Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sailboat in Annapolis Harbor

Sailboat in Annapolis Harbor, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

One morning back in the fall I woke at 4 AM and told my wife I was getting on the bike to ride to Annapolis, MD for some dawn photography before work. It is about a 30 mile ride from my house in the pre-dawn fog. She thinks I'm an idiot. I don't know, maybe I am.

Nevertheless, I got this shot while there. At the time I was not impressed with the sunrise or the early morning light. I snapped this picture just to prove I went there. I guess I underestimated how the pink morning hue would look in the picture. It turned out better than I thought it would.

For those unfamiliar with Annapolis, it is the sailing capital of the world. Waterways are crowded with sailboats. If you don't have your own boat, you can go out on charter sailing trips. The sights you would see would include the US Naval Academy and Thomas Point Lighthouse.

The Chesapeake Bay is so beautiful, yet so polluted. Much of the bay is bereft of oxygen, and contains algae blooms that kill underlying grasses. All this kills off the crab and oyster population. The main problem is simply too much population and too much nitrogen runoff. Governments in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virgina are always trying to clean up the bay, but it has not gotten any better in the 24 years I have lived here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rented Roadking

Rented Roadking, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

In 2004 we took a trip to Sedona, AZ. My wife, my kids and me. While there I rented this Roadking. I had sold my motorcycle when my son was about 3. My son barely remembered me having a bike when he was a baby, and my daughter did not remember her dad as a motorcycle rider at all. So i decided to rent this Harley and take them riding. Needless to say, it wasn't long until I got another bike of my own. I had always known I would get another bike. The kids were little, and I had no time to ride. But now things had changed. They were growing up. It wasn't long after renting this Roadking that I went out to buy my Kawasaki Nomad.

In Sedona, I spent the day riding up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. There I got caught in a thunderstrom. Arizona highway 89 is one of the top ten scenic drives in the US. Then I rode it out in the desert to Jerome, AZ. Jerome is literally on a mountainside, a very interesting place.

Since it is 33 degrees with sleet today I dug out this old picture from a ride in a warmer place and time. Next week the temperature might hit 60. I plan to pick the warmest day of the week and take the afternoon off to go for a ride.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thames Street, Fells Point

Thames Street, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

Fells Point is a bar hoppers paradise. The area is an eclectic mixture of trendy shops, upscale restaurants and dive bars, with clientele ranging from yuppies to college students to gritty city folks. If you want to talk with a diverse collection of characters, Fells Point is the place to go. Pictured on the right side of the street is The Horse you Came in On Saloon. “The Horse” is well known for live music. I found one blog that has an entry about this bar as being the place the blogger met his wife. This building is circa 1775. In 1972 Howard Gerber and a partner opened The Horse and give it the unique and memorable name. Howard sold the bar in November 2006. Rumor has that the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe was at the auction. Legend has it that in 1849 Poe was found near death on a street not far from here.

Not shown in the picture, but on the right side of the street is Ledbetters Tavern. The City Paper (a free weekly paper in Baltimore) had this writeup about Ledbetters when they named it one of the best dive bars in Baltimore in 2006:

“Sometimes you just want a damn drink--not a green faux-tini, not a nutmeg-and smoke-infused microbrew--and you don't want to have to put on heels or a clean shirt, or even necessarily shower to go out and have one. Thank God Leadbetters remains a watering hole of little-to-no repute, where the fanciest beer you might want is a Sam Adams, and you can sit at a slightly dingy, albeit welcoming, bar and listen to bands and singers that range from rocking to ridiculous. And you know what? You don't care. Because you're shooting the breeze with Fons, the bartender, the walls look like they might crumble in a few days, the floor is swept with questionable frequency, and you're drinking a damn cold brew in a damn fine place, and you don't have to worry about impressing a soul.”

The night I was in Ledbetters there was a great acoustic band in there playing a rocking rendetion of Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road. It was a Saturday and the place was packed. People were very friendly and really enjoying the band. The entire bar seems to be only about 15 feet wide, with the band lined up on the right side wall as you come in, and only enough room for people to pass between the band the people sitting at the bar on the left side. Very simple, yet very cool.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Boat Wreck

Boat Wreck, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

This boat has had an unfortunate mishap. An article
from last may in the Baltimore Sun explains that the boat got stuck on these pilings in a storm and the owner left it there abandonded. Nobody really knows who the owner is. He seems to have left the area. Some complicated laws prevent the city of Baltimore from removing it. They have to go through proper channels to locate the owner first.

This location is home to other sunken ships. There is tugboat down there somewhere, according to the Baltimore Sun.

This is near a marina with lots of very expensive boats. To get the shot, I had to trespass on the dock of a private apartment building. But that is what you have to do sometimes to get interesting shots. I figured the worst that would happen is being asked to leave the property.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Feeding the Pigeons

Feeding the Pigeons, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

On Black Friday, I shunned the mall and took a dawn photo walk on the waterfront in Fells Point, Baltimore. I got a few good shots. This one was my favorite. I came across this man feeding corn to the pigeons on a street corner. There were hundreds all around him. Here you can see some perched on his arms and one flying toward the camera. Over the winter, I plan to do a lot of walking and taking photos in Baltimore. Look for more intesting pictures of city life.

Fells point is a very trendy area on the Chesapeake Bay. This area of the city was once predominantly industrial with warehouses and wharfs supporting the import/export business. The area became somewhat abandoned over the years as the import/export business moved to the Dundalk Marine Terminal. It has since become a renissance area, with old wharehouses being converted into condominiums, shopping, and restaurants on the water. There is a lot of new construction also. The area is very popular among young professionals.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

High on a Mountain Top

High on a Mountain Top, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

Going back in time to 2006, this is a picture from an 8-day trip. We touched Maryland, WV, VA, NC, and TN.. It was a 2000 mile trip with lots of varied riding on freeways, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and in the urban area of Charlotte. The best part was the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you have never ridden it, you should.

