The National Sports Center is looking for women riders who are interested in competing at the Fixed Gear Classic to be held June 11-13. A $5500 purse is on the line over the 3 days of racing and the race organizers would love to have a full women’s field to compete for the cash prizes. In order to make this happen, the NSC Velodrome team has some travel stipends available for out-of-town women who wish to compete. If you think you may be interested in making the trek and in need of some help, please contact Bob Wiliams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (763) 785-5614.
Olympic Gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy shares his thoughts about the new rule change to the 2012 Olympics track cycling program which limits each country to only one competitor for each event. No big surprise that he seems pretty dismayed.
Block Shop Goldsprints » The Block Shop presents goldsprints at Bex on TheBLVD in Lancaster. Racing starts at 8pm, eating and drinking starts whenever Bex opens.
Pre-VeloCity Alleycat » Aptly named because it’s the alleycat before VeloCity Tour kicks off in Chicago. Meet at the Blue Frog at 7pm.
The Ride With No Name » My buddy Brad puts on this great social ride starting from Downtown LA’s Arts District every month. A nice way to see the city, with friends on two wheels. Meet at Hewitt & Traction at 8pm.
Bike Fetish Day » Now in its 6th year, the community-building, creativity-inducing, bike-fetishizing block party in Brooklyn is at it again. Lots of contests, goldsprints, live bands, food/drink, exhibitors and general fun. On Havemeyer between Grand and Metropolitan from noon to 6pm.
Cynergy Goldsprints » Vomit-inducing goldsprints, food trucks and beer at Cynergy Cycles in Santa Monica. Races start at 7pm.
Mash Tour Of California Race » A fixed-gear only alleycat to commemorate Mash SF’s Tour Of California last year. Free to race. Meet at Echo Park Lake at 4:30pm. The race will probably end at Project Space for the Mash exhibit below.
Matrix Track Cup » The Superdrome’s big omnium event in Frisco, TX and the season opener of the 2010 American Track Racing Association’s National Championship Series. Juniors and Masters race at 3:30pm. Elites race at 6:30pm. This is part of the Superdrome’s May Fest weekend (last item in this post).
Revisit Mash Tour Of California » A retrospective exhibition of Mash SF’s journey to crash the 2009 Amgen Tour Of California on track bikes. The exhibit will showcase documentation from the 750-mile experience, including a new short film and behind-the-scenes photography, and a display of artifacts from the tour, such as road-worn bicycles, a torn kit from the 2009 Tour and more. At Project Space from 6pm to 10pm.
Torneo De Bike Polo » Chilean bike polo tournament held in the velodrome at the National Stadium. Advertising a full 13 hours of game play for competitors.
VeloCity Tour 2010 - Chicago » Messengers and urban riders race at Washington Park Velodrome in Kenosha, WI. Top messenger will win airfare to the 2010 Cycle Messenger World Championships in Guatemala.
AfriCat Benefit Race » Oakland alleycat race to benefit a charity program sending bikes to disadvantaged communities in Africa. Come out and race for a good cause. Mosswood Park at 12pm.
Tubesteaks Under The Stars » Lots of fun stuff planned for this day-long Bicycle Kitchen fundraiser including a “not-an-alleycat” race, a screening of Rad and a lot of hot dogs. It all starts at noon at LA’s Bicycle District.
Amgen Tour Of California » The final stages of Cali’s big race including Individual Time Trials in LA on Saturday and a circuit course on Sunday through Thousand Oaks.
Bicycle Film Festival Memphis » Celebrating their 10th year, the festival of independent bike-themed movies hits Memphis, TN. Check the schedule for film showings and look out for other events like alleycats and block parties.
European Cycle Messenger Championships » Expect a weekend full of races, parties, polo, goldsprints, trick comps and more bike fun they way Europeans know how to bring it. In Budapest, Hungary all weekend long. Check the schedule for specific event info.
Midwest Bike Polo Championships 8 » Big polo tourney in Minneapolis. Expect teams from all over the Midwest to show up for this one. At Dunwoody College from 10am to 8pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Superdrome May Fest » Three days of racing at the Superdrome in Frisco, TX with a $5,100 weekend purse. Point Series Omnium on Friday night, Matrix Cup on Saturday and Speed Race Sprint Tournament on Sunday. Gonna be awesome!
