Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Race for the Ridge Trail Festival 2011

Another great festival has came and gone. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, the trails conditions faster, and the times any better. There was a good turnout for all four of the festival's events. On Saturday October 8th, the festival started off at 9am with the grueling cross country race. The collegiate A and citizen expert classes endured three tough laps with some tight switchbacks, some great single track, and a bunch of climbing. If you know the Arcata Community Forest trails well enough then the #6 switchbacks mean something to you. This is where I posted up for a few hours to photograph the racers battle out the tight, steep corners.

Kevin Johnson tackles the tough switchbacks on #6 at the 2011 Ridge Festival

The short track cross country event started at 2:30pm on the same day. As the name implies it is a much shorter version of the cross country event and a bit more technical. The event took place right in Redwood Park at the base of the community forest. Racers battled out for 20-30 minutes depending on their class, and proved their ability on both the flats and the technical sections. I also photographed the short track race hiding in the ferns in the technical section.

Jason Hayes pushing pedals during the short track race.

The SuperD and Downhill events took place Sunday at Tish Tang near Willow Creek, CA. Riders came out with their squishy bikes and battle armor for a chance to be gravity king or queen.

Kent Johnson blasting over a drop in the downhill race on Sunday to take first in his category.

To check out all the photos from each of the events go to jmbarnesphoto.com.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Community Forest Trail #19

Was inspired by an old friends new album, so I took a break and went out to shoot some video in the local Community Forest. There's not a ton of riding there, but some very beautiful and flowy single track that I can't complain about. I mean, who can complain when there's riding right outside your door? Not me.

Thanks Travis from Leave Let Be for letting me use "Cold House" for the soundtrack and for James for letting me borrow the Sony Cam. Sorry, I'll get it back to you soon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

2011 Ridge Trail Festival Coming Soon

Back for the second year the Ridge Trail Festival mountain bike event will prove to be another awesome event. Both a collegiate points race and an open community race, the Festival will offer a grueling XC route, a fast flowy Super D route, a stomach churning short track route, and even a full on Downhill event. Photos from last year can be seen and purchased here. I'm still undecided on whether I'll race the XC again, but I'll definitely be photographing all other events I'm not racing.

Check out information about the 2011 Ridge Trail Festival here. The event will again be in the community forest in Redwood Park in Arcata on October 8-9. Direct your questions toward Kirk Cohune at kcohune AT gmail.com.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I've recently been honored with the key to China. For those of you that don't get out very often, China is a country in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, with a total size of 9,596,961 sq km. which is just slightly smaller than the U.S. and the fourth largest on Earth. Wow, that's big. China has an extremely diverse climate, and a terrain of mostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in east. But be careful, there are frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts), damaging floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, and land subsidence. For more information about China you can visit our friendly CIA website on them.

I could spare the key for a little while so if you're interested in borrowing it please let me know.

Best of Humboldt

Once again the North Coast Journal is putting on their annual Best of Humboldt shakedown where every vote counts, and everything can be voted for. Got a favorite bar, restaurant, or newspaper let them know. You can find the survey in the local newspaper form, or go here for the digital version.

Be sure to be legit as, "Each ballot will be put through an exhaustive 12-step legitimacy verification process — it involves lasers, trained German shepherds and multiple cases of Pabst. We reserve the right to reject any ballots that smell fishy, either figuratively or literally. In short, don’t be that person. Trust democracy."

Have fun and get your vote in by September something.

Monday, July 25, 2011

BMC Cascade Cycling Classic 2011

I had the chance for the second year in a row to head up to Bend during the Cascade Classic stage race. For race information please visit the race website here. Although it's a six day race (including prolouge), I only got to see Saturday's stage of the downtown Bend crit, which by all affairs is the best spectator stage of the race. The weather was perfect and the race was fast with the pro mens' pulling in about 2 minute lap times. I managed to pull the trigger a few hundred times on the nikon, so maybe that pro friend of yours who gave you a kick down on those zipp wheels could get an 8x10 for their birthday. To view the full gallery go here. A few teasers below.

Contemplating the sharp corner.

When blasting away and the madness a few lucky surprises find their way onto the card. I really liked this one.

The ol' grunt play.

It was hot enough for white skin suits. No water needed for this contest.

This guy apparently thought it was a triathlon.

All red, white, and blue for Garmin.

#9 laying it low.

This guy was actually racing to the WBMC.

