Saturday, November 18, 2006

Baby steps are better than no steps

A couple of weeks back, I mentioned that my buddy Michael from Speedgoat Cycles in PA wanted to use one of my photos of him from Lodi in an ad for their shop. Well, the ad is out in the latest issue of Dirt Rag (Issue 123).

As thanks for the photo, Michael was kind enough to send me a copy of the mag, a Speedgoat shirt, and a couple of pair of bike socks. Actual payment (of sorts) for a photo. That almost makes me a professional, doesn't it? Time to update that resume!

In other, similar "Holy crap that's my photo in print" news, local racer, rider and writer Joel Gwadz had his story published in the free Mid-Atlantic cycling mag "Spokes". The story was about the recent Wednesdays at Wakefield race series and was accompanied by a couple of my shots of the racers (like this one of the author). Visit a local bike shop and grab your today!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Half Credit

In trying to get my mountain bike race photos into the hands of as many racers as possible, I spoke with Potomac Velo people (who organize the Wednesdays @ Wakefield race series). They asked that I send them links to my shots, and they'd post them on the official web site. Well, I did...and they did. Sorta...

Unfortunately, the way they have it worded on their home page, it looks like Pete is a fantastically prolific photographer:

"See photos from races 1 & 2. Thanks to Pete Toscano.
More photos are available: June 22; July 19; July 26"

I've written them asking that they add my name. Hopefully they will.

I'll be back out there tonight to catch the final W@W for '06.


Man! Talk about service! Between the time I started this blog post this morning, and a few minutes ago when I actually hit "publish", the kind folks at PVC updated the web site to include the credit. Yay PVC! Thanks guys!

"See photos from races 1 & 2. Thanks to Pete Toscano.
More photos are available courtesy of Gary Ryan: June 22; July 19; July 26"

Thursday, August 3, 2006

W@W #4 photos

My Wednesdays at Wakefield race #4 photos are up (race date 8/02/2006). Not my favorite set. I still have a lot to learn. I got a ton of images perfectly focused on the foliage 5' behind the riders. I think it was because I was trying to trust my camera's focus system to track the rider automatically. Never again.

Anyway, the photos are here. Tell your mother, tell your father, send a telegram. (5 bonus points to the first person to ID the song and artist of the preceeding lyric). If you want a full-sized image, let me know and I'll see what I can do. A lot of the images are OK web-sized, but may look nasty full sized.

A huge thanks to the racers who thanked me for taking photos. I found it pretty funny that they'd thank me for something I really enjoy doing. But it was nice to hear. Also another huge thanks to the folks who stopped to talk and thank me at length before and after their races. Definitely an ego booster.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

W@W v3.0

I posted my shots from last night's Wednesdays at Wakefield race (#3 in the series, 7/27/2006):


As usual, in the interest of time, they're unprocessed , uncropped, and only quickie-resized so the quality isn't the greatest. If you see something you like shoot me an email (gmr2048 at yahoo dot com) and I can get you a full sized (possibly better quality) version.

Thanks to the couple of guys who came up and complimented me on the photos and the gallery. It's good to know people are enjoying my "work" (if you can call it that).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Photo news

My rapid rise to world-famous professional photographer has begun! Stand clear and watch my ascent with big googly eyes of awe. Or something.

A buddy works for Speedgoat Bicycles up in PA. They use photos taken by shop employees in their print ads. Since my buddy is usually the guy taking the pics, he's rarely in them (damned physics). Anyway, he asked if he could use my shot of him at the 2005 12 Hours of Lodi Farm race in one of their ads in an upcoming Dirt Rag mag. Being a shameless attention whore, I of course said yes. Here's the result:

Also on the photography front, I had a local rider (a friend-of-friends) ask if he could submit some of my photos along with a story he's writing for a cycling rag. Not sure how hard it is to get stories accepted, so good luck to him. I'll post more if/when I hear whether or not the story will run.

Friday, June 23, 2006

2 fat 2 race

(This is my first use of the "2fat2race" moniker. Later changed to "TooFatToRace" and applied to this blog).

My shots from the first Wednesdays at Wakefield race are up.

I managed to shoot 475 photos in about 2 hours (weeded down to 423 for your viewing pleasure). Take a look and let me know if you find any of yourself. I have larger/better quality copies of most images.