“You see a lot of successful road athletes having a background in track. They are moving away from it, just like me, because the program has changed.”—Shelley Evans on transitioning from track racing to the road in an interview with VeloNews.
It’s a pretty cool photo essay and worth checking out even if the captions are written for total newbs. I hope this major media coverage helps to bring more people out to the velodrome. Like Felipe Buitrago (pictured) who was riding fixed as a messenger for years before getting into track racing, maybe they’ll see how easy it is to get started (and become addicted).
“On the track you build up to become better and better from a junior and suddenly you win big races and you do that for a while. It’s totally the same [on the road] - you come from zero. That’s the best thing about being a sportsman. Winning is not the only motivation, there is also the process of improving and being on the road to the top. When you look back, those are the best moments; not necessarily crossing the line in first position or having a lot of people cheering for you, but making those steps.”—Theo Bos on riding in this year’s Amgen Tour Of California. He finished fourth in yesterday’s stage.
Travis Smith, Christopher Sellier and Angel Pulgar on the podium for the Men’s Kilo TT.
Results are in from the Pan American Track Championships which took place in Aguascalientes, Mexico last week.
The Colombians definitely ruled the competition, bringing home 17 medals with 7 of them being the Gold variety. They are evidently developing some fine athletes and just might be a country to watch for at the next Worlds.
I also want to give a shout out to Canada's Travis Smith for a great performance in the Sprint and the Kilo earning him a Gold and Silver medal in each event respectively.
Aguascalientes Velodrome is definitely proving to be a fast track. Just take a look at those Kilo times! I hope that I get a chance to visit some day…
Below are the podium positions for all the events. I haven’t found any website that has all the results consolidated on one page but if you want to see full results and times for a certain day, click on the DAY (thanks to Canadian Cyclist for posting them).
DAY 1 Women’s 3000m Individual Pursuit 1. Sarah Hammer (USA)
2. Maria Luisa Calle (Colombia)
3. Dalia Rodriguez (Cuba)
Women’s 500m TT 1. Lisandra Guerra (Cuba)
2. Monique Sullivan (Canada)
3. Nancy Contreras (Mexico)
Men’s Team Sprint 1. Colombia (Narvaez, Tamayo, Puerta)
2. Venezuela (Pulgar, Marcano, Canelón)
3. Trinidad & Tobago (Phillips, Kellar, Sellier)
Men’s Points Race 1. Weimar Roldán (Colombia)
2. Jorge Montenegro (Ecuador)
3. José Ramón Aguirre (Mexico)
DAY 2 Women’s Team Pursuit 1. United States (Tamayo, Bausch, Hammer)
2. Cuba (Rodriguez, Dominguez, Gonzalez)
3. Colombia (Calle, Vargas, Muños)
Men’s Keirin 1. Hersony Canelon (Venezuela)
2. Barry Forde (Barbados)
3. Leonardo Narvaez (Colombia)
Men’s Scratch Race 1. Carlos Ospina (Colombia)
2. Cody O’Reilly (USA)
3. Luis Mansilla (Chile)
Women’s Team Sprint 1. Cuba (Gurra, Herrera)
2. Colombia (Garcia, Gaviria)
3. Mexico (Contreras, Gaxiola)
Men’s Individual Pursuit 1. Juan Pablo Suarez (Colombia)
2. Juan Esteban Aranjo (Colombia)
3. Eduardo Sepulveda (Venezuela)
DAY 3 Men’s Kilo TT 1. Christopher Sellier (Trinidad & Tobago)
2. Travis Smith (Canada)
3. Angel Pulgar (Venezuela)
Women’s Scratch Race 1. Yumari Gonzalez (Cuba)
2. Sofia Arreola (Mexico)
3. Paola Muñoz (Chile)
Men’s Team Pursuit 1. Colombia (Suarez, Castro, Roldan, Avila)
2. Chile (Cesario, Seisdedos, Cabrera, Mansilla)
3. Cuba (Sibila, Perez, Carlos, Campanioni)
DAY 4 Men’s Madison 1. Colombia (Ospina, Roldan)
2. Republica Dominicana (Garman, Sanchez)
3. Argentina (Crespo, Ercila)
Women’s Sprint 1. Lisandra Guerra (Cuba)
2. Diana Garcia (Colorado)
3. Daniela Larreal (Venezuela)
DAY 5 Men’s Sprint 1. Travis Smith (Canada)
2. Njisane Phillips (Trinidad & Tobago)
3. Leonardo Narvaez (Colombia)
Women’s Keirin 1. Lisandra Guerra (Cuba)
2. Daniela Lerreal (Venezuela)
3. Diana Garcia (Colombia)
Women’s Points Race 1. Theresa Cliff-Ryan (USA)
2. Lorena Vargas (Colombia)
3. Daniely Garcia (Venezuela)
Women’s Omnium 1. Sarah Hammer (USA)
2. Angie Gonzalez (Venezuela)
3. Maria Luisa Calle (Colombia)
Men’s Omnium 1. Carlos Uran (Colombia)
2. Ruben Campanioni (Cuba)
3. Luis Mansilla (Chile)
