I have sold my road bike (Trek 7.3FX) and bought a Trek MTB (3500) simply for the fact that when I am out taking photos, a MTB is the only thing that will get me to where I want to go. Do you people bike with camera gear?
I haven't done anything extensive (bicycling is challenging enough as I get back into it!) but I often carry a camera in a belt pouch. That would typically be either an old P&S of a type not discussed on APUG or one of my folders. (The picture up above of my bike was taken with my Perkeo II.) I haven't yet equipped the Quick 5 with a rear rack, but a decade or two back I occasionally took my Canon A-1 out with some egg crate foam in a trunk bag on the rear rack or in a large handlebar bag.
I'm pretty sure there are some APUGgers who've trundled about with 4x5s or 8x10s in panniers, but at my current age and decrepitude I am unlikely to pursue that.
DW - Dont's sell yourself short. I am 64 - still bicycling and taking pictures. With the new MTB I can carry two folders in my handle bar bag and I wear a vest, so can carry one or two more there but I am trying to keep weight down. I enjoy getting off the beaten path to get shots that no one else does. That is where the MTB comes into play.
FYI - The Trek 3 series (3500) is a great MTB. In my mind (and price range) it is perfect. The gear ratios are great and peddling is nice no matter what the terrain. It even comes with a "super low" cog that I think you use for climbing vertical walls.
Heh heh, I'm six years ahead of you, but I was sort of kidding (I hope!) I do own a 4x5 B&J Press, but don't have decent enlarging facilities for that size, so between size, weight and film cost, I have pretty much settled on medium format -- not that the Bronica SQ-A with the 110 macro lens is exactly feather weight -- over four pounds. I call it the Goldilocks theory -- not too big, not too small -- jus-s-st right!
So far, I find the bottom gear on the Quick 5 is probably low enough for most climbs I'm likely to attempt. My problem is I'm moving so slowly I have trouble balancing. I assume with more time riding all will improve. In spite of many rainy days the past month or so, I have put over 130 miles on the new toy, with latest rides now up as high as 16 miles, so I'm slowly working my way up. Of course, I have been cheating a bit by sticking to the two major rail trails near by which don't feature much hill climbing, but I'm already at almost triple last year's mileage for the whole year. I'm definitely liking the hybrid over the road bike for the cindered portions of trails.
I met a guy up in Bradford County last year who does rides of 20 and 30 miles and more in that "Endless Mountain" area; he turned 84 last year, so that should be inspiring! He runs what appears to be a fairly early Cannondale mountain bike of some sort, but with no suspension. There's a shot of it in my gallery here called "Charlie's Wheels."
I went a little different route with the bicycle thing - I ride a cyclocross-type bike, which, to me, seems to be to be the best compromise between off-road/on-road capability. I'm a geezer and I commute to work - a 14-mile round trip with some hills and a variety of surfaces, from dirt to city streets to lovely bike-path smoothness. I progessed from a comfort bike to a hybrid to a road bike to a cyclocross bike over a seven-year period, and lost about 70 pounds somewhere along the way. I'm a little fanatical about the bike thing, as it did so much for me, health-wise. When not commuting, I ride to some pretty remote places up here in northern Michigan.
Mountain bikes, to me, are for a specific purpose - they are technical trail-riding machines that are heavy, complex and geared real wrong for general use. To me, they are like driving a Hummer when really a Subaru would probably do. I'm not trying to start a big conversation here - just talking about what works for me.
I usually carry a fixed-lens rangefinder in the handlebar bag with me all the time - a Konica C35, Canonet QL-17 GIII or Minolta Hi-Matic E, depending on what I have a roll of film in at the time. I love Velvia 50.
The important thing is to get out and ride!
Mike - glad to see someone else is alive on this thread. My Trek MTB has the gearing I like to the point that I like it better than my FX 7.3 - That said, we all have to find what we like and I like 2" tires under me and the tires are not the real knobby kind they are semi knobby. Just enough for off road and street. I am in good physical shape for my age and bike when I can. I try for every day but when that can't happen I have a bike training rack that I use. I also like a little weight under me. My FX wa 13.88#'s and built for speed. At my age I don't need speed. My 3500 weighs in at about 30#'s. Not to much, just right.
My newest camera is an Ansco Speedex 120 folder. I am running my first roll through it now. I like to go where others do not. That is why the MTB.
My local camera shop has a jewel-like Retina IIa for sale that I've been drooling over for quite awhile. I don't know how durable they are, but it sure would make a nice bike-cam as far as compctness goes.
Mike - Stop drooling! It's time to buy. Just like I need another bike like I need a hole in my head. And I have a small bike shop behind my house. Dale