Once again I've been a bit lazy on keeping this blog up to date. I have been contributing to the Juan Pelota Cafe blog so be sure you follow them for everything coffee and bike related. So to keep everyone up to date on what's been going on, I've been working on a new road bike build. Yes you read that correctly, I'm finally getting a geared bike. What kind you might ask? A Cinelli of course. Once the build is complete, I'll submit a post dedicated to the new family member. I also have a new website up for all my photography so be sure you have a look because I've been adding new pictures on a weekly basis; or trying to at least. You can also become a fan of my photography if you're on Facebook. Last but not least it's getting close to the Livestrong Challenge so I will be sure to post more information about it the closer we get to October. If you're looking for a team to join or just want to donate to a great cause you can do so by visiting our team page Team Notorious C.O.G.'s
Thanks for visiting and please share the love!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
It would be impossible for me to try and sum up my entire 2010 SXSW experience in a single blog so I will try and break it down into Film/Interactive followed by music. SXSW for me means vacation and getting a chance to catch acts that I normally wouldn't see or acts that typically don't come through Texas. I made sure to take some time off before and after SXSW just to prep and recover. Badge and press pickup was on Thursday the day before SXSWi started. Upon arrival of the convention center I noticed the line was already long; to be expected, so I bust out the iPhone and check in with Foursquare and Gowalla to notice several others already checked in. It's official, SXSWi has started, let the games begin. Thursday night Mellow Johnny's had an event which consisted of free food, booze and indoor races on the bike trainer. What a perfect way to prep for SXSW week. Friday morning and every morning following consisted of me having breakfast at Juan Pelota cafe followed by a stroll through the Convention center. The first interactive panel I attended was the Battle Decks panel. This was basically a free form PowerPoint presentation in which contestants would have to MC to random slides they haven't seen yet. Hilarious to say the least. Friday afternoon Mellow Johnny's hosted an SXSWi event by Tweet House as well as a red carpet event/party later that evening. Upon waiting in line at Juan Pelota for some fuel I was asked by someone who I was shooting pictures for and if I wouldn't mind shooting pictures for the red carpet event that night, as well as a different one the following night. My response "seriously? I would love to!" After shooting pictures of some tech celebrities like Robert Scoble I noticed that Jamie-Lynn Sigler had arrived so I snapped several pictures of her and then made my way down to the Paramount for the Red Carpet premiere of the movie "Kick Ass" (note I took a pedicab to the Paramount and caught grief from my friends that work at the bike shop). I got to the event just in time and was able to snap several pictures of the red carpet event. Back to Mellow Johnny's for the red carpet party. Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it back to get pictures of Adrien Brody (sorry ladies) but I managed to have a great time at the party snapping pictures.
Saturday after my morning ritual I headed over to the Kickass panel with the cast, director and writer of the movie. This is where I met another shutter bug by the name of Erin Fotos (yes that's her real last name) we would basically have each others back for the rest of SXSW informing each other of all the events and saving each other seats at panels. On a side note I was a little nervous running into other shutter bugs being this was the first time I would be taking pictures at SXSW events. I must say everyone I met was extremely nice and gracious. We all sort of bonded and made sure we all had the chance to get "choice" pictures at events. Very cool I must say. On to the next red carpet event. The red carpet for Elektra Luxx with cast and director at Speakeasy. Upon arrival I find out I'm the ONLY photographer for the red carpet. The next couple of days and nights were pretty much the same routine, panels, discussions and heading back up north to catch some sleep before the next day started. I still had a couple of days before checking into my hotel downtown, which was well worth it.
