Friday, March 30, 2012

A Portland Ghost Bike

According to  Wikipedia, a ghost bike or ghostcycle is a bicycle set up as a roadside memorial in a place where a cyclist has been killed or severely injured (usually by a motor vehicle).

The first ghost bike I witnessed was in the mid-1990's around SE Hawthorne Blvd. A guy was killed by a car while riding his bike. His girlfriend locked a ghost bike to the sign post on the corner where he was killed and decorated it frequently with fresh flowers. The bike, the death, the girlfriend stuck in my mind. The idea to have someone you love never come home again crushed me. To have found love and never be able to see it all the way through seemed tragic. We all have our philosophies and coping mechanisms for death. When the time came for the city to remove the bike, the home owners at the corner where the ghost bike lived continued with the memorial. It's been a good 17 years since the death of the boyfriend. Whenever I drive past there, I feel the same as I did so long ago, sad about the potential of a life together that young couple had taken away extremely early on in life and aware of my own chances of death by car.

Funny how I tend to forget such important concepts. An old man, with a long gray beard drove next to me the other day long enough to tell me out his truck window, "You're not invulnerable, ya know." I smiled at him; he drove away.

I feel agile and fast on my bike. I love the feeling.

Lately, on my way around town and home, a ghost bike has been catching my attention. I've biked, drove, and walked past it for years before now without fully noticing it. I walked to the ghost bike one morning to take photos for my blog. I got a few good shots and edited them trying to get an unearthly feeling in the photo. I researched the story of this ghost bike to try to give more to the photo. 24 year-old Nick Bucher rode into the path of a car Friday, February 2, 2007 just before midnight: a chance intersection of two people's lives resulting in the death of one (the one on the bike). He was riding home from work. It's been 5 years of living since this death.

Mortality

I see this bike all the time now as I drive, bike, or walk by. It's beautiful as it sits out in the rain alone across the street from Pioneer Cemetary, across the street from Central Catholic High school, next to the apartment complex where people came out to help the night of the accident. As the blur of movement of life goes on, this bike calmly calls out to me a story about life and death.



Ghost bikes are a tradition that deserve much respect and that play a part in the progress of making our roads safer for every living mover and shaker on our streets. 

Check out this film project I stumbled upon.
   

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mason Lake 1

Waking early on a Sunday was worth it on March 4, 2012. It's amazing where a couple of high performance cameras can get a person. Today at Mason Lake my tendency to put myself in precarious situations while focusing on getting my shot before it quickly becomes the past played out in a fun way.

Witnessing the whole of this race thrilled me.

 Although missing the press cars, crowd controls, zealous photographers, busy organizers, beautiful podium girls, famous athletes and Italian landscapes, my experience from the back of a black suv leading a pack of win hungry cat 1/2 men made me feel like a pro photographer in the thick of the action. With Hagens Berman's tight teamwork, Team Oregon's valiant efforts, Bikesale.com's winning cyclist, Exergy's presence, Audi's attacks and Keller Rohrbach's Stangeland missing the 4 man break, Mason Lake presented me with an awesome competition to capture in the most artistic way I can.

The complete set of photos can be viewed at http://catherineleighcooper.com/p77508272.

The following pictures are ones I like to think my photography professor would think are worthy of standing back and admiring.

ENJOY THE VIEW!















Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cristina Macovei Mihaescu

 

 I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.

- Mae West


"Bike racing is playtime. Jump on the bike, smile, and go fast."


 "I love everything about bikes: the freedom, the fun, the frustration, the possibilities,  the fact that I have yet to ride a bike without feeling happy. Oh, and the community: I met amazing people biking and many of them I am lucky to call my friends now."
   


 "I am super excited about Ironclad. They're smart and fast but don't take racing or themselves seriously.  And although they can kick my butt any time, they still let me race with them.  I am hoping to do a bunch of races with the ladies and learn from them."

 

 
 Cristina's Favorite 2011 Races

  "Lewis&Clark Ultra because I almost found my cracking point
and
Chainbraker because it made me fall in love with mt biking"



"There is always someone faster or smarter in racing than me out there. And that's ok because as long as I have fun it's a win in my book."


 Cristina is an up and coming cat 3 woman. Her forte is long distance, endurance rides. She'll tear the legs off of you, be you man or woman. See her race this season at road races, mountain bike races, and select cross races. If you're lucky you might spy her training on the roads around Portland. Be sure to smile and give her the right of way.