2014 has began as a great year for the Outlaws of Dirt series. The last stop, at the renown Sea Otter Classic, featured a “Best Trick” contest. The course was tight and technical, featuring a drop from the top of a shipping container, over a couple of rollers to a choice of lips graciously provided by Flow Form Ramps.
For four days the course, affectionately called the “ant hill”, was non-stop activity and action. Riders showed up throughout the day to refine their best trick arsenal. Sunday was competition day with juniors, a ton of amateurs and a good group of dedicated pros going at it. The level of skill and talent was amazing, with some pretty unbelievable accomplishments achieved.
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.
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 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!