Category Archives: portraits
It was last Thursday morning, I believe, when Daniel and Emiliano from Manual for Speed hollered hard at me via SMS about doing a Human Athlete Visual Showcase (HAVS) with Team Clif Bar at our house. Bear in mind, there were about 8 people sleeping at my house during Nats, so it was a mess but who can say no to such adorable photographers?
Saturday morning rolled around and promptly at 11am, MFS and Team Clif Bar entered the house, made us all get into skinsuits and began to do their thing. The resulting photos and a short Q&A is now over at Manual for Speed, so go check it out!
You remember that Ritchey commercial Brian Vernor made a while back? Well, he just posted up some photos from that shoot on his Making Blog. Head over to check them out. Such great portraits.
“Even Disappointment is Bigger in Texas”
There’s a lot to be said about the events that occurred on Sunday morning here in Austin, all of which have been stomped to death elsewhere, so what I’ll say is, for a race that was almost killed off, this was one of most beautiful and challenging courses I’ve ever witnessed. That’s coming from someone who has never traveled overseas, of course, but still.
Look, Austin is a growing city, trying to keep things “weird” and maintain its small town vibe, while it’s bursting at the seams with new construction and lots of new, self-important money. Events like SxSW, ACL and Fun Fun Fun Fest have been destroying the same parks over and over again, so when people see their beautiful Zilker and its hillsides being “destroyed”, they tend to overreact. Especially when they’re not briefed as to what “cyclocross” is.
I can say, It upsets me that this is what the ‘cross world will forever remember us by, not for the ripping course and supportive local scene. We all love cross and it kills us just as much as it kills you. Anyway, onto the story…
For the past week, I’ve been figuring out how to document this event and let me tell you, it was a lot easier before the organizers changed the course up. I had spots for each lap and ideas about how to tie in the women’s and men’s races, all of which was out the window when Sunday’s race was cancelled and the course underwent major work, eliminating many of the vignettes I had planned.
Shooting ‘cross isn’t easy, but it sure is challenging and as a photographer, I learn something new each time. Having raced on Wednesday, I felt like I had a good understanding of where to go and when. Throughout the entire day on Monday, unridable mud slowly transformed into 100% hero dirt. The lines were worn in and even the most technical section – a ribbon of off-camber mud-gutter with a 10″ drop off into one of the old course’s lines – was ridable. For most anyway.
At the end of the day, I experimented, caught some moments and pulled together one of my favorite galleries to date. I hope you enjoy… and remember, Austin loves ‘cross, let’s try to forgive and forget.
There have been a lot of awesome cross bikes in town and I’ve tried my best to document them when I could, which unfortunately hasn’t been that often. This one, however was a must!
Nobuhiko Tanabe’s internet handle is NB_Log. He’s an employee at Blue Lug in Japan, races for Geekhouse and in general, is stoked out on bikes. His 2014 team Mudville cross bike has one of my favorite color combinations to ever leave the Boston framebuilder’s shop.
NB found himself in Austin for the 2015 ‘Cross Nats, going to the parties, races and events of this past week’s schedule, as well as pedaling around a few of our local trail systems.
At Wednesday’s events, I caught up with Nobuhiko to shoot some quick photos of his bike as he enjoyed the races… See more in the Gallery!
When you look out at the field of SSCX bikes at an event like ‘Cross Nats, you’ll see a lot of overseas production frames, but chances are, you’ll notice and remember the Rock Lobsters. All slightly different than the other.
My favorite part about these bikes is how Paul’s default color of choice is selected by so many, yet when you see one in brown, or in this case, purple, it pops. Ryan’s bike was my favorite bike in the singlespeed race and not just because of its color.
For instance, you don’t see a lot of Gates belt drives on custom singlespeed bikes, or at least, I don’t and to be honest, I didn’t even notice at first. There are a lot of details in this bike that are simple additions, but it adds to the overall delivery.
Saying a bike is your favorite from an event like ‘Cross Nats carries a certain weight, but you’ll see why in the Gallery.
Purging bikes isn’t fun, unless you can sell it to a friend, or in this case, a co-worker. One of the higher ups at Mellow Johnny’s recently decided to part with his Rock Lobster singlespeed cross. It was practically new and just so happened to fit Jonathan like a glove. Best of all, Jonathan finally found a place for all those turquoise Chris King bits he had been saving.
