Put Something In The Box
Colnago C60 Italia finished off with Campagnolo’s Super Record EPS gruppo and some throwback ENVE carbon wheels. So yeah, #ItalianDoping.
This year I decided to shoot the race with The Bug in tow. I originally wanted her to see the ladies race for a dose of inspiration. But alas, after an extra late night kicking it at the playground (#dadlife) the evening before plus the distinct possibility of excess chocolate consumption meant we had to sleep our hard night off—no alarms necessary. We finally made it to the mens race just as they sang the National Anthem and sent the field off for a 100 or so laps of Clarendon Cup pain.
Note: I originally planned to caption all of these, but you wouldn’t have seen the post for another week. So, photo essay it is. Wait, did I just use originally 2x in consecutive paragraphs?!
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Following on the heels of complete insanity, day two of SSCXWC13Philly bore witness to a proper, seriously contended CX race. And by a proper, seriously contended CX race, I mean COMPLETE INSANITY!
Dylan VanWeelden (IG: @dylanvanweelden), of Chris King again provides definitive visual proof that cyclocross is, indeed, better than your sport. It’s also definitive visual proof I shoulda made the 3hr trip north voor de nonsense.
Dylan VanWeelden (IG: @dylanvanweelden), of Chris King attended the recently concluded fiesta de radness known as SSCXWC13Philly. During this period of attendance he utilized his digital image capturing device. The evidence of said capture of said fiesta de radness lie below.
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One of the first things to greet me this AM once I logged onto the world wide web, was this post on Facebook by Jered Gruber. The shot of Johan Vansummeren blazing across the cobbles of le Carrefour de l’Arbre during a photo shoot is good, yet unremarkable when compared to many of the images produced by Jered and Ashley. No, what grabbed my attention where the words included with the posted picture. Not only is the moment of the shot is perfectly portrayed by the text below, it poignantly conveys the love Johan has voor Paris-Roubaix while immediately transporting the fans of the revered race into the familiar tunnel of noise of the live broadcast.
Things of note. Cones, gates and tape don’t stop #BikeDC. If you crash at Hains during the shutdown, you’re shit outta luck. Packs of feral dogs are already an issue. Arlington gives no fux and parks on the side of the parking lot at Gravelly. Where there’s a will…
Thoughts on this jaar’s edition of the AFCC Clarendon Cup? Exactly the same as laatste jaar. Although, flavored with a dash of malaise and a pinch of indifference. Major changes are needed for this race to survive. I may or may not write on this in the near future.
Regardless, I got my s*** together enough to start snapping shots (500+) and actually enjoyed our local and awesome, yet flawed criterium.
Post-processing geek notes: edited in Aperture using Visual Supply Company’s Film plugin. Emulated films are: Kodak Portra 800/800+, and Kodak Portra 400UC ++. Really enjoying the quality and life these plugins can add to digital images.
I fuxed the video of TB14 twerkin’ it at the end of the shoot. But, I think you get the point. Fresh built lovlies on refurbed Shimano 5500 hubs, Sapim Race spokes (dank u wel, Tati), and the tastefully “Nemesisesque” H Plus Son TB14s.
It would be a lie if I said their work wasn’t a major impetus to start the 5 Questions interviews. I immediately connected with Jered (@jeredgruber) and Ashley Gruber’s (@a_gruber) learn-on-the-fly photography style and have enjoyed watching their learning process through their lenses (as has most of the cycling internet). And it’s not only the evolution of the artistic/technical side of photography we’ve witnessed, their growing pains when dealing with the business side were experienced by all. The Giro image debacle [Link: Jered Gruber, The Giro & The Shot] opened both their eyes to the importance of locking down their work legally.
The duo have kept themselves extremely busy the past year not only capturing the Classics and the Giro, but also shooting for companies like Castelli and Focus (to name but a few). As I was quickly sorting through their VAST array of images on Flickr I quickly had to limit myself to only a few subjects. Seeing as we’re on the doorstep of the Spring Classics, I naturally started with images from Roubaix and Flanders. However, I couldn’t limit myself to just the single day races. Their Giro work was just as powerful—so I added a few of those. Those that didn’t make it were just as good as those that did. Needless to say, it was a difficult process.
The series of shots we took at the Roubaix Velodrome almost didn’t happen. Our day chasing the race with Roger Hammond and inGamba Tours was a thrilling adventure. I’ll emphasize thrilling. At one point, as we made the mad dash to the finish in Roubaix, we were driving on the grass, passing stopped traffic. Needless to say we weren’t very popular, but long-time soigneur Bart Brackez and Classics stalwart Hammond were in the zone. They weren’t bothered by anything, let alone something as trivial as a traffic jam.
Once we got there the travails continued, but we eventually found a spot in the stands. I couldn’t get trackside because we got to the race start in Compiegne late. So this whole day of chasing the race was done sans credentials, making the end result that much more unbelievable, for me at least. I walked and walked and walked, hoping to find a good angle, something different, something worth taking a picture of. When I settled down, I almost sat down in Gregg Germer’s lap. We stay at Gregg and his wife Holly’s amazing cycling hotel, The ChainStay for about two or three months a year, so seeing Gregg was not out of the ordinary, but seeing him in the bushes above the track at Roubaix was a bit less ordinary.
From that vantage point, it was just a matter of shooting. I shot as much as I could as Boonen enjoyed his solo triumph and kept on shooting as the riders trickled in. I’d like to say that there’s something more to that image, but the hardest part was finding that initial spot. Once I locked in that general area, all that was left to do was compose and click, compose and click. Flags always make things better. I often joke about carrying some giant Belgian and Flandrian flags with us everywhere we go and then handing them out to people to wave. Instant goodness!
I was pretty scared at the start of the day when they told us that we wouldn’t be getting press credentials. Shame on me for doubting the superpowers of Bart and Roger.