Shimano GP round 4: Mt Stromlo

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The continuing series of this year’s Shimano GP took place over the weekend with round 4 at Canberra.  The day dawned chilly but not frosty like the previous weekend’s Rollercoaster. After a short pre-race briefing the race got off to a start under the cloudy skies of Mt Stromlo Forest Park.

Gil and I started off shooting around the start the Gil drove to the top of the hill and headed out along the skyline track. I started at the bottom as I wanted to shoot among some of the beautiful wattle that was in bloom down there before the sun burnt through the clouds and made the light too harsh. Unfortunately this meant that all up my day was spent walking uphill and shooting riders as they came uphill. As it was the soft cloudy light stuck around for most of the day.  Over the rest of the day we made the most of the soft light shooting in the trees but still trying to mix up the shots as best as we could to get a good variation of shots. There is some great views around the track which makes Stromlo one of our favourites to shoot.

One racer made my day when she brought me up a cup of coffee, Dalene you are a legend!!!! At the end of the day I ended up at Echidna Pass near the start of Rollercoaster. As luck would have it both Gil and I finished up in about the same area which meant I got a lift back down the hill.

You can visit the full gallery and check out the photos here. Remember if you raced over the weekend you can download your images for free thanks to the folks over at Shimano, just send us a message and we shall check you off the list and throw you the password.

To check out the full results swing over to the Rocky Trail website where they have them all listed

 

Mt. Stromlo, the Series finale

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This time it was back to Stromlo in Canberra for the series finishing round of Rocky Trail Entertainment’s Fox Rollercoaster.

With three tracks running the Rollercoaster covered a large section of Mt Stromlo. We went on the Friday so we could be there bright and breezy for a track walk and location scout. Saturday was practice runs at Stromlo. Gil and I decided that we would both cover the vapor trail or, as it was known on race day, the Camelbak Track. We have both shot the Luge to death in previous events and the other trail was the most technically demanding. Gil took to the top half of the Vapor Trail while I explored the lower half. I was quite keen on getting a few shots of the big wallrides in action plus we were just doing a bit of recon for shooting locations on race day. Not nearly as many people were hitting the wallrides as I had expected but I did manage to get a couple of shots. With locations scouted I started on my way back down heading via a field where I knew the kangaroos gathered and snapped a few shots.

Early Sunday morning and apparently the temperatures hit a chilly -4 so it was a rather frosty morning. Race day all went smoothly. Gil and I shot at the locations we had scouted the day before. Gil got some great shots of a drop up top while I shot lower down on a berm I knew of. I even managed to get a few more sneaky wallride shots.

Being the final race of the season the podiums included the series winners. A huge congratulation to all those place-getters and an even bigger one to Michael Vanos and Vanessa Thompson who won the male and female elite series. You can, as always see the full results on the Rocky Trail website here. All the images are available for viewing on our website here and don’t forget to download your shots if you raced on the day.

Gil and I would like to pass on our heartiest thank you to all those involved for making the series as wonderful as it was. Obviously top of the list is Martin and Juliana of Rocky Trail Entertainment without whom we wouldn’t have a series in the first place. To the fine folks at Fox racing and Camelbak for sponsoring all the races. It was with their support that we were able to supply you with all the photos over the season. To all those that care and maintain the great tracks that the races are run upon and of course to all the competitors who are the soul of the series and who make each event so much fun.

So thank you one and all and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.

Richard and Gil

 

AMB 100 Marathon

AMB 100, Mt. Stromlo 2015

Under a hot Canberra sun last weekend the AMB 100 took place at Mount Stromlo Forest Park. Things got underway with the 31 ‘100 milers’ leaving the gate at an early 5am.  A few hours later after a lovely sunrise the rest of the pack got to hit the trail as well in their chosen length of 100kms, 66kms or 33kms.

The day warmed quickly with temperatures up into the high 30’s (for some reason it always feels a good 5C hotter at Mt Stromlo). Red faces on some of the competitors showed that the heat was taking its toll on some, others however just seemed to shrug it off.

Gil took his camera and headed out to the back of the track, an area that is not often used for races (at least with Rocky Trail’s series). I stayed on the front-side and covered a new section of downhill with twists and turns with a few little drops thrown in for good measure.

It was a long day on the mountain but as so often is the case with the Rocky Trail series it was a great day on the mountain.

Full results can be found on Rocky Trail Entertainment’s website here

All the race images can be found in their galleries here

 

 

Rocky Trailers, we thank you.

Rocky Trailers

Rocky Trailers

Faster and faster we go, another year another series done but with all the memories experienced and captured in this years Rocky Trail Entertainment Shimano MTB GP we can hardly wait until 2015.  Its been quite an experience getting to know every twist and turn of this series and the faces that appear out of the dust, mud spattered and grinning ear to ear.  We have seen some funny moments, some crashes and some low-sugar survival mode zombies but a lap later that zombie is gone replaced with the determined, powering “Rocky-Trailer” we have come to know by so many names.