The quality of these thumbnails is a bit lacking. I batch-processed them; resized, and rotated (where necessary). The full sized images should look substantially better. Shoot me an email if you see something you want a copy of. gmr2048 at

Please post the above link to all the usual locations (blogs, MTBR board, MORE board, etc). If you want to use the photos anywhere, please let me know first. If it's an online location, a link back to my gallery would be nice so other riders can find shots of themselves. Plus...I like to see my name in lights, as it were.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


It took a little while, but it's nice to see that Team Bike Works' official "12 Hours of Lodi Farm" page has finally put up my photo credit and link. Not sure if anybody will look at the page again until next year's race. Oh well. Next year, maybe I'll try to work something out with them in advance. Hopefully by then, I'll have better flash photography skillz.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Uncle! I surrender! Whatever you want to call it, I'm done working on photos from the 2006 "12 Hours of Lodi Farm" race. Fin.

The first 130 images, I individually post-processed (resized, cropped, adjusted brightness (if necessary), adjusted sharpness (after the resize), cloned out unwanted spectators a couple of times). They can be seen here.

For the final 76 images, I simply batch-resized then posted them. No sharpening. No brightening. No cropping. Presented "As Is" for your viewing pleasure. They can be found by clicking this link, or by clicking on the red tricycle image on the last page of the Lodi gallery.

In addition to all that, I was contacted by a number of racers for whom I (gladly!) worked-up full sized images of themselves. (I love knowing that people enjoy my work). But had I spent the time to post those last 76 images, the race would have been long forgotten.

Anyway, pass the word. If any racers find shots of themselves and want larger/better copies, have them email me (gmr2048 at gmail dot com) and I'll see what I can do.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I've been spending a lot of time processing the hundreds of shots I took at the 2006 "12 Hours of Lodi Farm" mountain bike race (still have more than 200 to go through, too!). After I had the first few batches done and posted, I sent an email to the race organizers. Guess they liked my photos (at least one of them) cuz it made it onto the official Lodi homepage. Only drag is that they didn't credit me or provide a link or anything.

So I sent them an email, explaining that I'd like a credit and a link back to my pbase gallery for the race, cuz I figured other racers might want photos of themselves. They were nice enough and said they'd provide both. I'm hoping it happens sooner rather than later. One of these days, I'm gonna have to start charging for my services. Gotta pay off these camera parts somehow!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

So much for that

So I ran out of steam on the "Photo-a-Day" project. Who'd have guessed. It started to feel like a job (after only...what...8 days?). "". So that was passively abandoned.

I did manage to get down to Fredricksburg, VA for a couple of hours near sunrise this past Sunday for the "12 Hours of Lodi Farm" mountain bike race.

I hit this race last year, and got a lot of cool shots out of it. Although I only had a bit over 2 hours of shooting time this year, I was hoping for similar results.

As far as the photos go, I started off badly. Super-stoopid rookie mistakes. I was keeping shutter speed vs. focal length in mind while shooting, but not shutter speed vs. high-speed mountain bikers tear-assing past. Consequently, my first bunch o' shots suffered from too slow shutter speed (even with the use of my crappy flash). The little LCD on the camera didn't allow me to notice my mistakes. Thankfully, as the sun rose, the light got better and my shutter speed was able to increase a bit (for those who care, I was shooting mostly AV mode), so my later pics were better in terms of blur (and lack thereof). I ended up shooting something over 300 shots in two hours. Many of those have been/will be tossed. So far I've processed and posted ~56 shots (at the link above) and have probably another 100 to do. I'm not doing much post processing on them. Just a quick resize and "save for web". If anybody reading this happens to see a shot of themselves that they want, email me (gmr2048 at yahoo dot com) and I'll be happy to send you the full size image (if it's not crap).

So the next time I get delusions of grandure and start thinking I want to become a pro photographer, I'll come back and re-read this entry and realize just how far I have to go.

Thursday, March 2, 2006


Still on the subject of biking...

This past Tuesday, I tagged along on the regular TNS ride run by the DT/Spearman/Stoner crew. This week promised a larger group, and a group of really strong riders. That should have been my first warning sign.