I’m no photographer by any means so pretty much non of this comes from a pro perspective. I’m just someone who likes bikes. Maybe you are too. Over years of drooling over bicycle portraits across the internet and in catalogs, I’ve learned a few things about what makes these bikes look so good in photos. It’s not really that complicated but still, even the pro’s get it wrong sometimes. I don’t profess to do it right all the time. I’m just a guy with a Nikon point n shoot. Still, I’ve compiled a few tips on how to make your bike look nicer on photo so that next time you shoot your trusty steed, you really get to show it off in all of its glory.
1) DRIVE SIDE!!! Come on, people. You should know this. We want to see what’s on your bike. The drive side is the important part. Taking a picture from the non-drive side is like photographing a car engine with the hood down. Remember, this is your bike’s GOOD SIDE. I’m pretty sure we’re not missing any important details on the left side of your bike.
A rare example of a bike where I might like to see some of the non-drive side.
2) Clean up the background. Have a neutral, non-distracting background. Any object in the setting that’s removable, remove it. That means trash, leaves, dirty socks, girlfriends (optional), etc. Watch out for hard shadows which can also be distracting, especially if the shadows are cast by the bike. If you’re shooting against a wall, it should be mostly one solid color with no patterns or anything that takes the focus off your bike. Speaking of focus, make sure your camera is focussed on the bike and not a part of the background.
See how important a neutral background is? Here I can show a lot of background and it’s still just about the bike.
3) Clean up your bike. This doesn’t just mean giving it a good wipe-down (which I hope you’ve already done). This also means removing anything that isn’t necessary. Everything in this photo is something that’s representing your bike. So you must ask yourself why you have such-and-such on your bike while you’re photographing it. For example, “What is that removable Knog blinky light really saying about who I am and what this bike means to me?” If you don’t have a good reason for it, take it off.
This is my touring bike, so I photographed it with touring gear.
And now… the nitpicky stuff. These are all the anal retentive details that will make your bike look better because it shows that you paid attention to them. The main reason to pay attention to this stuff is because everything in this photo is there for a reason. You need to make it all look very intentional. Just like how all the features of the bike are built into it for a reason (hopefully). This shows that you are damn proud of owning this bike and that you put thought into how you want to display it.
4) Align your crankset. There’s a few ways to do this. It usually looks best if the crank is lined up with one of the tubes or parallel to the ground. Personally, I prefer lining the crank up with the seat tube. Other people line up with the down tube and some line up with the chainstay. In any of these cases, the non-drive side crank arm should be behind the tube you’re lining up with — obscured by it — so that the line is continued by your drive side crank arm. If you choose to line up your crankset so that it’s parallel to the ground, the drive side arm should be pointing towards the front of the bike. Some people choose to line up the crankset so that it’s perpendicular to the ground but I don’t think it looks that great.
This is how I like to line up my crankset.
5) Align your wheels. This probably bothers me even more than the crankset. Most people don’t even think about this, even photographers shooting bicycle catalogs. Again, this is just so that it looks like you meant to do it. Attention to details! You want to line up your front and rear wheels so that the valve holes are both in the same position — 12 o’clock or 6 o’clock looks the best. This just looks cleaner and also lines everything up. If you’ve got fancy deep carbon rims, the logos will line up. The tire logos should line up too, assuming they’ve been installed correctly. HINT: with clinchers, the tire logos should line up with the valve holes and with tubulars, the valves should line up with the valve holes. And if you’re looking at the drive side of your bike thinking “Gee, my tires don’t seem to have logos”, that means either your tires don’t have logos or they’re on backwards.