Fast forward to the Lemmy movie premiere and Gowalla party sponsored by Livestrong. I had already been walking around all day trying to figure out what to do before the Gowalla party at 10pm. Feet don't fail me now. I decided I would swing by the Lemmy premiere to see if I could get pictures of the red carpet. I figured if I couldn't get pictures I would just go back to the shop and recharge both mentally and physically. Plus my phone could always use a charge. I got there just in time to see Lemmy's limousines roll up. I snap several pictures and wait for Lemmy to finish up his interviews so I could get pictures of him on the red carpet. I suddenly feel a tap on my shoulder, I turn around to see that it's Chris Martin (aka Madgods) and the Madgods bus behind me. I do a double take because the bus is decorated and setup specifically for the Lemmy and Motorhead's movie premiere and concert the following evening. After a couple of more pic's I hop on the bus and we roll out. I swear everyone must have wondered who the heck I was to get on that bus the way I did. Awesome! This is how you charge your cell phone! We stroll around town for a couple of hours and even had people knock on the door asking if Lemmy was inside. LOL. I asked Chris "hey do you mind dropping me off at the Belmont for the Gowalla party?" his response "sure that would be kind of baller!" Upon arriving at the Belmont I notice the line was as far as the eye could see. Chris says "don't you dare go to the end of that line after getting off this bus!" no way. I go talk to the door man and tell him I'm shooting for Mellow Johnny's and Livestrong and he escorts me to the VIP section and walk right in. SCORE! The place was packed! or as my friend would say "hipster sardines". I run into my friend Brooke as well as Doug Ulman from Livestrong just in time. They said they were about to set a record for the most Livestrong wristbands put on an individual and asked if I would take pictures. Of course I will! Talk about crazy, the first girl to set the record set it with 76 wristbands and the next broke it with 77 bands. I thought she was going to pass out! Talk about a great time. Livestrong sure does know how to throw a party! Oh and for everyone that checked into the Belmont for the party using Gowalla, $1 was donated to Livestrong. Read all about it on their blog. Photos by yours truly.
I must say one of the highlights of SXSWi was the panel with director Michel Gondry (director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). His panel was so inspiring. It was just by chance that I caught this too! Thanks Erin for the heads up! Hearing him speak about film making and what inspires him and how he gets ideas was incredible. You could just tell he's a true artist who has a passion for film and everything he does. I won't do it justice by recapping, you just had to be there.
Some other highlights of Interactive and Film were:
Jeffrey Tambors actors workshop (this is a MUST see if you attend SXSWi) Hilarious and inspiring.
Horror Film panel with directors (Robert Rodriquez, Neil Marshall, Ruben Fleisher, Matt Reeves)
I encourage you all to attend the interactive festival. It's getting better each year and the numbers keep growing. Numbers released last night for interactive attendance was over 14k! That's a 40% increase from 2009 and 1k more than the music attendance for this year. Crazy!
Pictures from this years SXSW can be located at my site:Chris Gomez Photography
100% of the proceeds will go to LAF.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Talk about a great weekend, it started with the Gary Fisher in store at Mellow Johnny's on Friday. I had the pleasure of shooting the event on Friday but my actual weekend started on Thursday. Thursday night was the benefit for Mariel Mentink at Shangri'la bar. If you're not familiar with Mariel's story please visit her site and donate if you can. I must say I'm quite proud of our biking community here in Austin. There were hundreds of people that showed up for the event including the one and only Gary Fisher. When I left there was a line around the block and this was from the 200 hundred people that showed up from the usual Thursday Night Social Ride. Friday nights event started at 7pm and Mellow Johnny's spared no expense when it came to the food and drinks (2 kegs of beer). The event started with an introduction of Gary Fisher followed by a Q&A with the University of Texas Cycling team. Gary shook each team members hand and greeted them as they walked up on stage. You could see the joy and excitement from the members from meeting this living legend. The team captains talked about what it meant to them for riding Gary Fisher bikes and how grateful they all were. Next up was Team San Jose and they offered the same sentiments when it came to riding such a beautiful piece of biking equipment. You could tell Gary was humbled by this. Next up was the man of the hour Gary Fisher. The next hour was a Q&A with the man himself and it was amazing hearing him tell life stories about cycling. Some of the topics included how he started his company from 2 people to becoming part of the Trek family. He talked about how he was banned from racing for having long hair in the 70's and how he quit the sport because he refused to cut his long hair. You could just hear the passion from each of his stories and how he truly loves cycling and how he wants to change the way people commute around the world. After the Q&A Gary proceeded to take pictures and sign autographs for everyone that was in line.
Saturday was the group ride with Gary that lead out of Mellow Johnny's at 9am. It just so happened that it's the same South East route that I normally do so I knew the route like the back of my hand. I decided that I would ride out early to get to certain spots to take pictures of the riders. I picked a nice spot just after McKinney Falls just as the riders would be approaching an "S" turn. After I snapped pictures of the riders I took off again and skipped the rest stop and went straight back to town and waited for the riders on the Congress bridge. Once the riders passed by we all met back at the shop where Gary continued to sign autographs and take pictures with his fans. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting him or hearing him speak be sure to soak it in. He's a living legend and a genuine human being. His passion for bikes and the biking community goes above and beyond. Gary it was a pleasure meeting you and talking to you this weekend. You're a class act and I look forward to hanging out with you again in the future.
