Category: California

October 7, 2011

Gran Fondo photos now for sale

If you head over to the official Levi's Gran Fondo gallery, you can purchase photos from the event by myself and other photogs like Darrell Parks, Lyne Lamoureux, and Carson Blume. The photos help raise money for the event.

My set there includes additional shots of individuals -- I hear there is a tagging service that will soon make it easier to find your own shots by #.

2011 Levi's Gran Fondo Gallery

October 4, 2011

LGF Remix (Playing with Lightroom 3)

I purchased Lightroom 3 yesterday, so naturally I played around with some of the LGF photos that I had already processed. Most of the edits I did were things I could have accomplished in Lightroom 2, though 3 feels a little more 'responsive'. The main improvements are the much, much better noise reduction options, better post-crop vignette options, and grain additions. Also, you can now add an image watermark without having to install plugins. When I get more time, I'll play with the lens correction features.

When I edit my reel, I usually try to spend < 30 seconds per photo; because I was playing with LR3 I got to pull a little more out of these photos than usual, so I thought I'd share the remixes.

Down - (c) Ken Conley
Kings Ridge Tree - (c) Ken Conley
Kings Ridge - (c) Ken Conley
To the coast - (c) Ken Conley

October 2, 2011

Levi's Gran Fondo 2011 Gallery

Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley
Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley
Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley

Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Kings Ridge, Levi's Gran Fondo - (c) Ken Conley

More photos here

Interrupting Cow (Levi's Gran Fondo)

Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley
Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley Ken-Conley_LGF2011-Scenics - (c) Ken Conley

Endless entertainment (no cows were harmed in the shooting of this gallery).

October 4, 2009

Levi's Gran Fondo Photos

They're slowly uploading to the Gran Fondo site. A couple of scenics, and then a bunch of shots of a bunch of people, some people I know, a whole bunch I don't. 'Twas a fun and impressive event. If you saw me taking your photo, hopefully you'll find it here -- if you don't, it means I screwed up the shot.

July 13, 2009

Gallery: San Rafael Twilight

SRT Sunset - (c) Ken Conley
Bahati BW - (c) Ken Conley SRT Church - (c) Ken ConleyCoryn Rivera Wins - (c) Ken Conley San Rafael Twilight - (c) Ken Conley

Click here for more San Rafael Twilight 2009 Photos

16-year-old Coryn Rivera brings her winning ways from SoCal up to NorCal.

Rahsaan Bahati finally gets beat on NorCal soil by TT1's Ken Hanson, with the likes of Ben Jacques-Mayne, Jackson Stewart, Chad Gerlach, Bernard van Ulden, Fast Freddie, and Daniel Ramsey in the field.

Good times and many photographs

Update: Podium Insight's Race Report and Photos

July 12, 2009

Video: Strobing the field

Thien took this video of me shooting at the San Rafael Twilight Crit tonight. It's pretty cool to see the stroboscopic effect of my flash freezing the riders as they zoom past. I'd love to show you the photos that came as a result, but they're garbage, unlike Thien's cool video, shot with nothing more than an iPhone 3GS.

The basics of how I shoot a corner like this is I target one or two riders in the lead pack, usually riders I know. I then shotgun the rest, just to see if I get any freebies. I usually don't, but you sometimes you get an idea for a future shot when you take out the garbage.

July 6, 2009

Proman: Holding Their Line

Shelley Olds Solo - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Mark Deterline writes about the rise of the Proman team in, "Holding Their Line"

June 28, 2009

Photos: Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Mens Race

Rahsaan Bahati Corners - (c) Ken Conley
Rahsaan Bahati Three-peats - (c) Ken Conley

Click here for more Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Men Photos

The mens' race at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix was loaded with expectation for Rahsaan Bahati. He's the winner of the two previous Manhattan Beach races and US crit national champion, and yet he had to suffer the humiliation of being relegated to the Rock Racing amateur squad in order to meet UCI regulations on age limits.

