1. Backyard Rides - Sullivan Ridge

    After my ride today I was thinking about how lucky I am to be able to enjoy rides right from my front door.  Today with the internet, it’s easy to get jealous of “epic” looking rides that you see all over the world.  Sometimes you just need to stop and take a look at your own backyard to find your own epic ride.

    I have to admit that I have a pretty good backyard.  Living in SoCal, I have access to the Santa Monica Mountains, which are just a short ride from home.  I can even do a few of the rides before work in the mornings.  One of the great standby rides is Sullivan Ridge, or canyon, on a CX bike.  Sullivan Ridge isn’t all that long or all that steep, but at nearly 6 miles and just about 1,300 feet of elevation gain it can be as hard or easy as you like.


    image

    Being able to get into the mountains so quickly from Santa Monica is amazing.  One moment you are in a sea of latte-drinking, yoga-crazed, BMW-driving crazies and the next you are in the mountains with nothing but dirt, rocks and scrub brush everywhere you look.  The views are always stunning and then some days, when the mountains are shrouded in clouds, the ride can take on a truly epic feel.


    image
    image

    The main route is along a fire road, but there are mountain bike trails all over if you are feeling adventurous.  Part way up there is a lone tree in the middle of the road to help mark your progress or lack there of.  It was put there by the cycling gods to temp you with the idea of stopping for a respite from the climb or a photo op.


    image

    At the top, you’re treated to great views of the Valley.  Actually, looking at the Valley from miles away is the best way to see it.  Having it shrouded in fog with early morning light doesn’t hurt either.


    image

    The descent can be a fire road bomb session back the way you came, a trip through the canyon or a short ride over to the whoop-de-doos on Kenter, aka Kenter Coaster.

    The ride is all about what you make of it.

    SamoBiker.com

     
  2. Riding on water in the LA River.

     

  3. Top 10 Cycling Shots for 2013


    Here is my list of top cycling shots from 2013—as voted by me!  It’s that time of year and everyone’s doing it so I thought I would put my two cents out there as well. I’m not a pro photog and my photos aren’t going to set the interwebs ablaze, but I’m proud of them.  

    Actually, this was a great exercise.  With digital cameras and cell phones, race pictures are a dime a dozen these days.  There is way too much spray and pray going on at the races.  Just because your camera can take 300 frames per second, they don’t all need to be posted online.  

    I think it’s important to take a critical look at my photos and show just the good ones.  I try to be ruthless with my normal editing and this took things a step further.  I have no idea how many race pictures I actually took this year but there are only 200 left on my computer, and I started this end of year list with 24 before cutting it down to 10.  

    This year I was trying to find my style.  I didn’t think I had one, but when I asked a helpful professional, he thought that I did have a style of my own.  He said, “First and foremost, your style is that of a documentary photographer rather than that of a pictorial photographer. You take in the world as it is, without attempting to artificially craft an image to meet your vision.”  Stepping back and looking at my images, I tend to agree with him.  I like a wide-angle, black-and-white version of the world.  It’s funny how it takes someone else to help you see yourself.  This doesn’t mean that I won’t change over time or try new things, but it does show me where I stand at this moment.

    I hope you like the shots.  And, if you do, browse around and take a look at the rest of my images.  www.samobiker.com











     
  4. A few shots from this weekend’s Santa Cross race at the Greek Theater.  Hot and dusty is the theme this holiday season.

     
  5. Winter Cross GPET - An epic mudfest

     
  6. Forrest Park, perfect location for a morning CX spin.

     
  7. Into the forrest they go.

     
  8.  
  9. Just another week of heckling and racing. 

     
  10. Found a couple more photos from Spooky Kross.  Sunsets, bacon hand-ups and pandas.  What more could you ask for.