Sunday, November 27, 2011


I hope you all got your fill of whatever you may be into this past weekend.  For me, it was excellent food, a good deal of catching up with cool people, and lots of time atop my bike, soaking in our unseasonably glorious weather.


I took it pretty easy on the food but rode myself into oblivion.  Hey, gluttony takes many forms.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Snowy CX

I had the pleasure of spending my Sunday morning spectating at Murphy's first cyclocross race here in Reno.  If you've never heard of cyclocross, these 18 seconds at Youtube will sum it up well.

Anyhow, a few of Reno's familiar faces turned up to hammer away in the snow and cold, and it turned out to be a better morning for weather than we expected.  The course wound its way around the campus of Clayton Middle School and was most expertly organized by the Reno Wheelmen.

Poor little munchkin

Ethel navigates the sidehill

Ben rocks the single-speed to a dominating victory

Excellent form on the stairs

Nate powers onto the flat

Brian peers down the hill

As is typical with races like these, riders of comparable experience levels are grouped together, and then those groups are combined into each race to prevent it from dragging on all day.  So while Ethel was only being timed against the other women in her group, she was out racing with the boys and mixing it up with everyone.  And she won her women's race!  She just may have a knack for this sort of thing :)

We were well clear of the big fire in Reno, and are most thankful that the hardworking firefighters saved as many homes as they did.  The damage could have been far worse, as it was a perfect storm of conditions for the massive inferno.  Here's to hoping that everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving, or at least a restful few days away from work!


Thursday, November 17, 2011


These are the product of an uproariously inappropriate Mad Men-themed dinner party at Josh's house.


Ethel and Heather

Josh, the cocktail tycoon

Yours truly



I've never watched Mad Men, so I just wore a suit. Close enough... Curiously, after three and a half years, this was the first time Ethel had ever seen me with a part in my hair.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

ITU World Championship

The earlier part of last weekend's odyssey was a quick trip to Las Vegas for the opportunity to photograph the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships, a race boasting world-class athletes and much of the storied Silverman course.  This opportunity was one I couldn't pass up since it included a media motorcycle, and as we all know, access is everything!

I met up with a mate from New Zealand, Pete (and his fiancee Alex), and was able to crash at his homestay, courtesy of a lovely Aussie named Margaret.  Hi to all of you if you're reading this!  The night before the race brought a change in the weather, including a rainstorm.  We knew that the storm would clear by morning, but none of us knew just what an impact that blustery pre-race day would have...

Lake Las Vegas, waters never to be plundered

As we were walking up to Lake Las Vegas on race morning, rumors were abuzz that the swim had been canceled.  Sure enough, they held true; the storm's influence on the air temperature, as well as the rain's influence on the water temperature, put the combination of the two off the ITU's chart of contingency plans, and they demanded that the swim be canceled.  If I had been racing, I would have had my own emotions and reaction to deal with, but instead of a backpack full of spandex, I had a backpack full of photo gear, and that meant I got to observe how everyone else dealt with it.  For every strong swimmer who was absolutely furious (like Pete), there was another weak swimmer grinning from ear to ear and jumping up and down.

This race was scheduled to be a 4k swim/120k bike/30k run, and as such, the swim is proportionally longer than it is in most other recognized triathlons.  Strong swimmer?  Open up a gap and laugh all the way to the finish.  Weak swimmer?  No matter how strong on land, highly unlikely to claw your way back into contention.  Taking the swim out wholly changed the race dynamics for age-groupers and pros alike.  The call was made to start the race on the bike with 5 seconds between each athlete.  This also had the effect of each racer not necessarily knowing where he or she might stand with other racers out on course, at least without doing lots of math, which certainly isn't my strong suit after 6 hours racing in the red...

Lots of expensive wheels lie in wait in T1

So...the media motorcycle: meet Tim.

Hi, Tim!

Tim proudly piloted a BMW 1150 GS, a ripping all-road bike with camera gear-friendly Peli cases for saddlebags.  Score.  Tim, being awesome, was keen to go all across the desert to get the shot, and was a great buddy for the day.  We only got pulled over once, and that was for me doing the responsible thing, namely riding backwards on the bike to get The Shot.  Whatever.

Anyhow, Tim's radness mostly took my mind off the photos I had scoped out the day prior for the swim.  So onto the bike we go...