My full criterium gallery can be viewed here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Baseball and Fireworks

I can't think of much more American than the two. Well perhaps beside traveling to a Waffle House in your thunderbird with t-tops, which isn't the best car to take to a fireworks show. Spending most of my time in California living in the woods and in the Humboldt Bubble in NorCal, I've never really been impressed with any boom show I've seen in Cali anyway. Nothing like back in the Midwest where places like the Battle Creek Air Show and surprising the Negaunee, Michgian fireworks show which is one of the best fireshows in the sky I've seen.

Despite the lack of pyrotechnic impressiveness in Northern California, there's not much more American than a bunch of friends with a whiffle ball and bat, a flag cake, some great craft brew, homemade vegi burgers, a hula-hoop, and some sparklers.

Pledge to the flag cake.

Scott demolishing one of the whiffle balls.

Squat style.

Light painting with sparklers.

When a hula-hoop and sparklers collide.

Freedom baby!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kinetic Grand Championship 2011

Memorial Day weekend has again came and gone with another spectacular episode of the Kinetic Grand Championship (formerly Kinetic Sculpture Race) in Humboldt County. Thousands of spectators from near and far arrived in Arcata, Eureka, and Ferndale to witness kinetic sculptures of all shapes, sizes, and genres compete in this years race. Despite the high winds on all three days, the weather held up rather nicely for both the racers and the observers. Day one took the riders from the Arcata Plaza, through the Arcata Bottoms, over to the Manilla Dunes, and finally to Halverson Park in Eureka. Day two, the racers braved the cold and windy conditions of Humboldt Bay, many of which struggled successfully in the wavy conditions, while others left their shame behind and received assistance to the takeout point. Once back on the road they pedaled, pushed, and hopped their way to Cannibal Island near Loleta. Day three the racers were originally supposed to cross the mouth of the Eel River, but again due to strong winds and dangerous conditions most took the alternate route into Ferndale where thousands were eagerly waiting their arrival.

Day 1 the weather was glorious as we stood watch along Jackson Ranch Road.

Sculptures with all kinds of functionality made their way past us. This one used an eccentric wheel that was propelled by bouncing on a platform.

Day two was hard for most while others had no qualms. This WASA sculpture cruised along without a hitch in Humboldt Bay.

All kinds of spectators showed up to watch us and the bizarre sculptures.

Despite a bit of drama dealing with registration requirements, the High Schoolers sculpture shoved on.

These flags show just how windy it was out on the bay Sunday.

On Monday, the sculptures and their entourage make thier way down Main Street in downtown Ferndale.

And chances to win a Fat Tire cruiser.

This is one way to beat those high gas prices. Over 40 miles on a unicycle is rather honorable.


This is just a few samples from the race. Many more photographs can be viewed and purchased from this year's race here at jmbarnesphoto.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tour of Unknown Coast 2011

Another successful Tour of the Unknown Coast has came and went with hundreds of riders from all over the nation. An unfortunate hectic semester had tremendous impacts on my ability to train/ride so I opted out of a shorter ride for photographing the hammerheads on the century. At first I was feeling a touch sentimental when all the riders started lining up before 7am last Saturday, but by the time I hit "The Wall" and watched those who had been training suffer, I knew I was having just as much fun enjoying the beautiful day and documenting the masochism in front of me. It was much easier chasing them on the KLR.

It was a sea of green Adventure's Edge jerseys at the starting line for the 2001 TUC.

It was mostly tight packs of riders for the first 10 miles or so coming out of the start and heading into Rio Dell.

The Avenue of the Giants was still dark (as usual) at 8:26 am. I had to bust out the strobe to catch the quickly moving front pack. Unfortunately the flash mount I had on the KLR came off somewhere on the endless hills scaring a rider coming around a blind corner. Luckily Bruce of Ferndale was nice enough to find its owner (me), and my sincere apologies to the rider getting a scare. A free photo for you two if you hunt me down.

#326 from Bellingham, Washington was the speed demon for the day. He broke away from the lead group early on. Here he was starting the climb up Panther Gap solo.

This threesome road strong and consistent all day. Although they never caught the solo lead guy, they would all finish very strong at the end of the day.

Matt Deshazo was also riding strong all day. An unfortunate chain issue at the top of the endless hills determined his higher place finish. "It's unfortunate, but I know how I would have finished," was Matt's response. Very true.

Trying to change up the typical TUC photos (many people hang out all day at The Wall), I headed over the windy, twisting roads of the infamous Endless Hills. I was reminded of how it almost drove me to hysteria last year as it really did seem to be endless.

