I hate sports. Its exhausting, dumb, bro-tastic. It’s annoying to watch and stupid to do. Earlier in 2017 I decided to do something stupid: „I want to ride from Berlin to Dresden in a day.“ Why would I do that: because I hate sports, but I absolutely adore cycling.
I always rode a bike. As a kid I rode to school until I was 18. Then there was some downtime driving cars. When I moved to Leipzig (and lost my drivers licence – don’t ask) I continued riding bikes. I bought some beat-down crossmachine off eBay for way to much money. A few months later I found my first vintage road bike. It was some 1990s ugly Raleigh that was rotting away in some backyard. I fixed it up and took my first test spin around the block and… oh my god, was I in love. I’ve never been so fast, it was so light (pff) and nimble. The thin tires made me feel like I was flying. The first time shifting on the downtube felt suicidal. It was so much fun. Eventually that bike got stolen.
I bought another vintage road bike and ever since then, riding a bike was not only a necessity to get around town, but also gave me a decent amount of exercise. Strava became a fun motivation. Exploring Hamburg and Berlin on two wheels felt perfect.
This year, things changed. I dont know why or what it was that pushed me. I wanted more, than just riding around to and from work. I wanted to ride farther and faster. I rode 40 km, 60 km suddenly, a hundred kilometres. It felt great even though I put almost no effort into it. I rode harder and faster and in some delusional state I decided that I should just go and visit my mother on her birthday. So I bought another waterbottle, a new jersey and rode 177 km from Berlin to Dresden. It crushed me. I never felt so down on energy and strength after I didn’t finish the whole way through. I absolutely overestimated what I could do to my body and didn’t take proper nutritional care of myself. After my father picked me up, 15 km before the finish line, I almost threw up. The next day I never felt better.
I didnt make it, but I fucking rode one hundred and seventy seven kilometres in a day. For fucks sake. I felt dead but the motivational push after that was amazing.
I rode more. I rode harder. I made new friends, even when it was cold as fuck. I got new and more gear. Cycling is the first thing that really, really makes me want to save some money and finally get a proper bike. I want to gain power, endurance and win all the KOMs. Next year I will do the trip to Dresden again – and return. I want to race the cyclassics in Hamburg and the Velothon in Berlin.
I want to do all that because I hate sports,
but I love cycling.
…and all you get is this lousy blog article. But let’s back up a bit. How is this even important? Lots of people visit the US every year.
The thing is that, even though I turned 30 this year, I’ve never really left Europe all that much. Most of my friends and even family members have been all around the globe, but I have never been able to save some money and go. That’s largely attributed to my inability to handle money well. Earning a bit more and trying to be a tad more responsible with my spending finally started changing that. Now here I was, deciding with my girlfriend where to go in our big 2017 summer holiday.
Our trip took us from New York to Philly to DC to Charlottesville to Knoxville to Nashville to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to Stroudsburg. We covered close to 2400 miles with our rental car and stayed at 8 different Airbnbs.
I came to the States with certain expectations; to see a land obsessed with itself, with heritage and nationality; with capitalism and getting shit done. What I got to see were people that made me understand these prejudices. Roads, towns and cities, that told the story of an americana so modern and yet so set in its own history. People that were hospitable and reactionary. Strangers showing genuine interest within a nation obsessed with smalltalk. Young and old folk that loved to tell stories and explain themselves and their views on a nation that is still so young in comparison.
Hey, you remember me talking about my Ricoh GR1s and how I loved it and all that? If you read the „review“ you might also remember that I wanted to get the flash fixed. Since when I published that article, the camera survived a drop on concrete from a considerable height that left the winding mechanic sounding like shit. After going through 3 films, hearing these painfull noises after every shot, I finally considered getting it fixed at Ostkreuz. The very friendly and understanding professional told me upfront, that I am 15 years too late. Here’s the conclusion of my 1 minute call:
The Ricoh GR series is basically dead. There are no more parts available to fix my problems (flash circuit board and plastic gears).
If you know someone who can reverse engineer and print circuit boards or gears, you might be able to breathe new life into these cameras.
So here is an Update to my review: The Ricoh GR series are super awesome, but don’t buy them. They will break and if they do you can’t fix them. As sad as it sounds, this is the reality film lovers will have to face.
Seit dem Jahresbeginn, sind 51 Tage vergangen. In dieser Zeit habe ich etwa einen halben Film voll gemacht und eine viertel Seite kreative arbeit geleistet.
