What an unbelievable Sunday afternoon in Denver. A bunch of great riders pushing their individual limits on some pretty fantastic backyard dirt jumps. And it is supposed to snow tonight!
It’s crazy how a day can turn out. I had the opportunity to go up to Vail and shoot the 2013 Winter Mountain Games for Plus Size BMX. I was so excited to go and shoot great riders going off of a huge ramp, pulling amazing tricks on snow no less. What a cool thing to shoot.
The main event was going to feature a giant ball of fire after each athlete went off of the jump. Cool right? Not so cool for trying to nail low light exposures. I have been very reluctant to jump into the big remote strobe world. I like to move around when I shoot and move my lighting as well, not being tied to a static light source. To say that my approach was different then the other photographers covering the event is an understatement. The lights-stands and strobes that were set up looked like a glade more suited for tree skiing. I got nervous pretty fast. I had decided to travel light due to potentially snowy, wet conditions. I had even elected to leave the light stand, that I do occasionally carry, in the car. There were going to be lights for the event that should work with my highly sensitive very fancy camera.
That proved to be wishful thinking and I was beginning to scramble. The event was about to begin, I could not seem to synch-up with any light from the many other strobes and the images that I was getting were junk. A great photographer once told me that creating images that are different is a good thing. I agree under some circumstance but this was not one of them. I recalled a term used by another of my favorite photographers, the Voice-Activated Light-stand or VAL. I had an epiphany.
My Father had come with me. He had a great day of skiing and had received a spare press pass as my assistant. Little did he know that he was going to be called into duty. I dug through my bag grabbed an extra flash, messed with my camera settings, gave a two minute lecture on what I wanted him to do and the event was underway. It worked! My Father or assistant or VAL proved to be awesome and I got some pretty interesting images of a really great event.
I don’t usually create such wordy posts here. I like to let the images speak for themselves but…..It sure is interesting how a day can turn out.
Results of the 2013 Winter Mountain Games Best Trick Bike:
1st Garrett Robertson
2nd Chris Van Dine
3rd DJ Brandt
4th Zach Lewis
5th Tanner Leslie
6th Eric Johnson
7th Alan Mandel
Unfortunately, Dominic Megalli was injured during the practice session and was unable to compete.
On a great Colorado bluebird day in January a fantastic group of riders headed to Windsor’s Eastman Park to ride bikes. Nice.
On a weird day in Colorado that had mid-day temps in the 60′s then snow by afternoon a young Texas stud put on quite a show at Valmont Bike Park in Boulder. Not to be deterred by gusting winds, Plus Size BMX & Black Market Bikes rider Clayton Shank no-handered, whipped and flipped off the best of what this park has to offer. Near empty on a beautiful Monday in January, the few that were on hand got to see some phenomenal riding by this young man.
Big Tex or Mr. Clayton, as my 6 year old calls him, holds a special place in our hearts. He is Elsa’s de facto private bike instructor and according to her is “the man”. I couldn’t ask for a better role model.
Enjoy a collection of recent images of Big Tex from this past weekend. Hard to believe it’s January. Got to love Colorado!
I really like this cool progression of the creation of Under the Sun, a new eatery & tap-house in South Boulder. A lot of people put in a ton of creative effort and hard work to make this place happen. Now it’s time to eat, drink and enjoy!
Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery has recently added another restaurant in South Boulder. Under the Sun, located under the ever popular Southern Sun, has been quite an undertaking for the entire “Sun” collective. The endeavor was epic, the schedule tight and the outcome is proving to be a delight. It has been quite an adventure documenting the entire process.
The Yellow Designs Stunt Team has created a MONSTER. Housed in the back of Big Time Trampoline Fun Center in Arvada, Colorado, YellowZone is bound to become a bike training hotspot for up and coming locals.
What makes this training center unique? Well for starters it’s indoors. Our fall here in Colorado has been mild so far but winter will, no doubt, rear its ugly head and shut down all but the most dedicated outdoor jumpers. Secondly, YellowZone is staffed by members of the Yellow Designs Stunt team. These amazing riders are on hand to ensure safety, provide inspiration and give a tip or two to riders pushing their limits. Finally is the foam pit. This one item may be the key to creating riders that will turn heads wherever they decide to show up.
A foam pit is a safe way to learn challenging new moves while removing the risks of pounding misses into unforgiving dirt. Tricks mastered in “the pit” can more easily be transferred to parks and dirt much more quickly and comfortably. A foam pit is not commonly available for athletes and to have one locally is a gift. The locals who were training last night were definitely taking advantage of it.
Yesterday I stopped by Barnum North Bike Park in Denver and hooked up with my friend Clayton Shank for some an awesome dirt jump session. Clayton is a fantastic up and coming rider with big plans for the future.
Clayton is fortunate to be supported in his love of riding from some great companies. Black Market Bikes, Plus Size BMX, the Fix Bike Shop, IXS Sports Division, VP Pedals, Novik Gloves and Evo Hemp all see something special in Clayton. Once you see this kid do his thing you will know why.
Clayton’s goals for next season reach almost as high as his signature “whips”. Road trips to compete across the county and a coveted top 10 in the inaugural season of Colorado’s own Outlaws of Dirt series are just the beginning of what Mr. Clayton has set his sights on.
Good Luck Clayton.
I had to post an update on the progress of one of the front range’s newest bike parks. Saturday was the first day that Brighton Jumpsot was sort of open. RIders got to test all of the features and burn in jump lines on what will soon be one of the hottest places for riders of all abilities to work their skills.
Just before Halloween at Longmont’s Sandstone Bike Park, a group of riders came together for an extraordinary event that featured tricks, treats, costumes and crashes. The riders showed their skills and pushed their limits. The “call-out” format, which was MC’d by Longmont’s own Mike Murfitt Jr. had contestants on their toes and digging deep into their individuals bags of tricks. For those that are not familiar, a “call-out” involves a specific trick to be done on a specific feature of Sandstone’s incredibly varied terrain. The contest finale was a treacherous event in one of the larger bowls where all of the riders entered at once, attempted to avoid collisions and crowned the winner as the last to put a foot down.