Rider’s Lens: Capturing Winter, by Hansi Johnson

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While winter is in the rear view mirror for most of us, here’s one final nod to the old man. In our latest installment of Rider’s Lens, we present Hansi Johnson and a collection of photos that truly captures the grit of winter fat biking.

From what we can gather, there aren’t many people who live and breath the Midwest outdoors moreso than Hansi Johnson. In addition to acting as IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director, Hansi hunts, fishes, fat bikes, and skis from his home base in Duluth, Minnesota. We asked Hansi to share some of his photos that manifest the feeling of winter riding. Suffice to say, there were too many to choose from… so here are 16 shots and Hansi’s words about capturing winter:

Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking
  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

I have long history with telling stories through photography, either film or still photography. However my recent success with it stems from my work with IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association). I was working as the Upper Midwest Regional Director. Fat Biking was exploding on the scene and especially here in the Midwest. We have QBP and Trek and other related Fat Bike brands here and because of that we were on the front end of the revolution. However the access and advocacy related issues were not understood by IMBA at a National Level, and because of that I started shooting images to help tell that story.

Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking
  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

While telling these stories I was also really struck by the imagery of a cyclist in a winter environment. At least then, nearly 10 years ago, it was pretty amazing to see a bike in a winter backcountry situation. Of course I also was lucky because I have a solid group of friends who love to push the limits of where a bike can go and what it can do.

  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking
  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Bikepacking
  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking
  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking
  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking
Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

My gear runs the range of types. It really depends on the situation. If I have the space and luxury I go full on DSLR and multiple lenses. If I am on a true trip though I will generally go with a really light Micro Four Thirds kit and make the best of it. That all said I am also a fan of asking my subjects to help out if I feel the need to haul the heavy metal. Sometimes I will part out my gear and give small pieces to others on the ride. I did this with a long lens for our trip across the on the Northwest Trail (below 4 photos).

  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking
  • Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

Hansi Johnson, Winter Fat Biking

Follow Hansi’s adventures in photography, outdoor advocacy, and lifestyle at his blog Universal Klister. Also check out Ride Duluth on Vimeo, a film by QBP which Hansi helped with.

Tags

  • mikeetheviking

    Awesome.

  • Alan Ardizone

    I’ve been to Duluth in the fall and froze my butt off. Can’t imagine winter there. You guys are tough beyond words. It gets plenty cold here in Colorado, but you have real cold. Good on ya!
    Uncle Al

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