Monday, October 26, 2009

SpeedFreaks endurance race

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to shoot the first (annual?)...

(Official artwork by buddy, world traveler and artiste extraordinaire Blue-Eyed Devil of Wrench-in-the-Gears fame.)

...SpeedFreaks Stage Race in Leesburg, VA. Brought to you by the same fine folks who run both the Leesburg Baker's Dozen race each spring, and last winter's SnotCycle, it's run on the same private farmland singletrack. SpeedFreaks was a two-day event, but I only managed to make it out for the second day.

_MG_0298 copy

After a bit of rain for Saturday's race, the Sunday portion couldn't have been more perfect. Cool temps and blue skies the whole day.

_MG_0291 copy

When I set out to shoot this race, my plan was to emphasize the fact that it was a fall race, as opposed to all those spring and summer races. I had a couple of ideas in mind, but mainly, I wanted some leaf color in my shots. I wasn't having much luck finding color around the evergreen/pine grove part of the course. While standing around considering my options, I had a chance meeting with Rob, one of the organizers. He offered to escort me to the back side of the trails, a section I'd never seen. I happily agreed and followed him across the fields.

At the far end of the trails, I found some cool rock-drop obstacles as well as some colorful trees. After wandering around looking for an appropriate place to set up, I finally found a couple of trees that offered some nice color. I hunkered down and snapped away as weary riders pedaled past.

Unfortunately, I couldn't spend the entire day out shooting the race, so after too few hours in the field, I had to pack up and head home. Once there, I posted my unprocessed shots from the day to my pbase gallery. I tweaked a couple of shots (seen above) and posted those to my main flickr page.

At the end of the day, I realized a couple of things:

1) I need a wider lens. A nice 10-20mm would be sweet. Either that or a nice full-frame Canon 5D Mark II. Whichever :)

and 2) I have *got* to get out and ride the race course. I know so little of the trails there, I don't even know what all I'm missing. The trails are private and only open for the races each year (and a few pre-rides). Since I shoot (and don't race), I need to get myself on board one of those pre-rides.


Blue-eyed Devil said...

Damn, all those words and not a single mention of my artwork for the t-shirts..*sniff*... ;)

gmr2048 said...

Sorry man, I thought I could get away with that slight omission. I figured you'd gone native in a county with limited internet.

It shall be corrected shortly. Now that you're back, we need to meet for drinks and tales of travel to far off lands.

Blue-eyed Devil said...

Yeah, man, thanks for the plug!

Yep, beer time. We need to hit Birch & Barley/Churchkey, the new Rustico joint on 14th in DC...50 beers on tap and 5 casks.

Bliss is set for Satyrday, November gonna make it this year, man?