In 2003 the first complete map of the 20 000 – 25 000 chemical base pairs that make up the human genome was created. The map documents instructions and information that makes a person grow, live, and have personality. Somewhere in those thousand and thousands of sequenced acid base pairs there is the gene sequence responsible for Bicycle Infatuation Disorder -BID-.
My grandfather passed away last winter. Sharing fond memories and stories from his life we recounted the amazing life he lived; surviving the second world war, immigrating to Canada, hunting animals with the grill of his car, and living a generous loving life.
It also just so happens loved bikes.
One classic story any Krabbe will recite when boasting of my Grandfather, is of the journey he, and his brother Klass went on around the age of 12. Riding on their bikes, which likely weren’t light carbon fibre road bikes available today, they rode from their home in southern Holland to Paris, and back. Sleeping in youth hostels or open churches they lived on the cheap and saw Europe. For several years preceeding this epic, they had gone on weekend trips to visit relatives around holland, bikes carrying them hundreds of miles, on many adventures. My grandfather had a classic case of BID.
My grandfather on the right, several years after his trip to Paris with Klaas
His passion for bikes was directly passed down into my father’s DNA, and from him to my brothers and myself. Bikes were always a common interest of my whole family growing up. On road trips our van and tent trailer were stacked with bikes as we drove thousands of miles seeing sites and visiting friends. As brothers we’ve rode together on old railroad grades in BC and Quebec. We’ve ventured through rolling hills in England propelled by a love for the outdoors, and two pedals, some tubular metal, and a pair of wheels below us.
Since then, my father has ridden his bike from Vancouver to Halifax, crossing the continent on a mass bike trip. Two years later my oldest brother Joshua rode from Seattle to New York. and he has gone on to race triathlons, criteriums, and time trials.
Silas, the brother in the middle, discovered mountain biking around 2001, and shared the discovery with me soon after. We were hooked, and we spent summer nights blasting down river valley trails looking taking every opportunity to launch our wheels off the ground. He began teaching mountain biking at the local hill, COP, and again I was following his footsteps shortly thereafter.
Silas was my go to guinea pig as I picked up cameras and I began to learn the ropes and become a photographer.
And my mother, well, she gracefully puts up with our addictions. Well, thats not fair to her at all, on a recent trip to Europe, she and my father logged no less than 400km along the Elbe river. When many people their age and younger are content reliving those journeys in mind, they are outside, still doing the sports they love.
This entry is inspired by a shoot I had the opportunity to do with Joshua this spring. We both love bikes, but his endeavors are in the skinny tire race world, while I’m up on the hills in the mud. While visiting we shared some time and went out to shoot south of edmonton where he frequently rides.
Josh being super speedy
The evidence from our little adventure is currently gracing the pages of Paved Magazine (from the minds behind Bike/Powder magazines)
I haven’t been this excited about an image in ink on paper yet. Somewhere in the convergence of family, the outdoors, and our terminal case of BID, this shot tugs at my heartstrings