But the Rock Racing roster had plenty of turmoil this year and Bahati had his pro status returned to him once more. If that wasn't enough motivation, he had a stacked squad this year in the likes of U23 national crit champ Justin Williams, recently resigned Ivan Dominguez, Freddie Rodriguez and more.

Cal Giant did their best to stick it to Rock Racing with attacks from Patrick Briggs and James Mattis. Ouch had a strong squad with the likes of Rory Sutherland, Floyd Landis, and John Murphy, but they faded under the pressure of the Rock Racing armada.

There's little you can do in the face of so much expectation for one little race. Fast Freddie gave Bahati another leadout, this time avoiding crash, and the rest was three-peat.

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Men Gallery

Photos: Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Womens Race

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 - Women - (c) Ken Conley
Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 - Women - (c) Ken Conley

Click here for more Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Womens Race Photos

Proman's Coryn Rivera rocked the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. She's pretty much been tearing up the SoCal circuit. All the more astonishing is that she is 16 years of age, which means that she is out kicking the fields on junior gearing. Who knows what she'll do with some taller gears to turn.

The size of the field was pretty small this year and, as a result, the women were admonished/threatened before the race by one of the officials. They were told to bring a bigger field next time, lest their event be replaced by another mens' geezer division. I'm not sure where the wisdom lies in chastising the riders that actually chose to show up in spite of the gross disparity of purses ($15k vs $2k) or the fact that the MBGP lost its NRC status.

This isn't really a gallery of the pro women's race as I was on assignment for this one, and thus conserved my the cycles of my flash for riders of a particular team. It was stressful enough attempting to pick out two riders in a peloton and then get good framing on them.

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2009 Pro Womens Race Gallery

June 27, 2009

Nevada City: Tales of Champions

Shelley Olds Solo - (c) Ken Conley Lance Armstrong Group - (c) Ken Conley

Ben Jacques-Maynes and Shelley Olds both wrote up race reports and their great performances, with Ben providing the appropriate car analogy to compare Lance vs. Levi, and Shelley showing how one team had a plan that unfolded perfectly.

As a bonus, there's Podium Insight's Interview with Ben Jacques-Maynes at the American Velodrome Classic

Photos: American Velodrome Challenge Day 1

American Velodrome Challenge - (c) Ken Conley
American Velodrome Challenge - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Click here for more American Velodrome Challenge 2009 Day 1 Photos

Cari Higgins gets a big photo for winning the Keirin and racing mega-tough in the Points race. Laura McCaughey and Higgins started accelerating heading into the final lap. McCaughey drifted up the lane, Higgins let out a yell and hit the deck. The officials decided to restart the race with five more laps. With a new rear wheel and a side of track rash, Higgins not only restarts, but also leads out the final sprint for her teammate Shelley Olds (above). See the blood that on the right knee? See the ripped arm warmer? See the mismatched rear wheels?

Anway, enjoy the photos. It was an interesting challenge shooting, but not being able to really kneel. Sometimes I like something like that to make me think differently. It was my very first time shooting Madison and I sucked at it. Every prediction I had for where the hand-sling would occur went wrong and I was far too optimistic about being able to shoot it wide.

June 23, 2009

Press Pass: Nevada City Classic 2009


Wil Matthews took a break from shooting more important race photos for VeloNews to snap this shot of some of the local Chamber of Commerce charm. The city handled the onslaught of fans very well, even setting up a press room with food and drinks, but for press passes it was up to pen and paper. Cathy's name at the bottom was the strike against forgery.

As it turns out, the town is friendly enough that no passes were necessary and, unfortunately, the paper joined the litter of the day as the safety pin and paper did not hold.

thanks Wil!

New Madone?

Lance Armstrong Group - (c) Ken Conley

Levi Leipheimer Group - (c) Ken Conley

Lance and Levi were both sporting 'stealthy' Trek Madones at the Nevada City Classic. New prototype Trek? Beats me. Click photos to view large.

