Jake Lanoue: Man of the Road

Lover of the scenic route, the small details that make your bike yours, and the distinct moments that only happen on the road. We chatted with Jake about his approach to shooting bikes and the culture. Head to our blog below to hear about what makes him tick and join us on May 25th at Blood Brothers Brewing to see his gallery of work.

Tell us a bit about yourself, What do you do, what do you ride and what do you shoot with?

By day I'm a project manager in architectural design. Outside of work I like to spend my time shooting pool, going to concerts, driving my vintage car, and of course, riding with all my pals. I ride a 2007 Sportster which I've had for about 4 years. This bike has evolved over time to suit my needs not only as a commuter but also for long hauls because I love traveling by bike. I shoot with a Canon 70D and a couple different lenses. My gear setup varies a bit based on if I'm shooting on-or-off the bike, but I try to keep that pack minimal so it can easily be shoved into my sissybar bag.

How did you get into riding?

In my youth I was obsessed with mountain bikes. I spent absolutely all of my free time working on and riding bikes, traveling all over southern Ontario to find new skateparks and often heading into Michigan and Ohio. As I grew older it felt natural to step into the world of motorcycles and follow a very similar path, whether that was by screwing with the bike to make it my own or traveling around to new places with it. 


Do you have a favourite style of bike?

The last couple years I've been really drawn towards long choppers with tall rear tires and small front wheels. That style of bike is associated with the late Dick Allen, who had a major impact on the chopper world and motorcycle industry. Beyond that, I'm a sucker for good paint on just about any style bike.

What makes motorcycle culture and the community surrounding it so special?

So many people are willing to help, whether it's  by sharing knowledge when struggling with technical issues, giving leads on contacts for more specific projects like welding, or making recommendations about swap meets and events to attend. There's no shortage of people within the community that are willing to help each other grow.

What's a standout memory from a ride or trip?

In 2022 I set out to do a trip to the East Coast of Canada with some friends. About 4 days in, we were on our way to a campground near the tip of the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island, N.S., and running later than planned.  Low on food and fuel, we made what would turn out to be our last available gas stop. With the sun gone, the distance left, and a storm on route, we knew it was a risk to push forward but chose to go for it anyways. 

Long story short, we found ourselves at a cliffside lookout facing the ocean. We couldn't see a thing in the pitch black, but we could hear the ocean crashing distantly below. It was then that we realized that it was a very real possibility that we didn't have enough gas to make it to our accomodations, and if we did we'd be stuck pitching our tents in a storm next to cliff by the ocean. With our last bit of fuel we pushed on and somehow made it to the campground, basically running on fumes. But we had made it. And I'll never forget the dinner we shared that night: nothing but the gas station junk food we had in left in our bags.

What's your approach to shooting bikes and the culture?

My approach to taking photos isn't always about focusing in on the bike or rider. As much as I like taking detailed shots of nice builds and great paint, which I do, all of my favorite photos I've taken really hit 'pause' on a scene in my head that I remember. I try to catch that whenever possible. 

If you could say one thing to the community and culture what would it be?

Stop using zip ties to fasten your license plates...