Gwen was a pleasure to shoot, and they saved here some time on the bike, look out Rio!
A lot of people ask me why besides being a cyclist, am a so vocal about cyclist rights ect, this may have something to do with it and why I started Ride Redding.
I was just starting my last year of college at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. I was on my way back from class on my bicycle, on my way to drop off my new health insurance at FedEx when my life was altered forever.
I remember every second of getting hit. The driver had her head below the steering wheel, and she blew a curve, over the double yellow center lines, right. into. me.
She hit me so hard that I bounced off the hood and went around 45 feet up and 45 feet back. The little girl in the car behind me asked her mother, "Why is that man falling out of the trees?"
I can still close my eyes and visualize spinning through the eucalyptus branches, seeing up the road and down the road as I spun. As I whirled through the air, I actually had time to think. I thought, “Damn, this is going to hurt,” and “I will be just fine if I can wiggle my toes when I stop.”
When the world stopped spinning around me I found myself on my butt (luckily). The front tire of the Land Rover came to rest against my back (again, luckily). The first thing I did even before I opened my eyes was wiggle my toes, and they moved. Phew, I was “O.K.”
Then the aftermath.
The lady who hit me was only cited for an unsafe lane change and was sent home. She blew a double yellow line with her head below the steering wheel while driving back from a popular noon-time watering hole. Not to mention, had a pharmaceutical DUI two months prior (turns out she was a bi-polar schizophrenic) and the witness at the scene said she didn't "appear right." Also she babbled something about being sick, and then something about dropping her phone.
Thanks CHP, good work. The first thing, that came out of her mouth when she hit me was, "Oh my God. I am so sorry, I know Lance Armstrong." W.T.F. (he does not know her) and you hit me. With. Your. Car.
I was scooped up off the tarmac and taken to the local hospital. After talking to the paramedics, the ER nurse came over and basically just wanted my insurance info, I had none. “Oh, so your parents will be paying?” she asked.
“Oh, no." I said.
They put me into surgery to patch up my shattered knee and then shoved off to recovery where I woke up in some pretty awful pain, but the nurse would not give me 'the button.'
"Here are some anti-inflammatories and ice. These should do," she says. I ended up screaming after a few hours and another nurse finally gave me 'the button.' I then got a few hours of sleep.
Late morning the next day I was told I was leaving the hospital and I would need to find a ride home. The physical therapist said to me, “O.K., let's get you up and ambulatory so you can leave.” I put my my body weight on my freshly smashed knee and used the bathroom. I grappled the toilet seat with my smashed leg straight out in front of my as I tried to take my squat. THAT, was the most excruciating pain i have ever felt in my life.
They rushed me out the door, spared me pain medication immediately after surgery and proper physical therapy, all because I did not have health insurance at the time. This would also come to bite me in the butt during my court case as well. So, you see, the way a jury determines how much to give the injured party is through a semi-standard amount, which tends to be about three times the medical bills. I really should have been in the hospital at least a few more days and gotten proper physical therapy. With no health insurance, I got none of that. To top it all off, the Defense argued that it should be based off the negotiated cost of the medical bills that insurance WOULD have paid (if I had health insurance), not the actual cost.
The lady that hit me fought me every inch of the way through the court system, dodged her deposition nine times. Oh yeah, she had a $20 million dollar trust fund, and more lawyers on retainer than i have bikes, did I mention that? I still have health issues to this day. My back, knee, and hand. I am lucky to get a full night of sleep two nights in a row, To this day, I still can't afford health insurance as an entrepreneur. Almost ten years after the collision I endure body pain management, and deep tissue massage therapy, If I don't keep up on it, it deeply affects me.
It never leaves you, getting hit like that, and I got off pretty easy....
A rencent YouTube video out of New Zealand and DropBox's new 1TB of storage upgrade has prompted me to start a new project. I want you to upload your video of close encounters, hits and what not from your on bike camera or iPhone for a compilation video. I only wish I had a POV camera on my me when I got hit! This is all leading up to a documentary project I have an idea for, but for now just a compilation video. Watch this video then consider submitting below.
If you have any ideas or want to conspire and or fund, "On the Road" my documentary/cycling PR project, simply email me below. Please make sure the files are trimmed down pretty tight as not to overload the DropBox. Please fill out the form below to get a link to upload your file and tell me about your incident. Please name files: YYYYMMDD_locaiton_your-name or provide the info in your eMail.
Today rolling across the social media landscape was 'Atropelamento na California' a video in where two guys, one wearing a POV camera filming the other in the Berkley Hills. Then they got hit, and the car ran. The footage is pretty hard to make out on YouTube but I think the raw footage was handed around and analyzed. They are currently narrowing it down. I think everyone should start wearing these and reporting, at $300 they are a cheep investment for proof of what went down. I have recently started riding with one and and I feel the way to go is 0.5sec time-lapse, because its easier to make out plates. Also battery life can be extended, but I really would like to see manufactures make a unit for cyclists for this purpose that is an easier system.