Update 3: RoadbikeReview points out some of the changes


Black Madone.jpg

Update 2:

Armstrong's bike from training camp (more photos), i.e. the old madone

Bikes - (c) Ken Conley

June 22, 2009

Nevada City Classic 2009: Pro Men (aka Lance Fest)

Lance Armstrong Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Lance Armstrong Post-Race - (c) Ken Conley
Lance Armstrong Attacks - (c) Ken Conley Lance Armstrong Attacks - (c) Ken Conley
Ben Jacques-Maynes - (c) Ken Conley Levi Pre-Race - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Click here for more Nevada City 2009 Photos

The Nevada City Classic can add another awesome event to its storied book. I don't know how a tiny little historic town like Nevada City does it, but they had no trouble absorbing the throngs of Lance Armstrong worshippers that transformed the 1.1 mile cycling stadium. I've never heard a crowd at a cycling race as loud as I heard when Armstrong came across the finish line solo and it may be long before I witness something that awesome again. Michael Hernandez compared it to a football stadium -- which is about right, but imagine that on a city street instead. Sorry Tour of California, but I think the little town has you beat for premier California race of 2009.

The circuit is an excellent course that starts the riders going downhill before quickly turning back uphill, winding through the historic district, out over the rolling hills of the surrounding neighborhood, and then plunging back downhill into the historic district. It's a course that will break your legs and puts teams at the disadvantage. Even Astana's big three -- Armstrong, Leipheimer, Horner -- couldn't figure out what to do with Bissell's Ben Jacques-Maynes. They shed the rest of the field and pressed their advantage again and again, but it took a final assault from Mr. Seven-Time to put in a gap. Any day that you go up against two of the best time-trialists in the world and come away second is a victory.

Armstrong is looking in pretty good shape for the Tour de France. He looked 'fat' at the Tour of California, at least in a relative sense, but I didn't get that impression watching him this weekend. I still don't think he stands a chance in hell of winning, but he's in good enough shape that I think the Astana team dynamics with Contador won't be so healthy. As for Horner, he had trouble keeping pace and I wonder if he's healed-up enough from his recent crashes to make the Tour cut.

As for my own preparedness for dealing with LanceFest, I scored poorly. At the end of the womens' race I managed to sprain my quad while standing up (yes, that simple). I went from having the opportunity to shoot from moto to hobbling around on the sidelines. My injured quad meant that I could really only shoot from two points out on the course, but thankfully it's a pretty course. Lesson learned: always stretch, even for taking pictures.

Click here for more Nevada City 2009 Photos

Nevada City Classic 2009: Pro Women

Shelley Olds Wins - (c) Ken Conley
Shelley Olds Solo - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Click here for more Nevada City Classic Photos

I followed most of the Women's race from the moto. The fireworks started on the first lap with a group of five getting a gap immediately. Proman had all the cards as they had three of the riders in this group -- Shelley Olds, Helene Drumm, and Rachel Neylan. TIBCO's champ Brooke Miller and mountain biker extraordinaire Katerina Nash seemed to be working together as best they could, but they were put under immediate pressure as Rachel Neylan launched an attack. Miller and Nash put in a lot of effort to bridge it back, but that only setup Shelley Olds' counter-attack.

Olds had the advantage on the hilly course and was soon lapping riders left and right. Miller and Nash strained to chase her back, but the tight turns were not friendly to chasers. It took a full lap at motorcycle speeds to bridge the gap between Miller/Nash and Olds, so there was little doubt that the move was decisive.

Brooke Miller and Katerina Nash - (c) Ken Conley Nevada City - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Click here for more Nevada City Classic Photos

Transitive Panda

Lance Armstrong, virtual PotW


Roman Kilun, PotW

see Panda of the Week

April 27, 2009

Crash landing (Front and Rear Views)

Woo's always contributing to the NCNCA scene like no other, but no one expected him to pony up his shoulder to take this excellent footage -- both front and rear camera -- of this crash at the Wente 4+ Crit. You cross your fingers that poor Woo's gonna make it around... but that rear footage shows that even when you're good you need to be lucky.