We met at the usual spot in Arlington, headed east to DC and (as far as I knew) a nice bar with heat and beer and pizza in Georgetown. To my dismay, we rode right past the bar, and then down to the K street underground. We met a couple of other guys there, then started peadling out on a path I'd never even seen before (evidently the "Capital Crescent Trail"). I asked one of the other riders what the plan was, since we were now pedaling away from the beery salvation of the bar. He said he thought the ride was going to head up to Bethesda, then over through Chevy Chase, pick up Rock Creek Parkway, and pedal back down into Georgetown, ending at the bar we'd first discussed. I gave him the ol' "hahaha that's a good one ohshityourenotkiddingaboutridingallthef*waytobethesdaand
backareyou" look. Since it was dark, thankfully, he missed the horrified look on my face. I told him nothing personal, but if I all of a sudden wasn't around anymore, it simply meant that I turned my ass around and pedaled for home. I could manage the Arlington to Georgetown ride without too much trouble. An Arlington-to-Georgetown-to-Bethesda-to-Chevy Chase-to-Rock Creek Park-to-Georgetown-eventually-back-to-Arlington ride might be a bit beyond my endurance levels right now.

So the ride headed north. The stronger riders tearing-ass into the lead. DT being kind enough to hang back and keep me company. He and I pedaled steadliy onward, me never sure where I was gonna run outta gas and turn around.

Despite the trail feeling like a neverending mountain climb all the way out of DC (mainly due to the optical illusion created by me forgetting my perscription glasses, an ever so slightly uphill path, and a the circle-of-lighted-salvation-in-the-darkness provided by my helmet light, I felt surprisingly good with each passing pedal stroke. We managed (well...*I* "managed", there was little question DT would be able to pull off the whole ride) to make it all the way up into Bethesda and the halfway point, where the rest of the riders were waiting for us.

Once we regrouped, a few photos were snapped and we headed out on our return journey.

Thankfully, the road ride down Rock Creek Parkway is mostly downhill heading back to G'town. And not too heavy with traffic. We would have made great time, had there not been 3 flats in rapid succession, costing us over an hour of stand-around-in-the-cold -and-watch-other-guys-fix-flats time. Two flats were on "Spearman's Own Experimental Tire and Wheel Set", which proved a bitch to fix. After a fair amount of fighting with the hardware, he got rolling well enough to get us all on the road again. A few short miles later, we finally pull into the bar for well deserved beers and warmness and pizza.

Beers flowed. Pizzas arrived. Smack-talk ensued. After a couple of hours, the crowd begins to disperse as riders headed for home in waves. The last group to go was Spearman, DT and me. After all the pedaling done so far, we still have to ride back out to Arlington...5 or 6 miles distant. And by this point, my headlight is long dead.

The ride home is uneventful (thankfully). Rides home usually seem to pass pretty quickly for me. One of the benefits of a few beers at the midpoint, I guess. There's just a very fine line between "uneventful, quick ride home" and "shitfaced, powersliding into home plate on a bike". I'm still learning where that line is.

So, when all was said and done, we rode somewhere between 36 and 38.x miles. Probably my longest road ride since doing the 63 mile "Tour de Cure" a few years back. I was happy that my legs and lungs held up as well as they did. The next day, I felt pretty good, too. Guess there's hope for me and this "biking" thing yet.

Slack. Biking. Probe.

I've actually been doing some cool stuff lately, but I've just been too damn lazy to write about it. So I'll try to condense into a single catch-up post...

Last weekend I went camping/biking with a bunch of friends I rarely see anymore. We hit Green Ridge State Forest in MD. The camping was chilly, and the biking kicked my ass; but it was a great weekend none the less.

Green Ridge has a 12 mile (mostly) singletrak bike loop with a few "easy out" escapes for thos who burn out before completing the full loop. I don't know how much climbing there is in total, but it's a hell of a lot more than I'm used to at Wakefield. A couple of friends and I decided to do a short night ride after we arrived on Friday. Temps were just about 19 degrees. The other two guys are in far better riding shape than I, and were nice enough to go easy on me. We did about 6 miles total, including about 2 miles on fireroads to and from the trailhead.

On Saturday, try as I might, my friends wouldn't let me bag out of the longer planned ride. I'm glad they didn't. We added one more rider (a guy recovering from a torn/dislocated/busted-up shoulder) to our group. With temps in the 50s, it was a perfect day for riding. Despite feeling like the shorter ride the night before nearly killed me, I felt surprisingly good once on the trail in the warmth and sunlight. Busted-shoulder-guy and I managed 9-10 miles, including about 3 on fireroads. The two other guys did the full loop.

Sunday, we woke up to snow falling. Most folks decided to break camp early and head for home. I packed all my junk into the truck (where it still sits, for the record), hopped in line with a caravan of vehicles heading east, and drove for home.

I'll end Part One here. Look for Part Two, comig soon to a theater near you.