© 2023 State Bicycle Co..
images & words by photographer Jeff Olsen (@jeffreymolsen)
We know all about the end of summer blues, but here in AZ the cooler temperatures mean better riding and frankly, we can't wait for Christmas. In the middle of May this year our team managed to escape the heat and jam Red Bull Ride+Style, the new Undefeated photo/video shoot, and an epic Mt. Diablo ride into a four day trip to San Francisco. Don your speedos and I'll take you back on some highlights for your final summer fix.
We arrived Friday afternoon in time to register for Ride+Style at Chrome.
Errbody got swag. (Steven Jensen)
Errbody got shoes.
Thomas, lemme see those shoes.
Then on to the MASH party. They had some great photographs, illustrations, and handsome people to look at.
Saturday was Ride+Style, with separate race and freestyle events. It's a fixed gear bike handling championship, not to mention the Super Bowl of FGFS.
Hern took the podium at 3rd for the race event and set the pace for a weekend of some of the hardest all-arounder riding I've ever seen.
The amount of talent in the freestyle competition surprised me from a sport I was a bit unaware of its breadth. This guy didn't podium but had the silkiest, most effortless finesse I saw out there.
Each traveling member of the team is mandatorily required to fulfill a daily digestive requirement we call "gut busted".
Sunday morning we shook off the donut hangover and got a relaxing start shooting motion and stills for the Undefeated at this badass location.
If you haven't seen Colin Arlen of Macaframa's video for the product release, now is a good time. It's a must see: http://vimeo.com/100533236
Colin deep in tha cuts
Thomas, be our sound guy?
From here, on the van hood the camera was mounted and Colin showed us how dangerous the Macaframa production gets. For those of you who liked the follow footage in the video, this is how close the camera has to chase to maintain frame. At 30-40mph speeds. Hern stand up.
Lunch break this late in the day was an appropriate opportunity to gut bust.
We gathered some more footage here by Sutro Tower, car mounted again, and headed to the beach.
Right as the sun dipped into twilight, we got our last shots of and I got lucky with some well placed headlights. We wrapped day 1 and gut busted.
Monday morning was a sunrise start on Washington St. where Hern bombed and climbed over and over
and over again.
With some steam left Hern rode to Portsmouth Square in Chinatown and we met him above Kearny St.
Some b+e to get that shot
This idea was about as great and bizarre as the park patron's gesture suggests in the background.
We had just a few riding shots left so Hern rode as fast as he could back to the hotel where he inevitably and deservingly gut busted.
I love this final riding shot because Hern looks like such a champion in the pain cave throwing down the last hammer.
With motion wrapped, you guessed it, taco time. I had some product only images to complete that afternoon, so it was humble gut bust. We began shooting in the Financial district before I got tipped off on a location I had to check out. The two gates of entry were unlocked and wide open. I was about halfway set up when the community center employee respectfully and urgently notified me of my trespassing. It was too good to be true to be that close to snap, so I began to beg.
He very skeptically agreed to let me stay and set a timer for 3min. I finished setting up and had the frame composed on a tripod. Then my camera's hotshoe failed. I frantically switched out camera bodies and in the sensitivity of time I snapped this one handheld. Thank you so, community center dude!
For last light we headed to Golden Gate Bridge and then to Lands End where I saw Sutro Baths for the first time.
Mehdi, lemme get a lighting test.
This image is one of my favorites of the trip and ended up as last month's wallpaper.
Russ was an invaluable assistant for the entirety of both shoot days and hammered in Broadway Tunnel for one last set of riding shots.
Tuesday morning came fast and too early. We had our bikes and bags packed and headed to Danville where the team was bent on climbing Mt. Diablo FIXED before the final stage of Amgen Tour of California. Now I'm not going to begin to writeup the badassery I witnessed from these guys because it deserves a blog post of its own, and it's forthcoming. I took like 69 water breaks, but the dudes all conquered gracefully. Here we are up top: (left to right) Russ LaFleur, Jeffrey Olsen, Mehdi Farsi, Jason Clary, Myles Morales, Thomas Keating, Hernan Montenegro, HaCheon Park
It was exactly as hot outside as Myles is photographed here.
Pretty cool seeing Mark Cavendish in the flesh
After the pros finished we had about 30min to descend, 30min to pack bikes up flight ready, 1hr to drive to SFO from Danville, and spoiler alert, we all made our flights. Here's a little pre-flight stressin.
When we finally got settled on the plane, local cyclist Mark Bibbey was ironically our SW pilot and announced to the plane that the State Bicycle team was gracing everyone's presence. I've never had first class pamper fest in the back of a plane, so thanks to Mark and Southwest for topping off a victorious, productive, and unforgettable visit to San Francisco. We can't wait to show you more of our adventures, and thanks for reading.