Mountain Bike

Aiden Varley: Downhill MTB

Aiden Varley: Downhill MTB

I had a bit of a shoot with downhill mountain biker Aiden Varley after the Thule B24 a couple of weeks ago. We cruised around the hills of Bright, checked out a few different spots and tried out a couple of different ideas that I had floating around in my head. Unfortunately Aiden’s downhill rig was out of action so we shot with more of a lean towards enduro. Also, after shooting for almost 24hrs out of the previous 36 I was more than a bit shattered and vacant-headed. It sort of made those ideas of mine a bit blurry. Never the less we still got a few shots.

We did a short shoot on the new Hero track which is looking amazing. Its has some great views around the top section before ducking down into the pine forests. Then we headed to a simple little trail called Sycamores which led through a beautiful little stand of, yes you guessed it, Sycamores. Next time we meet hopefully he will be back on his big DH rig and I shall be a bit more on-point and focussed.

If you are an athlete looking to boost your portfolio or a company or brand looking to promote your athlete get in contact and we can sort out how I and my imagery can best help you. 


Posted by Richard in Bikes, Portraits, Sport
Side trip to Canberra

Side trip to Canberra

I had a weekend free of sorts so I took a trip to Canberra. I had donated a print to the charity Pedal 4 Pierce for their upcoming auction at Fight night.The framers had insisted that I come down and sign the print before they finish the frame. I had also been wanting to do a shoot with Chris Jefferys, the founder of Pedal 4 Pierce, outside of a race setting like we had always done until this point so that they had a selection of images to use for promotional purposes.

So I guess a little bit of background is in order here first for those that don’t know. Pedal 4 Pierce was a charity started by Chris when he was 10 years old. Chris decided he wanted to ride bikes but do so in order to raise money for research into a worthy cause. He chose muscular dystrophy as his focus and Pedal 4 Pierce was born. He has been at it for the last 7 years or so. If you get a chance swing on over to their website and /or Facebook page and throw some support behind them.

I also asked a  outlet of talented dirt jumpers, Jack Baker and Tom Wrigley, to join me for a day shooting down there on some of the local trails that we knew about.The jumps are made from an orange dirt that contrast beautifully with the green of the surrounding vegetation. They had been extended quite a bit since I last shot down there so there was plenty of fresh angle to shoot from.

I also managed to squeeze in a quick shoot for Copic Australia. They brought along one of their new bikes that they had just finished building up, plenty of being on the bike. It was a full steel frame but super light. Keep an eye out for it on the enduro trails.

The other reason for the trip was just to have a better look around Canberra and it’s surrounds. I was never too enamored with Canberra before but every time I go down there it grows on me a little bit more. So I drove out into the Brindabella National Park where things were nice and frosty and did a little exploring. There is definitely a lot more exploring needed in this area. I am back down in Canberra next weekend so I shall continue with my exploration then.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Places
Kempsey Rollercoaster

Kempsey Rollercoaster

It’s been a while since I have been out shooting any races but last weekend I was back at it under the guise of Outer Image. We were off to Kempsey to cover the fourth round of the Gravity Enduro Rollercoaster series.

Kempsey is about 5 hours north of Sydney so I decided to make a weekend of it and spend time camping at Hat Head National Park. This is one of my favourite campsites due to its stunning natural beauty and the fact that you set up camp among the kangaroos.

This year 2 more tracks were added to the course and another day of racing was added too. Day 1 was 2 tracks and then on the second day the tracks changed. There was a little bit of something for everyone in the tracks. I heard some say that there was too much pedaling in parts of the track while others said they loved those same sections for the rolling rides through the trees. The tracks were nowhere near as dusty as they were last year which although is good for the riders There was around 120 riders this time. Not such a big turn out for an enduro but considering its 5 hr drive from Sydney it was more than we expected. It’s a great track and good to see it’s expanded to include another 2 tracks this year.


Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events
Matt Staggs: Downhill Mountain-biker

Matt Staggs: Downhill Mountain-biker

As a junior Matt has been leaving his mark in Rocky Trail Entertainments Redass downhill series. At the age of 14 he was shooting above his age by racing in the Under 17’s and consistently finished in the top 10. Now 15 he is setting his sights on bigger targets.

Matt Staggs

How long have you been racing for?
I started racing at the start of this year. Did about 4 club rounds and then competed in my first state round at Del Rio in June. So less than a year

Who are your sponsors?
VR Transportation/No Nice Racing, Deity Components. (Also although not a sponsor a big thanks goes to POC Australia for helping fitting Matt out in this shoot)

Matt Staggs, Australia

What’s bike do you ride?
I ride a giant glory. Almost bone stock, except for a new rear wheel which was wrecked in the rain.

What is it about riding that fires you up?
I love downhill riding because the adrenaline rush you get when you try something new or bigger than you have ever done before and get it really clean is amazing. That feeling is the best. Also the fun of riding and chilling out on the local track with mates if fun and relaxed.

Matt Staggs, Australia

Favourite tracks?
Lithgow – Loose dry dust is so fun. Awaba – Difficult in the rain but get the adrenaline pumping which is exciting. Warrimoo – My home track has to be, it’s where i started and is the reason I am where I am now, Thanks Marty (The builder)

If you could ride anywhere where would it be?
Most people would say Whistler Bike Park. I would ride anywhere that has a good technical track to test and grow your skills. If that place has good mates to hang out with while riding, that’s where my place would be.

Matt Staggs, Australia

Home trails?
Warrimoo, St. Ives. A lot of work has gone into the trail, keeping it maintained. The builder, Marty, deserves everything for the amount of time and effort he puts into keeping the track running and fighting the council to keep it from being bulldozed. Every single time I ride there he is there either fixing, making a new feature, or maintaining the track. I always offer to help but he never takes up my offer, or anyone’s for that matter. He deserves way, way more credit for the amazing trails he has created. Thanks Marty!

Matt Staggs, Australia

Tell us a bit about your competition results?
State Rounds – DelRio – 10th U17, Ourimbah 9th U17. Lithgow State Champs – 9th U17. Awaba – DNS.

What plans does the future have for you?
I really want my life to revolve around riding. Anything to do with riding I will be happy with. But my main goal is to actually be a riding at the elite level. I am working everyday to try and make myself fitter, stronger and faster. Aiming for that goal is going to be a long and hard journey but I am willing to take it if it will get me where I want.

Matt Staggs, Australia

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Portraits, Sport, 0 comments
Jetblack 12hr Enduro

Jetblack 12hr Enduro

Jetblack's 12hr Enduro at Dargle Farm.

Lights on at Rocky Trail’s Jetblack 12hr enduro at Dargle Farm.

I swung by the Rocky Trail’s Jetblack 12hr Enduro race over the weekend. It took me a lot longer to get there than I had planned with me thinking I knew the way better than my GPS despite never having been there before. I hadn’t gone on any official capacity just to watch and say hello to a few friends that I had met shooting the 4 and 7hr enduro races.  I did end up shooting the editorial for Rocky Trail Entertainment though.

As I wasn’t there on official business it was a good chance for me to play around with some different ideas and different angles rather than a lot of those that I shoot with The Outer Image Collective. A majority of the action shots taken were panning shots with my flash set for rear curtain sync, meaning it will fire when my shutter is closing rather than when it is opening.  There is not many of the images where the numbers are visible.

The Dargle Farm course is on a working farm so the course is not always open. As I had arrived late I didn’t get too far around the track but it looks like a great course and its certainly somewhere that I plan to go back when the opportunity next arises.

I don’t have a collection of race photographs for sale for the competitors. They were all being handled by Marathon Photos.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events, What's going on, 0 comments