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Bikes & Books

Published 3 months ago • 3 min read

tyler constance // understated

A cozy personal newsletter of creative projects and life updates.

I got into bikes and made a zine of some of my work.

What I've been up to

  • While unemployed over the early Spring, I put together a 60-page zine of my photography, and have since done two test prints fixing wording and typos, and I think I've finally got a version that I feel good about. I only ordered a couple of copies to be able to hand to visiting friends or ship to family members who might want to see my work in print, but the learning experience was useful, and I could totally see myself wanting to take this further and collaborate with other photographers, artists, and/or writers to publish something like this a few times a year. I don't have the time or the connections to make that feasible at the moment, but this was a personal success and I'm proud of myself.
  • A few emails ago, I mused on considering treating myself to an object as a way of celebrating accepting a higher-paying position at a better company. I was going to let it go, but ultimately decided to get a Brompton folding bike to remove some of the friction of taking my vintage road bike up and down stairs for short trips, largely influenced by the "Into the Fold" podcast episode of The War On Cars on their exclusive Patreon page (here's a teaser).
    • This basically changed my life; I spent the rest of the summer finding any and every excuse to ride my bike, going further, getting more utility out of using a bike to make chores like grocery-getting easier and more joyful, and going further to visit friends or take leisure rides. I started going to bike parties, signing up for all the local newsletters from advocacy groups…and having the algorithms quickly catch on to fill all of my recommendations and feeds with cycling-related content.
    • I signed up for the local city bike bikeshare program for when I didn't have my bike (for trips to and from the train station, for instance, or walking somewhere with a friend and biking back home afterwards). I highly recommend everyone do this; I should have done this years ago. It's cheaper than bus fare, with no schedules to keep track of, and these upright step-through city bikes are just a joy to ride.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, I rented a mountain bike another weekend to take on the trails in the city, and this was blissful, too. I never got really into hiking, but something about being able to quietly roll through the woods feels incredible.
    • I even went on a camping overnighter, strapping a bunch of camping gear to my rear rack and riding to Wolfe's Neck for the night, riding back the next morning for a 50-mile round trip ride.
    • I may have also already picked out my next bike, something optimized for off-road touring. And yes, I'm aware of the irony of getting a folding bike largely because of its small footprint in my small, walk-up apartment, and then immediately wanting to add three or four bikes to my space after getting hooked.

What I've been into

  • A local film archive group called Kinonik has been doing Tuesday-night movies, and I've been attending nearly every week. Some highlights have been Throne of Blood (1957) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
  • I'm still taking my time, but I only have one episode left of the second season of The Bear. I really love this show.
  • I went through a bit of a moment where I kept listening to Mineral's 1998 emo record EndSerenading on repeat (Spotify, Apple Music).
  • The new blink-182, expectedly, was a big hit with me. Jason Tate (AbsolutePunk, chorus.fm) wrote a very thoughtful piece on it that resonated with me.
  • This past week, I've been listening to Think I'm Gonna Die by KC Rae, the side project from the vocalist of Now, Now, a sort of shoegazey-indie-emo-pop combination that I've loved since hearing Threads in 2012. Also put a lot of time into Nas's "Magic" trilogy, Aesop Rock's new Integrated Tech Solutions record (here's Mindful Solutionism on YouTube, and Aggressive Steven is just masterful storytelling), and Tinashe's BB/Ang3l, because I can't stop listening to None of My Business (Spotify). I've also been putting a lot of plays into the new Svalbard record, The Weight of the Mask, in case you're looking for some shoegazey metal from a woman-led band.

What about you?

Up to anything interesting? Have any thoughts or feelings after reading this? If you want to reach out for any reason, just reply to this email and I’ll write you back ✉️✨


tyler constance // understated

A cozy personal newsletter of creative projects and life updates.


understated

A cozy personal newsletter of creative projects and life updates.

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