Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen Race

Saturday was the perfect day for Pittsburgh's most iconic road race, the Dirty Dozen.  300 riders spent the day climbing 13 of Pittsburgh's steepest hills, including Canton Avenue which, at 37 degrees, is known as the world's steepest road.  The race covers about 54 miles, mostly neutral riding between the hills, but in Pittsburgh this guarantees you're going to be climbing more than just the 13 timed hills.  Danny Chew was on hand, of course, to see his baby get a record number of participants this year.  You can check out Danny Chew's Dirty Dozen website here.  I got to tag along in Gary and Kathleen's vehicle which was carrying the leaders' wheels and assorted other clothing dropped along the race course.  Thanks!

A gallery of photographs from the 2011 Dirty Dozen in Pittsburgh - http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/2011-Dirty-Dozen-Pgh-1126

Enjoy a couple of pictures from the Dirty Dozen -

Danny Chew addressing the racers at the 2011 Dirty Dozen
Danny Chew addressing the racers at the 2011 Dirty Dozen

The rolling streets of Pittsburgh
The rolling streets of Pittsburgh

Drying out the gloves at the first rest stop along the Dirty Dozen
Drying out the gloves at the first rest stop along the Dirty Dozen

Blowing away the field coming up Rialto Street, aka Pig Hill, during the Dirty Dozen in Pittsburgh
Blowing away the field coming up Rialto Street, aka Pig Hill, during the Dirty Dozen in Pittsburgh

Cobblestones, cobblestones everywhere
Cobblestones, cobblestones everywhere

Scott Bricker of Bike Pittsburgh taking a breather on top of Mount Washington
Scott Bricker of Bike Pittsburgh taking a breather on top of Mount Washington

Canton Avenue claims another victim during the 2011 Dirty Dozen race in Pittsburgh
Canton Avenue claims another victim during the 2011 Dirty Dozen race in Pittsburgh

Don Powers mashing the singlespeed up the steepest hill in the world, cobblestones of course
Don Powers mashing the singlespeed up the steepest street in the world, cobblestones of course

taking a nap on Canton Avenue during the 2011 Dirty Dozen
taking a nap on Canton Avenue during the 2011 Dirty Dozen

Stick, singlespeed champion of the 2011 Dirty Dozen in Pittsburgh
Stick, singlespeed champion of the 2011 Dirty Dozen in Pittsburgh

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another year of downhill mountain biking comes to a close at Seven Springs

Sunday marked the last day of downhill mountain biking at Seven Springs bike park.  As has become custom, a race followed by a train down 007 closed up the mountain.  Great weather, and fantastic trail conditions greeted the riders...and the broken handed photographer.

Enjoy a gallery of photographs from the downhill practice runs and race http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/Seven-Springs-Closing-Day-1023

A couple of pictures from the day at Seven Springs Bike Park

The last downhill race of the season at Seven Springs Bike Park
The last downhill race of the season at Seven Springs Bike Park

hitting the rock under the lift at seven springs bike park during the downhill mountain bike race
hitting the rock under the lift at seven springs bike park during the downhill mountain bike race

coming through helens woods during the downhill race at seven springs bike park
coming through helen's woods during the downhill race at seven springs bike park

seven springs downhill bike park in the fall
seven springs downhill bike park in the fall

dave brunger motoring through helens woods during the downhill race at seven springs bike park
dave brunger motoring through helen's woods during the downhill race at seven springs bike park

heather hitting the rocks at seven springs bike park
heather hitting the rocks at seven springs bike park

exiting the rock garden at seven springs downhill bike park
exiting the rock garden at seven springs downhill bike park

Monday, October 3, 2011

A very muddy Month of Mud cyclcocross race in North Park

There was another Month of Mud race this weekend...and this time, it was muddy, very!  When I first heard that the course was going to be at the corner of Wildwood and Babcock, I thought it was going to suck for photos and for the racers.  But who really cares about the racers, it's all about me and my photographic enjoyment, right?  Well, I was wrong.  The course looked super fun, and there were tons of vantage points for some great pictures at this month's Month of Mud race.