"I want to shower the earth with bikes and I think we're getting there" - Gary Fisher
Pictures from the events can be found on my website: Chris Gomez Photography
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Well I finally decided to put together a website that would showcase my photography as well as give me the ability to sell the pictures. More on that shortly. I decided that I needed a better way to showcase my pictures instead of using Flickr and I also wanted to find a way to raise money for the LIVESTRONG foundation. I'm using Zenfolio to host my pictures and they give you, the buyer, the ability to purchase additional items such as frames and matting. They really do make things easy for the seller and buyer. A little bit about the way I have the site setup and what you can buy. I have 6 different galleries which are pretty self explanatory but I'll break them down for you. "Mellow Johnny's Events" these are pictures from all of the MJ events from 2009 and 2010. "Bikes" these are, you guessed it, pictures of my pride and joy. "Austin" these are pictures from all around Austin. "Sports" are random pictures from sporting events in Austin. "Music" contains pictures from Austin music events, specifically DJ and SXSW events. "Pets" are pictures of my spoiled dogs. All of the pictures are available in the following sizes: 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10" and 11" x 14" additional items that you can purchase with the pictures are frames and or mounts. Framing and mounting options are: Single Weight Backboard, Black Flat Frame, Black Rounded Frame, Black Curved Frame, and Silver Metal Frame.
Now that you know about the galleries and purchasing items; know that 100% of the proceeds for these items will go to the LIVESTRONG foundation for all of 2010. Yes, that's correct ALL of the proceeds will go to LIVESTRONG. So not only will you be purchasing 1 of kind photos from yours truly but you will also be doing something good as well as contributing to a cause I'm extremely passionate about.
Thanks for visiting and please spread the word.
New website: Chris Gomez Photography
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
As my friend Chris Klassen said "you know SXSW is around the corner when the Levi's Faderfort is being built". Yes folks SXSW is almost upon us and if you missed out last year I sure hope you can make it this year. Recently SXSW seems to improve each year; for me at least. The interactive festival is getting better each year and last year was no exception. If you have never been to Austin (shame on you) and if you're a fan of music, movies and all things geeky, then SXSW is for you! It's a week long party and starts with the film festival. There's a couple of options when it comes to attending SXSW. There's the badge route and depending on which badge you purchase it will basically gives you 1st access to everything. If a badge is not for you then there's the music wristband which will give you access to all of the music shows after people with badges get access. Then there's of course the free day shows and parties. Be sure you check Showlist Austin for information about the free shows/parties the closer we get to SXSW. You can enjoy yourself without even having to purchase a badge or wristband! Then there's the Levi's Faderfort event which is a free wristband for their events ONLY and you have to RSVP for the wristband. Last year everything at the Faderfort was free! music, beer & booze! I must say I probably should have spent more time there but then again it was probably a good thing that I didn't. I will try and recap last years SXSW experience just to give you an idea of the madness which is SXSW.
Last year I had an incredible time. It started with the night parties days before SXSW. Mel as always killed it at Beauty Bar and had the entire club dancing all night long. Game on SXSW, let's do this! I only had a music wristband last year but I definitely got my moneys worth. I started my mornings off at 10am to hang out at the convention center and then from there we hit all of the day shows including the Levi's Faderfort events. We were running all over the place hitting up clubs to catch acts. I think I saw about 10 acts a day and then a handful at night. A good majority of the free day shows had free food and booze but by the time we got there the free stuff was gone. SAVAGES! The evenings consisted of meeting up at Wahoo's for dinner and to go over the game plan for the evening. For those of you new to SXSW make sure you put together a list of the acts you want to see and take note of where they're playing. You can easily waste a lot of time going back and forth from venue to venue so make your choices wisely and wear some comfortable shoes!
One of the highlights from last year were the free Gigacrate events. Local DJ legends: DJ Nick Nack and DJ Xman put on 2 nights of free Gigacrate events at club Beso. They brought in 2 living legends in the DJ world: DJ Craze and DJ Klever. Both of them absolutely murdered it during their sets. The club was insane that night. If you're into or in need of some hip hop be sure to check out their free events this year. Be sure you RSVP this year because it fills up quick.