Here are some resources:
e-Bikes have been around awhile but none really feel quite right, most are some abortion of a bike or a strapped on system on a geriatric looking machine that even my old Navy salt of a Grandpa wouldn't be caught dead on. Specialized has defiantly changed the game when it comes to looks and functionality with the new Turbo. I was lucky enough to be able to get my hands on one and shoot it, let me tell you it is a fun ride! Also featured in:
I have had a great few weeks on the bike here in Santa Barbara. I am only showing a few rides, you can find everything that I road on STRAVA. I love STRAVA, they have 90% of what I have wanted out of a GPS based training site! I love maps and data so much and it is growing into a social network for cyclist.
Last year I attempted to ride from Redding to Fortuna on Friday (√) then on Saturday ride The Tour of the Unknown Coast double (√/2) and then on Sunday ride back to Redding (x) I made it 1/2's of the way. This year I plan to do the whole thing (weather permitting) or maybe just the single century so around 360 Miles
Rapha did a very nice job with this video on the 2010 edition (if your having issues viewing refreshing this post seams to take care of everything.
Deemed "California's hardest century", The Tour of the Unknown Coast rolls south of Ferndale, California along the Blue Slide Road & into Rio Dell, it then travels through the Avenue of the Giants, up Panther Gap, down into the Mattole Valley, along the ocean then up the wall — the Endless Hills — down the Wildcat back into Ferndale.
If you wish to join me Just RSVP on Facebook HERE anyone and everyone is invited. This is self supported debit card style adventure, SELF SUPPORTED.
One of my favorite things about this ride is the Food and Beer at Eel River Brewery, by far my favorite brew around and the food is amazing as well.
My Strava data from last year.
And if all this is not enough check out Platina road and Hwy 36, this route often ranks in the top favorite roads by motorcycle enthusiast.
OK NOW START TRAINING!!!
When Cody O'Reilly contacted me about shooting the photos for the new Santa Barbara City College Cycling Club/Team? (SBCCCCccccccc) I was filled with a very small glimmer of hope. I am a huge fan of Youth cycling and would love to see it happen from the ground up. Something like kindergarten through high school have actual bike education with a mix of competitive cycling, then offer collage scholarships for cycling. More people would ride a bikes, more people in cars would respect bike and look out for them. So I say Bravo!
Almost every time I run into someone and they find out that I am a photographer they ask me what camera do I use. The truth is that it's not really about the camera or the lenses, or Canon or Nikon, or anything like that. For most people, even professionals, it is about the finished product: the final image. I have used some of the "Best Cameras" in the world, Phase One's, Hasselblads, Leaf's, D3s (if I had to chose a favorite). They all rank at the top of the charts and do an amazing job, but I think most people just need to work on their images, not their equipment.
The key is to learn the limitations of what you currently have and keep it simple, instead of getting a 5D Mark II with 3 - 2.8 IS L lenses, a flash and a bunch of stuff to fill up your bag try getting a D7000 or 7D with 1 - f/4 zoom and just use it a lot, shoot a lot. If you do not like carrying around an SLR to shoot all of the time, grab a point-and-shoot that works for your needs and carry it. It is amazing what you can do with just a little exposure compensation and proper exposure settings.
Even your iPhone can produce some amazing images, remember, the best camera is the one you have with you!
Some camera and non camera things to consider:
- Nikon COOLPIX AW100 - You can throw it around in your car, jersey, or purse; get it wet, drop it and still get the shot!
- Nikon COOLPIX P7100 - A great "I don't want to carry my SLR" camera, but I want some pro performance.
- iPhone 4s - You will most likely always have this camera on you and it is quite a little power house.
- Best Camera - A fast powerful app that really goes to the heart of the issue.
- Instagram - So cliché but if you are stuck in a creative rut this kind of app can help you out.
- Postagram - Want to share your images threw good old snail mail, check out this little dandy of an app.
- Camera+ - A bit more performance for the iPhone's camera.
Once you have reached the limitations of your equipment and tried to figure every way around it, think of what equipment that you may want to add to your gear list. Before you do, make sure you try before your buy. Online rental options out there are becoming more and more affordable, plus they ship you your equipment! This is especially convenient if you do not live in a major metro area.
At all the races I see people with:
- 2 - pro bodies $9000
- 2- pro lenes $4500
- 1- pro flash $1000
- 1- power pack $500
- TOTAL $15,000!
I say put all that away (it's bulky and hard to manage anyway) go with a aforementioned smaller body and single lens, look at the light and the subject that exists and capture it!
I am hanging some of my very large imagery at the new Carmichael Training Center in Santa Ynez and they are having a public grand opening, so come by, say hi and enjoy. More details about the opening can be found here.