Posted by: huffy808 | June 14, 2010

Pipped or What would Joan Rivers do?

It was quite a week. With the beginning of huge work week, another weather front rolled over Portland. The system opened up enough for some racing to take place, then closed in hard, taking one of our community with it. A super nice guy my age, David Olophant, collapsed and died at the end of Tuesday PIR as the rain started to fall. David’s death, has really shaken many, including myself. At what cost, racing? How much training, working and preparation can we handle.

A race season is planned and then adapted as issues of injury, illness, work, and mistakes transform it. What really matters is how you adapt to the bumps and turns in the course. Photo shoots are very much the same.

We were planning on photographing athletes in studio and the lighting scheme I started with was just not clicking with me. Over night, I knew it had to be changed. In the morning it came to me and I drew a diagram for the team to work on. This meant we would have to hustle to be ready for the models. Then, the second computer, the new super fast machine crashed out at the end of the previous day, was not syncing with the camera and we were running out of time. The team eliminated the variables and eventually got us up and running. The shoot went on schedule and the results were awesome. My clients were very happy and I was very proud of the team and the job we did.

The evening after the photo shoot, Julie and I went to the crit on Mississippi and watch from the roof of the Rapha office as Sam from the Gentle Lovers raised his arms at the line and got pipped by a tire width. Later, he was very sheepish as he claimed his prizes for prims and second place finish. He won’t do that again, if he gets the chance. Those kind of mistakes happen. You just have learn from them and move on.

A  bone headed mistake I made could have and should have been cought. I know how start times at Time Trials work, but just did not have the band width this week to work out the simple calculation, instead of reading it as hours . I never got to the start ramp, lost the race before I left my house. Last year’s race was held when I had just returned from the The Tour de France and I had no legs for it. This year, the OBRA TT race was moved up and I would be able to make it. As luck would have it, I  got a good gig shooting all of the week leading up to the event, leaving me with very little in the tank for a championship effort. Not to mention, four hours of driving. Also, my wife and home deserve attention. Julie and I went for a long walk in the park and had a really nice time.

We can work hard, train and plan, but we have to be able adapt to what the course of life throws at us, keeping a sense of humor or else we would be crying all the time.

David, may you rest in peace.


Posted by: huffy808 | May 17, 2010

Silverton Road Race 2010

The weather was perfect, though a bit humid. Julie and I hosted a small dinner
party the night before, so I was tired but still felt good enough to race. Nice to
see TM and Salty.

On the first climb, someone said they thought it was the slowest start ever. I
was breathing pretty good already. I moved up to the front to cover the action.
One rider went away and two tried bridge. Pulling the second two back, I
continued the chase doing most of the work. We turned on to the highway and got
attacked by a Hutches rider. I dug deep and pulled Mark up and over to the
rider. Mark told me to take him to the base of the climb and so we hammered till
the big roller kicked in. I swung off and exploded. Boom! Just grabbed the back
of the peloton. Pretty cooked already. The pack turned on to VP and the pace
went up as it always does. As it slowed, I moved to the front so as not get
dropped on the climb. Topped it mid-pack and was nearly taken out by a careless
guy grabbing his bottle as we made our way to the 1k sign. The finishing climb
stung bad but no one killed it, so the group stayed together.

The start of lap two and we freewheeled it past the school. I was still trying
to recover from lap one. I think we had everyone back, moved forward to see.
About the first third as we motored up the first climb. I was still trying to
get closer to the front for safety but some old guy was blocking the lane. Right
at the base of the climb, you know it goes on for ever, there was a opening and
went out in the wind and pushed to get near Mark. As we made a bend, some guy
dropped his chain, send riders out if there lines, forming a gap. The wind, the
gap, the grade, the humidity, I succumbed. Salty went by and gave me a shout,
but I could not go any faster. Pop!

As I rounded the stop sign, having seen the pack shattered into small groups
ahead of me, Molly C. was standing there and told me to get up there. I was
regaining some composure and went to a bigger gear and caught a few guys before
we got to the false flat.

I worked with the old guys for the rest of lap two, doing most of the work. We came
upon an HFV rider who, to my disappointment was Mark. He said he just could not
match the pace and had no legs. Bummer… He hung with me and the old guys till the
false flat of VP and “Ciao!”. One of my companions said he wished he had my motor, so
as to do more work. I told him no problem but kept thinking not having enough to
hang earlier. He was the first to lose contact with me and the Team O guy. Team O let
go as we headed up the climb.

