The velodrome is one of the most classic and pure forms of cycling. Racers fly around a smooth banked track, with no brakes and just one fixed gear. The track in Minnesota is one of only about 25 tracks across the country, with weekly races through the summer. I love the long summer shadows and golden light that envelopes the track through the night, eventually leading to just small pockets of sunshine making it into the track. As the sun fades, and the lights of the track come up, the blue skies are a stunning backdrop for the last races of the night.Read More
The MIAC Championship draws all of the Minnesota NCAA Division III schools to cap the cross country session at the Como Golf Course in Saint Paul. I've photographed the race for the last few years for Carleton College, and while the weather for the first weekend of November in Minnesota can be incredibly variable, the last two years have seen the sun prevail and cast beautiful November light onto the racers. Last year the fall leaves held on a little longer, and provided a beautiful back drop for the race. I love photographing runners, the pain and determination is totally expressed on their faces as the push through to the finish.Read More
The Almanzo is a 100 mile bike race that winds its way along the the beautiful gravel farm roads south of Rochester. While I've know about the race for about 3-4 years, I finally got my act together to put in enough training miles to do the race this past weekend. The race is incredibly unique by being totally free, organized by the incredible hard work of Chris Skogen. the Its amazing to look back at how much the race has grown. In 2007, the first year of the race, 13 people started, and only 3 finished. This year it was over 1500 people who started the race.Read More
Last night was the 2nd annual All-City Championship Track Bike Crit. Meeting behind One on One cycles, like many of the un-offical Minneapolis races, it was time to say hello to friends, drink some beer, and for racers to sign in. Jeff of All-City cycles gave the quick rundown to racers and it was time to roll out to the course. The course this year was a much bigger loop than last year, wrapping around the Minneapolis farmers market and the warehouses in that area. One practice lap for the racers, and a quick reminder that the race was on open roads, the race was off with a furry. A $50 prime for the winner of the first lap started the race at warp speed. Quickly it was clear that of the 40 riders, only about eight riders had the gearing and legs for the full 14 laps. It was a great race with no wrecks all under the glow of downtown Minneapolis. The event was also a great test for a new camera, a Fuji X100s. It was great to only carry something so small and light, changing how I shoot slightly from my normal DSLR.
After a rainy start to the Nature Valley Grand Prix for the morning time trial, things luckily dried out before the evening criterium. The course went through the heart of downtown Saint Paul, past the Landmark Center, James J Hill Library, and other historic and modern Saint Paul buildings.The women started out the night a little after 6:00pm. It was fortunate the race was only a short walk from The Current's offices, as I was definitely behind schedule getting tied up in Rock the Garden preparations. This year I was able to get an official media credential through the MPR news room, where a gallery of photos from throughout the race weekend will be posted. This year I decided to stick with shooting only photos after shooting the video piece last year (in my video portfolio here)]1
The weather and clouds varied dramatically through the night. At the start of the women's race the sky looked perfectly sunny, but then quickly clouds moved in. Right at the end of their race the sun poked back out, creating the amazing shadows and light along the home straightaway that I've loved in years past. In the half hour before the men's races that little bit of sun disappeared, and like a flip of the switch the light dropped and suddenly it was dusk. The dim, soft light just meant it was time to do more panning shots with the riders. On the far corner of the course there the buildings opened up to reveal more of the sky, and created beautiful highlights on the wheels components of the bikes as the riders careened around one of the fastest corners on the course. The riders took to the wide open roads south of Cannon Falls today, and will return to the metro on Friday. I look forward to heading over the uptown crit on Friday as it is always much more of a party atmosphere regardless of the weather.