April 19, 2009

Sea Otter Classic 2009 Gallery: Men's Circuit Race

Andy Jacques-Maynes - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Levi Leipheimer - (c) Ken Conley
Daniel Holloway - (c) Ken Conley
Bissell - (c) Ken Conley


It was the Bissell and Levi show, with a dash of Colavita. Bissell, because they owned the race, Colavita, because they tried but were outmanned, and Levi, because he's Levi. With the Tour de Georgia gone, Levi's schedule was freed up to drop on be Sea Otter for some laps around the course -- SRAM's sponsorship seemed to help entice him to come (as well as convince him, Lance, and Horner to go to Gila).

Bissell and Colavita made the first major break of six, which got a huge gap on the field. The two Felt U23 riders and Garmin's Holloway tried to contain it, but the break was too big. Apparently Bissell didn't like the makeup of that break, which contained two Colavita riders, so they were soon helping Levi chase it down. You knew that Levi was starting to hit it when the peloton came down the Corkscrew in fragments, slowly regrouping to prepare for another dose the next lap.

Bissell made two riders the next break, as did another Colavita rider, but with the odds 2:1 in Bissell favor, they were ready to let this one play out. Alex Howes of the Felt U23 team tried to bridge the gap, but it was far too much for a solo effort -- unless, perhaps, you're Levi Leipheimer, but Levi didn't seem terribly interested in towing a large group of riders up to the break.

Click to see more Men's Pro Circuit Race Gallery Click here for more photos from the Sea Otter 2009 Men's Pro Circuit Race

April 11, 2009

Copperopolis 2009

Ben Jacques-Maynes - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley
Copperopolis - (c) Ken ConleyPhoto by Ken Conley
Ben Jacques-Maynes - (c) Ken Conley Ben Jacques-Maynes - (c) Ken Conley
Levi Leipheimer - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Ben Jacques-Maynes loved the break today and it paid off. After an earlier two-man break helped whittle the field, BJM attacked with Scott Nydam at the end of the penultimate lap and stayed away until the end. On the final turn up the hill to the finish he was able to look back, see that Nydam lost his wheel, and coast to victory. Levi Leipheimer was part of the chase group but was unable to repeat his victory from two years back -- he noted with amusement on Twitter

Rachel Heal of Colavita took the women's race in a sprint with Touchstone's Olivia Dillon. I got to Copperopolis and missed most of that race, so don't have much to add in the way of details.

officially DQ'd for crossing yellow line somewhere:)! What an amateur! Hard race though, 5hr 270w av

My gallery for this year is a bit smaller. I was mostly motivated to go to Copperopolis to procrastinate on doing my taxes, but I was only willing to procrastinate so much...

Click for more Copperopolis 2009 Photos

April 5, 2009

Santa Cruz Crit 2009

First lap

Santa Cruz Crit-8

Today was a testing day for me. I hadn't used my camera or flash since getting them back earlier this week from the repair shop, so I wanted to make sure everything in order. My conclusion was that I was in worse working order than the equipment.

My time was limited today so I mostly focused on the Womens 1/2/3 race and left before the Men's Pro race was over. TIBCO really came to play in the women's race, constantly sending riders off the front. Kat Carroll spent quite a bit of time off the front before Alison Starnes took her place and rode solo all the way to the line. Katheryn Curi Mattis nearly single-handedly spoiled their day, bridging up to Carroll and still having enough left in the tank to nearly bring back Starnes.

From what I saw of the men's race, it looked like Daniel Holloway was lighting it on fire.

Click for more Santa Cruz 2009 photos

October 23, 2008

A reason to bike out to Half Moon Bay

I've always wanted places like this for the cycling crowd:

I wanted to let you all know of The Bike Hut which will be of value to Bay Area cyclists. My wife, Christine, and I recently bought a farm on Tunitas Creek Road in Half Moon Bay which we're transforming into a non-profit dedicated to the food justice movement. We'll grow organic vegetables and offer nutrition and cooking classes for local low-income families, provide environmental education programs for all ages and more.