Here's a gallery of photographs from the day - http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/North-Park-Cyclocross-1002

A couple of pictures from the day -

There were a couple of trees that provided just the right light and color for some cool photographs at the Month of Mud cyclocross race in North Park
There were a couple of trees that provided just the right light and color for some cool photographs at the Month of Mud cyclocross race in North Park

A few puddles at the North Park Cyclocross Month of Mud race to make things interesting
A few puddles at the North Park Cyclocross Month of Mud race to make things interesting

Fans braving the elements to cheer on the racers at the north park month of mud cyclocross race
Fans braving the elements to cheer on the racers at the north park month of mud cyclocross race

Some spots required a dismount and a run
Some spots required a dismount and a run

hitting the mud at the north park month of mud cyclocross race
hitting the mud at the north park month of mud cyclocross race

Josh Patterson muscling through the mud at the month of mud cyclocross race in north park
Josh Patterson muscling through the mud at the month of mud cyclocross race in north park

Monday, September 19, 2011

Month of Mud, Brady's Run, 2011

I hadn't taken any race photos for a while, so I decided I'd hit up the first Month of Mud race at Brady's Run on Sunday.  Turned out to be pretty incredible weather, and a fun course.  Not too much mud though.

Enjoy a gallery of photographs from first 2011 Month of Mud race, at Brady's Run - http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/Month-of-Mud-at-Bradys-0918

And check out some pictures from the Brady's Run Month of Mud Race -

Stunt It Man, Dirt Rag at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Bradys Run in Beaver Falls, PA
Stunt It Man, Dirt Rag at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Brady's Run in Beaver Falls, PA

2011 Month of Mud Race at Bradys Run, Beaver Valley, PA
2011 Month of Mud Race at Brady's Run, Beaver Valley, PA

Hitting the Descent of Death at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Bradys Run, Beaver Valley, PA
Hitting the Descent of Death at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Brady's Run, Beaver Valley, PA

Emily Walley on the Descent of Death at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Bradys Run, Beaver Valley, PA
Emily Walley on the Descent of Death at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Brady's Run, Beaver Valley, PA

Justin Steiner showing the log pile whos boss at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Bradys Run, Beaver Valley, PA
Justin Steiner showing the log pile who's boss at the 2011 Month of Mud Race at Brady's Run, Beaver Valley, PA

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My first day...

After a long, fun, long time without a "job" - I started a new chapter today.  I am taking over the circulation department at Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times.  It's definitely going to be a lot of work, but very rewarding and fun.  Very excited. 

What, you don't have a subscription to Bicycle Times or Dirt Rag?
I can fix that...

http://www.dirtragmag.com/subscriptions

Saturday, September 10, 2011

2011 5th Annual Steel City Big Pour at Construction Junction

Great time with friends at the 2011 5th Annual Steel City Big Pour at Construction Junction!
64 brewers, tons of food, fun exhibits...why didn't you go?

Photographs from the 2011 5th Annual Steel City Big Pour at Construction Junction
http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/5th-Annual-Steel-City-0910

and just in case you forgot what the 2010 4th Annual Steel City Big Pour at Construction Junction looked like... 
http://www.jonpratt.com/2010/The-Big-Pour-0911

A few pictures from the 2011 5th Annual Steel City Big Pour at Construction Junction

The best way to arrive at the big pour?  By bike, of course.
The best way to arrive at the big pour?  By bike, of course.

Steel City Big Pour Septembeer 10, 2011
Steel City Big Pour Septembeer 10, 2011

panorama of the inside
panorama of the inside


Helltown Insidious India Pale Ale
Helltown Insidious India Pale Ale

East End Brewing, where the hops runneth over
East End Brewing, where the hops runneth over

Should I Drink That?  The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Podcast.
Should I Drink That?  The Pittsburgh Craft Beer Podcast.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ground Zero, Freedom Tower Photographs

A few pictures of ground zero in New York City, and the Freedom Tower construction site taken during this year's five boro bike tour trip.


http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/2011-Five-Boro-Ride-NYC-0501

ground zero, new york city
ground zero, new york city

new construction at ground zero, new york city, freedom tower
new construction at ground zero, new york city, freedom tower

freedom tower
freedom tower

freedom tower, ground zero, new york city
freedom tower, ground zero, new york city

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Glassport to Boston, PA and back

Yesterday I took my Civic down to Matta Motors in Glassport, PA to get some work done on it and have it inspected.  Knowing it was going to take a few hours, I brought along my LeMond Poprad Cyclocross bike so I could do some exploring.  Of course a camera came along as well, and I got some cool pictures of a couple of abandoned buildings along the way.  One was in Glassport along the river, the others were along "The Loop" trail in McKeesport, PA.  "The Loop" is an alternate route to the GAP bike trail that takes you up to Boston and passes some of the old businesses along the river.  I poked into the Fort Pitt Steel Casting Plant, and the McKeesport Steel Foundry.  On the way back you ride along the GAP bicycle trail and pass Dead Man's Hollow which has some more ruins along its trails.  Of course I went in to investigate.

