All posts in Photography

NYC POV Street Photography by Bicycle

In this post I share a day of New York City street photography by bicycle. There are many different styles to shooting photography or “Street Photography.” Some run and gun, more aggressive style while others try to remain as anonymous as possible. Over the years of shooting street photography I’ve adapted to the enjoyment of riding my bike around to capture fleeting moments of people. It provided a means of traveling from place to place faster and slowing down when I want and walk with my bike to capture an image. It also helps me become more discrete as I blend in with the surroundings. My Ricoh GR I’m sure helps with this too as it’s the perfect tool for street photography. Enjoy!















Track Or Die NYC: 2015 Winter Alley Cat

The weather was much nicer  out during this year’s Track Or Die NYC Winter Alley Cat than last years brutal 20-degree race. Let that not be mistaken, it was an intense race. Riders were amped up, ready to get out there and hit the streets. Things started off low key and began to grow with riders once we approached the 2:30pm start time. The race was no joke with over 100 riders ready to smash the streets for the first manifest location.

I enjoy the kick off, everyone is hanging out meeting new people, seeing familiar faces and sharing the common thread. Adrenalin begins to kick in and the next thing you know your running around 100 feet to your bike. I started off ok with a location down 72nd street on the Westside, from there everyone rode uptown with traffic on Amsterdam avenue to 150th st. Being familiar with that area theres a big climb after Columbia University to around 130th st. After that checkpoint everyone did a roundabout and starting descending down Amsterdam ave. There was a swarm of riders taking it down the hill through traffic lights, nearly 30mph, fixed gear, brakeless. It’s one of the best moments ever, It’s like sharks passing through fish in the ocean, fast, fierce and aggressive.

Later in the race after clearing all the checkpoints on the first manifest we were required to stow away our phones in the second manifest (envelope). This was for riders to really put their navigation skills to the test. While I would have loved to share more images, all these were shot while racing in between check points and safe but not so safe opportunities to take a photo.


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Autumn In Pagoda: Image Gallery

We recently took a trip to Reading, PA to ride Mt.Penn and visit the Pagoda. Aside from the bone chilling temps and mixed weather, we were able to film and enjoy a beautiful weekend of riding. Stay tuned for the short film covering this adventure.


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A collection of images from our Sunday ride.
Image credit: by Mickey Cheng

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Nowhere Fast: Bike Touring The Blue Ridge Parkway

It was one of those kinds of mornings when you wake up psyched in knowing the days ahead are going to be super rad. My alarm sounded off at 5 a.m. and I jumped right out of bed, brewed a cup of coffee and watched the sunrise burst through my window one blind at a time. I double-checked my gear before leaving to board a 9 a.m. train to meet Mickey in Brooklyn. Thankfully we pre packed my bike and most of my gear the night before making my commute in a bit easier with just a backpack to carry.

After arriving at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn, I spotted Mickey. We chopped it up, fit the gear in the back of his Volkswagen and we were off for a 7-hour drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains in South West Virginia. Along the way we panned out what the days would look like ahead. Now I’ve never traveled with Mickey before but I know he had a few trips under his belt, and that we both knew the common language of bicycle travel. I knew if anything were to go south, I would be able to develop some alternate plans on the fly but I had faith in that everything will turn out well.

We arrived at Otter Creek on the Blue Ridge Parkway right outside of Lynchburg, VA. At around 6:30 P.M. We unloaded and assembled our bikes, loaded all of our portage and left a note at the range station stating we’ll be back in 5 days. Typically, this is the common thread when riding the parkway and is permitted at most ranger stations.

Image credit: by Mickey Cheng


After driving all day we decided to ride three miles and setup camp at Otter Creek for the evening. This will be our point of departure for the days ahead.



We got up early and did a quick breakdown of our paraphernalia. We did what we can, to consolidate the gear for the days we were spending on the Parkway. I had a little less than a gallon of water packed which included two 40oz Kleen Kanteens, my 25oz water bottle and a 20oz reserve.


After breaking camp at 8:00 a.m. The Blue Ridge Parkway  was bright with light leaks that broke through the trees leaving their abstract branch shadows on the road. It was all too familiar, but so different, quaint and still with the sonic sounds of nature that moved everything. We were riding for about 10 minutes before we were introduced to our first 3000-foot climb. It wrapped us around the beautiful picturesque ridges. When I told Mickey I’d know within about 10 minutes if I were going to be comfortable in the saddle. He said not to think so much about what’s ahead of you, when it comes just take the climb. You begin to develop a rhythm and before you know it you reach the top.



Image credit: by Mickey Cheng



We went with the flow. No pressure, no time restraints and no strings attached. Just bike and experience what the Blue Ridge was giving us.


Image credit: by Mickey Cheng




We were headed for Roanoke Mountain, which was about 60 miles of climbs and switchbacks. Temps were climbing in the upper 80’s with inclement conditions at higher altitudes, “Keep on pedaling.” We were exhausted at times and took breaks here and there. We circled back to a ranger station where we took a break. After a brief refuel we were off with our legs spinning surrendering to the granny gear up Roanoke Mountain. We were nearing the main city there and decided to get a room at a local motel in town for the night. It was much needed.







The next morning the road back to the Blue Ridge climbed for several miles before it topped out. We were back on within 45minutes and heading back North towards Jefferson National Forest where we would stay the night.





