Category Archives: portraits
There are bikes that epitomize performance and style, but few carry the brand clout of Moots. Sure, your dentist, or doctor might have one, but chances are, they didn’t spring for the Psychlo X RSL. This frame is arguably the best cross offering to come from the brand, with its 44mm head tube, PF30 BB, oversized tubing, shouldering-friendly – formed top tube and more than enough mud clearance at the stays. This ain’t your everyday Moots!
Ben’s a mechanic at Mellow Johnny’s, the local Moots dealer here in Austin. He picked up this frame for a song and built it up over a six month period of time, from used parts and new, with no immediate deadline in mind. A few weeks ago, it was ready to roll with a mix of Force / Red 22, ENVE and TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes.
We rode out to one of our favorite “hot laps” singletrack spots in south Austin and shot photos of the bike sitting in a field of Blue Bonnets, the Texas state flower. With Nationals in Austin this year, Ben’s starting to train for cross the best way possible: shredding trails!
Hanson Little has become a pretty great friend over the past few years. If you’ve followed BMX at all, then his name might be familiar, having ridden for Mutiny and T-1.
While his days of “being pro” are behind him, he now spends his free time on a road bike, BMX or MTB, shredding trails, hips, ditches and the steep hills here in Austin to get his kicks.
The girlfriend bike. Or in this case, the fiancé bike. It can be a tricky, slippery slope, especially when you’re kind of – ok really – obsessed with bicycles. When I bought this bike from Andy at FYXO last year, it came with a C-Record gruppo. Good for looking at, sucky for climbing hills – for Lauren anyway. We quickly found out that that 8-speed cassette didn’t have the gear range she needed to pedal up to Austin’s beautiful vistas…
This bike sat on my wall for about a year, collecting dust.
Hans lives in Los Angeles and last year his wife bought him a Rock Lobster cross bike with a few added braze-ons. Hans and I spoke a lot about brake and tire options and it seems like he’s finally got his setup dialed in. One morning, as we were finishing up a MTB ride on Brown in LA, Hans went rolling by on his bike. I yelled “HANSSSSSSSS!” and he came scooting by, so I shot some photos with my Mamiya 7ii and earlier this week, I finally got them developed, prompting me to interview him with a few simple questions. Check them out below!
Jeff Traugott is an artist and his palette is wood. He makes absolutely stunning handmade acoustic guitars in Santa Cruz. These pieces sell for tens of thousands of dollars and are a hot commodity.
It just so happens that Jeff’s shop is right next door to Rock Lobster. Both he and Paul are inspirational individuals who have made a living doing what they love. The word entrepreneur gets thrown around a lot these days, but these two are fuckin’ living the dream.
When Jeff isn’t building geetars, he’s out on one of three Rock Lobsters, this being one of them, an “all road” bike with long-reach calipers and Campy 11 speed. My favorite detail, aside from the frame, is the Calfee-wrapped carbon Easton stem to ENVE bar combo. Perfect solution for the inevitable slipped bars when blasting down rutted, gnarly descents.
I spent two days riding alongside this machine, which happens to be my size. After the first day’s ride from Santa Cruz out to the coast, I snatched up this bike and took it for a quick photo shoot as the marine layer rolled in over the redwoods… #NatureIsMetal
What I’ve realized over time is that I end up with a lot of bike portraits of riders in my film rolls. This sparked an idea: a “ride along” interview series. We’ll start this off with Chris Lee, in NYC, where he interviews Brean Shea, a bike messenger and track cyclist.
I can’t help myself. No matter where I go, I always take my Mamiya 7ii and at least the 80mm lens. As I was packing for the Rouge Roubaix, I grabbed it, along with two rolls of 220 film, tossed it in my bag and took off for Louisiana. Most of the photos I shot were of landscapes, the vernacular, with a few Argonaut ‘lifestyle’ photos mixed in from the race.
Personally, I can never get enough of that Southern architecture and live oak trees…
Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm
Kodak Portra 400
Tim Johnson is one of the key figures in US cyclocross racing. He’s sponsored by Redbull, Mavic and races for Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com. He is charismatic, funny and dedicated to cyclocross. Today Tim held a cross clinic in Austin, TX – while he was in town to discuss the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals in Austin – and to check out Moto GP.
After shooting some photos at the clinic, I stopped Tim for a quick chat about the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals in Austin. Check that out below!
Paul Sadoff is a character. His personality has a patina. One that’s formed over years of racing pedigree and loud music. The name of his company was derived by the B-52′s billboard hit but before Paul would name his brand Rock Lobster, he had to have built a MTB first. “I couldn’t call it Rock Lobster if I didn’t have a MTB” Paul said when asked about the origins of his namesake… Then he built a MTB and the world changed for the frame builder.
The logo was even derived from MTB riding. Those blocks holding the letters represent rubble falling down the trail as you’re riding…
His frames have always been some of my favorite in the industry. These no-nonsense bikes are straight-forward, tig-welded masterpieces. Yes, utilitarian art – I’m standing by that phrase. Paul builds each frame in an industrial building within the Santa Cruz city limits. His own space is literally littered with cycling memorabilia from the past twenty years (even longer?) and is a gold mine of interestingness.
From track to TT, each of Sadoff’s frames bear some uniqueness and have a story to tell. Even the various crash-replacements…
While I was in town for the Giro #SantaCruzEffect, our group of 10 journalists swung through Rock Lobster to see Paul and his space. It was probably one of the most rushed Shop Visits I’ve done to date, but I managed to gain some understanding as to how Paul works and what makes Rock Lobster tick… Check out a narrated Gallery for more!
Photo by JP Bevins
These came out so great dude! See more at No Life Like This Life.