A gallery of photographs from the day - http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/Glassport-to-Boston-Loop-0829

A few pictures from my adventures -


McKeesport Steel Foundry Inc.
McKeesport Steel Foundry Inc.

The Heatmeter
The Heatmeter

the haunted ruins in Dead Mans Hollow, Allegheny Land Trust
the haunted ruins in Dead Man's Hollow, Allegheny Land Trust

Fort Pitt Steel Casting Plant along the McKeesport, Boston Loop on the GAP biking trail
Fort Pitt Steel Casting Plant along the McKeesport, Boston Loop on the GAP biking trail

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof Nikon Coolpix AW100 with sample pictures

Nikon's new waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof camera may be the ticket for me.  I'm tired of going through a point and shoot every 6 months or so...mountain biking and cameras don't get along very well.  It's just too bad that it doesn't shoot raw or have manual controls... comes in blue, orange, black, white and camouflage.

Here are the specs and some sample images

Specifications

  • Type
    Compact Digital Camera
  • Effective Pixels
    16 million
  • Image Sensor
    CMOS
  • Sensor Size
    1/2.3 in.
  • Total Pixels
    16.79 million (approx.)
  • Lens
    5x optical zoom, NIKKOR ED glass lens
  • Lens Focal Length
    5.0-25.0mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 28-140mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
  • Lens f/-number
    f/3.9-4.8
  • Lens Construction
    12 elements in 10 groups
  • Lens Zoom
    5x
  • Digital Zoom
    Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of 560mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
  • Vibration Reduction
    Lens-shift VR
  • Autofocus (AF)
    Contrast-detect TTL AF
  • Autofocus (AF) Focus-area selection
    Auto (9-area automatic selection), Center, Face priority, Manual with 99 focus areas, Subject tracking
  • Focus Range
    [W]: Approx. 1 ft. 8 in. (50 cm.) to infinity
    [T]: Approx. 3 ft. 4 in. (1 m.) to infinity
    Macro close-up mode: [W]: Approx. 0.4 in. (1 cm.) to infinity
  • Focus Lock
    Yes
  • Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points
    99
  • Monitor Size
    3.0 in. diagonal
  • Monitor Type
    TFT-LCD
  • Monitor Resolution
    460,000-dots
  • Monitor Frame coverage (shooting mode)
    98% horizontal (Approx.)
    98% vertical (Approx.)
  • Monitor Frame coverage (playback mode)
    100% horizontal (Approx.)
  • Storage Media
    SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
  • Internal Memory
    Approx. 83MB
  • Storage File System
    DCF
    EXIF 2.3
    DPOF compliant
  • Storage File formats
    Still pictures: JPEG
    Audio files: WAV
    Movies: MOV (Video:MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC stereo)
  • Movie
    Audio file format: AAC stereo
    Movie file format: MPEG-4 AVC H.264
  • Voice Memo Function
    Yes
  • Image Size (pixels)
    4608 x 3456 (16M)
  • ISO Sensitivity
    ISO 125-3200
    Auto (auto gain 125-800)
    Fixed range auto (ISO 125-400)
  • Lowest ISO Sensitivity
    125
  • Highest ISO Sensitivity
    3200
  • Exposure Metering
    256-segment matrix, center-weighted
  • Exposure Control
    Programmed auto exposure
    Exposure compensation (-2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
    motion detection
  • Exposure Modes
    Programmed Auto
  • Scene Modes
    Back Light, Beach, Black and White Copy, Close Up, Dusk/Dawn, Fireworks Show, Food, Landscape, Museum, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Panorama, Party/Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Snow, Sports, Sunset, Underwater
  • In-Camera Image Editing
    Crop, D-Lighting, Filter Effects, Glamour Retouch, Quick retouch, Skin softening, Small Pic
  • Exposure Compensation
    ± 2 EV in steps of 1/3
  • Exposure Lock
    Yes
  • White Balance
    Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flash, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Manual
  • Shutter
    Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
  • Shutter Speed
    1/1500-1 sec. (when ISO sensitivity set to Auto)
    4 sec. (when scene mode is set to Fireworks show)
  • Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution
    Up to 3 shots at approx. 7.1 frames per second
  • Continuous Shooting Options
    Best Shot Selector, Continuous H, Continuous L, Multi-shot 16, Single
  • Aperture
    Electronically-controlled ND filter (-2 AV) selection
  • Self-timer
    Can be selected from 10 and 2 seconds duration
  • Built-in flash Range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto)
    [W]: 0.3 to 3.5m (1ft. to 11ft.)
    [T]: 0.5 to 2.2m (1ft. 8 in. to 7 ft. 2 in.)
  • Built-in Flash Control
    TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
  • Built-in Flash
    Yes
  • Interface
    Hi-speed USB
  • Interface Data transfer protocol
    MTP ,PTP
  • Video Output
    NTSC, PAL
  • HDMI Output
    Can be selected from:
    Auto, 480p, 720p, 1080i
  • I/O terminal
    Audio/video (A/V) output
    Digital I/O (USB)
    HDMI Mini Connector (HDMI output)
  • Supported Languages
    Arabic, Czech, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukranian, Vietnamese
  • Power Sources
    One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (supplied)
  • Battery / Batteries
    Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
  • Battery Life (shots per charge)
    Still pictures*: Approx. 250 shots
    *Based on Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) standards for measuring the life of camera batteries. Measured at 23(-/+2)°C (73(-/+4)°F); zoom adjusted with each shot, flash fired with every other shot, image quality set to Normal, image size set to 4608 x 3456 (16M). Battery life may vary depending on shooting interval and length of time menus and images are displayed.
  • Tripod Socket
    ISO 1222
  • Approx. Dimensions
    Height: 2.6 in. (64.9mm)
    Width: 4.4 in. (110.1mm)
    Depth: 0.9 in. (22.8mm)
  • Approx. Weight
    6.3 oz. (178g)
  • Operating environment
    Temperature: -10 to +40°C (14 to 104°F ) for land use
    Temperature: 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F) for underwater use
  • Supplied Accessories
    • AN-CP23 Strap
    • UC-E6 USB Cable
    • EG-CP16 Audio/Video Cable
    • EN-EL12 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
    • MH-65 Battery Charger
    • UR-E23 Filter Attachment
    • NikonView NX 2 CD-ROM
    • Reference Manual CD


