October 26, 2011
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Marketing can be an endless experiment. We run a variety, albeit small in number, of ads, try different media and test as much as we can. With a small company, you test live. We run ads, and wait to see what gets a response, and what doesn't. The first ad that I've produced for Bike Friday that has gotten a significant response appears at the end of this story. It is the result of an idea, and photo shoot in February. This is the story of its birth.]
The view on the other side of the barricade did not appear to be promising.
Snow stretched about as far as the eye can see, which in reality, isn’t all that far. Maybe 150 yards or so.
This I learned first hand, carrying the brand-new white Pocket Llama with the Select Group on my shoulder with my pack on my back.
As my hiking boot crunched the melting snow, I realized it wasn’t that deep. Not that deep for February, that’s for sure.
As the road, Oregon Scenic Highway 242, gently swept around the bend, the tree cover opened and so the snow evaporated.
Dry pavement, with patches of snow littering the path.
Nonetheless, enough pavement to climb aboard.
Climb aboard, I did.
The Llama’s Schwalbe Big Apples clawed the roadway as we began to climb, my trusty assistant Ridgely rushing wildly up ahead, charging into snow drifts and plowing with her nose, before darting back behind me, then to the front again.
OK, so the quiet stillness that a wintery day in the Cascades could offer disappeared in the Tasmanian Devil imitation by my black lab, but that didn’t mean it was any less entertaining.
As we continued the climb, I realized what a nice machine the Select Llama is. This was the first off the production line, and with our launch of the Select line imminent, I needed to get some photos.
In my mind, I needed a specific shot. A true reflection of our pride in our claim that our Bike Fridays are Made in Oregon. I knew it would be a crapshoot, getting up to Proxy Falls this time of the year.
I also knew at worst, it would be two miles of hiking up Highway 242, then 1.5 miles on the trail. And back. Well worth it.
Eventually snow swallowed up the pavement, but not until I reached the final half-mile of roadway to the trailhead. From here on, it was hiking in snow. A beautiful winter Oregon hike. The sound of snow beneath your boots, and an occasional whirl of a crazy dog.
I began snapping photos here and there, where the lava flow from ancient volcanoes has slowly surrendered to Oregon firs. The forest boasts its victory as what snow has made it through the understory is covered with a soft layer of fir needles.
About 10 minutes in, the distinctive roar of water cascading down rock fills the air, and we near my destination.
For the next two hours, I play with Mother Nature, my digital camera and the Llama. I see a magic. I feel a magic. I know it isn’t everyone will feel. I don’t worry about that now.
Instead, I enjoy.
Eventually, I land some photos I love. When I get back, I endure questions and comments. Everything anyone does at Bike Friday receives the same fate. Everyone has an opinion. No one is afraid to share it.
Some don’t see any value in the photos at all. They prefer a single bike on white background. Always. Others demand there be a human in a shot. Some feel the dynamic Oregon scenes steal the attention from the bike.
Me? I just believe that every photo tells a story.
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