Everyday during the school year, local cyclist, Tom Sweeney rides his bike from Fort Collins to Loveland for work, regardless of weather and then home again. On each of those rides he takes a photo. Not only does it take an enormous amount of dedication to ride that far in adverse conditions every single day, he actually interrupts each ride to take a photo. That's pretty amazing. For me at least, those photos make for a great year in review. They invoke feelings of "I remember that happening, or "that must have sucked" or "I wonder where that is" or "Golly, we're lucky to live here". I shot a bunch of questions to Tom for today's intro, rather than mutilate and rewrite those questions and responses, I just posted his reply below. He's on a pretty cool journey and next year's video is going to look vastly different.
"I live near Taft and Elizabeth and have been commuting to Sarah Milner Elementary in south Loveland for nine years, where I taught 5th grade. In the fall of 2012 I started taking photos every single, and selected one from each day to include in a slide show at the end of the year. The whole title "Ride to School" is just the file name I gave all the photos to keep them in order. The 2012/13 school year happened to be the first year that I rode every single day without driving, and after that I couldn't bring myself to drive ever again. You know how obsessed we can get.
I typically took an extended route to work in the morning, leaving the house aroundor so. However, I would typically crawl straight home after school in the afternoons. If you use the bare minimum of 24 miles a day, I've ridden 37,704 miles over the course of 1571 school days. When weather was bad, I would leave the house extra early, and consequently didn't get the message that school had been cancelled due to snow on at least two occasions. Most days the ride would take about an hour, but I think my fastest time heading to900 school was roughly 37 minutes with an insane tailwind. I've also had days where it's taken me two hours to get home in the snow with a wicked headwind. The coldest recorded temperature was -16 last winter.
Most days I would ride my Soma Double Cross, and typically use 700 x 25c tires. I also have an old-school Trek 800 steel, suspensionless mountain bike that has been upgraded extensively, and used that in all the bad weather. In the past few years I've also started riding in on my racing bike a bit more, but I hate wearing the backpack.
I've used small mirrorless camera systems almost exclusively. I love the Olympus E-PL and OMD cameras, and have been using those for the past few years. They do take a beating, and in really bad weather I've used one with an older lens, cracked screen, etc. It still takes great shots. I also have a Canon and Nikon mirrorless, as well as a few point and shoots. The only photo I've ever taken with my phone is the one of all my cameras.
On a side note, in the fall of 2014, when I realized that I was approaching 24,000 miles, which is roughly the circumference of the globe, I got this crazy idea in my head to ride around the world. In the summer of 2015 I flew to Lisbon, Portugal, and started making my way to Geneva, Switzerland via Morocco, Spain, and France. The following year I flew back to Geneva and made my way across easter Europe, across Turkey, and into the Republic of Georgia. Last summer I returned to Georgia, rode across Azerbaijan, and then flew across the Caspian Sea to far western Kazakhstan. I rode the entire width of Kazakthstan and made it across 2/3rds of China, ending in the city of Xi'an.I'm flying back to Xi'an, and hope to finish the final 1000 miles to Shanghai.
The irony of ending my commute to Loveland, as you've pointed out, is that they are going to complete the bike path between Fort Collins and Loveland this summer. It follows my most typical route down Shields. For some reason, when I saw first the article that they were going to finish the path this year, I had this strange feeling I would not be able to enjoy it. Oh well!
Thanks for posting this to YGR. I amazed that so many people enjoy the slide shows. The staff at Sarah Milner has been amazing, and their encouragement has kept me taking photos all these years!"
Here are Tom's 2017/2018 photos, you can see previous years here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3M391oFTfS2ctm9x31zSMg
The Loveland Reporter Herald ran a story on Tom last year: http://www.reporterherald.com/news/ci_30358167/loveland-teacher-cycles-school-every-day-every-season
Below are the 2017/2018 B Sides, some are equally as good. I recommend watching at .5 speed so you can take it all in.