a silhouette shot.  Many times when I'm riding late in the day or first thing in the morning I see a photograph I'd like to take but it means pointing the lens toward the sun.  I don't mind doing this, in fact I break this photographic rule quite often. I can never get the photo to look the same way my eyes see the landscape.  It has either too much highlights or the shadows are too dark.  I know that HDR processing would take care of this but I wonder if someday cameras will have the technology to see what we see.

Isn't our ability to see things the way we do amazing?  Our eyes automatically adjust to highlights and shadows and even take care of white balance.  I believe they are more evidence of an intelligent Designer.

Today was the first day that I've been on the motorcycle in almost two weeks.  I've had some sort of "bug".  It wasn't a cold because it didn't progress like one.  It started with a sore throat and aching then went to a persistent cough that's still hanging on. I feel much better but this morning as I twisted the throttle to accelerate onto the freeway towards downtown I felt a little fuzzy.  Fuzzy as in not quite as quick mentally.  Within a few miles that feeling went away.  It was good to be in the mix again stirring it up with the morning commuters.

A good friend, who is also a customer of mine, rides diligently everyday about 45 miles into Portland. He has a saying when he's sick.  He says he doesn't like to ride when he's not "on top of his game".  I like that plan. It sound like he's a key player on a sports team and doesn't want to let the other players down. This is brought into focus when I think of my family as my team.  And even other drivers on the road, those folks are counting on me to be on my A game as well.

As much as I dislike staying off the bike, especially when it's sunny and everyone is riding, when not feeling 100 percent it's best to keep the helmet on the shelf.

I hope you're on top of your game these days.  If not... don't let your team down.

God's speed.


  1. Yes I would have to is a wise man who knows when not to get on the bike. Hope you feel on top of your game in no time mate!

  2. Mike,
    Really good wwisdom. Unfortunately, I have gotten myself in a pickle a couple of times. 45 miles from home and contracting a migrane is tough. Thanks for sharing.I'm taking your advice to heart.


  3. Mike - great thinking - keep the helmet on the shelf when you aren't on top of your game so you can ride more often when you are feeling at the top!!

  4. Mike:
    Absolutely! There are so many people out there out to get you that being on top of your game is the only way to stay safe!

    Great photos by the way - real atmosphere!

  5. Well said Mike. Illness, fatigue, distraction -- all good reasons to stay home. Allen Madding's comment about migrane headaches reminds me of how sudden things can change. I seldom get one but when I do my vision becomes so impaired that I have to stop and wait. Usually it will pass in under an hour but I bet there are people who try and tough it out.

    A comment on pictures and seeing differently than the camera. That's certainly true. HDR wouldn't be my first choice to make things look the way you saw them. I would utilize layers in photoshop to get the control you desire.

    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks
    Follow me on Twitter

  6. Mike:

    I get the same feelings as you regarding whether to ride or not. If I don't feel like it, I don't. sometimes you know things aren't right and I always go with my "gut feel". Just like today . . . My commuter car is a 5-sp standard and I love to shift gears. I like to listen to the radio, I like to open the sunroof, I like to wind down the windows and feel the air rush through my hair. You do not get this same feeling when you have to wear a helmet. It is also liberating to just wear a T-shirt and sandals instead of riding boots and riding gear.

    The human eye can discern perhaps up to 15 dynamic range. Sensors are only good up to around 5 or 6. Film has a latitude of perhaps -2 under and +3 over exposure so naturally we have to compress the tonal range which is what tonal mapping is attempting to do

    hoping you get better soon. Also you may really have hay fever. Your cough may be post nasal drip.

    Riding the Wet Coast

  7. Agree, feeling sick and riding don't go together, a little drowsiness or dizziness can be catastrophic. When sick hang the helmet :-)

  8. Roger,
    Thank you - I feel a lot better. Hope you're doing well my friend!

    I read your comment and Roger's this morning but couldn't respond - had a commitment. You've brought up an excellent point about when an illness strikes at the destination. It makes for a tough decision on when to make a safe ride home. I hope you're free of migraines in the future. Thanks for your comment!

    Thank you for stopping by and your comment. Once riding gets in the blood sometimes the decision whether to ride or not can get blurred. :)

    I agree with the fact that there are folks are out there trying to get us. That reality becomes most apparent when I'm closing in on someone ahead who's in the left turn lane. I feel the most vulnerable then. Thanks for your kind words, Geoff!

    Those migraines sound bad but it sounds like you have a good plan B. There probably are some who ride with migraines. That's a scary thought. The one that baffles me, though, is seeing bikes parked outside a pub.

    I'm not experienced with HDR and I've not used layers either. I'm somewhat ashamed to say I use only a handful of tools in PS. I'll check out layers. Thank you!

    You make a good point about driving in open-air comfort as opposed to riding with all the gear. I have to admit though, I never take the car out just to go driving for the pleasure of it. The motorcycle is a different story - I enjoy every moment on it. Well, maybe when it's 95+ outside I'd rather be in the cage.

    You certainly know the technical side of photography. Our dynamic range is impressive. Sounds like photo equipment can't get close.

    Yesterday a customer said he had the same "bug" and had a lingering cough for about two weeks. It sounds like something is going around. I hope you're doing better, Bob. Take care of that sore foot.

    Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're doing well!

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  10. I agree. It is safer to be on the road if you are fit enough. The fact that your friend never rides when he is sick is just an explanation of how to be disciplined on the road. Thank you for posting this, people need to understand that safety begins with safe fitness.

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