Saturday, July 29, 2006

A busy summer

This lead shot is probably my fave from the Denver Cruise series. It's nominally a capture of a rad moto cruiser, worked with my special secret lomo recipe... but that also happens to be my good fixte pal Frye there in the background, looking like an Abercrombie model.

Oh yes. Here we go again with my lame protestations of being busy. Honestly, though, the combination of my somewhat flakey bootlegnet wireless here at Chez LFR plus the dude considering it his Moral Imperative to keep me busy 24/7, has been seriously cutting into my internet time. On review, living alone pretty much sucked rocks compared to living with A and the Psychokitties (and the nine bikes... can't forget those guys either).

Perhaps if I post a bunch of photos that explain where I've been all summer, it will somewhat make up for the fact that I basically haven't had time to post.

This one's a shot of the Ogden Theatre marquee, with some awesome headliners up. I posted a ton more from this Denver Cruise on Roadbikereview awhile back, click to link.

Every other Saturday, I've been heading up to support Aaron and shoot pics at the Winter Park mountain bike series, which he's currently kicking major arse in.

That's a nice schwag shot from WP; Aaron picked this up on a cold rainy day a few weeks ago. His mom loved it.

This kid was just flat hauling in the slick, muddy conditions that day. Shooting fast motion in abysmal light, at roughly f/4 or so to maximise my shutter, whilst trying to keep the fill flash from startling the riders in the singletrack was a challenge. I had fun. I've also had quite a bit of interest in the shots I took, so I'm printing cut sheets and will take them to the next race, since there have been no photos posted on their web site for the series as yet.

Back in the '90s before he moved here from D.C., Aaron was both a sponsored rider and a professional mechanic for the Spooky factory team. Meaning he keeps his equipment (and mine) in peak working condition. The rain at this race was wreaking havoc with everyone's gear, so we heard plenty of squealing discs, creaking shocks and grinding drivetrains. The joke of the day was that Aaron keeps the Heckler so tight that it's just too damned quiet. We (meaning the marshals and me) couldn't even hear him coming, so all we got to see of "Rider #684!" was his Camelbak disappearing down the mountain. By the time I realised it was him, I'd completely missed the shot.

This one of him at the start, tho, really tells it like it is. Cold, damp and stressed out. Aaron's the rider on the far left, in the red-and-black kit.

Two weeks later, the sun was out, the course was much more open and rolling, and I had no such troubles capturing a good action shot of A in the singletrack this time. This one also shows I've figured out how to metre the fill correctly AND learned to use trap focus. O yeah!

Aaron has been hounding me to carry his big-ass fancy ballmount tripod to events. Meh. I'd rather shoot handheld and have the flexibility. I'm getting reasonably good at it. I also suspect that hucking a tripod along with all the other shite I carry at these races would be an exercise in How To Completely Own Myself. The singletrack I'm riding to get to these spots gets downright rocky, skinny and steep. It's already hard enough to sherpa 20 lbs of camera gear, bug spray, etc... up there in the Metropolis without the bonus option of clotheslining myself with a tripod.

When he hasn't been racing the Winter Park series, Aaron has been hauling me out to BFE Colorado to bag the biggest, sickest, most radical stashes of singletrack I've ever seen. Today we were out in the hinterlands somewhere north of Breckenridge for the second time in the past couple weeks. At the end of August, we're going to take a long weekend and head back out to Crested Butte for a four or five day epic.

This shot was from today, on the jeep road leading up to the Colorado trail. Oh. My. God!! This SOB totally redefines steep, ass-busting technical un-fun climbs. When I say the singletrack payoff is worth the pain in the rear (and the back, and the legs) getting up here, I mean it. The next 2 shots should somewhat prove it.

All this mountain biking (well A also drags me around on multihour road rides during the week...) is either going to kill me or make me fitter than I've ever been in my life. What I do know is that insane amounts of riding plus my refusal to drive to work for the past six months, or anywhere else for that matter, means I'm slimmer than I've been since high school.

Since it's been requested, I'm sticking a (somewhat) recent photo of me on the blog. Meh. Frye shot this one back in June at the Denver Cruise. I'm still toughing it out with the hair, tho at least now it's finally long enough to get put in a ponytail on rides.



Tuesday, July 25, 2006

this is plain getting creepy.

I got carded tonight... again. Now, I'm not actually boasting. Nor am I honestly complaining because I really should be flattered considering I'm staring my 38th birthday in the face.

The creepy part comes in considering that tonight was the SECOND time in a week that I've been in a liquor store and got carded, and my companion (we were simply buying beer, nothing major) did not. Now, Aaron isn't massively younger than me, but he does happen to be on the opposite end of his thirties, and looks 25 if that.

last week tho... that was pretty freaking scary. you see, I was hanging out with my fixte bro Frye, and Frye, awesome brilliant dude tho he is, just happens to have turned 21 in May... and looks all of about sixteen. I actually gave the register clerk shit about that one, because how can you let that slide?. I'm like 'ok, I understand you're just doing your job and all, but seriously. You're going to card me, and I'm almost 40. But you don't even bat an eye at HIM??!!??'