Image credit: by Mickey Cheng



I was awakened by a series of “Koww” sounds from crows that echoed around our campsite. Mickey was wide-awake. I made my way out of my tent for breakfast at the camp table. We shared laughs about the night before, packed our gear and set off for a 34-mile ride back to the car. Each day was different, something like a biking paradise. Steep uphill climbs with long rolling down hill descents. Swath of foliage that wrapped around us as we pedaled the tarmac. And beautiful views on the tops of every mountain. We rode fast going downhill awaiting for the next nuance around the bend.


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In Contrast: Spiral T-Shirt Vol.01

Introducing the first wave of our Manual Pedal spiral T-Shirt, inspired by the bicycle chain ring, optical art and the roads traveled. The spiral symbol was our initial inspiration for our logo design to highlight what Manual Pedal represents. The T-Shirt will be featured in black and white contrast only, Made in the U.S. Designed and printed in New York. We have a limited supply in various sizes available. Stay tuned as we have a lot more on the grill for this Summer 2015.


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Manual Pedal Over Portland

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]raveling opens up new wonders of the world and I think, anyone that does has the common thread for adventure and endless possibilities of becoming friends with unknown people.

Some who share similar collections of thoughts, ideas and stories that are deeply rooted within themselves and are relative to the listener. It’s surprising sometimes how people can have so much more in common than they realize.

The “East To West” film was being screened at “Filmed By Bike” in Portland, OR during the weekend of the festival, so we wanted to take full advantage of a trip across the country. Only this time, we boarded Amtrak and it didn’t take 2 ½ months to get there. I think our basic hierarchies of thoughts for a three-day train ride across the country, were how we would sleep, what kinds of people we would meet and what we would eat for three days. Hence, our trip preparations where camp vibes at it’s finniest. We packed the usual PB&J, cold cuts, Tortillas, black beans, corn and trail mix to hold us over.



Our first stop after leaving New York was Washington D.C. We had a three-hour layover, so we decided to hit the capital on foot since we weren’t able to access our bikes. We were a bit under prepared for the 80-degree plus weather and Nonetheless, our 65 liter backpacks weren’t helping one bit.



We met Frank after leaving Washington D.C. He caught us propping up video cameras on the train platform before boarding. We were heading in the same direction and once we boarded the train we had a small crew that held tight about ¾ of the trip.





In fact, navigating through the city was a breeze. Vehicles are very considerate to us cyclist making it very safe to ride. We arrived at Union Station in Portland around 4:30pm. We were anxious to build our bikes and explore. But first thing first, we needed to indulge in some real food after three days of PB&J and cold cuts.


Our first stop was UGARIT, A Mediterranean food cart. Rolling up on our bikes sort of reminded me of the Gyro food carts you’ll find around NYC. Only UGARIT’s was more authentic. He’s the only food cart that sells fresh Lamb meat in Portland, OR. We were more than happy with our dinner.


Our next stop was to hit the donut shops that the Portlanders rave about. ”Blue Star” was at the top of our list. They definitely do not disappoint with their carrot cake donuts.


Roberta and Adam who reside in the Alberta District neighborhood in Portland hosted us. The area is surrounded by shops, galleries and every kind of restaurant you can find to complement your palette. The morning of the festival we went for a ride around Alberta to check out the scene. “East To West” was being screened in the evening so that gave us plenty of time to wander.



The morning after the screening ”Velo Cult” bike shop hosted a group ride with the filmmakers. It was a good chance to meet everyone, ride, explorer Portland and get weird. We made stops at several brewers with Base Camp Brewery being among one of our favorites.



Our last days were spent exploring the city rivaling the downtown Portland food cart scene and exchanging conversations with people from all walks of life. I can say the one thing that people have in common in Portland is cycling. It’s hard to not find anyone on a bike. I think this is great because the bike then becomes a human, which opens opportunities to interesting conversations with people. Until we visit again, stay weird Portland.



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Manual Pedal Takes Red Hook Crit No.8


Good draft beer and “fast” women are usually enough draw for a big turnout to most events, but this is RHC 8 dammit! The “fast” women here can most certainly kick the ass of the average spandex clad weekend road warrior you’ll find pedaling through Central park (and the men weren’t that bad either).

The qualifying events leading up to the actual race were pretty impressive as well, to say the least. The level of intensity displayed by most contenders seemed metahuman to some degree.20150424-J4928x3264-00031 I began to imagine the clean diets and training regimens
most likely endured by these athletes for the year leading up to the race.  Definitely stands in stark contrast my leisure daily commutes and visits to Dough to wharf down an inordinate amount of pastries for “recovery”(how’s that for metahuman ability?). 20150504-friends-on-a--giro-!

Speaking of great/not so great recovery options, the Six point beer on flow from the taps were so hella’ on! I sipped my second pint filled cup as I took in the killer views of the busy Hudson river.20150424-R0135814 The cluster-fuck of patrons on hand were the usual who’s who of the cycling community mixed in with the everyday pedaling enthusiasts from across the world! The vibe was family reunion meets college campus downtime, complete with adorable toddlers meandering about and even a spontaneous hacky sac game. 20150504-friends-and-a-bike

Yep…good times were had by all!


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Manual Pedal on Tumblr!

We recently setup a Tumblr stream with a more photographic architecture in addition to our blog. Slow down and take a step back, as you’ll see a constant flow of images giving you a closer look behind our projects, rides and ventures of Manual Pedal. Be sure to follow our Tumblr blog at the top right corner for additional coverage.