But we also have a one-car-garage-sized building right on Tunitas Creek Road which is now named The Bike Hut. Since this road is so popular for bicyclists, we wanted to provide you a rest stop and homemade energy snacks and drinks. At the moment, there's just a small picnic area for your use and we'll always have free water there for you. It will probably take us a few months, but we're working on recipes for organic/vegan energy snacks and drinks which we'll sell. For now, feel free to stop, picnic, get some water, etc, and keep an eye out for more developments.

We're one mile inland from Hwy 1. You can't miss The Bike Hut - it's bright red - and a great place to take a pause before starting the ascent up Tunitas Creek Road to Skyline Blvd.

We'd appreciate your passing the word to others in the bicycle community. If you have any ideas on how we can get the word out, please let us know. Also, if any of you are planning any rides or events where we could be a pit stop, please contact us.

Thanks, Bill and Christine

Potrero Nuevo Farm, 1045 Tunitas Creek Road, Half Moon Bay, 94019

May 19, 2008

Silicon Valley Style

I know many of you, like me, live in the Silicon Valley. For those that don't, I share these stories of the local bike culture:

Scene 1, Menlo Park

The tired student pulls up to a traffic light, done with her day of school. A sweatshirt, jeans, and backpack are good enough commute attire for her, especially now that the weather has gotten a bit cold. As the traffic light turns green, she curls the ends of her sleeves around her fingers for extra warmth, grabs the handlebars, and accelerates... on her Cervelo P2C time trial bike.

Scene 2, Woodside

An older man pulls up to a group ride that stopped for a rest break at Roberts Market. He's breaking in his new bike and is wondering where he can find out about group rides in the area. They chitchat a bit until he expresses some concern about his new steed.

"Are these any good?"

He's pointing to the SRAM Red components on his bike -- a carbon fiber Ibis Silk SL.

The riders assure him that the $2000 components are, in fact, top of the line, Tour de France-able. He's comforted that his wife had good taste when selecting the bike for him.

"Is it light?"

January 22, 2008

Beat the Clock 2008

You may have noticed some Beat the Clock time trial photo sets make there way through here. Here is the 2008 announcement -- please note the auctions, which support the Lance Armstrong Foundation (along with the events themselves):

Beat the Clock 2008 kicks off with a blast on February 10th, and an auction NOW:

We regret to inform you that Beat the Clock and Help Beat Cancer 2008 has also been affected by the writers' strike. PR manager CFB's brain went on strike, resulting in belated announcements. However, Patty van Baenen came back from retirement to fill in for our striking Beat the Clock PR writer, answering all pertinent questions. Read on...

Dear Patty,

I have recently been invited by a very good friend to attend a charity event. This event is hosted by Beat the Clock and Help Beat Cancer, all proceeds go to the Lance Armstrong Foundation benefitting cancer patients. The problem is that this event is a Mini-Marathon, involving all sorts of grueling workouts like spinning, core and strength training and stretching. The most athletic activity I'm involved in right now is bending down to pick up my knitting needle when I drop it. If I don't attend, my friend will never talk to me again and I will not hear any of the interesting gossip she always knows about. If I do attend everybody will see that my body looks like an oversized Tootsie Roll in Nike pajamas. Please help, the event is very soon, on February 10th.

Desparate in the Bay Area

Dear Knitting Cupcake,

You better shape up now, before it's too late. But you don't have to break a sweat, you can donate online. Just tell your friend you gave charitably but can't make it on February 10th because your Albino Chihuahua already has an appointment for Aleaslim Cellulite Treatment.

Dear Patty,

I have been looking forward to the Tour of California all 22 days of the year, and have trained thousands of miles indoors in anticipation during the frozen icy winters of Massachusetts. However, as a category 0 racer I have not been able to secure a contract by a Tour team. I am devastated. Is there any way I can still participate?

Overtrained in Boston

Dear NorthEastern Cycling Hamster,

it may not be too late for this year's Tour of California, there is still time with some performance enhancing help. I suggest a regimen of EPI infusions (editor's note: Extra Pints of Ice-cream) along with a concurrent prescription of Versus, which should however be administered by a professional in order to avoid detection by Weight Watchers. Alternatively, Beat the Clock just put a ThresholdPower training camp up for auction, in Solvang during the time of the Tour. Train like a pro, watch the pros live, and maybe next year you'll be able to race in a pro team. Bid NOW!

