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Mercedes Sprinter Photography Adventure Van Lets Me Work in the Field Just Like Home + Death Ride (Cycling)

I published more material in the past week than I have in a long time, on the Sigma 70mm macro for Sony mirrorless and the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art on Nikon and the Zeiss Milvus 15mm f/2.8 and the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Planar, as well as the Proto Machines LED8 and the new Apple MacBook Pro as well as health and safety and Gear for the Mountains topics and reader comments.

In my experience, many off-topic posts have been the most widely read and most enjoyed. Indeed one article on shoes back in 2015 garnered more click-throughs than any other post that year, exceeding most posts by a factor of 20X. Maybe I should review shoes? Just kidding.

Seems like after 4 months I am finally getting my mojo back after my concussion. Hopefully that doesn’t mean an overdrawn brain account* (so to speak)—has happened both of the two prior months—sets me back an entire week and can involve post concussion syndrome (PCS) issues.

* Update 24 July: the brain account has been overdrawn after all, with 3 non-productive days in which I’ve found it difficult to focus on much or even to ride strongly or at all, and with hugely increased sleep needs.

Working in the field

Below is where I did all my work on Friday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Right in my Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 photography adventure van/office, with electricity a non-issue what with a 10 kW battery system and dual 2000W power inverters. I used cheap methods to stay cool in the hot sun.

Nice spot and with a 4G LTE signal so I can publish just like at home—when it was working well. But at times it was problematic in losing the signal entirely (clouds seem to cause serious problems), so I ordered the weBoost Drive 4G-X 470510 Cell Phone Signal Booster. If it works, it’s worth every penny—last Friday I spent a a sweltering 2 hours pushing half a gigabyte to my web server from my van way down in the flatlands in 100°F heat while idling the engine, all because of a weak cell signal. It should have taken 5 minutes.

Beautiful wildflowers... and wildfire smoke blown by northwest wind moving into Carson River valley, near Topaz Lake while higher elevations as yet are clean and clear
f1.8 @ 1/1000 sec, ISO 64; 2018-07-15 19:26:01 [panorama]
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Death Ride

See my 2018 Death Ride report.

2018 Death Ride big with stickers

In between (Saturday the 14th of July), I completed the Death Ride. It’s a shorter and easier version of Alta Alpina 8 Pass Challenge, which I completed two weeks ago.

What’s that logo at upper right? OWC / has sponsored me for cycling this year, which involves a fantastic new bike. See all sorts of cool computing products at

Cycling takes energy, but more than gives it back, with increased mental clarity and stamina, so I consider it mandatory, like eating and sleeping.

Recent research is showing that cycling is terrific for health, boosting the immune system, and recovering from a concussion, just as I asserted as irrefutable based on meticulous self-observation in my concussion recovery log. I’ve been saying all of these sorts things for years, and I am heartened to see that the science is finally catching up. Vascular therapy is the latest advance that works exceedingly well for me also, which is a new thing for me as of April 2018.

Lloyd in early morning near top of Monitor Pass
f1.8 @ 1/2100 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-14 06:51:46
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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A long train of riders ascending the lower portion of Monitor Pass east
f1.8 @ 1/1300 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-14 07:30:00
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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It’s a long way up to the summit from behind and below them thar hills at left. And the Ebbetts Pass climb is greater and tops out 500 feet higher altitude.

View of Monitor Pass east side, about half the way to the summit
f1.8 @ 1/3200 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-14 07:50:27
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Ebbetts Pass Summit “party” / “zoo” (rest stop), 2018 Death Ride
f1.8 @ 1/1400 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-14 09:35:42
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Too much (24 oz) of ice cold fluid at Turtle Rock Park not long before the Carson Pass climb caused my diaphragm to spasm and left me able to take only shallow breaths. No fun at all, but I ground through it and got it done. Never again on that much cold fluid—first and last time.

Lloyd at Carson Pass official finish sign—tired after diaphragm spams entire climb
f1.8 @ 1/1250 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-14 13:59:05
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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Lloyd enjoying a icy cold ice cream sandwich at the finish at Carson Pass
f1.8 @ 1/1900 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-14 14:17:33
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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2018 Death Ride big with stickers
f1.8 @ 1/520 sec, ISO 20; 2018-07-14 15:29:19
iPhone 7 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus 4.0 mm f/1.8

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