Sunday, October 25, 2009

My First Wedding Shoot

Friends are asking how my first time photographing a wedding went. I felt like I was cramming for a test. Read the books for months, looked up images online for direction, even took notes an hour before it was time to click the shutter. My biggest fear was using my flash during the ceremony. I know you aren't suppose to, but the lighting was terrible and the tungsten lights were killing the shot (which is why you shoot in RAW format if possible). Next thing I know, it looked like the paparrazi was covering the wedding. Flashes going off from everyone's cameras. Problem solved, flash A okay.

Six hours later, 819 pictures were taken and my hand was cramping up. I didn't realize that my hand would still be sore a day later from holding the camera. Experimented a little with ISO, aperture priority, and different flash techniques. Overall, I think the photos turned out pretty decent. Amateur photographer shooting a wedding for free? I think my supervisor lucked out on this one! Congrats Jeff and Michelle!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can't say we didn't try!

Epic FAIL. Failed so bad that Village Pointe Cinema had to give about 60 plus eager audience members their money back. It looked as though the panel discussion and movie were running at about 1/2 frame per second. Any luck over at Oakview or Lincoln I wonder?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

18 straight hours of partying in Lincoln

It's always good to know that there are people out there who are more crazy than me. I found this out last Saturday when we took a limo down to Lincoln for the NU vs Texas Tech game. Hop in the stretched Escalade, beer starts flowing by 9am. You know that its going to be a long day when the limo has to stop twice for bathroom breaks before we even get to Lincoln. We tailgated, hit six different bars, went clubbing, did afterhours till 3am, pretty much everything except go to the actual game. Probably a good thing. Watching it on tv was enough of a letdown. Highlights of the day you ask? How about getting two different phone numbers. Actually, they were given to me! Smooth operator! Also a guy in the limo went to the bar wearing only his boxers and a coat. While talking to two girls, one girl yells out, "Where the F* are your pants?" Never laughed so hard in my life. Thank goodness not every weekend is this out of control.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Smartest Thing I Didn't Do

You know how wearing your seatbelt is automatic? Well bringing your helmet should be right up there. Get to Tranquility to meet Todd and also the MNR group. Pretty good turnout of riders tonight. Everything ready, gloves on...where's my helmet? What! The sad thing is that I have THREE brain buckets and I didn't bring a single one. And with as much wiping out as I do, I decided against the ride. Funny that we make fun of our friend Jeremy because he forgot his saddle after getting to the trail. Now I can't talk. Todd rode the Fuel for a second lightning fast lap while I talked on my phone. Now, I have two in my car. Now I'm prepared.

Something to do on Thursday night Oct 22 besides watching FSU roll over North Carolina

This from, thanks

Leadville 100 Mountain bike race.
This Thursday 10/22/09 at Oakview 24 at 7:00(it's only 2 hours!)

Both groups of riders from Omaha along with friends and family.

Come see why Shim will never do this race!

Buy tickets online

Friday, October 16, 2009

Something to do in the off-season

Came across this today and it looked interesting.

Nintendo Wii Stationary Bike Controller

Cyberbike Cycling Sports comes from European game publisher Bigben Interactive. According to various sources, the system is due out January 2010 with 18 different courses, unlockable content and multiplayer capabilities. It should also work with Mario Kart (awesome!) and will likely end up working other games in the future…driving games would be sweet, as would tying in with a developer to ride full and truncated versions of the Tour de France routes!
Hit ‘more’ for VIDEO OF THE GAME IN ACTION and other photos…

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Qbike - this site scans the best price of 35 online bike shops

Yes I shop alot online. Whether it is clothes, electronics, etc., it all comes down to finding the best deal online from a reputable dealer. I came across this site, kind of like the pricescan of the bike world. Supposedly they search the best price out of 35 bike shops online? Qbike. Try it out and let me know how it works.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Salvation Army needs bell ringers this holiday season

Have you ever rang bells for Salvation Army? If no, try it! Just sign up here, then you choose the hours and location. The kettle and bell is there for you when you arrive. You simply ring the bell and put on a smile. That easy! You'll leave with the feeling that you and others helped countless lives. There are a lot of generous people out there and it isn't until you do volunteer work that you realize that these people exist. I think last year during a 4 hour shift, people had donated over $200 into my kettle! So take a quick break from riding and ring that bell!

