Ah, Instagram, that bottomless pit of narcissistically cultivated iPhone photos that have a lot of us spending far too much time staring at pocket-sized screens. Sure, Instagram is an endless supply of food photos, selfies, and recycled memes that I'm too old to understand but, with over seven hundred million users, there's also plenty of gold hidden in there somewhere. What's that, you want to see photos of cats wearing hats? The tag '#catsinhats' will bring up over 23,000 photos of your strange, worrying hobby... Not that I'm judging, you weirdo.
Anyway, more relevant to our interests are the countless cycling related pages that are worth checking out after you get bored of #catsinhats, and here are just five examples.
Kirt Voreis - @kirtvoreis_allride1974, Pro Downhill MTB racer since 1994. @ninerbikes @foxmtb @clifbarcompany @camelbak @srammtb @rockshox m.pinkbike.com/news/fox-racings-impressive-all-weather-collection.html
If you want to be entertained, Kirt's personal Instagram page is probably one of the better places to start. The ex-racer, part-time recumbent shredder, full-time fun time haver, and Niner rider clearly knows how to enjoy life, be it on a bike, a skateboard, or with his Norfolk Terrier, Harry. You can't get away from the dogs when you're on Instagram, can you? Kirt is a wizard on anything with wheels, and he's also one of the most creative riders around, so there's plenty of two-wheeled sorcery to watch for inspiration or to make yourself feel like you have zero skills.
Love the shit my fellow mountain bikers wear
One of the reasons that I love mountain biking is that, despite our best efforts to look "cool," we're always going to be a kooky, fringe sport. I mean, c'mon, we're pedaling bicycles around in the forest, a lot of us while wearing spandex, and geeking out on everything from carbon widgets to gear ratios to tricks that look like they belong in a video game. And, to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. But there are some of us that take two-wheeled kookiness to new heights, and @shit_mtbers_wear is a tongue in cheek page devoted to those riders who push the limits of fashion, whether they know they're doing it or not.
Ian Hylands - @ianhylands
Visual Creator www.ianhylands.com
Maybe I'm a bit biased (full disclosure: Ian used to shoot fulltime for Pinkbike), but Hylands' Instagram page is one of the better ones to follow as far as cycling photography goes. Yeah, there are loads of killer photos, of course, as well as a bunch of non-endemic shots, but it's the technical details Ian often shares with his photos that make so many of his posts so interesting, especially to other photo dorks. For example, here are some of his words to go with this photo of Darren Berrecloth: ''This shot of @dberrecloth was taken at 1/500 with two Nikon SB800's set at 1/2 power. Because the entire scene is lit by the sun you don't see a dark band across the frame, but if you swipe to the second shot I've overlaid a black band where the second curtain was when the flash fired. If you know where your shutter crops the flash you can push past the normal sync speed. Does that make sense? Hit me up with any questions in the comments.'' I usually put my camera on the 'running man' setting, so all that makes zero sense to me, but it's interesting nonetheless.
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Two wheels. One dark lord. goo.gl/hjdeE5
It's just bikes, folks, and we sometimes need to be reminded of that by way of some humor, which is something that the crew over at Drunkcyclist are really, really good at doing. But zero punches are pulled if they're not a fan of something (or someone). Case in point: Barstool Sports' John Feitelberg had his Twitter account suspended thanks to Drunkcyclist going on the offensive after Feitelberg, a semi-known public figure, said this: ''Nothing makes a person feel more self-important than riding a bicycle and I’m sick of it. You want to ride a bike? Move out of the city or go to some bike trail. But if you’re in my way while I’m trying to get to or from work then I’m running you over, I don’t care if you’re keeping in shape or saving the environment, you’re dead." What a f*cking idiot. It's also worth following them solely for the e-bike memes.
Nonprofit museum & community center in Marin County CA. Home to the MTB Hall of Fame. Something we gotta see? Tag us! mmbhof.org
The shiny new gear you see on Pinkbike might get your heart racing, but looking back twenty or thirty years will really put things in perspective. The Marin Museum of Bicycling Instagram page (and the actual museum IRL) is a treasure trove of historic relevance, both road and mountain, that some riders will find a lot more interesting than the latest carbon fiber machine that costs as much as a downpayment on a house. And even if that's not what you're into, pry yourself away from the memes to take a look at some of our history because it's important to know where we came from.
The five examples above only just scrape the surface of the cycling-related feeds on Instagram, with countless others out there worth taking a look at, including our own page
. We'll feature five more suggestions the next time around, so tell us in the comment section about cycling-focused Instagram pages that you spend the most time scrolling through.