These pictures were made during a 5 day, 500 mile bike ride from Kansas City to Chicago. I was part of a 25 person group working to raise funds and awareness for PeopleForBikes, an organization that works to make riding better for everyone.
I knew that I wanted to shoot a project during this ride, but I didn’t know exactly what it would be. I wanted to create a body of work that captured the feeling of being on a bike, without showing any bikes. So I found a compact camera with a fixed lens that I could ride with easily, flew to Kansas City, and kept an open mind -- waiting and watching for the idea that I could pursue.
While our route to Chicago consisted entirely of side roads and bike paths, our days were mostly spent flying along at 20-25mph as a tight group in rows of two. There was no way I could stop to shoot along the way and also keep up with the group — it was moving too fast. I spent the first few hours of the journey wondering if I’d get to shoot anything at all between Kansas City and Chicago.
However, about every few hours, we’d stop for food and water. I found myself with a few minutes to get off my bike, and shoot whatever was there before having to eat, drink, and roll out for another few hours of riding. After the first few water stops, the structure of the project became very clear, as I had to accept that where we stopped was completely out of my control.
Another photographer I know likes to talk about these projects as if they are built boxes, where the parameters and limitations for a project determine the proper size and shape of the box. Ideally the box design strikes a balance — small enough to be uncomfortable, but big enough to have room to work. When the box is ready, you climb inside, and stay inside until it's full.
I loved this project because a very neat little box was practically built for me. Once I saw it, all I had to do was climb in and start filling it.
Limited edition, custom framed prints from The Distance Between Two Points Is are available to view and purchase at JK Editions. 20% of every sale goes directly to PeopleForBikes.