The sinuous roads climb endlessly away from the still visible coast.

A rider pedals along a ridge where a section of the route can be seen in the background.

Beyond the endless hills the fog rolled in thick as a rider squeezes out his last reserves of energy for the last 5 miles.

Select photographs of the event can be seen here at jmbarnesphoto.com. To purchase photos please visit my events gallery at jmbarnesphoto.com/events.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Humboldt State Fencing Tournament

Today at approximately 12:30pm the Humboldt State University Fencing Club hosted a fencing event at the Lumberjack Stadium on campus. Although a rather small event, there were teams representing from as far as New York. The tournament lasted approximately two hours with demonstrations given at the beginning for those of us uneducated in the rules of fencing. I did get a chance to take a few photos, unfortunately viewers had to stay in their seats and flash photography was not allowed.

A participant getting foiled at the HSU Fencing tournament on Sunday.

Fencers at the HSU Tournament in the Lumberjack Arena on Sunday.

Fencers preparing to duel at the HSU Fencing tournament on Sunday.

Things get foiley at the HSU fencing tournament on Sunday.

Participants receiving medals at the HSU fencing tournament on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thousands Attend HSU Budget Rally

There was more than clouds brewing today around Arcata, particularly at Humboldt State University. Today at noon thousands gathered at the Humboldt State University library to protest the proposed state wide CSU budget cuts. Members of the California Faculty Association, the Associated Students, and hordes of concerned students attended to let known their concerns for the cuts.

I got a chance to interview one of those concerned students, James Bruce, who personally went into classrooms during the last couple weeks to let students know that their presence was important. Here is what James had to say about the protest.

The rally was put on by the California faculty association (teacher's union) (CFA), the Associated Students (AS) and several concerned students. There is already a $500 million dollar budget cut that will happen for the entire CSU system. There is an additional $500 million dollar budget cut that is purposed, totaling a billion dollar cut. To put this into perspective: the entire CSU annual operating budget is just over four billion, approximately 25% could be cut. Humboldt State University's annual budget: just over 100 million. This includes faculty, buildings, lights etc. The budget cut that has already passed is equivalent to five whole HSU campuses. The billion dollar cut will be the same as getting rid of 10 HSU campuses, and it even gets worse: the entire statewide system consists of 23 campuses (granted, each of the campuses have different budgets, but this is to put the cuts into perspective).

In 1960 the California master plan for education established the CSU system to tailor to the top 12.9% of high school students. The CSU system was to cater to 33% of the high school students who qualify. The rest of the California population was supposed to have a community college available to them. The California constitution specifically states that higher education is supposed to be free and accessible (see California constitution article IX section 5. or read the justification for Article 1 sec 7.a. or Article 1 sec 28.7.)

All the while tuition has increased 242% since 2002 for students while the CSU chancellor and the HSU president have been granted a 77% salary increase. Further, in many speeches made by chancellor Reed to 'business round tables' he has explicitly said on numerous occasions, "What can we, the CSU, do for you [corporations]?" (see either 'business roundtable' 1999, or 'South Bay Business Roundtable', 2001, or any of the other speeches from chancellor Reed at : http://www.calstate.edu/executive/speeches/archive.shtml
The message is clear: the CSU academic curriculum will be catered to business interests. Education is no longer essential to have a civic minded, critically thinking society, it is no longer essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people. It is to turn students into workers.

At every single CSU across California, students rallied, walked out of classes, some faculty canceled classes, teacher's unions gave speeches, songs were sung and state representative information was given out. People are pissed

I personally went to about twenty classes to ensure that students were aware of the massive budget cuts, how it will effect them and when the rally was. The one single question that i was asked at every single turn was 'what is one protest going to do?'
My response was to ask them if they understood that our system is not a democracy, it is a republic. In a republic, representatives are supposed to do what you tell them to do. When have you told your representative what to do? And a protest is simply the first step.

Below are a few photos from the rally. The whole gallery will be up shortly and can be seen here.

Union songs were sung to as protesters gathered around the HSU Library at noon today

Arcata Mayor Susan Ornelas even gave a speech during the rally.

Thousands of protects attended the rally today to express their concerns about the proposed budget cuts to the CSU.

Protesters representing many different organizations, but came with the same message.

After the rally speeches, a march began around the campus.

Protesters express their concerns of the CSU budget cuts during a march on HSU campus.

The full rally gallery can be seen here.
Rally Panorama 1 here.
Rally Panorama 2 here.