30 Aug 2018

For Emergency Use Only

WORDS & PHOTOS x Héctor Saura

I recently moved to a new place outside the city of Barcelona, Spain and although I had ridden some trails in the area before, I still need to discover more – to know which ones are worth riding and which ones aren’t. However, at the moment, that motivation to explore is harder as I feel that summer is starting to be my least favorite season of the year. High temperatures, dry dirt, blown out lines and very sweaty rides, which leaves me less motivated to go out and ride.

Nevertheless, I woke up early the other day and I noticed that there were no sun rays outside the window. I checked the forecast and saw that it was going to start raining soon. I have never enjoyed riding in the mud, but I do love when it rains that perfect amount and leaves the trails in perfect condition. I knew that this was going to be one of those days and I had to quickly jump at the opportunity. It was only going to be me, my bike and my Nokia 150, a small smartless-phone that’s more related to the 1990’s than the social media tethered creations of today. I bought it a while ago to use solely in case of emergencies and the days when I go riding alone.

Days like that aren’t very common though, as I usually try to ride with friends, but there are some days that I decide to go to the mountains on my own. This time, I was only going to use the 150 as a camera though, because I’d forgotten what the PIN number was, and in my rush to get out the door I couldn’t activate the pre-paid sim card. However, I didn’t care about not being able to call anyone for help or being completely electronically disconnected from the world. I was just stoked to use this little thing as a camera and experiment with such scaled back technology.

Every day, I feel that we are over-saturated with information that we see on the Internet, and especially on social media platforms. The ever growing near real-time sharing can have a negative affect on our daily lives and also interrupt our rides, and somehow, in someway, I felt that this ride took me back to simpler times. I felt free. No smartphone, no riding apps, no connection to the cell towers, nothing to worry about. It was just me and my bike, pedaling in the woods, discovering new trails and documenting the ride on-the-go with my modest technology poor Nokia without caring about the final outcome or a need to share it all immediately.