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Sunday
Feb132011

Faster Than Your Mom

When I was introduced to mountain bikes in my teens I was in love. Blasting through the woods on fat tires was the best feeling in the world. I started racing and traveled around the New England area where I was introduced to some great bicycle brands like Bontrager, Vicious, and Spooky.

There was something different about Spooky Bikes, though. They were still in lycra on the race course, but off the course they had attitude, an attitude that would help shape my views as a youth. "You can't change the world, but you can change yourself" was a slogan emblazoned on a t-shirt that I still have today. Spooky helped me shape the positive image I have of myself today with punk rock and aluminum bikes that were "faster than your mom".

They thought it was important to make high end bikes in the USA with materials sourced from the USA. A noble idea when some of the larger manufacturers were boasting "made in the USA" on the side of their bikes when the raw materials might be coming from somewhere else. The company went away for a few years but has since been resurrected by one of their former pro racers. I never had a chance to own one of the Spooky frames back then, but last year I was fortunate enough to buy one of the new Darkside frames. I have a new commuter/29er mtb being custom built for the North American Hand Made Bike Show coming up at the end of February. Here are a few photos of my amazing Darkside from last fall.



XTR rear deraileur
Wednesday
Feb092011

One Eyed Jack

In 2002 my wife adopted a cat near her home in L.A. and he was the best cat in the entire world. Jack had fought off a coyote, losing a claw and a tooth in the process. The coyote bit his face and severely damaged his left eye. He wandered around for more than a day before he was found and brought to a shelter where they had to remove the damaged eye. She met him at the shelter, brought him home, and spoiled that little cat to the best of her ability.

Jack was a rugged cat who could handle just about any hardship. During a party we smelled burning fur. I rushed over to remove Jack from a candle he was standing over so he could get at the prosciutto on the table. Clearly a cat with priorities - he didn't care if he was on fire as long as he was eating ham.

He passed away in the summer of last year after fighting cancer, and he will be sorely missed. Here he is last summer being very handsome.

R.I.P.
Saturday
Feb052011

Titanium

I have owned some very nice photographic tools in my life. Since the popularization of digital photography I have been shooting less and less film. This saddens me in an artistic way. I studied in college under a wonderfully artistic photographer, Peter Laytin. He opened my eyes and inspired me creatively to the art of photography and print making. After I finished school I came across range finder cameras. They allowed me to think differently while photographing. No zoom lenses, or bulky prisms. Just a silent soft click and an exposed piece of film.

Leica M6 Titanium w/50mm Elmar-M collapsible

Wednesday
Jan262011

NAHBS

Coming up at the end of February is the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS). A large portion of independent US builders and some from abroad come to show off the coolest offerings in minimally produced bikes. I am a bike fanatic to say the least, so last year I went. It was held in Richmond, Virginia and I drove down with the guys from NYC Velo.  I got to see some of my favorite custom builders, Independent Fabrications, Kent Eriksen, Black Sheep, Paul Components, White Industries, and Ted Wojcik. I took many photos at the show but only a few portraits of the builders themselves. Here is one of Ted Wojcik at his booth. His steel bikes are some of the best that have ever been crafted in my opinion.

This years event is in Austin, Texas. I hope the show and people surrounding it are as fun as last year!

Canon 5D2 24-70mm f2.8
Monday
Jan242011

Golden Gate Bridge

I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time while I was recently in San Francisco and snapped a few photos while crossing. Not quite as massive as the Redwood trees I got to see on the other side, but still very impressive.

Canon 5D2 17-40mm f4 @17mm