Nikon Coolpix AW100 sample images, these are the original size, so click on them to view in their full resolution.


nikon coolpix aw100 sample picture
Exposure Time 1/1250, Aperture f/4, Focal Length 7.7mm (43mm in 35mm), ISO 125, 4608 x 3456



nikon coolpix aw100 sample picture
Exposure Time 1/800, Aperture f/4, Focal Length 5mm (28mm in 35mm), ISO 125, 4608 x 3456

Friday, August 19, 2011

Whistler, British Columbia

I took a trip to the northwest last week. Flew into Seattle and drove up to Whistler, British Columbia to do some downhill mountain biking and hit a few north shore trails. We spent a little over a week on Easy Street, right outside the Whistler Village and got to ride the park for 4 days. Incredible. Fog, sun, no rain, perfect. We also got to hit a few trails outside the park: A River Runs Through It, Gargamel, Half Nelson, and the I-5 Colonnade in Seattle. Pretty cool trails, except for the Colonnade which was so dusty and dry it was a little disappointing. I know it's under an expressway, but seriously....water, calcium chloride, done.

A River Runs Through It was incredible, huge skinny lines (300+ ft), teeters on skinnies, drops through trees...great stuff. Gargamel was a hike and a half, especially since I decided it would be a good idea to take my D700 up and some lenses; gets a little heavy after a while. Half Nelson in Squamish was a two mile downhill pumptrack, listed as having 68 berms and 102 jumps and tabletops. Pretty sweet.
After Half Nelson we decided to drive then hike to the top of the mountain, and later learned they were having a cougar problem in the area....smart.

Enjoy a gallery of photographs from the trip - http://www.jonpratt.com/2011/Whistler-British-Columbia-0806

A few pictures from Whistler, Squamish, Seattle, etc

cyclecide hanging out in Georgetown, Washington
cyclecide hanging out in Georgetown, Washington

Peace Arch, United States, Canadian Border
Peace Arch, United States, Canadian Border

TSA the new American religion
TSA the new American religion

Jon on a bridge on A River Runs Through It, Whistler, British Columbia
Jon on a bridge on A River Runs Through It, Whistler, British Columbia

On top of the world, Whistler, British Columbia, getting ready for a long downhill mountain bike run
On top of the world, Whistler, British Columbia, getting ready for a long downhill mountain bike run

The fog rolled in at Whistler Mountain Bike Park
The fog rolled in at Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Mark hitting a drop on Gargamel, Whistler, British Columbia
Mark hitting a drop on Gargamel, Whistler, British Columbia

The view from Garibaldi above the Half Nelson Trail in Squamish, British Columbia
The view from Garibaldi above the Half Nelson Trail in Squamish, British Columbia