All You Need Is a Red Bicycle (2014)

“Pictures should look like they were easily taken. Otherwise beauty in the world is made to seem elusive and rare, which it is not.” – Robert Adams (1975)

Having lived in a city for the last few years, an extended stay in rural Finland became an opportunity to rediscover the joy of exploring pastoral surroundings on a bicycle. Although neither new nor fancy, the bicycle was red! On the red bicycle I felt like a ten-year old adventurer on an expedition into both familiar and uncharted territories. I did not need high-tech gear to savour the transition from winter to spring in the forests and around the lakes near Haukijärvi, Finland. Only my curiosity determined what was a cyclable path and what wasn’t.

In Haukijärvi, Finland, it occurred to me that exploring the neighbourhood on a plain bicycle, just cycling on all kinds of available trails, was actually making me happy. I progressed at a speed that still allowed time to appreciate the visual treats the territory had to offer. I thought about what made this experience so valuable. I concluded that enjoying the almost childish simplicity of the endeavour, appreciating little things and non-spectacular beauty is something that most adults tend forget due to the strains of daily life.