Riding most of the last lap by myself was brutal, but to see people turning around
and riders puttering along, encouraged me to ride as hard as I could and work on
my tt skills, since that’s all I got. Passing two riders on the finish climb was
the cake. Throwing up in my mouth was the icing.

Salty did a great job, hanging with the chase group and Mark was smart to leave.
I was wrecked.

Silverton is a beautiful bitch of a race that pulls me back for more abuse. Next
year… maybe it will rain.


Posted by: huffy808 | March 12, 2010

Filing and what not.

Today has been an average day around the home office, shuffling papers about and trying to avoid digging into the tax document box. Once I start in on the the taxes, days of joy are to follow. At least 2009 docs are out of the file cabinet and the 2010 stuff piled on my desk is now in.

I submitted an estimate for an upcoming job, which looks to be technically challenging. The first day of the shoot will be fairly typical, but the second will be when the challenge ensues. Looking for ward to it all. Yesterday saw the resolution of a long back and forth negotiations over usage rights. The client got a good deal, I’m alright with it. A rep would be a big help in these matters, some day.

This mornings workout was indoors with some pretty easy spinning. I might get out for a quick spin down to the slough, it stopped pouring for now. Having been riding in 70-80• temps, 40 and rain is a total drag. Oh well, have to do it.

While in Hawaii, I got a couple of nice shots of Lance Armstrong. They will be on the website soon, just have to get in there and change them out. Maybe I should do that now instead of writing about it. OK!


Posted by: huffy808 | January 26, 2010

Talk for a class, cause for reflection

Tomorrow I will be give a brief talk at Portland State University, in the Photography Professional Practices class. So, I have been looking back on my career. A career that is probably at it’s mid point with a great deal ahead.

Starting in a department store’s advertising studio’s darkroom in the 80’s, I never would have dreamed I would be living in Portland OR in 2010. The only thing I knew about Portland is they had a basketball team. I learned a great deal about the photo world in those first years and made a few huge mistakes as well. The industry is different but still very much the same. Very little film and Polaroid, but the general structure of a photo shoot has not changed much. A concept is to be turned into a 3d set and reduced to a 2d rendering of the concept by a group of talented people.

Tomorrow’s class will hear an overview of my career, an explanation of a photo shoot, see examples of my commercial and less commercial work and we will discuss how they all come to be. I hope it goes well.


Posted by: huffy808 | January 14, 2010

Traveling Travails

Good morning, Miami. Loud speaker, “Bing Bong, the current local time is 8:30.”
Dallas to Miami, two flights or more. Depart an hour apart.
No problem, I’ll be right behind you.
Delay, more delay and more delay.
A $7 beer.
There is a plane that needs a cleaning, delay.
The window is closing.
Clean plane to board.
Seat in the back.
Timing is close but possible.
Landing with a glimmer.
At the gate without a ground crew.
The door is closed.
Holidy Inn and $15.
Turks today.

Posted by: huffy808 | January 7, 2010

New Years Coyote

This morning, I rode over the hill with my friend and training partner, Aric Rist. We had a nice ride, talking about photography, films and bikes. It was a pretty typical conversation, but with a strong tailwind, lack of rain, warm temperature and it being 2010, it was good. I’m planning for a location shoot(more about that another time), so bouncing ideas around is very helpful. I had just seen Gigantic and talked about it and other Zooey Deschannel films which lead to the recent box office. The movies Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. I have not seen them, but Aric liked them pretty well. The sequels will be out soon, I’m sure.

Back to the ride. For those who don’t know Portland, there is a good size hill at the west edge of the down town. So, to go anywhere west, you have to go over, under or around the Yamhill Mountain. Washington Park sits above the city and to the north and west, Forest Park is a prominent and glorious feature.

The ride up through Washington Park is mostly car free and wooded. We pass the Oregon Zoo, but today, no howler monkey. This is one of the lower elevations to cross the hill though it has two steps to get over. Once at the top we could really feel the east winds that blew us down the slope. The accent later is going to slow.