You couldn't ask for better weather last year, the highs were in the 70's and the lows were in the 50's. I had so much fun last year, (even though I missed the free Metallica show at Stubb's) from the free events and parties, to catching Silversun Pickups at Antone's, to meeting Danny McBride at Sidebar, to catching Echo and the Bunnymen's free show at the convention center, Skratch Karnival and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Oh and let's not forget SXSW falls on the same week of March Madness!
I look forward to this years SXSW and I will be updating the blog with all of the activities from the week. I have a feeling it's going to be just as fun/insane as last year. I look forward to the movie premiere of Kickass as well as hanging out at the Levi's Faderfort again. If you're in town for SXSW be sure to look me up. I'm sure I'll be starting my mornings off at Juan Pelota Cafe to get fueled up for the day. Oh yeah and be sure to smile for the camera.
SXSW 2010 bring it! (28 days and counting!! ZOMG)
Links to last years SXSW pictures can be found on my website:
Chris Gomez Photography
Monday, February 15, 2010
I plan on updating this blog more often for 2010. I slacked off quite a bit towards the end of 2009 but I plan on updating this with more bike info as well as SXSW 2010 updates. I'm also writing for Juan Pelota Cafe at their blog so be sure you add that to your favorites, especially if you're a fan of coffee and a Lance fan. Last but not least I'm now the events photographer for Mellow Johnny's so expect to see more blog postings regarding their events.
On Sunday (Valentines Day and Chinese New Year; yay Year of the Tiger!) I had the pleasure of shooting pictures for the Mellow Johnny's Sweetheart post ride. If you have ever lived in Texas then you're probably familiar with the phrase "if you don't like the weather just give it a minute" That was definitely the case on Sunday. Sunday was absolutely beautiful, the high for the day was in the upper 60's but I knew that wouldn't last long. We had a cold front coming through but no one knew exactly when. Unfortunately it blew through during the Mellow Johnny's Sweetheart ride and a good majority of the riders went home after the ride was cut short.
Here's a link to the pictures I took after the ride. We all had a great time and enjoyed some nice hot chocolate, champagne, massages, and strawberries with chocolate.
The next event I will be shooting will be the Gary Fisher in store at Mellow Johnny's.
Chris Gomez Photography
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The Wurst Ride if you're not familiar with it consists of a 100k ride from Austin to New Braunfels and riders are rewarded with free bratwurst and beer at the finish line. Sign me up please! My training really hasn't stopped since the Livestrong Challenge so I figured I would sign up for this ride as well. My weekends typically consist of a long ride ranging from 40-50 miles so a 61 miler shouldn't be all that bad. My co-worker Jeff Grant informed me that he would be doing the ride as well so we planned on dropping his car off the day before and I would follow him and give him a ride home. As we get into New Braunfels we pull over and try to find where the actual event finish line was at. Note, the map that was provided online was horrible. Something for the event planners to consider next year are: a. better maps to the venue with an actual physical address and b. better maps to the finish line for all of the riders. More on that later. Once we figure out where the finish line is at we look for a place to park Jeff's car. We found a nice little neighborhood just by the event so we parked the car and headed off for some carb loading at the local Johnny Carinos. As we arrive to Austin we decided that I would meet him at his place in the morning so I could park my car at his house and we would ride to the start line. The start line was only about 6 miles from his house so it would be the perfect warm up for the 100k ride.
