Fish out of Water
The first bike race I went to strictly for filming purposes was in 2002. It was the NORBA Nationals opener in Big Bear, California. I had been to the same race for the past two years, but as a racer. That January, I decided to quit bike racing, sold my bikes, and bought a Sony VX-2000 video camera.
I wanted to shoot video of the RPM/Yeti team, which was the team I’d been on. I remember shooting a lot of footage that weekend, but it was all horrible. I was really bad at tracking moving objects, zooming in and out erratically as riders went by. I shot a bunch of footage of Ross Milan preparing for his downhill and dual slalom races. He was funny and had an entertaining way of conducting himself. Watching the footage, years later, I realized some of it wasn’t much different from the way I shoot now.
At the end of the trip, I had a really hard time editing the footage into anything worthwhile. And I also found it awkward to be at a bike race without actually racing. I had that sort of fish-out-of-water feeling.
That September, my first semester of college started in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. I decided I wanted to shoot that year’s New England Cyclocross Series. The first race in the series was in New Gloucester, Maine. I remember getting the same fish-out-of-water feeling during the elite men’s race, and I actually left and drove home before the race even ended. That was the end of me wanting to shoot the whole New England Series. I nixed plans to go to Gloucester the following weekend.
A few weeks later, I got the newest issue of VeloNews in the mail. It had a mud-splattered Todd Wells winning Gloucester on the cover. I immediately felt like I had missed out on something awesome. I didn’t go to any of the other races that year, but I did go and shoot every single one of them in 2003. I haven’t stopped shooting bike racing since.
I haven’t ever completely lost the fish-out-of-water feeling, but I think I’ve learned to use it to my advantage. I have the mentality of an observer and an outsider when I’m at a bike race. I think that reflects in my work and makes it unique. It’s a love/hate relationship that works for some reason.
Producer/director, Behind The Barriers
Ride along with USA Cycling's young cyclocross hopefuls as they train, travel, and race in Belgium against the world's best
Global Cycling Network picks five frontrunners for both the men's and women's elite world championship races this weekend in Tabor
The second day of the pre-nationals tune-up weekend saw Ellen Noble and Zach McDonald ride away from their respective fields to win
Watch a full recap of a U.S. 'cross nationals tune-up race and scope out the top riders who will vie for stars-and-stripes in Austin
Take a quick look at the steed that Van Aert has ridden to an insurmountable lead in the prestigious Bpost Bank Trofee series
Ride along with Jonathan Page and David van der Poel in a slippery 'cross race full of carnage in Eschenbach, Switzerland
Listen in as multi-time national champion and cyclocross World Cup champion Compton talks 'cross
National cyclocross champion Katie Compton talks to Colt from Behind the Barriers TV about all things 'cross
BTB TV talks to legendary cyclocross announcer Renaat Schotte, who broadcasts all of the major European 'cross races on Sporza TV
You think you can ride a 'cross bike? Mountain biker Chris Akrigg takes it to another level, blasting trails and trials moves on a CX bike