Anyhoo, lots been happening, the usual on going feasibility type stuff, where I shouldn't really say anything, because that's the clients decision to talk about a potential trail - not mine. Designing stuff that might never end in an actual trail build can be hard, yes it pays the bills, but it isn't building trail and I miss that. However, there's always maintenance of Laggan's trails and with the dire weather conditions this summer that has meant a lot of digging drainage features, unblocking culverts, clearing windblown trees and all the other TLC a trail network needs to keep it safe and fun when it's getting a hard time from Mother Nature (and the summer hordes!) There is also another big build on the horizon, so I still need to keep the tools clean, sharp and oiled ready for more use before winter closes in again (I wonder what we'll get this year?)
So Cycletherapy soldiers on; surveying, designing, building, attending and chairing meetings, number crunching, two finger report typing and all the consultancy stuff that I keep getting hired for.
But, I feel another urge, that of photography. I have always taken photographs from the ancient days of film and the black arts for the dark room, to the amazement of the digital age and the instant hit of the LCD screen.
At the moment I class myself as an apprentice - not a first year 'get us a left handed broom would ya' but more of a 'go and hang a new door at number 53 and see how you get on' joinery analogy sort of a way. I love taking pictures and even better I love taking pictures of riders on trails - that's handy then...
There are numerous very experienced and most excellent professional bike photographers out there and to make it worse there are even some who are scottish, good riders, mates and very well connected with all those that really matter. However, I think there are enough outdoor sporty things going off in my area that need a photographer who can get himself safely right into the chosen arena and know enough of what is going on to capture the drama/feel/emotion/etc of the moment. Ok, I know everyone has a digital camera nowadays and the simple law of statistics means that some of those photos might be quite good, but if you have something that really must be captured then I guess you'd want someone who is 'professional' enough to get results no matter what. '
Professional - that's the important bit, there is no such thing as 'semi-professional' you either do it as a hobby or you do it for money - and if you do it for money you have got to get the job done to the satisfaction of the client.
Now, I 'm not there yet, I'd be nieive to think that so soon in a new venture I'd be getting hired regularly, but I have done a few 'paid for' shoots so I'm started down this road and so far I'm enjoying the journey.
And as for riding a bike - well obviously I still do that! It's the one constant in a life full of other 'stuff' nowadays.