Martin, Juliane, Graham, Charlie, Max, Peter, Nigel, Chris, Paris, James, Callum, Andrew, Kirby, Ed, Eliza, Jamie, Wendy, Sara, Laura, Michael, Kevin, Spencer, Grantley, Jo, Jackson, Michal, Ondrej……. the list is endless.

For us its not about who is the fittest, who had the fastest lap or who beat who we will leave that up to the athletes.  It is all about being there in the dust, in the scorching sun supplying the local Culicidae with a fresh supply of blood just so we can say yes we saw that, we got it and now you can relive that moment too. We love photographing these amazing locations with the unique terrain and lighting conditions on offer from the sunny vineyards of James Estate, the dark forests of Ourimbah and Awaba to the relentless rocks of Stromlo.  Every round we push ourselves to find new images on tracks that are truly etched into your riding-psyche not settling on the first corner, first jump or closest rock, we hope we have achieved that for you.

What we didn’t plan on was the friendships we made along the way, between ourselves and with everyone we have had the time to stop and talk to while working the angles, looking for the right moment and after all the racing is done.  We want to thank you all who make our job easier and have a little fun out on the course for our benefit.    Its people like Nigel Jefferys and his wonderful ability to pull a wheelie, “Very entertaining Nigel :)”  Peter Selkrig being one of our “time to move to new location” counters with his fluro-kit.  “Thanks Peter we look forward to 2015 colours.”  Eliza Kwan and her energizer-bunny style and smile, “Thanks Eliza we cannot help but smile back.”

 

If you raced at this years series a big congratulations and thank you for your support, we would love to hear any feedback of any kind on what you feel would make 2015 even better yet.  If you have not raced a Rocky Trail event and are reading this and checking out the images we can promise you will not be disappointed in becoming a Rocky-Trail rider.  Come on down the trails are just right…. rocky.

Cheers Gil and Richard.

AMB 100, Mt. Stromlo

AMB100 2014

It’s been awhile but we’re back from our Christmas break. Both Gil and I have been working on personal projects over the preceding period (which does include MTB photography amongst other things) which you will find over on our personal websites, girophoto.com and RichardMcGibbon.com.

But now our season has kicked off and first up was the AMB 100 put on by Australian Mountain Bike and Rocky Trail Entertainment. What a scorcher. Knowing that temperatures were supposed to climb over the course of the day Rocky Trail decided to bring the start forward an hour making the 100 milers start at 5.00am and the rest start at 8.00am. This provided some great opportunities for Gil and I to get some great shots in the beautiful early morning light and kept things a bit cooler for the riders.

We have shot at Stromlo before but Gil and I both wanted to find some new locations and keep things fresh. The track was 25kms long much longer than the 10km track used for the enduro so there was plenty of new spots for us to choose from. Gil scouted locations the day before and picked some fine spots for us.

As the day progressed the heat played a definite factor. At 1.00pm they closed the track. Most everyone who had set out to do their laps had finished and only a few stragglers struggled on in the heat. By the end of the race the temperature had soared to 39C and it was good to come off the mountain and find some shade.

All the photos from the event can be found in our gallery here

More info about the race and the results can be found on Rocky Trail’s website here

Shimano MTB GP 5 – Stromlo

Rocky Trail Shimano GP, Stromlo, 2013

 

Last weekend was the final round of this year’s Shimano GP enduro series held on the wonderful trails of Mount Stromlo Forest Park near Canberra. There was forecast for rain but once again the weather held and we had beautiful clear skies. That did mean the track was a bit dusty for the riders but it did give us the chance for some interesting shots.

Stromlo Forest Park is situated on the side of Mount Stromlo near Canberra. There is some beautiful trails there. Some years ago the area was destroyed by a fire which burnt most of the trees to the ground. A massive replanting program has since happened and slowly the area is regaining a lot of its trees. With the trees being quite small though views around the trails can be wonderful looking out across the surrounds and across Canberra.

Over 300 competitors competed this year at the Stromlo event and after shooting the whole series I recognised many familiar faces there too. Eliza Kwan and Troy Herfoss took out their 7hr solo categories while Kyle Ward and Wendy Stevenson took out their 4hr categories. Just in case you were wondering, as a rough idea the course is usually around 10km’s in length. Troy managed to complete 15 laps or around 150kms in 7 hrs.

So that’s it for this year as far as this series goes.  We are quite often out shooting for fun at many local tracks around the  Sydney region. If you see us out there be sure and stop for a quick hello. If you are competing in any races soon there is always a chance we will be around too, we tend to swing by a lot of them even if it’s just as spectators.

As this was the final in the series Gil and I would like to say a big thank you to all the competitors who raced this season and made our work as much fun as it is. A big congratulations to all the winners from the races and the series. And of course a huge thank you to Martin and Juliane from Rocky Trail Entertainment for all there hard work in putting on such a wonderful series.

 

If you would like a look at all the images you can find the Stromlo gallery here

If you would like to see the results from the Stromlo race they can be found here. While the series results can be found here.