Thanks for reading, the Beat the Clock team

Kisses from the original Specialized Angel

Specialized Angel
Photo by Ken Conley

Jana Ireton, who launched the Specialized Angel as the symbol of the Tour of California and beyond, has written to say she will not be wearing the wings in 2008. She endured many a cold KOM to spread the Specialized brand and represent a heavenly California counterpoint to the Tour de France Devil. But unlike the Devil, the Angel has corporate overlords.

Specialized wanted to take the Angel icon beyond the US and has decided to go with a multilingual Spanish model. Fret not, Original Angel Fans: Jana says, "I will be along the sidelines cheering on the riders at various stages of TOC and enjoying every moment as I have always done. And yes, "I am Specialized"!" To see more of her message, read the full entry.

See also: People dig the Specialized Angel

Continue reading "Kisses from the original Specialized Angel" »

September 4, 2007

24 Hour Worlds Photos Up

Sunset on the 24 Hour Course
IMG_0244 Mark Hendershot Nat Ross
Copy of IMG_0295 Copy of IMG_0334

I've posted the bulk of my photos from the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo/Team Championships at Laguna Seca, which was won by Tinker Juarez in a battle with Kelly Magelky. I was inspired to go shoot the race after watching 24 Solo -- cycling is about pain, and these riders are definitely at the extreme of that. They raced for 24 hours through 90+ degree sun, uphill sand sections, pitch-black night, and poison-oak-lined single track. You have to race perfectly because a broken chain can flush all your efforts down the drain.

As a photographer, it's a great event because you get to shoot under every type of lighting: noon, sunset, darkness, and sunrise. You also have plenty of time to explore different parts of the course and find your shot. I had to limit myself to an eight-hour effort -- I'll have to train harder if I want to do a full 24-hour event as a photographer ;).

I was a bit disappointed to not see an Eatough/Gordon rematch -- Eatough was busy closing up his NUE crown (DNF with a broken axle), but Juarez and Magelky delivered great action as they were constantly on each other's wheel.

World 24 Hour Championships Photos

Previous: Tinker Juarez wins World 24 Solo Championships

September 3, 2007

Tinker Juarez wins World 24 Solo Championships

Tinker Juarez

46-year-old Tinker Juarez out dueled Kelly Magelky to take the title of World 24 Solo Champion in Laguna Seca, California. Tinker was constantly nipping at the heels of Magelky for the first nine hours of the race that I was present -- the long hours of the night tipped things in favor of the now five-time champion. Both Juarez and Magelky finished with 19 laps completed, an amazing feat in hot weather and sand-ridden tracks.

24 Worlds Results

September 2, 2007

Laguna Sand-a

As it turns out, I took close to 800 photos at the World 24 Solo and Team championships. While I figure out how I'm going to slog through that, there were two photos in particular I wanted to share.

There is a short uphill climb on the course that is pretty much all sand and darn near impossible to do on a bike. I watched rider after rider from the non-elite category come through. Some would get halfway up before getting off the bike. Others would jump off immediately and push their bikes, pleading with their eyes for me not to take a photo of this. I was surprised to hear excuses and expressions of shame, as if you need to justify your actions to someone who's sitting on their butt while you're racing a 24-hour race. I would console them with the fact that I had yet to see anyone make it all the way to the top.

These riders might be interested, "how do the pros handle this?" Continue if you would like the answer.

Continue reading "Laguna Sand-a" »

September 1, 2007

Beat the Clock photos

Christine Thorburn

Today was cycling photography day. I woke up early to go to the Beat the Clock charity time trial and then drove down to Laguna Seca to shoot the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World 24 Hour Championships.

I put myself through the grinder mainly because I wanted to test my new camera equipment before I head out to Missouri. Overall I'm pleased, but I do need some more practice with the new lens. The 70-200 f/2.8 is much heavier than the f/4, so my reflexes are lagging. The autofocus also reacts a little bit different, which will take some getting used to. The image stabilization is having a greater affect than I thought it would -- my images seem to have a higher average sharpness while tracking, even when shooting at fast shutter speeds.