Irgendwann am Ende des letzten Jahres habe ich mir vorgenommen, im Jahr 2017 meine Freizeit mit so vielen kreativen Dingen zu füllen wie es geht. Eine der Hürden war, den riesigen Backlog an Filmen zu entwickeln, der sich über das letzte Jahr angestaut hat. Die Hälfte habe ich erledigt. Weitere fünf Filme schimmeln in meinem Kühlschrank vor sich hin. Um die Arbeit schneller erledigen zu können, warf ich endlich die ranzig gewordenen Rodinal-Reste in die Tonne und kaufte auf Matt’s Empfehlung hin Ilford HC Entwickler. Seit Tagen sitzt dieser nun unangetastet unter der Spüle. Ich habe zig Kameras im Schrank stehen, von denen weiß Gott wie viele, angebrochene Filme in sich haben. Die Ricoh müsste dringend mal repariert werden. Seit Juni plane ich einen neuen Schreibtisch zu kaufen. Mein getipptes Journal hat seit ende Dezember keinen neuen Eintrag gesehen. Das letzte gekaufte Buch heißt „Irre“ und seit Mitte Dezember habe ich etwa 30 Seiten gelesen. Seit Juni möchte ich eine Dunkelkammer einrichten. In 5 Monaten werde ich 30.
Ich wollte nie ein Sammler sein. Für mich sollte praktisch alles was ich besitze eine sich selbst innewohnende Funktion erfüllen. Eine Kamera muss fotografieren, eine Schallplatte muss klingen, eine Schreibmaschine muss schreiben. Die Annahme, dass ein Gegenstand eine pure dekorative Funktion erfüllt, oder sein Dasein durch das bloße Besitzen rechtfertigt, finde ich persönlich absurd.
Für Sammler ist das oft anders. Selbstverständlich trägt man durch seine Leidenschaft auch der Erhaltung der Objekte nach denen man trachtet bei. So kann der Sammler einen fast museologischen Beitrag leisten. Doch oft ist das Gesammelte einerseits nicht der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich und des weiteren trachtet es viele Kollektoren eben doch nur nach dem Aspekt des Besitzens. Wie sollte es einem normalen Menschen auch möglich sein, seine 400 Kameras oder 150 Schreibmaschinen so oft und ausgiebig zu nutzen, dass der Besitz der jeweiligen Objekte, einem Menschen wie mir, angebracht erscheint.
I always wanted to do some Severin Koller style blogposts. That means, an unthemed, unsorted but half-chronological collection of pictures I took between now and then. Here’s the first batch from god knows when. Lets just start with (very) early 2015 and go from there. Enjoy!
On the Ferry to Denmark. Loved the Frank Ocean vibe.
This is my Ricoh GR. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
Selfie Time at a Café in Kopenhagen (Kodak Gold? Can’t remember)
After more than a year of love, hate, regret, despair and utter admiration, I feel like I am finally able to describe my relationship with my Ricoh GR1s. After being an absolute fanboy of the digital Ricoh GR series AND being a sucker for the constant documentation of my life – Severin Koller-style – I, or say my wallet finally snapped, and I started the serious hunt for a Ricoh GR1. Back at the end of 2014 I didn’t really care which Ricoh I would get. The choice to go for the GR1’s came out of a mix of the (partially regretful) demand to not rob my bank account entirely and pure luck of actually finding a camera IN Germany for a reasonable price. In hindsight a GR1v would have been much more to my liking (due to the incredibly useful feature to override the ISO), but even now the jump in price is just too hard to justify. I also could have gone for the nearly indestructible Contax T series. And I should have. But those delicious 28mm were too good to pass. Trust me when I say: I’m so, so happy with my choice.
Nach ein paar Tagen und wenigen tausend Anschlägen auf meiner neuen, uralten Brother Deluxe 220, fühle ich mich bereits dazu berufen ein paar Zeilen zu dieser wirklich sehr, sehr anderen Erfahrung zu schreiben. Ich rechnete durchaus damit, dass das Getippe auf einer Jahrzehnte alten Schreibmaschine etwas besonderes sein würde. Wie viel anders es aber tatsächlich ist merkt man erst, wenn man die ersten 20 bis 30 Zeilen geschrieben hat.
Here is my pretty good outcome of black and white film-pictures from my time in Paris. Surprisingly I had a very good hit ratio. Shortly after those pictures were taken, Paris was attacked by crazy assholes. I was scared for the lifes of my collegues and friends in this crazy city. These pictures are a small but honest representation of what I like to remember Paris to be like: Fragile, beautiful, yet indestructable, big and generally life loving. The french stay strong. L’amour court les rues.