Apr 25, 2011

Colorado rocked my world

Wheels touched down yesterday afternoon at LaGuardia Airport officially putting an end to my two day dream vacation. I spent two days riding with my good friend Hoffman in the Denver area. He and his girlfriend, April were fantastic hosts and really showed me a great time in the mile high city! The trails we rode were incredible! From the twisty, cactus-strewn, singletrack that dove down through the canyons and skirted the buttes of the desert in Pueblo, to the tight switchbacks and abundant water-bars (sweet launch pads!) in the dense pine forests of Three Sisters Park; it was all top notch, premium grade, deluxe singe track.

Friday at Pueblo:
Hoffman and I grabed breakfast at Chef Zorba's, a sweet little Greek diner around the corner from his place. A big ol' plate of Huevos Rancheros, some OJ, and thick bacon would be our fuel for the day. After that we threw the bikes on the car and headed south to Pueblo. My jaw dropped over and over as glimpses of the snow-capped Rockies came into view. Colorado is shockingly beautiful in every way. I don't know how many times I was smacked across the face with an intensely gorgeous site. POW! BOOM! SMACK!

The riding at Pueblo was insane... cactus and patches of grass were scattered about the desert landscape. Through it, a 12” wide strip of singletrack wove like a sidewinder over gentle grades around big bushes and down through canyons. The canyons were really exciting. I could sense them coming as I reeled in the terrain, but once I hit them it was like “Dayamn!”. Canyons are just filled with loose rocks the size of small dinner plates that clinked and clattered under my tires as I floated across them. Stepped ledges and rocks that jutted from the walls of the canyon at head height, had my full attention while zipping down, down, down... by the time we rolled out of pueblo, my face had formed a permanent grin.

Saturday at Three Sisters:
Saturday's riding was completely different from the day before at Pueblo. The topography is the exact opposite. It's very hilly, has a lot of pine trees, big boulders, TIGHT switchbacks, and lots of super-fun water-bars. The weather was a little cooler as well and I was glad I brought my wool jersey because the flakes were flying for a little while. At the same time, Hoffman and I were flying. Although he, much more so than I. I was really hurting from the altitude and had a hell of a hard time getting any oxygen into my lungs. I felt extremely week! After only 6 miles I could barely go on. That's pretty embarrassing to admit to the entire world wide web but next time (NEXT TIME!) I will be acclimated and I plan to hit these trails up again! (With a vengeance even! I'm serious. I have already packed a bag full of vengeance, exclusively for next time!)

A big thank you hug goes out to Hoffman & April for having me out there; you guys are the best!

Apr 21, 2011

Off to Colorado!

Ever since the age of 14 or so, I've been drooling over magazines and videos that featured riders pedaling through dusty singletrack over the red rock and between cactus in the mountain biking mecca known as Colorado. By this time tomorrow, I will be one of those riders. As cheesy as this sounds: it is a dream come true. I'll be spending two full days riding. One day will be devoted to the famous trails of Fruita, Colorado, where I'll zip down famous trails such as Zippity-Doo-Dah, Chutes & Ladders, Joe's Ridge & Flight of Icarus. The other day will be spent on some local, epic Denver area trails that my buddy Hoffman has in store.

Last week I shipped my cannondale out to Hoffman's bike shop: Wheat Ridge Cyclery in Denver. He received it Tuesday and dialed it in for me. Now I sit in my cube at work, trying to focus on quality assurance documents but my mind keeps wandering towards the Rocky Mountains. My flight leaves from JFK Airport at 8:30 tonight... that's about 10.5 hours from now (if you're counting).

My only concern on this trip is altitude sickness. I live at sea level. Denver, known as The Mile High city sits at exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. In the past year, the highest I have been is 4,180 feet above sea level when I summited Slide Mountain in the Catskills this past summer. I felt fine. I'm just a little concerned. From what I have read, if I do my best to stay thoroughly hydrated, I should have no problems. We shall see!

Apr 20, 2011

Time Lapse: Clover Beneath the Bonzai Tree

Another time lapse video that I made just for kicks. Short & sweet; no frills. 225 frames captured at a rate of one exposure every fifteen seconds and displayed at a rate of fifteen frames/second.

Apr 3, 2011

Day by day

A time lapse video made from 3,446 frames. I used a Nikon D700 to capture all three scenes shooting at a rate of 4 frames per minute. I used QuickTime Pro to create the image sequences at a rate of 30 frames per second and used Windows Movie Maker to create the final video.

Lessons learned:
Next time I will manually set my white balance for more consistent exposures and also shoot at a much lower resolution.