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Forever Bicycles

I’ve always felt like there’s an exact right time for things, and that this right time is exactly when those things occur. It isn’t a time I can know in advance, but I know it when it arrives, and it usually feels like an irresistible force of nature. Tuesday was that day for going to see Forever Bicycles, finally. . . . . and I say finally because I remember reading about it when it was first installed and thinking how I wanted to go see it.. . . . then just last week I saw an article about how the sculpture was fixing to be taken down. I thought it was a permanent thing, and I was shocked to realize it had been in place for 2 years! Had I really been putting it off for that long?

Ondu & Tri-X

Ondu & Tri-X

So Tuesday was the exact right time, with Wednesday being the day they would begin dismantling it. (Presumably, that is happening right now as I write.) It’s often difficult for me to motivate myself to drive into Austin, especially it if involves going somewhere that doesn’t have a parking lot or close street parking that I know about. This procrastination has grown over the past few years. However, part of my new journey is to try and rekindle a positive relationship with the city that called me out of my youth and has since morphed into a heaving, hectic, often downright mean and impersonal beast, so I resolved to make the effort and make the best of it. I packed 3 cameras, of 3 different formats, and we hurried out the door.

Ondu & Tri-X

Ondu & Tri-X

The first plan - poorly researched by me - was to take the metro rail to the downtown station. We arrived at the wrong time and didn’t have an hour to wait for the next train, so we drove instead and, miraculously, ended up parking at another place I had been wanting to visit for months but couldn’t make myself drive in for: the new public library. Along the slightly intense route to said parking spot, gingerly following posted P for Public Parking signs, I saw a lot of things I would like to photograph another day. Funny how things develop like that.

But my destination that day was not with the street; rather, it involved walking next to the water on the hike & bike trail where I used to run with a jogging stroller years ago. It sits below traffic level, so it was cooler and (running / biking / doggie traffic aside) far more peaceful. I didn’t realize you could walk under the Congress Ave bridge; it was nice to hear the bats chirping above. I also didn’t realize there was a kayak station and boat house type building there, right smack dab where we needed it by the sculpture.

Ondu & Tri-X

Ondu & Tri-X

The walk gave me a chance to make other photographs, with my Ondu 6x6 Pinhole camera. It’s been getting a lot of use lately, although it may well sit dormant for a while soon. I was ridiculously excited to see this guy on the edge of the path, although sadly he was frightened into the vegetation, and his shell, by runners before I could get my camera loaded. Way to not do it in advance, Amy.

Ondu & Tri-X

Ondu & Tri-X

Ondu & Tri-X

Ondu & Tri-X

In addition to my pinhole camera, I also lugged along (grateful thanks to my boyfriend for carrying the bag!) the Noblex Pro I was recently gifted by a member of my caving family. Learning to load it has been an interesting adventure, but I managed it (mostly) correctly this time and ended up with some images of the Bicycles that I am pretty pleased with. The first photograph is partial, due to the first image on the roll getting cut off as a result of my not loading it quite right. The last photograph below is a multiple exposure, which might or might not have been intentional. . . . .

Pinhole photographs of the sculpture. . . .

We sat and had refreshments for a short while before our walk back, along which I made other pinhole photographs that are as of now still resting as latent images inside the camera. Those will come later. For now, my heart is resting happily knowing that it was the right time to go, and I am thankful I was able to make the effort.