Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Country Views: Camera Nerd

Escape Route; Black hawk Park w/Josh Paxton
 I was out for a ride yesterday and it was a ride for a specific purpose. I was helping a friend to get some imagery for a project he is working on. While this was happening it struck me that a LOT of cyclists are photographers and several are downright "camera nerds". 

Note: I say that out of love and respect for you if you, are in fact, a camera nerd. No putdown intended. 

I happen to know a few of these folks and a few of them have helped me out with imagery in the past. People like Steve Fuller, Wally Kilburg, George Keslin, Jason Boucher, and Jon Duke. All cyclists, all definitely camera nerds. 

I know Erik Mathy who takes 'camera nerdery' to the next level. It's amazing stuff, in my opinion, and when I spent time with Erik in 2022 at the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame days, I was constantly amazed by his talents. 

Well, on Tuesday I spent time with another camera freak, Josh Paxton. He is setting up something that is an image-heavy online thing and he wanted a section on cycling to be a prominent part of that project, so he talked me into being a 'model' for a day. We decided to head out to start the ride from Black Hawk Park.

Ford Road near Black Hawk Park

I've always liked this barn. The owner keeps it in pretty good shape.

We left the park and immediately were on Ford Road going North. It isn't all that long of a stretch, but it is picturesque in several spots. This is generally enhanced by good morning light and Fall colors, both of which were happening on this day.

Josh coming up on the intersection of Ford Road and Mt. Vernon Road. He forgot his helmet, so don't "@" me!

Ford Road looking North from the intersection with Mt. Vernon Road.

The thing about these camera nerds is that they stop. A lot! "Hey! Can I get you to ride toward me here?", or "Stand still here and act natural.", as the photographer sticks a $10,000.00 camera rig three inches from your face. "Yeah, no problem! I always have a camera pointed RIGHT AT MY HEAD!" I'm used to it, ya know? Ha ha! 

Josh riding up out of the Ford Road Access.

It was a glorious Fall morning.

We explored a bit of the Ford Road Access to the Washington Access fire road. We didn't go all the way to the Washington Access trail, but I was surprised to find that this trail had been cleared and was very rideable. It wasn't always so. I was out this way a couple of times, once in 2008 and another time six years later, and the Ford Road Access trail was impassable by bike and nearly so on foot. It's good to see it back in ship-shape again. 

I had forgotten that there is a pretty steep climb up from the flood plain to the road on the Ford Road Access. Josh had me ride down it a bit so he could photograph me climbing up. (This modeling gig! I tell ya! What these photogs put us through! Ha ha!) 

After a couple hours we were finished. It was great to get out early and ride some, despite all the stops and sessioning. Good to see Ford Road again and that the access trail is open. I need to get out that way again soon.

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