Singlespeed builds are ridiculously beautiful, especially when they have a color combination like walnut brown and turquoise. Relying on the ever-so-stoppy, Paul Mini Motos and Pacenti SL23 hoops with Tubeless WTB Cross Boss tires, this thing will be good to go next season…
But as we all know, cross bikes are much more diverse than that. We’ll be seeing more of this beauty in the coming months, I’m sure of it.
This year was a whirlwind. I think I traveled somewhere around 220 days, jumping the pond a few times and yes, spending lots of time in California. But what was the pinnacle of the year was the rebrand from PiNP to the Radavist. The pinnacle because it meant more contributors, more photos and ultimately, more, good content.
Without the contributors to this site, it wouldn’t have been such a successful year. Those guys really killed it.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start from Day 01…
The stick that held up the bikes in this Gallery…
I shot a lot of bikes this year. In fact, I shot more Galleries this year, than any other two years combined. From April 1st’s launch of the Radavist, until last week, the entire team worked hard on bringing a full photo gallery just about every weekday, sometimes twice. Pulling in those metrics took some time, but rather than limiting this year’s selection to just ten, I found the following bikes to be all within the same realm.
Some of these bikes never dropped a chain in terms of year-long momentum, still churning in pageviews and social media chatter to this very day. Surprisingly to me, a few were completely stock bikes. These were all chosen for their Facebook likes, social media engagement, comments and overall traffic. I feel like there were a lot of bikes that were flops as far as traffic was concerned, but I wanted to be fair in selecting the list.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s back up a bit.
We began the year with a few big stories, all leading up to one of the busiest weekends of the year, NAHBS. After record-breaking traffic, the world of Beautiful Bicycles culminated in the 2014 NAHBS Drive Side Gallery. From there, it was onto traveling for stories and documenting Beautiful Bicycles along the way… We’ll start off in Prescott, Arizona for the Whiskey Off Road.
You know the saying “good things come to those who wait?”, well, the original saying, which was shortened for public consumption was written by a cyclocross racer in Belgium back in the 1850’s. His text, which was later transcribed on his tombstone said “good things come to those who wait all ‘cross season…”
Here we are, at the end of the 2014 season, with all but two races left for the year, States and Nationals. Most of us are at our peak fitness, or maybe we’re already packing on the winter weight, but for whatever reason, suddenly I feel a lot stronger. Those parts that have been waiting for months suddenly have a home and my bike rack in the house, with that empty hook, finally has a mate. This is the peaceful twin, to the black metal steed, my Geekhouse Mudville.
When this project was first announced, I was honored to have Luis and Geoff from Mudfoot think of me to be involved. I can’t help but think Aaron Stinner may have had something to do with it as well. After a few email correspondences, Aaron agreed to ditch the “production geo” and go full custom. He asked which geometry I preferred and to be honest, I was completely satisfied with my Geekhouse, so we stuck to that for the most part, save for a half a º steeper head tube.
I should preface this gallery by saying, as an isolated selection of images, it’s ok. But after I post all the content I got from this weekend, it’ll be more complete. That includes, reviews, portraits and yeah, my new cross bike. For now, however, it does encapsulate our race conditions and a rather fun way to end the season.
We’ve had a fairly wet fall here in Austin, resulting in some grueling races with a lot of mud. The problem is, we don’t get normal mud here, since the base is limestone. Instead, we get iron-rich clay and clay, well, clay doesn’t like bikes. At all. Unless it’s in the drying process, when suddenly it becomes rails of brown pow.
Saturday’s race was more of a Tough Mudder course than a race course, with the day starting off as a 2 mile track, with around 1.25 miles of running. It sucked. Sucked the energy from your legs, sucked your derailleur off your hanger and sucked all the space it could find within your stays, cranks and fork. The officials shortened the course, resulting in faster times, but still, a lot of running. I’ve never had to shoulder a bike in a race before. Usually, everything was ridable, for some of us, anyway.
When Sunday came around and I could barely walk, I wasn’t looking forward to the course.
Alas, there’s that magical moment where mud transforms to fast lines of singletrack through the woods and mudpits become tacky enough to form a rut. Those are the moments where cross racing takes hold of your skills and sharpens them like a battle ax. Sunday was amazing and fast!
After doing my thing, there was talk of a chili eat-off between one of the older teams in town and the newer teams. Yacht Club vs Super Awesome. I had my money on the later, since Yacht Club prides themselves on their fine dining and boyish physiques. Boy was I wrong…