When I was a kid this time of year was all about hope. Hope that GI Joe with Kung Fu grip would find his way under the tree and nothing knitted would accompany him. Joe is long gone but his haircut lives on.
Cycling is about hope. Hope that you'll stay healthy and keep the mileage up. This year I set my sights on 7,000 miles but there's no way I'm getting there now. With some good rides in December I should pass my 5,400 mile total from last year. Not too bad, considering I've done quite a bit more climbing.
I looked to photograph a lot of cycling in 2008. I managed two stages of the Tour of California, the ZTeam shoot, three local races including the Coastal Classic, there was Cross Vegas, Crit Nationals and the Cross Crusade in Portland. I'm still finding new ways to capture the energy and motion of cycling without freezing things to the point where riders appear to be track standing at 30 mph. Daniel, Brian, Dan and Chris's work for the Continental is an inspiration and of course, all the lensemen contributing to Rouleur. I'll have something to say about the 2008 Rouleur Photo Annual when I've had some quality time with this year's compendium.
I hoped to see some improvement in my stamina on long rides, and there I think I made lots of progress. The Occidental Continental ride back in February seems a very long time ago. This summer's Best Buddies Century was a highlight, one because of the PCH course and two because Brendan, Tim and Marcella were along. Developing a better understanding of hydration and electrolyte replacement was key. Not that I'm saying I've got it completely figured out yet.
So what's Rapha got to do with all this. Well, their sites and their people (every one of them I've had the good fortune to meet) have been enthusiastic advocates for cycling. They live to ride and hope we like the products they've crafted. They commute, they race and they build bicycles, but most importantly they embrace all of us who believe this sport, regardless of our capabilities, is open to all.
Last January I began Velodramatic with the thought that some of these cycling experiences were worth recording, for myself primarily, but it's been gratifying that many of you have come along for the ride. We all spend some time on Hope Street after all.