Dog Gone It. That was a Fun Ride!

 

Dog Gone It! That was a FUN Ride with the pups!

Over the past few weeks I have been meeting and documenting some pretty hardcore 4-legged friends that can seriously shred the gnar. I’ve watched them hop, run, walk, play, eat, and even steal doggie treats out of my camera bag.

In preparation for an upcoming article with Mountain Bike For Her I turned to social media to find my eager models (2 and 4 legged ones). Riding again with a furry friend made me think a lot of our family dog when we used to take her riding. How she loved it. And how I loved watching her gracefully clear fallen trees yet aggressively tackling a tight turn. I marvel at a dogs athleticism…and their ability to find the route of least resistance. I’ve always said that if you want to win a DH race follow your dog. It might not always make sense but it’s fast.

These action shots weren’t easy to get and I cannot wait to show you the rest once the summer issue of MTB4Her comes out. In other words, can’t release the ‘hounds’ just yet. Get it? Anyways, I’ve got some real beauties and am totally stoked at the results.

Thanks to my new furry and non-furry friends for making this real. Your exuberance is infectious. Let’s go ride again!!

Woof!

 

The Winter Blues Got You Down? Trying Riding. It’s a Bonafide Cure!

Winter. It’s cold and it’s beautiful. And just because there’s snow it shouldn’t mean you should stop riding.

The Bike:

For snow…fatter is better.

Honestly, I had no idea that fat-bikes were a game changer until I tried my friends’ Rick on a wet-snow kinda day. I was squirrely riding down on my regular mountain bike and barely making the uphills. The fatter tires in comparison gave me stability, control, traction and renewed confidence.

As much as I’d love to own my own fat-bike my bank account says otherwise. And I hate cheap, heavy equipment. Call me a snob but over the years I have gotten used to quality. So I rent. I found Flying Spirit Rentals based in Squamish, BC. They have high-end rentals. I can also rent bikes at the Whistler Olympic Park. They have both electric assist and non-assist bikes. And don’t think that having an e-bike is cheating. Riding in snow is just as hard regardless of your choice of weapon.

The Clothing:

I layer. And I usually have a big honking backpack with me to carry both my camera gear, food and extra clothes. I like to wear my ski helmet and goggles on colder days. I also find the goggles provide better protection on sunny days with a high UV factor and brightness from the snow.

For my feet I have a pair of 45NRTH Wölvhammer winter boots. They are equipped with Shimano SPD’s. And they rock. Warm, waterproof, rugged and built for cold, winter days. If I’m on flats I use a pair of warm, waterproof winter boots. While climbing clipless pedals make the job easier I also like the freedom of flats. On warmer days snow can also ice up rendering cleats useless.

On my face I always wear a balaclava. This is mostly because I’m a wimp to the cold and hate having chapped lips. But the main reason is to keep my cheeks warm so that the air entering my lungs has been warmed up slightly. For asthmatics this is important. Wheezing is not fun.

Finally, on my hands I alternate between a pair of Pearl Izumi Lobster Claws and a pair of Black Diamond gloves which are water resistant and windproof. In my bag I always carry an extra set of gloves as well as an extra pair of socks. Just in case.

The Fun-Factor:

The fun-factor is high. Very high. As is the sense of adventure and exploration. Skiing is fun too but the bicycle can take you places and it’s always an adventure. There are days when you can slice through powder and other days when the you get all squirrely. There are also crashes. But they usually don’t hurt.

So you see riding in winter doesn’t have to be scary. You just need to be prepared and have a positive attitude. Besides with a fat-bike you can ride anywhere you want, any time you want!

The Women of Crankworx 2016

© Cecile Gambin Photography

My focus at Crankworx Whistler was to bring light to all the girls and women out there ‘sending it’.

For some the term ‘sending it’ referred to hitting the big 70ft Crabapple jump and whipping it good. For others, it mean giving it their all for that one race.

But, in the big scheme of things ‘sending it’ is a shout-out to all the girls and women riders who were there to visit, to ride, to compete, to throw it down, to laugh and to have fun.

