Greetings from Perry Hill

Just an alternate "Postcard" treatment of a photo from the Vermont Mountain Bike Fest (original here).

I am trying to become a little bit more sophisticated with digital imaging and post-processing. It's a very much trial and error process but with patience I have been able to learn a few tricks along the way.

I use Gimp as image editing software and for the most part it gets the job done and the price (free/donation) is right.

No photoshop here... My usual (very amateurish and cobbled together) digital workflow tools include:
  • Camera
  • Download image into Picassa for sorting/previewing
  • If images are in RAW format (like the action shots from the mountain bike festival), UFRaw takes care of conversion and initial image adjustment - and it functions hand in hand with Gimp
  • Gimp for more edits including sharpening, saturation, scaling, etc.
I still have a lot to learn about basically everything (from using the camera to digital post processing) ... but it's only an investment of time. I did receive some positive feedback from people who have seen the photos from the recent mountain bike festival so which was somewhat gratifying.


Just ride: Vermont Mountain Bike Festival images

Some images from the recent Vermont Mountain Bike Festival in Waterbury this past weekend. Well over 200 attendees enjoyed two days of fine summer riding on varied trail networks in central Vermont -- well attended rides were held in Stowe, Waterbury, Waitsfield and Hinesburg.

Riders shuttled to Waitsfield on Saturday morning.

Some images from chasing various groups around the Perry Hill trail network in Waterbury.

Not racing -- a big change in mindset for me.

Joe's on Perry Hill.

Sunday morning I went for a ride in Stowe so that I could check out the new trails there. Trapps is spending almost $6 per foot to build trails on their property. Two consequences of this investment in infrastructure are:
  1. The trails are nice and are very well built.
  2. There are not miles and miles of trails (yet).
Here is a slideshow of images from the event.

All in all the event was a success and I'm glad I helped out.


The 2010 Vermont Mountain Bike Festival approaches

I have been playing a very small part in planning for the 3rd annual Vermont Mountain Bike Festival, which will be held this coming weekend in Waterbury and featuring the area's excellent riding opportunities.

VMBA director Patrick Kell explains how beer makes event planning fun.

Back in late 2009, a small group of volunteers got together and started planning the event. The previous two editions (post on 2008 event here) had been decidedly low-key, ad-hoc affairs and for 2010 it was resolved to make things a little more structured and planned out.

Meetings were held in a local bar and consisted of conversation mixed with beer. Lots of time was spent determining festival price points, menus, music choices, and a myriad of other details. Most of my cycling event planning experience comes from helping to promote the Green Mountain Stage Race and putting on a mountain bike festival requires a quite different mindset.

Even though these are gloomy, recessionary times, the bike industry has been very supportive of the event and there will be a tremendous amount of shiny bike bling on display and for demo. Perhaps for an hour or two over the course of the weekend I may get the chance to tool around on a fancy rig and pretend that I have the money to acquire such an item.

So if by happy chance (or through fortuitous SEO blogging) someone out on the internets stumbles upon this post -- highly unlikely, I know -- and is interested in the some classic Northeast singletrack riding please check out this website and note that onsite registration will be available on Saturday morning.


2010: Random Photo Content #8: Ganesh images, Nepal

Lord Ganesh is the elephant-headed God, who is known as Lord of Beginnings and the Lord of Obstacles. He is regarded as the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The image of the Lord has four hands, elephant's head and a big belly. His charioteer is a tiny mouse, which shows a unique combination of wisdom, intelligence and presence of mind. Lord Ganesh is worshipped before starting any new venture. (More information here and here.)

In the two images above, the deity's trunk points to the right, symbolic of renunciation of worldly things.

On this old calendar image, the trunk turns to the left, pointing the way towards worldly success. The various items associated with the deity all have various symbolic meanings.

Images from my trip to Nepal, Autumn 2007.