Monthly Archives: April 2014

Photography Travels: 2014 Sea Otter Classic – Day Three

Just as I am getting the hang of this routine, it seems like we are getting ready to call it a wrap. Bummer! One more day to go, and we made the most of it.

Geoff and Karl raced the track circuit in the morning.






While Jason and I were out on the road course yesterday waiting for the race to come by, he mentioned something about wishing we had a cowbell to ring when Geoff rode by.

I said, “There’s got to be an app for that.”

30 seconds later he was shaking his phone back and forth ringing it like a cowbell.  Awesome.


In case you haven’t noticed, the Razik frames have quite the unique look to them. It’s actually very cool technology – a tube is created out of a single continuous carbon thread that is wound in a specific pattern and then baked in an oven. It’s very light, and very strong, and looks like a futuristic spiderweb. Talk about head-turning machines!

We would periodically take a couple of bikes and wheel them around the expo area. One person would do a double-take, then stop, then others would wonder what they were looking at, and so on. It was a great snowball effect, and we had endless crowds lifting the bikes off the ground, snapping photos with their phones, and asking all kinds of questions. It was a lot of fun!





The main event for the day was Jason’s 47 mile road race in the early afternoon. I had the locations dialed in by now, and life was good. I paid close attention to my watch, and the race was right on 20 minute lap times which made it easy to get ready for the next approach.

He rode like a champ on his 3rd straight day of hard racing, and I was super pleased to see him finish off the week in style.




I also managed to grab a shot of a rider on the Colorado-based Volo team. Hard to miss that kit!


The final event for me was the cyclocross race in the evening. Cross is normally a late fall and winter time event, with mud and snow being the signature features. This was more of a short-track race on cross bikes, or on a fat bike as one guy demonstrated. BTW, fat bikes were everywhere at the expo – they are going to be huge in 2014!




After dinner we took the bikes up on the closed dual slalom course for a little Razik Rodeo shenannigans.  It was a great way to wrap up the trip!



I finished up the last of my edits for Team Novo Nordisk and delivered the day’s shots.  They seemed to be a great hit!


My favorite shot of the week is this one from my brother’s camera using a timer and sitting on the back of the tailgate.  A great crew of hard working and talented guys living the dream.  I wish them all the success in the world and can’t wait to work together again.


Photo credit: Philip Boyack

Goodbye, Sea Otter 2014!


Photography Travels: 2014 Sea Otter Classic – Day Two

Going to bed at midnight and being wide awake at 4:30 left a mark. The melatonin and ear plugs weren’t able to overcome my internal clock that is set to get up at 5:30 Mountain Time. I tried to rest until the 6:00 alarm went off, but I was too amped. I wanted to get going!

I stayed up late the night before feeding SD cards into my laptop, importing images, delivering jpegs to clients, cleaning lenses, and charging batteries. There is a lot of maintenance to do when you are going out for back-to-back-to-back very full days.

Today started out cold and foggy, and stayed that way well into the afternoon. It turned out to be perfect racing conditions, and the fog added a neat element to the photos.


I would be covering Jason’s race on the circuit course in the morning, then focusing on the road races in the afternoon. The circuit course was entirely on the racetrack, and almost made me wish I was racing insted of taking photos. It looked like fun! In a slightly scary and painful kind of way…



The track had some good elevation gain, followed by a bomber descent down the world-famous corkscrew feature. Hold on tight!



After the circuit race I hopped in the car and traveled out to the far end of the road course to catch the women’s P/1/2 race and some of the Team Novo Nordisk riders. The race maps were lacking in detail, and I made a few errors trying to get to the right spot. Thankfully I made it in time, and I loved being out away from the crowds for a while.

For some reason I pictured the road course in my head as a barren wasteland. It was lush and green, with lots of tree cover and small winding roads. It was nice!





Geoff and Karl were slated to ride the road race for Team Razik in the late afternoon, and they held up their end of the bargain yet again by providing several great photo-ops.


It was another great day. I was working hard and loving it.

Photography Travels: 2014 Sea Otter Classic – Day One

Great thing #118 about being a photographer – Having a legitimate reason to wear a ball cap backwards at 44 years of age!


Photo credit:  Philip Boyack

I slept great despite the five guys, three bikes, and piles of gear in our hotel room. A melatonin pill and some earplugs ensured I didn’t even twitch until the 6 AM alarm sounded. I don’t use either of those techniques very often, but given the circumstances it seemed like a good call.

We hit the continental breakfast offered by the hotel before loading up for the day and making the drive back up to Laguna Seca.

Navigating around the venue proved to be a frustrating endeavor at first, with miles of chain link fence everywhere. Once you figured out the passages, it was no problem. I scurried over to the site of the Pro/1/2 criterium to get some warm-up shots of that race and scout locations for the races I would be shooting later in the day.



While I was shooting the pro crit, I had the good fortune of being approached by the Director of Elite Racing and Outreach for Team Novo Nordisk. They are a group of diabetic athletes showing the world what can be done in spite of having the disease.

They had traveled with 11 riders from the Atlanta area and were looking for someone to provide them with photos for their social media campaign. Would I be able to do that?? Absolutely.

We compared schedules and worked out five different events I would be able to shoot for them without impacting my other responsibilities. They were great to work with and I really enjoyed the opportunity!




Meanwhile, Philip and the crew were back at the booth managing the crowds of curious bike riders checking out the new frames. They got some good press, here he is giving an interview to Road Bike Action magazine.


The Razik coverage starts at 1:30:

Now it was time for the Razik riders to put the bikes to the test with the first race of the weekend. Jason, Geoff, and Karl were a photographer’s dream to shoot – between the nice red kit and their ability to jump to the head of the race at just the right time, I had no problems keeping them in my viewfinder.




We hung out and swapped war stories from the day, then retired to the parking lot for a feast of burgers and dogs grilled up by Doug and served out of the equipment trailer. It was an awesome day!