Lots of people rely on two wheels to get around their Miami neighborhood. The streets are flat making it easy to cruise comfortably for long stretches in the tropical climate. And of course, two-wheelers are cheaper to buy and maintain than are cars.
Along the thoroughfare pictured here, I observed a rousing Haitian motorbike gang traveling at 85 miles per hour on their rear wheels; riding strait down the street’s yellow dividing line. Too fast for a photo, sorry. I also saw a handful of foot powered bicyclists hugging curbs as they cruised down the street. Then there was this fellow. He would have been among the two-wheeled travelers were it not for his broken ride.
We had our chance encounter while I was on a sidewalk making an image of a large mural and he parked next to me for a moment of commiseration. His scooter bike crapped on his Christmas morning. I turned off my camera and took a quick look at his Roadmaster bicycle to get an idea of what he was dealing with.
I noticed a few things that surprised me. For starters, he had tricked out the bicycle to become a one stroke gas scooter. Secondly, while his bike had a crankset, the left side crank arm had broken off. He pointed out that his problem started when the chain had become jammed making the rear wheel immovable, and caused the crank arm and attached pedal (see it in his left hand in the photo below) to break off clean.
To move along the sidewalk this guy was lifting up the seat to pull the rear wheel off the ground. It was a cumbersome solution. Adding to his misery was that he was still a ten minute walk to his home.
Wishing that I had some bike tools to help, I turned on my camera again and bid him good luck. When I pointed out that at least it wasn’t raining, it made him smile. Expeditiously, that’s when I pressed the shutter. Without use of my camera’s back button to focus the lens I would have missed this shot and had regrets later.
When I got back to my in-laws compound, I shared this image with my brother-in-law, Jonathan. He has photographic experience so I asked for his opinion of the image. He suggested I crop in to better see the juxtaposition of the telephone pole art work against my subject’s face.
I did take a few minutes in Photoshop to consider his suggestion. It produced a photograph that offers a different feeling from the one at the head of the post.
Do you have a preference for either photo? If so, which one and why?
I prefer your initial, “bigger” picture: it shows the man in context, and this is what motivated me to stop by and read your post. For me, it was also interesting to find out that Miami is a place for bikers.
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Thank you so much for hanging out on Snapmammas and for offering your opinion about the images on this post! It’s very helpful that you described your interest in bike riding as what lead you to the content, too. Cheers!