Jordan Rapp (USA), Massimo Cigana (ITA), and Sylvain Sudrie (FRA) maintain their 12m draft zone

Rapp opens up the throttle to hurt Cigana and Sudrie

Further up the road, Martin Jensen (DEN) leads solo

Jensen opens his gap on the others

The Rapp group crosses a bridge on the way out of Lake Mead National Monument (90mm TS-E, in case you're photoshop trickery here)

Joe Gambles (AUS) leads his group including Michael Raelert (GER) through the Three Sisters (of Silverman infamy)

Gambles tops out the third Sister

Unidentified racer absorbs Cancer Waves along the Bike Path to Nowhere

I have to admit that the huge hookup of the motorcycle got me caught up in following the race more than I intended.  My Plan, since I wasn't working for any particular media group, was to make a handful of rad photos instead of following the leaders, but the shortened race and its quick pace threw me off, and I don't think I did the course the justice it deserved.  Furthermore, the midway bike turnaround for this race skipped most of Silverman's ridiculous scenery.  Enough with the excuses.  On to a few run photos.

Perfect handoff for Kelmerson Buck (BRA)

Caroline Steffen (SUI) casts a long shadow

Leanda Cave (GBR) ticks off the miles

Raelert hasn't quite rejoined consciousness in the classical sense yet.  Pretty impressive that he still ran nineteen 6:20 miles in that state (he claims to not remember anything after halfway on the bike)!

Pete and his futuro-shades

In the end, it was a solid victory for Rapp, who ran down Jensen (eventually 4th) on the run and also held off Gambles and Sudrie.  On the women's side, it was a 1-2 for Great Britain, with Rachel Joyce and Leanda Cave taking home top honors.  They had lots of lead changes on the run, and Meredith Kessler (USA) and Nikki Butterfield (AUS) rounded out the top 4.  Again, a bummer for all involved that there wasn't a swim, but that's what the racing gods had to offer that day, and not much else can be said about it.

So that was the race.  Pretty darn fun.  After a few hours laying low at Margaret's house and charging my batteries (literally and figuratively), she dropped me to the airport and I headed back north to continue the rest of the odyssey as previously documented.  What a weekend!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Root Society + Korg 3.0

Last weekend was indeed as ridiculous as the oracle of sleep deprivation had foretold.  We'll start with the latter half of the odyssey, purely because these photos got finished first!

Root Society has been a stronghold of the Burning Man music scene for many years, and although they skipped 2011, they're still revered for the world-class lineups, top-notch sound, and unfettered atmosphere of fun they provide.  And I hear they'll be back next year...

Thus, it should come as no surprise that when they took their unique brand of party on the road and visited Reno to host a night of beats and fundraising for Korg 3.0 at The Knitting Factory, supplicants turned out in droves and the music kept on 'til the wee hours.

Root Society is the brainchild of Jefr Tale, a most interesting dude whose successes in his day job allow him to fully engage with this extracurricular passion of his.  A connection on the playa with Grant half a decade ago turned into a friendship, and the early seeds were sown that resulted in this amazing party.

Enough blabber.  Go-go dancers and bright lights and shiny things are calling us!

I believe it's -actually- called the Ho's Nest.  DJ Erik Lobe underneath.

Shakin' it

Go-go above the crowd

In the spotlight

More go-go

Jefr works the beats


Gratuitous self-portrait with Jefr

Lights, lasers, and dancers

Grant -might- be excited

Kinda like the bat-signal

Stripe makes their dirty magic happen

Still a healthy crowd at 3am

I had the huge hookup of an all-access pass.  The opportunity to go anywhere and do anything for the photo was addictive and I ended up spending about 5 hours charging around.  It's also way quieter up on the stage!

As promised, the necklaces previewed in the last post were available to those making donations, and I saw an awful lot of them dangling off necks throughout the night.  I'm quite sure it was a successful fundraiser, but far more importantly, it was an amazing night of music and dancing and friends!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Heart and Fire

I've had the pleasure of assisting on a pretty awesome little project over the last few weeks.  These little talismans (talismen? nope says the little squiggly red line) will be among the guests of honor Saturday night at The Knitting Factory.  If you're not link-inclined, it's a visit from Burning Man's spectacular sound camp Root Society to Reno, and is also an official Korg 3.0 fundraiser.

What you're about to see is the brand-spankin' new Korg 3.0 logo in pendant necklace form.  These photos are the product of our sweatshop assembly servitude session the other night:

Nestled in

Standing out

Hunkered down

Stacked up

There's a lot to be said about these cheery bundles of joy, but I'll keep it fairly short now as this post is merely one cog in a highly-coordinated publicity effort.  What I will say is that they're a gleefully local effort:  designed, cut, and prepped in Reno; anodized with an ultra-steezy selection of colors just over the hill in Auburn; and finally assembled and packaged back in the BLC.  I'd also like to add that the unsolicited devotion to this project displayed by all of the players along the way has been beyond spectacular.

Gushing aside, your first opportunity to get one of your own will be Saturday night at The Knit.

In other news, the next two days will be a veritable whirlwind of jetsetting, photoing, and not sleeping, and it'll be sure to produce lots of blog material, just as soon as I recover.  Sometime next year.


Past Detritus