T.H.O.R. trailday at Calvin Crest this Sunday

Sounds like Dale needs some help this Sunday out in Fremont. New trail opening soon, but a few things need to be done. Check it out at Come on folks, forecasted 60 degrees this weekend. Trailwork, pizza, and then some riding? Does it get any better? We'll see you out there.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Big Wheeled Ballyhoo - a retrospective

For anybody who has ever gone on that breathtaking trail ride and your first words or thoughts were, "Wow! This place is magnificent and amazing!" then you will understand what riding in Potter's Pasture is like.

 Throughout our three trail rides that we squeezed in before the snow, I was experiencing feelings of pure enjoyment and even jealousy. Jealousy because the guys in that area are fortunate enough to have trails like that so close to them. It is that initial awe after that tough long climb up to the top that keeps you coming back for more. You just had to stop and take a look around at all of the different terrain types. There were cattle chutes, twisty singletrack through the prairie, and fast fire roads. The view was magnificent as you could easily see at least 10 miles into the distance in certain areas.

This year's Big Wheeled Ballyhoo took place in Brady, NE. Todd and I left Omaha after hearing skeptical weather reports. We arrived with excruciating amounts of excitement around 3pm on Friday. Heck, we even had to stop on the country road to take a pic of the sign that let us know we were heading towards biking bliss.

We were quickly greeted with friendly welcomes by Chad and a few others. Matt Gersib was there to check the Ballyhoo folks in. We managed to set up our tent somewhat successfully. I say somewhat because throughout the night while trying to sleep, I could feel the snow layering on top of my pillow. John and Aaron were camped next to us. These two crazy boys had driven from Minnesota to join us at the BWBallyhoo! Other folk were from Lincoln, Gothenburg, North Platte, Kearney and surrounding areas. Butch from Cycleworks in Lincoln was also there with a handful of beefy 29 inch Giants for use as demos. In the morning, a fellow rider had even stopped by who had biked all the way from Oregon!

Todd and I decided to head out on our own first, that way we could take our time with the Canon 40D and take some great pics. First of all, the trail names are hilarious. Hornitos, named after the Tequila seemed to be the local favorite. Yard sale, Triple Bypass, Tunnel Vision, and Pump Hill are just a few of 40 plus trails that are available to get your adrenaline rushing. Escalator was a newer trail that Chad said they just completed. It was our first tough climb for the day and I remember my chain came off. I was thinking great, were all our rides going to be like this here? But soon enough, twisty fast terrain infused with chutes and sharp dropoffs were just around the corner. 
Todd riding in one of the first chutes we came across

For our second ride, Chad lead the way for the eight of us. He showed us the shortcut to avoid the cardiac arresting Pump Hill and we even managed to ride alongside the cattle. Pretty cool as they kept looking back at us. My helmet cam captured that moment on video.

Later that night, we hit up the night ride. At that time, the snow and wind had picked up. My legs were spent and I'd like to say thanks to Paul and Kyle for putting up with my slow pedaling and bike pushing. We started up Pump Hill, joined up to Freeway, and eventually finished off with Hornitos. I have to say that it was pretty cool to be up on the hill and hear the people back at camp cheering and yelling once they saw our headlights. I'm sure we looked like a lit up LED snake of riders meandering down the countryside. My first real trail ride in the dark and it was exhilirating.

At some point during the night ride, I came up to a headlight pointing at me on the trail. At first it didn't make sense to me. Yup, Todd managed to pull the classic endo. I guess he went over a root dropoff in the middle of one of the chutes, squeezed a little too hard on the front brake, and went over. He said he tumbled down the side of the hill just a little bit. Luckily he is strong willed and hopped back on the saddle. Let me say that those chutes are fast and narrow. Being the rookies we were, we didn't really know how to ride them. Either your pedals are hitting the sides of the cattle chutes, or you are squeezing both brakes because you are going down so darn fast. But that is what makes Potter's Pasture unique!
You can barely keep your feet on the pedals!

Also during the nightride, I managed to take a wrong turn and ended up stuck in two trees that came across a chute. I do remember Paul behind me saying how he wished he had a camera. I literally had to lift my bike up, back up five feet, and climb out of the chute. A little embarassed, yes, but a funny experience nonetheless.

