- The bike needed to provide a comfortable riding experience without sacrificing durability.
- I wanted a bike with a carbon frame to save weight. This bike also happens to have carbon wheels!
- A top-end suspension that could soften the blows of riding rugged trails was a must.
- I wanted a bike that is extremely responsive, and the stiffness-to-weight ratio of this bike delivers.
- Additionally, this bike offers 12 speeds, a Fox fork, 150mm of rear travel, and Shimano XT 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes.
- Health Benefits of Photography Trekking
- How to Be an Environmentally-Friendly Landscape Photographer
Photo by BrianAJackson via iStock
Do you love photographing landscapes? Do you also love biking? Combining these two thoughts leads us to a logical conclusion: biking and landscape photography fit together perfectly. I like to call it Photography Trekking.
There are benefits to combining these two disciplines. It is healthy for us physically to engage in outdoor activity. Biking is a wonderful outdoor activity. (Check with your doctor before beginning or changing any healthcare activity.)
Capturing the beauty of landscapes while biking also adds to our mental and emotional health. There’s just something about biking to nice landscape photography locations that fulfills holistic health. Mind, body, soul.
Go By Bike
photo by Dave Grossman | Confluence Images via iStock
We’re not the first ones to notice the incredible benefits of biking. Bicycle manufacturer Trek has initiated a wonderful program with #GoByBike that inspires us and gives us ideas. Besides our own holistic health, biking to landscape photography locations is also good for the holistic health of our fine planet.
I’m fully on board with this movement and am looking forward to continuing my personal Photography Trekking. I’m also looking forward to hearing from you about your favorite landscapes to see by bike.
To join the fun of #GoByBike, you’ll need a few things. Good gear for biking and good gear for photography. Other things you could consider include clothing and footwear, camping supplies, and food and beverage choices.
The bike is a primary consideration. You want it to be rugged and dependable, comfortable, and able to tackle the terrain and weather you’re going to encounter. So, for any serious distances and terrain, you really want a top quality bike.
For landscape photography in general, you want the highest quality camera gear you can afford. Some of the best new cameras and lenses to have come to market recently are the Full Frame 35mm mirrorless cameras.
photo by Shoko Shimabukuro via iStock
The form factor of these cameras makes them easy to use in the great outdoors, the large MP count full frame sensors give us lots of image to work with for creating the final image, and they have the added bonus of 4K video. If you have yet to try to 4K video for landscapes, you’re missing out.
If budget were no option, we would all have the entire catalog of equipment offered by our favorite brands, wouldn’t we? Since we all have our own budgets, many fine options exist in Full Frame, APS-C, and MFT, with cameras from entry level to prosumer to full fledged professional models. Choose what works best for you.
Best Biking Locations for Photographers
photo by stockstudioX via iStock
Let me make a quick disclaimer first. No list like this can ever possibly be completely or absolutely definitive. Just like the Pirate’s Code or the composition Rule of Thirds, this is more akin to being guidelines instead of rules.
Some things to look for are access, being bike friendly, and being suitable for landscape photography. Access and bike friendly means not being restricted or private property, perhaps with already designated bike trails or back roads. Suitable for photography varies from person to person, so if you enjoy the place, go for it!
Bryce Canyon, Utah
photo by MichaelSvoboda via iStock
One of the first places many think about when fantasizing about mountain biking, Bryce Canyon also has some of the most interesting scenery on the planet. Easy to access from nearby I-15 and I-70, you can stay on highways and roads or go totally off road over some very challenging terrain. Pay attention to safety reminders and note that extreme temperatures are likely any season. More information at Bryce Canyon National Park.
photo by amygdala_imagery via iStock
Known worldwide for being part of the picturesque Silverton-Durango railway using steam locomotives, Durango is also close to Mesa Verde National Park and has dozens of good roads leading to multiple sites suitable for off road biking. Easy to access in Sounthwestern Colorado, it’s about equidistant from Moab, Utah, Pueblo, Colorado, Sante Fe, New Mexico, and Flagstaff, Arizona. You can find more information at the City of Durango.
Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
photo by WerksMedia via iStock
Located in the Appalachian Mountains, the scenic highway known as the Blue Ridge Parkway starts in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ends at Shenandoah National Park. Besides the beautiful highway, there are many back roads, scenic trails, and small towns to see, all with fantastic landscapes to capture.
Crater Lake, Oregon
photo by Saturated via iStock
Crater Lake National Park is located in the Cascade Mountains of Southern Oregon just a few miles from I-5 and the California border. The lake was formed by a meteor crashing into the ground and there are beautiful landscapes all along the drive to the lake in addition to the lake area itself.
Mount Desert Island, Maine
photo by Ron and Patty Thomas via iStock
Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine is host to Acadia National Park, beautiful landscapes of cliffs, beaches, and blueberry bushes, along with some very interesting and picturesque small towns and villages. It is an interesting drive from Portland or Bangor, both on I-95, or travel up the coast on U.S. Route 1, Maine.
Katy Trail, Missouri
photo by marekuliasz via iStock
Katy Trail State Park near St. Louis, Missouri mostly follows the corridor of the Missouri-Texas-Kansas Railroad (MKT or Katy) and has about 240 miles of traiway and all sorts of small trails off of the main trail. There are 26 different trailheads and 4 restored railway depots.
Napa Valley, California
photo by bmdesign via iStock
If you can’t find landscapes and other things to photograph in the Napa Valley area of Northern California, you’re just not trying. Home to hundreds of wineries, Napa Valley has a historic railroad, several state and local parks, and the Missimer Snell Valley Preserve with 290 native species of wildflowers.
Upper Peninsula, Michigan
photo by BobPalosaari via iStock
The U.P., the upper peninsula of the state of Michigan, has more bike trails that we can get to in the course of one year. Some of the most beautiful North American Spring, Summer, and Autumn landscapes can be found here, though it might be a little difficult to access being a fair distance from Detroit, Michigan and Minneapolis, or Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The landscapes there are truly remarkable.
Big Bend, Texas
photo by ikick via iStock
This actually covers a huge amount of area, the Big Bend region of Texas is bigger than some entire countries and has incredible sweeping vistas of landscapes. Big Bend Ranch State Park is very bike friendly (also horse friendly) and has overnight camping and access to fishing. You’re also close to McDonald Observatory when visiting, so the dark skies might inspire some astrophotography.
Allamuchy Mountain, New Jersey
photo by mustafagull via iStock
Allamuchy Mountain State Park is a short drive on I-80 from New York City and offers rock climbing adventures and year round fishing in addition to hiking, biking, and horse trails. The mix of hardwood forests and fields provide many opportunities for landscape photography. Road bike to some of the surrounding small towns for more picture taking opportunities.
Go By Bike and Carry a Camera
photo by wundervisuals via iStock
Check out these places, plan a trip for the near future, and join the #GoByBike campaign. Enjoy your photography trekking and look for more from us as we continue biking to landscape photography locations.