I really love having no reference points, visual or otherwise, between the time I lived in Portland in the 1980s and the present. This lets me make comparisons from mental pictures. SE Division Street between Cesar Chavez Boulevard (formerly 39th Street) and about 26th Street used to be a quiet place. I distinctly remember several biker bars. The Oregonian (now called Oregon Live) now claims it is Portland’s “hottest food destination.” I like the food cart court here, St. Honoré Boulangerie, and the Bollywood Theatre.
I have a 23-year-old road bike that, well, I just can’t seem to get rid of. Maybe I will this spring. For now, it works, and it is about as old as my bike pump too, which looks worse for wear. Today I experimented with mounting the GoPro on my handlebars to see what kind of angles would be generated and to see what kind of emotions are communicated when someone is caught in the middle of a very aerobic sport. Biking is one of the most aerobic sports I know, and that is one reason I love it so. As I often do, I adjusted the settings in Lightroom to accentuate the contrast, which is a look I am growing accustomed to. Here’s to spring days, the simple pleasures of riding an old bicycle, and seeing rows of blossoming trees along a lovely lake shore.
The is my second in a series using a GoPro camera to document the commuting life between Seattle and Tacoma. Time inside a carbon-emitting box occupies a massive portion of the daily lives of hundreds thousands, if not more, residents in the region. The effects of stress, speed, and more primal emotions that surge during the hours on the road take a measurable toll, and few of us can stop to contemplate what the cumulative impacts are.
I am just beginning to explore the powers and possibilities of the GoPro as a still camera. This is the back seat view, as I drive over the earthquake-weakened Alaska Way Viaduct, which will be torn down in about two years (if the tunnel boring machine gets unstuck and fixed). There is a zombie like quality to all of us, in our metal and plastic boxes, heading from who knows where, to our homes or to work. I pass this scene every day, five days a week.