Pictured above is Olympian/former National TT champion Christine Thorburn. I didn't get a good shot at her in the first pass because she was passing someone, so I drove like crazy to get in front of her -- again she was passing someone. She was pretty much always passing someone, but third time was the charm -- even at 50mph it was hard to get far enough ahead.

Beat the Clock Photos (100 photos)

May 3, 2007

Events this weekend

My camera has been picking up dust since Sea Otter so I plan on shooting at Cat's Hill as well as the NorCal High School South Bay Invitational -- the latter to practice my MTB shots and poison oak identification.

February 13, 2007

Floyd in SF Sunday

Landis Approaching the Finish Line-1Floyd Landis will be at Jillians in SF on Sunday, coinciding with the start of the Tour of California. He's there to raise money/awareness for the Floyd Fairness Fund, and tickets prices are $35. I would like to go, hear his defense in his own words, and have the chance to take some photos of the event, but I have qualms about ponying up $35.

My opinion of the Landis case thus far has been that Floyd is right in that athletes deserve a better testing process and that Dick Pound has made a mockery of fairness in testing. However, believing that the testing process is substandard does not mean that I believe Floyd is clean, it just means that I have doubts.

February 2, 2007

Cycling/Exercise for charity (tomorrow)

LATS in Los Altos/Loyola Corners is hosting fund raiser for the Lance Armstrong foundation tomorrow and Sunday. There are classes (pilates, cycling, core, etc...) from Saturday noon all the way through Sunday noon ("24 hours of fitness") that you can participate in ($20/class, 4th class is free).

Flyer with full details

January 12, 2007

More six-month-old photos: Pescadero Road Race 2006

IMG_9395 IMG_9384 IMG_9315

This was my first time out shooting with my new Canon 30D. It was also my first time shooting a race under tree-shaded conditions. Although many of the photos didn't expose properly, these are some of my favorite photos that I've ever taken at a cycling race. The lighting created such interesting contrasts in the photos, the trees are a much better backdrop than business parks, and there is so much more detail with the ambient lighting. It's much more... dramatic.

These photos got buried under a pile: the next day was the Burlingame Criterium, then next week Al and I did a time trial, and then I had to shoot two weddings in the following weeks. Rather than bury them any longer, I've decided to go ahead to post them without processing.

IMG_9552 IMG_9399 IMG_9441 IMG_9210 IMG_9387 IMG_9313 IMG_9566 IMG_9520 IMG_9514 IMG_9475 IMG_9416 IMG_9115 IMG_9220 IMG_9223 IMG_9268 IMG_9276

IMG_9065 IMG_8931

Pescadero Road Race

December 18, 2006

Levi @ Lombardi Sports


NOTE: lots of video in the extended entry

update: forgot to thank erik the first time around for the heads up about the event. Thanks!

d and I went up to SF to watch Levi speak at Lombardi Sports. It was primarily an event held for Colorado Altitude Training's Shaun Wallace to promote his products, with Levi chiming in on how he uses altitude tents in his training and how they've improved his metabolism and recovery.

But I was there primarily to hear from Levi, so I was happy when Q&A came around and talk of altitude training died down a bit. There were of course plenty of questions and rephrased questions as to Basso vs. his role on the team. Levi admitted he was surprised that Discovery signed Basso, but he hasn't given up his hopes for the Tour de France. Noting that many teams run with two leaders, Levi seems to be taking a two-phased wait-and-see approach: wait and see if Basso/Discovery survive the current uproar, and wait and see who is the strongest come Tour time.

I couldn't resist my own take on the question: "much has been said about the tension with Basso, but I'm more concerned about the Tour of California. If I recall correctly, George hunted you down on Sierra Road. Is there going to be a little West Coast vs. East Coast this Tour of California? Are you going to uphold California's honor?" Levi answered my joking question with an interesting fact about the route: he tried to get the organizers to have the route go up Sierra Road twice and finish at the top, instead of the long, open boulevard run into the finish. As for the rivalry, "George owes me one."

