Poets of Instagram

Photo by Eric Larsen, www.ericlarsenexplore.com

I’ve really grown to love Instagram as a social media platform, it’s become one of my favourite places to visit online. It’s currently the only social media app I have on my phone.

I enjoy the nature of it – the fact that it’s primarily visual. I’m pretty selective with who I follow and for me, it’s a visual hit of inspiration whenever I check in. In some cases, folks have gone one further and are using their Instagram accounts as more of a blog, including lengthy, well-composed posts as the captions to their photos. Indeed some of them have an Instagram account as their sole online presence, nothing else, not even a personal website.

That said, I thought I’d share a few of my favourites – people I feel are really doing something different, unique and inspiring with the app.

Captain Winter

Eric Larsen (@elexplore) is a polar explorer. That’s a pretty cool job title. I don’t know the all the details of exactly what that entails, but I think the general gist pretty obvious. He’s a guy that digs the cold and winter. He’s on a one-man-mission to try and get you to as well. His Instagram feed is full of fun and inspirational photos and commentary about trips to the coldest, whitest areas of the planet.  He throws around some great stay-warm tips as well. As a fellow fan of winter, I know how much fun it can be. I also have discovered lately, that the more I get out in winter, the more I enjoy and embrace it. Conversely, when I’m not able to get out due to the to-do list or schedule, it’s a lot harder to tolerate winter and morale suffers. When the calendar is crunched and I can’t fit in a snowshoe, sometimes a choice post from Eric will suffice and keep the winter mojo going to the next outing.

Always thinking snow. I’m not sure what happened to me along the way but I seem to have an unexplainable bias toward winter. Don’t get me wrong, I like spring, summer and fall, too (kind of). But Winter has a strange hold on me. I think it’s because there’s a serenity to Winter that doesn’t exist in other seasons. I also like that being outside in Winter requires more thoughtfulness and planning. There are more reasons, of course, but I’ll leave it at that for now. . . #unrulydreamers #icephoto #staylit #winter #coldculture #thinksnow #adventure #brrr #belowzero #coldworld #camping #expedition #feelalive #icecube #lifeisbetteroutside #nature #optoutside #onthhorizon #photography #polartraining #throughourlens #wearezeal #stanleyness

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The Bicycle Craftsman

To anyone who’s been around in bikes for a long time, Richard Sachs (@therichardsachs)will probably need no introduction. The guy has been hand-building bike frames since before it was the new artisanal thing to do. In the world of bicycle as art, he’s an Old Master. Although he’s been building some of the best bikes in the world for almost 40 years, he recently ‘reinvented’ himself, for lack of a better word. He built a new, solitary shop and returned to building bikes the way he’d started, one at a time, by hand, with hand tools. In the process he has been sharing his reflections on the industry, life, his craft and topics like passion and drive, all via his Instagram feed, often accompanied by some great photos of both bikes and process. You don’t have to be a fan of bikes to appreciate his posts on inspiration, drive, and why we do what we do.

‘ Once every decade or less, I make one that I know I’ll never forget. . That I’ll remember for all time and after that too. . This frame from 2005 is one of those. . I was still doing a few units with the pre IC era parts and the older diameters. . Some even had a threaded steerer – this one did. . And braze-ons and hub spacings and brake dimensions from Merckx’s time. . I didn’t have my chops developed back when bicycles like this were ubiquitous. . When I finally paid off my down payment and I could do most of this blindfolded and with dull files, the landscape had changed. . So when I use my present stance and channel a past model, I can put it together and it zings. . This one zings and it did from conception to the day after the paint dried. . And it still does. . All This By Hand . #hauteframebuilding #neverfuckingrelent #brandonneuring

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Honourable Mentions

A few other cats also holding it down on the ‘gram and continually turning out inspiring content:

  • @slimwonder – Repping the Dads and bikes set, with bebop flava. #sockgame always on point.
  • @allhailtheblackmarket – Punk rock, discontent, skating, bikes and art. Through the disgruntled lens of middle-age.
  • @coldbike – Another winter nut. Bikes, Dad skills, kids, adventure.
  • @outsideisfred – Shenanigans.
  • @hotsaucecycling – Elite World Cup Cross Racing. Shoestring budget. Canadian, eh?
  • @targetsalad – Good espresso pulls. Mule Deer. Dad life. The World’s Most Interesting Bike Club.

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