Keep an eye open for the Autumn issue of ‘Mountain Bike For Her’ with special articles and photos of Crankworx Whistler.

Cheers to the Women of Crankworx 2016!

© Cecile Gambin Photography
Ahead of the crowd during the children’s Criterium by the Olympic Village.
CGP 2016-32
Kathi Kuypers, of Trek Gravity Girls, was the only women rider competing in the Dual Slope Speed and Style.
CGP 2016-11
Tara Llanes ripping it up on A-Line about to grab some air during the Air Fox DH.
CGP 2016-16
Haley Smith of Norco Factory Racing bringing in the gold during the XC race held at Blackcomb.

© Cecile Gambin Photography

© Cecile Gambin Photography
Lalena Desautels transitioning from the medium jump line to the large jump line.
© Cecile Gambin Photography
Jonna Johnsen riding for Corsair Bikes in the right lane of the Dual Slalom.
Jill Kintner, Queen of the Mountain, racking up another win.
Jill Kintner, Queen of the Mountain, racking up another win.

Preserverence

@Cecile Gambin Photography

A feel-good blog today 🙂

Check out this little guy. He’s nine years old and riding technical trails. He didn’t get there overnight. I know as I’m his mother and I’ve watched him pedal, fall, stumble and try again.

Some days I know I need to sit back from an already hectic life and reflect. And I realise I can learn from that very same lesson that my nine year old has been learning from over the past few weeks.

It might take me a wee bit longer but eventually I realise that life is good, and that through preserverence I can achieve what I want.

Chasing the Mist with Karley

© Cecile Gambin PhotographyMy original plan was to go deep into the woods and grab some shots of Karley Cunningham of Big Bold Brand shredding the trails. When I saw clear blue skies dotted with dense fog I realised that capturing Karley ride down a rock face would have to wait. Instead…we drove up a mountain road in search of mist.

We stopped at a trail head which I didn’t know existed and had no idea what to expect except the light and conditions were epic – and that was good enough for me. Shooting in the swirling mist however quickly became one of my most difficult shoots as the light and mist were constantly changing forcing me to re-adjust my camera and flash continuously. And by this I mean by every 2-10 seconds. I’d bang off a couple of shots and mist would roll out only to have it come back in again. I must thank Elise, Karley’s wife and my assistant for the day for being there and helping me. She was my live tripod and sherpa which made moving around very easy. Thanks Elise!! Much appreciated 🙂

The photo above is my favourite shot of Karley. The light and the forest greens were magical. I was stoked to be able to showcase the North Shore’s tremendous beauty and technical riding areas.

© Cecile Gambin Photography

Once the fog lifted for good Karley, Elise and myself headed up the mountain and into the blue skies to bang off a few more shots. I’m looking forward to continuing our photo shoot as I still need Karley to ride that steep rock face and huck off one of the shores infamous drops so I can get those ‘live wire’ action shots. Thank you to Karley for this amazing opportunity. Had tons of fun chasing the mist and looking forward to our next outing!!© Cecile Gambin Photography

BC Bike Race 2014 Photos Stage 1

© Cecile Gambin Photography

CGP was on hand taking pictures of stage 1 of the BC Bike Race 2014 Photos early this morning. The infamous North Shore Trails played host to the first stage. To view event photos please click HERE.

Congrats to stage 1 winner Kris Sneddon riding for Kona and to all the competitors on this very hilly and challenging stage. Kudos to all the volunteers, to the organisers for a massive job well done as well as all NSMBA trail workers who logged in tons of hours to make sure the trails were fun, flowy, and safe.

I must say this was by far the easiest commute I’ve ever had to an event. I walked to the trails and walked out at the end of the morning. If only all my other events could be this close to home! My morning began at 8:00. An hour later, myself and my 50 lb bag reached Espresso via the following trails: St. Mary’s, Skid Row, Baden Powell and finally Espresso.

Thanks for looking and please share the link to the photos.

Cheers,

Cecile