I dropped Aric at the Lance and headed back home. The climb up the hill along the highway into the wind did not seam right. I headed for the Bonnie Slope. Thompson should not be to crowded with cars at that time and the climb is longer. The thing is, it is not a rural as ti used to be. development lines most of the climb now. Oak Hills at the bottom, Forest Heights at the top. I make my way over the highway past the Mid-Century homes and start the climb. The wind has been whipping in all directions and a stop light, a young woman pushing her bike exclaimed, “It’s to windy to ride today”.

Apple, my Vanilla rain bike, is slow going up hill into the wind. No matter. It’s a nice ride. In the middle of the Forest Heights development, something catches my eye. It’s a coyote running along the edge road next to me, at about the same speed. I say, “Hey Coyote, how’s it going?” He smiled and trotted along with me. I tired to pull out my camera, but a gut of wind, a car and he veered off into some brush. That was cool! Just a few more turns were left of the climb and I reveled in the effort. Crested, took a drink and made my way down the troff that is Thompson on the east side.

I think it is a good sign when the coyote smiles and does not bite.



Posted by: huffy808 | October 28, 2009

The rainy Monday after and after that

Sunday was a perfect day for cyclocross racing. Just enough mud, cool temperatures and gray skies to challenge mind, body and equipment. Out in what used to be rural Washington County, the fair grounds sit across the road from the small regional airport. Low flying planes and helicopters regularly buzz the course layed out in all over the greasy property. Almost thousand riders and fans are there to be apart of Cross Crusade for Sunday. Most riders I talked to say, “Finally, mud!”. They give their race story and advise how to avoid the pit falls of the course as they wipe the mud from their face.

I got a quick preview of the course before the start of the Bs and single speed race. Avoiding the biggest puddles was not hard as tested the more technical sections. The race started fast then slowed way down at the deep bog section. I watched from a few different vantage places, cheering on Coug and Marcus. Got a couple of iPhone snaps of them. For the looks of it, you could fall just about anywhere.MarcusCougMarcus2









The B race finished and I hopped on course to check it at speed, my speed. It is slick. Had enough time to get one full lap plus. Should be fun. Should be a good course for me if I can stay upright and not get bogged down. Time to get my wheels in the pit and hop on the trainer.

HFVtentOur team tent was close to the start, thanks Coug. Good to see our new teammates, Dave and Scott and Scott’s wife and pupps, there enjoying the days racing. It looked like I might finally get a decent placing, number 0 was second from the start. Spun for a bit and finished prepping and headed over to line up. Oops! “0” was next to last again. Back row again. My mood shifted a bit south. Line up time, all were feeling pretty easy till the whistle and Bang! Off we went! I pushed it as hard as possible and managed to move up a few places. stayed in contact through the muck, made more advancement on the flats. Still hanging on lap two then bogged down a bit in the muck. Pulled back the gap. After the barriers in the flats, I was about to come around a rider and accidentally cut off a rider. He yelled at me for what is just racing and still could have just gone around the cone to advanced. His whiny protest, prompted me to tell him “I was in front”. He protested more. “My bars were in front of yours and that’s the way it goes”, I said. He says “if that the way you want it” and I am suddenly shoved and having to control my bike to stay upright. “Come on!” he says. “Bring it!” he continues. “What are talk about, you douche bag?” I ask. This is all happening in the race at speed, on mud, within just a few feet. “Show some respect, we are in the back.” he retorts. “Respect? you shoved me and there is no excuse for that!” I reply. Finally, some behind us suggests we race and that was the end of it, for now.

Now, only about ten minutes in to the race, I’m still at max effort and really feeling it but hold on and make some head way. Then, a few minutes later, the agro guy flies by me and tries to take my wheel out as he goes. He misses, but I have no response to his attack. Paul is right on my wheel and I can feel him pushing me. I slip just the slightest bit and he is past me. I grab his wheel and hang on till we get to the zig-zag section after the barns, county fair grounds, and I slip again producing a gap. A gap that grows even wider through the greasy turn before the finish. Paul is riding very well. I try to get back to him before the flat gravel section, but not quite there. Big ring… big ring… come on! big ring! The chain will not move up, mud is caking my derailleur. Paul is gone and someone has latched on to my back wheel.

The muck pit has gotten tougher to get through and I bog down big time. Caught and passed by two riders. I recover and get back one of the spots and chase down the other rider, Bill. In the Zig-zag, Bill crashes hard and I go by him. He says he’s ok. He’ll be back, better not screw up. I have a couple of battles back and forth with a couple of guys and win some lose others. The shifting problem has slowed me quite a bit. The next lap, I find a better line through the muck but slip exiting. No dab, just lost momentum.