Eight days, and only one day of rain -- the last day on the final ride getting home. It POURED all day. Luckily I had dropped my wife in WV, and she was driving her car. I rode that last 300 miles in heavy rain.

On the day I took this photo, it was about 65 degrees at this elevation. Later that day, we ended up in Charlotte, NC where it was 95. When on the Blue Ridge Parkway it seems that the world is not overcrowded. There is never much traffic up there. I think the BRP is a well kept secret. Shhh....let's not tell anyone, so we can have it all to ourselves.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Kentucky Fried Chicken

This afternoon I got a hankerin' for some KFC. I rarely eat it. I'm trying to watch my cholesterol you know. But I decided that today would be the day to have some. So I got on the bike, suited up with layers, including leather chaps to keep my legs warm, and headed out for a little ride. The local KFC that is less than a mile from my house would be too close. I also wanted to put a few miles on the bike. So I headed to Annapolis via a round about route.

When I stopped in KFC in Annapolis, a young girl working there asked me if my bike is a Harley. I always get a laugh when someone mistakes my Kawasaki for a Harley. I politely told her it is not a Harley. She then proceeded to tell me about the first and only time she rode a dirt bike. She ran into a tree. I've heard that story many times, and actually have seen it happen a few times. It seems that many people get on a bike the first time, thinking it will be easy to ride it, and immediately crash into a stationary object.

Anyway, the 70 mile round trip and the 2 peice meal with mashed potatoes hit the spot. I hope I don't get another craving for greasy chicken soon though. Too much KFC could cause a bypass operation. But it was a good excuse to go for a ride.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Riding to work

It's only 42 degrees this morning, but it is bright and sunny. My rule is that I can ride when the temperature is above 40 and the chance of rain is 40% or less. What can I say? I'm addicted to riding. I don't want to make you think I am cheap, but today I will save about $4 in gas by riding my Kawasaki Nomad versus driving my Chrysler Pacifica. So I'm doing my part to slow down global warming. Maybe that is the answer! Everyone should ride a motorcycle to cut down on greenhouse gases :-)

The only problem with riding my bike to work is this: when I get to the office I don't want to go inside. I would rather keep riding.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ferris wheel being reclaimed by the earth

Ferris wheel, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

This is located at an old amusement park in Southern, WV. The name of the park in its heyday was Lake Shawnee. The day I shot this I talked with the owner of the property, Gaylord White. He gave permission to shoot here, telling me that this location has been featured on the television program, "The Scariest Places on Earth." I remember being a kid on my way to visit my grandmother in the 60's and passing by this location very often. it was once a very popular place in the 50's. This is near Pinceton, WV. Mr. White still uses the property to entertain local residents with a catfish tournament every saturday night.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The strip in vegas

The strip, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

Traffic on trhe strip creeps along slowly. Taxi drivers tell me they only make money when their taxi is moving. Taxis stay off the strip, driving mostly on the side streets.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

collapsed barn

collapsed barn, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

At Linganore Winery in Mt. Airy MD they have this collapsed barn on the property. Living in the metro area of Baltimore and Washington one forgets that rural America is still nearby. When I go to this area, which is only 40 minutes from the Baltimore Beltway, it is amazing to talk to people who live on these farms and have not been to Baltimore in decades. This area is relatively untouched by urban sprawl, though many from urban areas in PA and MD visit here everyday. If not for the nearby urban centers, wineries such as these would have no business. If not for nearby rural charm, there would be no escape from urban confinement. Yet it amazes me how many people I know who never enjoy these nearby simple pleasures, but instead travel very long distances to find their paradise.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chesapeake Bay Sunrise

Sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay is beautiful. I woke up early Sunday and decided to head down to a waterfront park I know about to get a picture of the sun coming up. It was worth the trip. I love the quiet peacefulness of the early morning.

Take better vacations. Buy a beautiful waterfront home. Email me to find out how you can have things you only dreamed of.

Brian with a bike that has a story to tell

I met Brian while riding near Frederick, MD. Brian told me the story behind this bike. It belonged to his brother Kevin, who is now deceased. When Kevin found out he had liver cancer, he bought this bike and rode it from NYC to Colorado, knowing he had only 3 months to live. Kevin had been an addict in his earlier life, but turned his life around and became a drug counselor in New York. Kevin helped many people get off drugs, and many came to his funeral to express their appreciation to Kevin's family for helping to save their life. Kevin had a huge impact on so many people, and Brian now rides this bike in memory and in tribute to his brother.

Mike on Kawasaki Nomad 1500

Mike on Kawasaki Nomad 1500, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

This is me. It was a cold October day in the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you would like to join me and make money while you ride your motorcycle, I can show you how it is done. email bikerphoto

About Me

The word "biker" has different meanings to different people. To most it means someone who rides a motorcycle. That is me. However to those who are uninitiated and think bikers are outlaws, that is not me. I have 3 college degrees, am a family man, have held a steady professional career for 24 years, and have never been arrested. Many bikers on the road might look like outlaws, but most are not.

The "photo" part of my nickname should tell you I like to take photos. I am an amateur photographer. Maybe someday I will be a pro, or a semi-pro. However, I have heard it said that trying to make money in photography can ruin a perfectly good hobby. To put it simple, I like to ride my motorcycles (I currently own two - but can only ride one at a time) to scenic places and take high quality scenic photographs along the way.

Now when I am shooting photos, I am not always traveling on my motorcycle. Sometimes I travel by car, airplane or train. In any event, this blog will contain commentary on the places I go, the things I experience, the people I meet, some pictures, some stories. I hope you find it interesting.