Levi was surprised by one questioner who had inside information on Levi's wind tunnel session. Apparently, Levi's new time trial position has the lowest drag they have ever seen in that particular wind tunnel. After getting over the surprise at this 'top secret' information getting out, Levi noted that he can only use the new position on straights and he hasn't quite figured out if he can really ride it outside the wind tunnel.

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December 6, 2006

Levi at Lombardi Sports in SF

Levi feels no painupdate: oops, forgot to include link to more details

Lombardi Sports in SF is hosting a "special evening" with Levi Leipheimer. Event is limited to 50 people, and I don't know if they have already run out of spots. It should be a good chance for those who attend to figure out who is going to be passing water bottles to whom on Team Disco.

Event Details (thanks erik )

September 11, 2006

Local cyclist killed by drunk driver

Al told me the sad news that Alto Velo elite team rider John Peckham was killed by a drunk driver on Old Page Mill Road. It's sad to recognize a rider in a photo, know how skilled they were, know that the road is one of the safer in the area because of its lack of cars, and know that skill and low-traffic road weren't enough to prevent a random, reckless, and tragic incident.

Mercury News article
ABC article

March 15, 2006

Upcoming cycling events (March/April)

I need some more pratice with the cycling photography so I'm going to try to make as many of these California cycling events as I can (Sea Otter, Menlo Park, Garrett Lemire). There are a lot of Velopromo events in the Fresno vicinity, but I don't think I'll be making that drive. I still can't figure out if the Specialized-sponsored Morgan Hill Grand Prix is going to happen this year. The San Jose Bicycle Club lists a Morgan Hill Criterium on April 2, but I find any event details (update: it appears that the Morgan Hill GP is 'delayed' for now).

Major events marked in bold.

March 24-26: Redlands Classic. Can't make it this year, but I will one of these years.

March 25: Orosi Road Race. Near Visalia, CA

March 26: Hanford Sentinel Criterium. Hanford, CA

April 1: Wards Ferry Road Race. Sonora, CA

April 2: Toulomne Township Criterum. Toulomne, CA

April 2: Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix in Ojai, CA. The chances are probably a little less this year that Armstrong will show up. Still debating the drive down to SoCal for this one.

April 6-9: Sea Otter Classic. Monterey, CA

April 9: Santa Cruz Criterium. Santa Cruz, CA

April 15: Menlo Park Grand Prix. Menlo Park, CA

April 18-23: Tour de Georgia. Georgia's near California, right? If only I wasn't using up all my vacation time in May.

November 22, 2005

Gain a race, lose a race

San Franscisco Grand Prix-13Q: What happens when Armstrong retires and the biggest star in your sport is no longer there to attract TV cameras?

A: The San Francisco Grand Prix is no more as the sponsor has pulled the plug.

It's hard to tell what happened as there is so much disagreement from both sides, but the facts appear to be somewhat irrelevant. Several members of SF's Board of Supervisors claimed that San Francisco Cycling hadn't paid the police bills for last year's event. San Francisco Cycling claims they received the bill one working day before the Board of Supervisors started making their charges. The same supervisors making the charges don't want the city to subsidize the costs of the annual race. Although the race is estimated to bring in $10.4 million in cycling-related tourism, some businesses are complaining that they see less business because of the closed off route. Both sides admit it was a mistake to run the race last year over the Labor Day weekend.

The SFGP was something I really looked forward to every year -- it was the driving force behind my purchase of my 70-200 camera lens. It was a chance to make what I saw on TV with the Tour de France more real. You got to see the fleet of support cars, the police clearing the streets in advance, the wind whip up as the peloton flew past, the team directors hitting the gas to slingshot their riders forward, the water bottles flying at you.

Much of that will be there for the Tour of California, but without the star power of the SFGP the scale will be much, much smaller. I love the smaller events -- there is a greater level of accessibility and less crowds to fight -- but the sports fan always wants it all.