Photo by Kyle Kelley
I just left some of the most beautiful roads in Australia and yet a photo like this makes me want to hop on a flight to Los Angeles as soon as I’m Stateside.
Nice one Tracko!
Let’s rewind a week or so ago. I had just “escaped” from China and landed in Melbourne via a hellish flight, filled with turbulence, a pesky, smelly neighbor and suspect food. Andy picked me up and after noting an “off smell” (me), he asked what I felt like doing. What came out of my mouth never felt more right: “a ride”…
You know, like 30k or so. Just a pleasant spin around the ‘hood. With FYXO, there’s no such thing as short and sweet. We went here, then there and ended up on Bald Spur road, one of the many areas that was ravaged by the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009. Trees stripped of their leaves, half-charred houses, melted water towers littered the roadside.
It was around 60 miles and 6,000′ or so. I didn’t have my Garmin, so my legs, the elapsed time and post-ride appetite were the gauge. To think that this was all in Andy’s backyard…
Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery.
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 (the last photo is my Leica M7 with Zeiss 28mm)
Photo by Kyle Kelley
I hope to go “disappear” in the woods myself in an hour. GREAT photo Kyle! Miss you dudes.
NAHBS. For some, it represents a culmination of a year’s efforts and creates unbearable stress and deadlines. For others, it’s a place to see all your friends, have a drink, or twenty and dork out over bikes. Then there’s the media, scrambling around with mini recorders, LCD lighting for their DSLR rigs, flashes, notepads and sweaty brows. Somewhere in between all of this, I fall into place.
Over the years of covering NAHBS, I’ve gone from taking it very seriously to finding a middle ground (thanks to Tracko for always talking some sense into my bull-headed mind). Halfway between the all-nighter, hot tub hopping, bourbon binge fest and the casual conversation in a pizza restaurant is where NAHBS fell for me this year. I didn’t stress about how to cover what, I just showed up and went with what I felt was right.
This Recent Roll is an amalgamation of my time in Denver. Mixed in are some convention center shots, some party pics from the #OutsideisFree event, a few from the Mile High Messenger Challenge alleycat and some around the town photos.
I already can’t wait until next year! Again, this photoset is a little long, so I narrated each photo.
Zeiss 28mm f2.8 T* ZM
For me, the best part about NAHBS is being submerged into the host city’s community and getting to know some of the local names. I first heard of Avery County Cycles through a video that I posted about a year ago. Josh seemed like a good guy, with attainable aspirations and a love for frame building. One of the things that struck me in his interview was his commentary on “more frame builders are a good thing”. That’s a weighted statement but in Josh’s eyes, and as something I can understand, having a local framebuilder that serves the local community is important. In today’s world, everyone orders frames from all over. You simply email in your fit information and 6 months later, your bike arrives. It’s great for business and no builder would ever complain about being busy, but that statement really struck me.
In the two years Josh has been building frames, he’s been catering to his local community. Starting out with frames for friends to practice his torch skills and moving up to a full fleet of single speed cross bikes for Pearl Velo. His space sits next to Berkeley Supply Co and Pearl Velo, just up the hill in Denver. The energy of these three storefronts is intoxicating. Honestly, the only comparison I can draw is how the old FYXO Hub and Shifter Bikes shared a space. A couple of motivated young men, looking to just do shit right. Josh’s work is very much localized to the Denver / Boulder area and he’s just one of the many faces building bicycles in Colorado. I honestly believe what he’s doing is legitimate and his community respects him for that. His work won the Rookie of the Year award at NAHBS, so he’s doing something right!
Check out some photos I shot of Josh working during my stay in Denver in the Gallery.
Leica Summicron 50mm f2
Zeiss 28mm f2.8 T* ZM
Last week, before the SxSW shit storm settled in on Austin, I had some friends in town from New York. Wilis and Josh from King Kog wanted to get out on some trails, see the sites and eat some BBQ, so I arranged just that. For what felt like every single day, Wilis and I were out hitting my normal trail loops I’ve worked out, while still finding time to stop for some rope swing action.
We ended the week with some Austin BBQ and as the guys packed their bikes up in my living room, I could tell they were a little bummed to be leaving… Can you blame ‘em?
Since this Recent Roll is almost 36 exposures, I narrated the photos.
Over the years, I’ve established what many would consider a “relationship” with Steve Crandall from FBM. Sure, some of it has to do with his latest videos, or products but most of it boils down to our mutual, vested, stokedness on bikes. FBM is one of those brands that never will, nor have ever had it easy. They’re not all driving sports cars, or hanging with SoCal bikini babes in hot tubs in their condos but they’re still living the life that many of us would consider meaningful and honest. And I don’t know that they would even want that lifestyle.
While I’m not as into BMX as the next guy, I can appreciate good company and that’s what I always get from Steve. Well, that and a bunch of crushed beer cans and leather jackets. I shot these two photos at House Park one day, before we rode to get cupcakes and I like to think that both of us are happy with how they turned out.
You look great ripping that bowl, brother!
Zeiss 28mm f2.8 T* ZM
Red and yellow, kill a fellow, red and black, venom lack. Growing up in Southeastern North Carolina (what snake hunters call the tin fields) and spending a lot of time collecting pet snakes, you quickly became familiarized with this saying. While the exact wording differs from place to place, the message is clear. If a snake has red bands, touching yellow bands, steer clear.
I didn’t have much of an option to “steer” anywhere last week on the Greenbelt. Instead, I hopped off my bike like my excited 15 year old self would have done and contemplated picking up this gorgeous Texas Coral snake. Instead, I pulled out my Yashica and took this photo. Handling venomous snakes isn’t anything new to me but disturbing the wildlife on a trail is something I try to avoid, even if it’s a beautiful creature like this.
The Texas Coral is closely related to the Eastern Coral, the snake that I grew up catching in NC and these rear-fanged snakes pack a powerful neurotoxin, akin to cobra venom. Corals are nocturnal hunters who usually feed on other snakes like earth or worm snakes (it’s very rare to see one during the day). They’ll also feed on lizards, frogs and even baby Coral Snakes. There hasn’t been a reported death from a Coral Snake bike in the US for over 100 years, but there are dozens of bites reported.
Unfortunately, the rest of my riding buddies weren’t as enthralled with “that fucking snake” as I was, so I let it be.
I don’t know about you, but I would have much rather been swimming, soaking in the sun during NAHBS weekend, instead, we all found ourselves stomping through snow. Denver in the winter isn’t exactly warm (although the locals say it is) but that didn’t stop us from going on a quick little ride the morning after NAHBS wrapped up. Ty had his Stinner, I took my new IF 29′r, Josh from Avery took his award winning bike (in jeans and work boots), Tyler from Pearl Velo had his Karate Monkey SS and Kerry had his Gunner (probably the least equipped tool for the job and yet he still crushed it). It was a pack of grown-ass-men goofing off, getting pitted in snow drifts and that’s all I wanted to do the whole time I was in Denver…