Todd and I got in a little over 15 miles of riding that Friday. Back at camp, there was a campfire blazing and good spirits all around. The band had bailed on BWBallyhoo because of the weather, but luckily somebody had brought their guitar and managed to steal the spotlight.
The only thing that didn't go our way was the weather. I think it probably reached 15 degrees that night. Snow blowing into our tent and strong winds kept me up most of the night. I had full Under Armour on, with jeans, sweatshirts, parka, snowpants, mummybag, and another sleeping bag on top of it all. I was still cold! We even attempted to cover the bikes with my grill cover brought from home.

As I kept waking up to take a bathroom break, all that I could think about was the pancake feed in the morning.

Had to try out the Pugsley on the snow! Those tires are 4inches wide!

After breakfast and some riding around on Kyle's Surly Pugsley (that bike is a beast in the snow!), Todd and I decided that we would probably wouldn't get any more riding in because of the snow. Unfortunately, we only had the chance to pedal maybe 1/3 of what Potter's Pasture had to offer us.

Matt Gersib raffled off some redbull videos, a pair of Oakleys, gas and food vouchers, a Sette frame donated by PricePoint, and also a Misfit Psycles frame. Unfortunately, neither or us won.

There was an informal Ballyhoo meeting and talks about a future Potter's Cowpie Classic. Finally, we thanked Steve Potter for his generosity in letting us use his land. He hopped on his two wheel drive full suspension bike, took his dog Callie and rode away on the snow packed trails.

Thanks to everybody there who made it such a great weekend despite mother nature's uncooperativeness. Two thumbs up to Chad, Kyle, and Paul for all of the hard work that they put into trails and also for making the Big Wheeled Ballyhoo happen. We'll see you fellas next year!

A few parting shots from Potter's Pasture...

Close the gate to keep the cattle in! Not joking!

Taking a breather to enjoy the scenery

The ice and mud buildup

Friday, October 9, 2009

Off to The Big Wheeled Ballyhoo

Todd and I are on our way. Sunny and 30 degrees here. We're realizing that we can handle 20 degrees, as long as it's not windy. Todd's buddy that owns a bike shop in CO decided to head West instead where it's warmer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Forecast for Brady, NE.

COLD and SNOWY. That's all you need to know. The predicted high temperature has dropped another six degrees and gone from snow showers to snow. Ballyhoo will be interesting this weekend, but I'm still excited like a kid in the bike store!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One good thing about the cold...

Todd and I are super excited to go to this weekend's Big Wheeled Ballyhoo. Should I use the word stoked like a true biker? Just checked the weather for Brady, NE., a bone chilling 40 degrees for a high and 28 for a low. Oh yeah, with snow showers on Saturday. Yowser! Might have to huddle near the cattle for some warmth! One nice thing about being layered and bundled up? Not only will it keep me warm, but it will also act as padding if any "Oh Sh*t!" fly out of my mouth as I go over the handelbars. I'll try to keep the helmet cam running for most of the ride!

Good ride at Tranquility tonight

Rushed out of work to do a quick lap around Tranquility tonight before Monday Night Football. Just so happens that a few MNRiders: Dave, Dale, Greg, Craig, and Andreas pull into the parking lot on their bikes. Nice! Also a couple of ladies finished riding at about the same time that we did. The light refreshing pitter patter didn't stop us...but man I'm already missing the longer daylight hours! Found out that Dale is also heading to Ballyhoo this weekend. Can't wait! Just hope the weather cooperates.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

So we've all read the book when we were younger. Finally made it to the big screen, with director Spike Jonze at the helm. Out October 16, can't wait!

Bike Mags Bike Week 2009 video

A short video review on some new 2010 bikes. Mainly the GT Sensor 1.0, Titus El Guapo, DiamondBack Mission 3, Cannondale RZ120, Haro Sonix, and a Salsa with a drop handlebar. Enjoy!

ps. Why wouldn't they review and film the bikes before riding them? It would be like going to a car dealer and looking at muddy cars. Sorry if you can't see the full width of the video. Link here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The long awaited weekend is finally here!

And I have nothing major planned for once! What that means is I'm going to spend some time with the friends, spin some house music, and drink some drinks. Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Manawa Mtb Mayhem

Results are up for last Saturday's race. Congrats to all who raced and finished.
Manawa Mtb Mayhem