I'm flattered, really. Now cut the crap and quit just blindly asking the girl in the group, just because you ASSume she's the younger.

I chalk that one up to pure chauvinism. Plain and simple. And if me calling 'bullshit' makes the clerk stop and think a minute then perhaps that's a good thing (although I really do not want to even get into the politics of 'underage' drinking here).

Kids these days. Hell maybe someday I'll grow some grey hair or something, and then I can forget about having to carry ID everywhere. I still can't get into a bar in LoDo without it, although I am fairly certain that's simply standard policy for them to card everyone who walks in the door regardless. Honestly, you can say it's flattering and all and I should appreciate it (well and of course I do!). But how do you think this makes my friends feel, considering I'm at least five years older than any of them? That's a bit of an insult, and it makes me uncomfortable.

Anyway, I'm just rambling. Thought it would be entertaining. And no, I don't keep a portrait in the attic.

Nighty night all.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Societal Snark Du Jour

Yesterday I got a call from a good friend I hadn't heard from in awhile, so we decided to grab a bite at a nice local bistro. A glass of wine, some tapas and catching up on each other's exploits. Sounds like a recipe for a great casual Thursday evening, right?

well we hadn't counted on the asshat yupsters and their misbegotten hellspawn at the next table... oh, yes, I know you can guess what's coming next.

Cue one pair of screaming, running, whining, pouting toddlers. Climbing on furniture. Crawling on floors. Generally endangering themselves and the servers and patrons of this establishment.

It all came to a head with one of these adorable slimy little muppets Climbing. On. Our. Table!!! I mean WTF????!!!

it was at this point that I snapped. I was pissed. I went over to the mother, and gave her the ultra-polite, ultra-quiet, ultra-cold talking-to; to wit:

'I do not appreciate your rudeness in allowing your child to continue disrupting our meal. Nor do I intend to be responsible when he slips and cracks his head open on the table. So either you Get. Him. Under. Control. Now. or else I will complain to the management and I will Discipline. Your. Child. Personally.'

I have no idea how I managed to avoid getting beaten up, sued, arrested and/or screamed at for threatening their Precious Biddums. Dad made some ineffectual apologetic sorts of bullshit noise and they proceeded to round up the kids, paid and left in about two minutes flat.

I feel no sense of superiority here. Why the hell couldn't they just keep the kids seated and finish their meal; that's all I cared about.

Why in the Nine Million Names of God did this scene degenerate to the point that I felt compelled to go all UltraForce Hell Bitch on these clueless morons? I hate confrontation, and this kind of stuff makes me physically ill.

Suffice to say the yuppies and their festering brood got bitchslapped and went hungry, and our meal and our mellow Thursday night mojo was comprehensively ruined. Everybody in this scenario loses. Blah.

And why? whywhyWHY for the love of jesus merry jumping christ on a pogostick is this sort of behaviour tolerated, glossed over and generally allowed to carry on in public? Why?

Gentle Reader, kindly note. This was a Nice Restaurant. A $20-a-plate sit-down place in the middle of downtown Boulder, which at last check was considered fairly genteel and not quite the howling bourgeoisie wilderness some might attempt to paint it.

Nor do I believe (contrary to all evidence) that these people were raised by orangutans.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

positively Gothic

So... it's been a long, long time since I've updated my blog. I really don't have a great excuse for this, except to say that I've been in the First Circle of Blogger Hell, as interpreted by the genius of Pouringdown (cheers Daniel, hope you enjoy the climbing in Estes dude!).

I guess the only thing I can say in my defence is that I moved (yet again) and have been super, super busy and motivated to ride, so the blog kind of went by the wayside. The only negative to the new digs is that Aaron and I are both too stubborn to pay for internet with open wireless links all around, so the wireless is kind of flaky on the Macbook until and unless I decide to deal with getting a more powerful wireless pickup. I can connect to the 'net maybe 30% of the time, and the connexion isn't reliable, so these days I basically just go ride my bike or enjoy tag-team cooking with my boy who just happens to be one of the better chefs in Colorado. seriously, he rocks on everything from top tier cordon bleu to wrangling the camp stove. All I have to do is sit back, watch, maybe peel potatoes and huck cleanup.

Speaking of Aaron, here's the master of disaster himself, riding a gnarly line on the Upper Trail at Crested Butte. We decided to ditch Boulder for 3 days of solitude, camping and sick mountain bike action. Remember that old Schwinn I built into a singlespeed? Well it is single no more; Aaron worked some of his mechanical magic on it and has transformed it into a sweet 8-speed hardtail. And get this: the entire cost of the bike is STILL less than $200. Check it out:

There are so many more pics from Crested Butte, but unfortunately there's only so much time in one day and battery life in the MacBook. In the neverending search for fast, free wireless, I'm blogging tonight front and centre from the ArtMart hotspot on Pearl and 12th in downtown Boulder.

cheers all,