Awsome Muni + Possibly in National Geographic

Yesterday I heard there was going to be a Muni ride w/ the Berkley club, so I decided to go for a ride in Annadel State Park today as a worm up. Last week I attempted this same route for the first time and a good trials rider I met at my college came along. Unfortunately we had to turn around pretty early do to his broken seat post.

In mtb terms I’d consider the terrain to be med to very technical and mild to moderate in steepness. I still have to hike up virtually all the uphill, but on the way down I attempted most of the sections I wouldn’t have considered attempting just last week, and eventually succeeded in most of them (one took 12 tries). I even made it down one section I wouldn’t have attempted w/o a fully suspended mtb pre-accident.

As I was attempting the more technical sections I got all the usual amazed responses by the people on the trail. Then when I was 3/4 the way down I saw this photographer and he took some shots of me just as I succeeded in one of the more technical lines. It turns out he was getting mtb shots for National Geographic!

I gave my usual speech, trying to convince an interested person into giving uni a serious try, partly by explaining my relatively meager skills, w/ the fact of my broken back and resulting paralysis 8.5 years ago. I think that caught his interest.

The photographer followed me down the trail, continuing to shoot me as I attempted the technical parts. Instead of taking around 5+ tries, I got all these in under 3 each (maybe I perform well under pressure :o:p). In all he took about 100 pictures.

When we got to the bottom he told me he’ll e-mail me links to all the pictures, and I might be put in the National Geographic :astonished: :astonished: :astonished: :astonished:

Wow! The right place at the right time with plenty of skill to pull it off even under pressure. I’d love to see a National Geographic article about muni. I subscribe so I’ll be looking for it. Keep us posted.

Somehow I think your “relatively meager skills” would blow the majority of us out of the water and you have an amazing story.

I will have to start reading National Geographic and watch for an article on you:)

What was the photographer’s name?

Cool! Be sure to post them up when you get them!

Awesome! We just started to start subscribing to National Geographic.

That. Is. Freaking. Fantastic!

Hey Lewis -
That’s awesome dude - link us to the pics if you can.

Sounds awesome it would be amazing to be in National geographic

i would also like pics

Well, maybee my skills are impressive to the non-uni community, but to many of you, I’m pretty sure they suck.

Considering where I’m coming from, I’m hugely Impressed w/ myself. (When I first discoved Muni and KH’s vids I thought I might only be able to ride smooth fire roads). I do get frustrated though, when I see you guys learning stuff so quickly and riding such incredible terain.

In comparison to most of you, my learning curve is horendousely slow, which can be very frustrating. I still can’t freemount, idle, or hop. After 6 months I successfully rode off my first curb. Two months later I could do it consistently. At that time I started learning to ride backwards, SIF, and SIB. That took me another four months before I had the skill and courage to attempt it w/o a rail. Fear of potentially bad falls and possibly breaking my AFO’s (see avatar) has kept me from practicing them that much since (I think UPD’s off road, even on rocks are a bit less hard on them:o, and me:p).

Today the photographer sent me the pictures:slight_smile: Unfortuneately they do not do the terrain justice :frowning:

One of the pictures that looks somewhat close to those technical sections IMO is the 31st pic of his brother (riding the rigid b*ke w/ yellow forks). I believe I cleared all the sections he had pictures of, downhill anyway:o

Nice pic and nice riding, Lewis! I like the goatee, too, it’s bada$$!

Glad to hear that you’re riding some decent muni. You’ve come a long way. Not to be a kill joy, but is this photographer legit regarding National Geographic. The reason I question this, is because although he got some O.K. images of you guys, I don’t see any “wow” photos that you would expect from a National Geographic photographer. Also the fact that he put them online for the world to see before National Geographic can choose whether or not to publish them has me questioning his credibility.

I thought that one was pretty good publicity for UDC…

A google on “Hutch Axilrod” will show he’s a legit pro photographer, although it may be exaggeration to call him “a National Geographic photographer.”

Photography, though, is an inexact art, and the main reason you see “wow” images in National Geographic is that you’re seeing the few images which are the best shots of thousands. It looks like the URL given to Lewis isn’t a published URL; it’s there for review and selection of images. Throw out all except two of the shots, and they’ll look great.

Anyway, congrats, Lewis, both on the photo shoot and your MUni progress in general; it was fun riding with you last weekend and seeing how much better you’ve gotten. And those trails definitely look fun, we need an Annadel road trip.

Well, that’s what he said.

Like I said originally is seemed like he took about 100 pictures of me and I’m only seeing about 15. Also I don’t think I see any of the several really technical sections that he shot of me. He could be saving them to see what N.G. says, but he didn’t mention any of that in his e-mail. Or none of those sections turned out or got lost somehow. I’ll ask him.

ImG_2324 is my favorite. It doesn’t show the technical aspects of the trail, but I love the angle of the shot, the frame, the lean of you and the uni and the intensity on your face.

It seems to say, ,“I see that up ahead and will conquer!”

Looks to me like those are classic Imagebank pictures.
You know the kind of thing.
You’re up against a deadline and you need a picture of someone swimming/running/cycling.
So you go to an imagebank site and type in your search word and bingo.
Up come a load of cycling pictures.
That’s what the images look like to me anyway.

I may be completely wrong though.

Very cool. Nice pictures! Those trails do look like a lot of fun!

It looks like you ride with your seat fairly low–your knees look pretty bent even when they’re at the 6 o’clock position. Doesn’t that kill your thighs on the uphills?

I have to comment (rather snarkily, I’m afraid) on the photographer’s choice of shooting (with his camera, of course) his brother as a representative of the mountain biking community. He’s wearing a skate helmet that looks like it’s been adjusted for someone whose head is the size of a prize-winning pumpkin, and is on a bike from around 1988 (and not even a cool retro model like a Chico-built Mountain Goat or anything).

yes your seat looks rather uncomfortably low making you hunch over to sit down
does it have to be that low due to your leg?