Saturday morning I'm up bright and early getting things ready. I made sure I packed some light snacks so I could eat during the ride and not have to stop at the rest stops. The drive over to Jeff's was pretty quick but one thing I noticed was that there was some light fog, so I wasn't for sure if it was going to clear up for the ride or not. Not that big of a deal, I dressed in layers and I'm used to riding in the dark anyway. I also noticed that APD was in full force early in the morning. I spotted 10 cars pulled over by APD from north Austin to Central Austin! I guess it was end of the quarter for them or something. We make our way out and head towards the event at around 6:45am and it was exactly 6 miles to the event. Nothing like a quick warm up ride to get the blood going and legs fired up. Jeff informed me that he was going to try and do the ride as fast as he could. I told him that I would try and hang on as long as I could but I would be limited to my speed since I was rocking the fixed gear. Let's do this! Upon arriving to the event we notice the parking lot is full and we head over towards the event tents. Jeff said he was having some issues shifting and turns out he had a broken link on his chain so he got hooked up with a free chain! Now we're officially ready. The ride started about 15 minutes late due to safety reasons; the roads were still a little slick from the fog. So approximately at 8:30 we head off. Sure enough Jeff and another co-worker head out pretty fast and to avoid all of the clutter at the beginning, I take off to. We were averaging about 23 mph for the first 6 miles or so. Also within the first 6 miles was the first wreck and it was a doozy. Just before the wreck I heard the police escort coming up. I couldn't tell exactly what happened but I noticed everyone slowing down all of a sudden and I noticed about 3 bikers on the ground including the policeman and his motorcycle. His motorcycle was flipped over and up against this wall. Fortunately no one was seriously injured and we all continued on with the ride. This detour split me up from Jeff and the front group, so I knew there was no way I was going to catch up to them. No problem I got my music to keep me company and 56 more miles of a relatively flat ride; somewhat that is.
Being that I was riding a fixed gear I don't have the luxury of shifting through gears whenever a climb approaches but again it's not that big of a deal because this ride isn't all that hilly. Just a couple of rolling hills with a couple of climbs. Throughout the ride I keep reminding myself to drink because it's relatively cool outside and I tend to forget to drink during these types of conditions. I also try and keep my pace around the 18-21 mph range. I figure if I could hold this for 50 miles I should be able to hold it for 62. Throughout the ride I get several nods from other bikers about me riding fixed. The ride was really nice because it was all new territory and there was hardly any traffic on the road for the entire ride except for when we got into New Braunfels. I started to get a headache around mile 40 and it was really starting to bother me. Even chewing was beginning to be quite painful. I had no idea what it was but I continued on. 20 miles left and my head is absolutely killing me, basically to the point to where I just want to throw my helmet off and just lay my head down. I make a slight adjustment to my helmet and all of a sudden it was like a valve was released in my head. I had my helmet adjusted too tight and it was pushing up against my sunglasses and the beanie I was wearing underneath. LOL! I pick up the pace and decide I was going to go all out for the last 10 miles. As we enter into New Braunfels I notice everyone has the same expression on their faces. "Are we even going the right way?" No one had seen a sign indicating the way to go in quite some time, so I was just praying we were going the right way. I could just smell that free beer waiting for me by now! We continue forward and I recognize the road from the day before and tell the group that's with me that we're on the right path. As we approach the park we still don't see any signs whatsoever indicating where to turn off. We see a lady sitting by a service entrance and she says "just go straight" Well that didn't help because we approach a park and it wasn't the finish line. After about 5 minutes of riding through the neighborhood we see a sign for the finish line. Yes! Finally!!! I cross the finish line in 3 hours and 20 minutes, not bad considering I only had 1 gear. I head to the back and meet up with Jeff. He informs me that he was one of the first 4 to finish! "Wow! You were hammering it dude!" he said they got to the finish line and they didn't even have the food or beer ready. Awesome.
We talked about the ride and I told him all about the early wreck. I looked at my bike pedometer and sure enough I averaged 18mph for the ride. Nice! My legs felt great and so did my head. Bring on the free food and beer! We grab our food and beer and just relax at the indoor tables. After we finished we decided to head back because the food and beer line was insane now. As I was getting my stuff ready I hear someone in the line say "Hey I recognize your bike from Twitter! it's signed by Lance right?" I said "Thanks! yes it is" and I move over so he could see it. At this point everyone was looking at the bike by now. We had a conversation about the ride in which we both agreed that I was nuts for doing both the Livestrong Challenge and this ride on a fixed gear. We head out and make our way back to Jeff's car and pack things up. During the ride back to Austin Jeff and I discuss our plans for putting together a team for next years Livestrong Challenge. The goal is to get as many people on a team and have custom kits, bibs and shirts made so we can start training in the new gear. We figure with a team we could raise more money than if we tried to do it individually. We discuss some ideas for a team name and the name that's at the top of the list right now is "The Notorious C.O.G's" Ha! Jeff loves it.
There you have it, my first Wurst ride on the new MASH fixed gear. If you have never done the ride before I highly recommend it. It's for all riding levels and it's such a fun ride. Oh yeah did I mention free food and beer at the end? What more could you ask for?