After the barriers, the first right hander on pavement takes down the River City rider I’ve been trying to catch. His fall makes me slow and also reminds me of the slickness. There are just a few laps to go and I feel riders chasing me. Don’t make a mistake and I can hold them off. Well, that and ride faster. I’m really feeling the effects of the extreme effort of the first few laps, also weight of the mud on my bike is not helping. The chasing riders attack me just before the barns and with the slow zig-zagging, I can only hope to get them back after the finish line and in the final lap. About then, Molly come by and as I come up to the finish line I hear, “Everyones a finisher.” Damn! I lost those place, plus someone pipped me at the line. No catching anyone now. It’s over! Demoralized!

It is very hard to imagine doing that again. Race cross that is. I will get over it. The guy over reacting and wanting to fight, the lack of fitness, the crappy starting grid position, all left a pretty bitter taste after the taste of blood was gone. Finishing this account has help already.

I will race at PIR next week. Other than that, not sure.



Posted by: huffy808 | August 28, 2009

Sometimes you look back

FPphotoYesterday, not feeling up to par. Eye exam and a little editing, blah, blah. Was about to put off the afternoon ride but went any way. Thought I should hurry so to get back so Julie and I could eat and maybe go to the art walk. Took the Vanilla cross bike and headed for Forest Park. 

The shifting was a little foul and made some adjustments in NW before climbing up to the gate. I set a pace that was to hard but kept it going, like Rist was trying to drop me. After a while, I came around a corner and I swear it was like the first time I rode there. Like when first moving to Portland and doing the loop from our loft. Refreshing my love of the bike and of getting out and just hammering a familiar loop on my own.

At the Velodrome the other night, I bought a original flavored Gatoraid and took a gulp. The taste was of 4th grade touch football and the beginning of organiszed sports in my life. What a rush. To think about all the years of training, practicing and competing in sports. Yeah, there were a few years that I was away, but just a few. Most of my life really.

It is fun riding with people, but sometimes, you look back. Back inside yourself and thru. Back to sport.

Faire du Sport!



Posted by: huffy808 | August 17, 2009

Has it been three weeks

It has been three weeks ago that I was in Paris for the finale of the Tour de France. That day was a glorious spectacle that is the Tour, throngs of people, noise, color (mostly yellow), bikes, the caravan and more. 

Since leaving France, getting back in the swing of things at home in Portland was not easy. 100+ degree heat was insane. Trying to stay focused during the day was nearly impossible. The bike was a test for sure. By the first weekend, i was ready for a good ride. Rist and Lopez pulled me out to gorge to the bridge of the gods and back. We did over a 100 miles that day in 90• heat. It was a great ride, The highlights being the Washugal River Road and crossing over the Columbia on the old steel bridge.BOGride

The next weekend brought another big ride in the west hills. Not so grand a ride, but, perfect conditions and  lots of climbing. Rist was on fire and Basden rode very well on his first big ride after a wrist fracture.

Some fun things like a movable feast with the neighbors, bottling with the Portland Wine Project, Twilight Crit, diner with the Rist’s have been great.movablef1photoBottlingPWP

I had been moving forward on editing of a Tour recap book. Many images, many run edits. it was coming together nicely and I was enjoying reliving the experience. A shoot with King and a meeting about a possible job have been a nice mix to the work weeks.

This past weekend, Julie and I were invited up to Basden’s family cabin. What a treat. The cabin sits on a small lake surrounded by forest. we rode and swam, eat and drank. Good times… Our ride yesterday was a crazy 3.5 hour journey on cross bikes, into the forest on old logging roads. Miles of hike a bike and gnarly descents, rolling fire roads, just an awesome. Jen and Julie hardly missed, they had the hot sun and the cool lake to enjoy.lakephoto

Back to it today. Hope to fianlise the first book. Land the job. start talks on another new project.

Peace out.


Posted by: huffy808 | July 26, 2009

Tour Finale

It has been a tiring few days, difficult to post to the blog. Yesterday was an amazing day on Ventoux. So starkly beautiful.

Today in Paris will be very different for sure. Many activities and people. 

I will update tomorrow.


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