Line up your wheel graphics even if the valves say otherwise.
6) Choose your gearing (if applicable). Proper gearing not only makes your chainline look better, it can also make your bike look faster! How? I always set it to the fastest gear (smallest cog, largest chainring). This also happens to make the derailleur and downtube shifters look better. I’ve seen some old catalogs that shoot their bikes on the smallest chainring/largest cog. I guess that’s too show off their incredible hillclimbing ability. I guess that’s cool. If you really want to show off your triple chainset, go for it. I just hate it when I see a bike portrait and the chain is just in the middle doing nothing.
The fastest gear on my classic roadie not only brings the chain to the front but also makes my downtube shifters stand out more.
7) All the other details. I’m not sure it’s possible to be TOO neurotic when photographing your bicycle. Just pay attention to the details. Let’s face it, if you’re reading this chances are you like to look at photos of bikes. Ask yourself what it is about certain photos that you like and compare it to your own bicycle photos. I’m always looking at my own bike photos thinking, “Ah shit I should’ve done this.” For example, I only recently realized that all the photos in 1986 Miyata catalog (IMO the finest example of perfect bike portraiture) have the steering angled so that the bars are perfectly lined up dead-on with the camera. As a non-photographer, it’s a constant learning experience but evidently, even pro photographers don’t have it all down. So basically, don’t feel bad if you get made fun of for the goofy saddle tilt in your photo. Just adjust it next time you take a photo of your bike (unless that’s how you ride it, in which case good luck to your naughty bits).
Chari & Co. 2 Year Anniversary » Celebrating their 2nd anniversary with a track day at Kissena Velodrome and it’s gonna be awzum! Session starts at 1:30pm.
Circulus » Second opening reception for a little mini-velodrome art project built in an old empty library at Pomona College. 8pm - 10pm. And if you can’t make it, there’s a live feed on the website.
Coast Cycles & Seth Rosko Open House » BBQ, & music with brazing & welding demos from a couple of NYC’s finest custom frame builders. There will be a group ride to the shop from Tompkins Square Park at 12:30pm.
For A Fist Full Of Handlebars » Encino Velodrome’s third big race of the season. Expect to see some speed. Women, Juniors & Masters race at noon. Elites race at 3pm. Don’t miss this.
Get Ready For Summer » Great pre-summer track races at Hellyer Park Velodrome. Racing begins at 1pm. Don’t miss it. There’s only a couple more chances to get ready before summer is actually here.
Hell Track 2 » Toronto fixed gear riders getting down. This is going to be a pretty fun event. Bickford Park at 7:30pm.
Macashreda » Tricks and all that fun shit presented by Macaframa. Fremont Park in Sacramento at 3pm.
Pier Pressure » Cover less miles in more hours and have the time of your life doing it. Meet at the top of the Santa Monica Pier (by the cannon) at 2pm.
Red Bull Arena Ride » Red Bull is a hosting a group ride from NYC to the Red Bull Arena in Jersey for a football (soccer) match. Meeting at Zen Cycles at 4:00 with two different distances to choose from.
Velo-Studio Open House » A new bike boutique is opening up in Burbank. Celebrate with food, music, drinks and goldsprints. All happening from 1pm to 8pm.
Amgen Tour Of California » The big stateside stage race starts this Sunday and continues all week long. Always fun to go out and catch one of the stages.
Bay Or Die » Mash SF is throwing this alleycat in SF to challenge anyone who naysays The Bay. Show up! Judah & La Playa at 10am.
MadEx’s GuerrilLA Drive-In » The infamous GuerilLA Drive-In is back! This week MadEx will be showing us one of my favorite movies — Falling Down. Garey & 2nd St in the DTLA Artist District at 9pm. Tune in to 104.7fm for audio. And yes, it’s free (but the hot dogs aren’t). This is a really fun event. Make it if you can.
Mid-Season Criterium » Flat, four-corner crit in Ontario, CA. Third race in the 2010 Ontario Crit series.
New York Bike Jumble » New York’s only bicycle flea market returns to Brooklyn. At the Old Stone House in Park Slope from 10am to 4pm.
Mt. Whitney Stage Race » Think you got legs? Try this one on for size. Over 12,000 feet of climbing in just 52 miles in this multi-day behemoth in Lone Pine Park, CA.