Thursday, November 30, 2006

Marty who?

I know, I've neglected this thing so long that I probably haven't a reader left! But this time of year, with a back injury keeping me from doing much of anything, I had nothing to say; I was too busy taking rides in the Whaaambulance.

Before hurting myself, however, I did some great fall rides. Here's the view from a wonderful solo jaunt in Nederland:

Then the next day I did Kenosha Pass with a group of friends. I had never ridden that trail before, and I gotta say, it rocks!! Fun, challenging riding with incredible views.

The big news is that I changed race teams in a last-minute, nerve-wracking decision. I'm leaving Blue Sky Velo, in spite of the fact that I LOVE the shop and its fantastic owners, because I really, really, want to be on a true mountain bike team. So I will be joining the black-white-and-teal camoflage clan on the Sports Garage Team.

Not pictured are the 15 women on the team -- sweet! It sounds like a great group of people, very close-knit. They all train together, travel to the races together, etc. And every member is required to host a meeting or social event throughout the year. It sounds awesome! Plus it's a Boulder team, so it will be easier to ride with these folks than the Longmont crowd.

I did have a few cool assignments recently, as well...In anticipation of the Dalai Lama's visit, I drove to the Great Stupa, deep in the mountains above Fort Collins, and took pictures of the workers getting ready. The Stupa is a Buddhist shrine, usually a place that contains the ashes of a revered figure in the religion.

Here's the Stupa:

Here's one of the founders of the place, preparing the two-story Buddha for its coating of paint, which is traditionally a vibrant gold:

This was really an enjoyable assignment. It was tremendously peaceful there, and everyone was so friendly and mellow. When I had filled all my digital media, I took a walk in the trees, and accepted an offer for lunch. I like it when I can settle in and really immerse myself in what I'm shooting. Unfortunately, I didn't get to photograph the great man himself (I had the pleasure of photographing him some years ago, though), which bummed me out. Here's Cliff's photo of him arriving to consecrate the Stupa:

I worked on a story about an old part of Louisville that the city council almost designated a blighted area so they could bulldoze everything and bring in a bunch of crappy retail. I had to find people in the neighborhood...

Not only does this guy sport the sexy mullet, he had on - no joke - these skin-tight short-shorts. Yes, WITH the leather jacket. I had to spare the readers that extra detail.

There's also this photo from a parade in Louisville:

So I haven't been a complete slacker...even though I lost a couple weeks of my life in the black hole known as "Shogun." What a great book!! I loved it. It was such a vivid portrayal of medieval Japan that I felt like my real life was a dull dream. I was even hearing Japanese spoken in my head. "Wakarimasu ka?" (Do you understand?)

I was so psyched with it that I bought "Tai-Pan," the writer's next novel, but mentally, I'm not ready to leave those characters just yet. And of course, all this is distracting me from my own writing. But, I've got plenty of dark winter nights at the coffee shop ahead, right?