This past week the best cyclo-cross riders descended, and climbed all around the Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colorado. The 2014 U.S. National Cylo-cross Championships had come to town. I had the opportunity to go out to watch one race, the U23 Championship. These guys were hungry, skilled and aggressive. The winner was first-year under-23 racer Logan Owen. With the win Logan will wear the “Stars & Stripes” jersey, as he represents the United States in the U-23 World Cyclo-cross Championships later this spring. The work put into creating this World-class venue was obvious and the fans were treated to great competitions.
With torrential rains all over Colorado’s front range, a blue hole formed over downtown Denver just in time for some wild riding. Plus Size BMX along with TRVE Brewing hosted an improvised sidewalk jam for visiting SE Bikes Team riders. Kris Fox, Pat “Big Daddy” Laughlin, Josh Clemens and Ross Lanier got up close and personal with fans and pedestrians alike on the sidewalk of South Broadway for a quick “up-box” jam. Locals came out to join the fun as well, with Colorado local DJ Brandt showing everyone that he too could rip it up on a 20″ bike.
Later the crew moved on to the Denver Skate Park and were treated to a fantastic sunset and some sick tricks. Not a bad night for Friday the 13th!
On a beautiful late summer night in downtown Denver, Colorado Red Bull Air Force members Miles Daisher & Jeff Provenzano made a bit of history. With a flawless leap from the top of Four Seasons, Denver, these two became the first to legally base jump from a downtown Denver building.
It was an unbelievable experience and quite an honor to be up at the top of the hotel with these two as they went through their pre-jump check-list and mental preparation for what was truly a remarkable feat.
The 2013 Colorado Freeride Festival was held the weekend of July 27th in Winter Park, Colorado and the event appeared to be a huge success. The Trestle Bike Park crew along with FMB rider Kelly McGarry built a course that featured huge hits and technical features. The progression of tricks the competitors worked through, as finals approached, was unbelievable. Big crowds, big air and lots of fun highlighted a great event.
The Mike’s Camera/Sony Outlaws of Dirt made its debut at the Lyons Outdoor Games in June. The turnout for both the amateur and pro categories was super, with many awesome BMX and Mountain Bike participants. I have been fortunate to have photographed quite a few unbelievable athletes and events and at the Lyons stop of the Outlaws series one rider really stood out.
Joey Cordova, a pro rider from nearby Longmont, Colorado, has a style and obvious comfort on his bike that really struck me. Being a very tall rider, Joey has the ability to create incredibly fluid tricks with a style that is best described as grace, regardless that the moves are happening 20-30 feet off of the ground.
Not only can this guy ride but he also was instrumental in making the event the success that it was. Joey put in a ton of work, helping build this years course and his efforts paid off with a great start to the series.
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.