Six feet apart. Socially alone. Isolated. Separated. Masked. It was a rough year for connection, for touch, for joy. Fuggedabout smiles! And yet, as I look through my street photography from this year, one thing stands out and that is, of course, the naturally-socially-distanced joy-enhancing bicycle. That’s become my go-to thing. You may have something different. Hold on tight to it.
Traveling at the Speed of Bike saved my life about eight years ago when I lost my business (after a 17-year-run) at the tail end of the recession when all my corporate clients were laid off and the publications for which I wrote went out of business (that story is in my book). I strongly identified as a full-time freelance writer (after a successful corporate career) and it was hard to see the way forward. I briefly contemplated things I never thought I would, and decided instead to just start pedaling. I slung my camera across my shoulder and have not looked back since.
I honestly don’t know what I would have done during this pandemic without my now-habitual practice of riding at least around the block daily (plus Leaps of Faith, of course). It has, indeed, served to be a lifeline for me.
If you are struggling and a bike ride (or whatever your go-to feel-good thing is) isn’t helping, please take note of this number:
You are not alone. See selections from my 2020 street photography below — you can feel the heaviness in them. See the last one for some words that others have found helpful during trying times.
Hang in there. You are necessary. Every single one of us here at this moment in history is here for a reason. You are essential.
Please join me in continuing to trust the journey.
2020’s “Today’s Nice Stranger” Street Portraits
Street Photography (and a Street Safety Update)