Travel : Shanghai City Park

In this very local park I felt like stepping into a fairy tale.
Unexpected, the kind of thing I am glad still exist.

 
It offered a welcome pause from the shoot schedule and there are no words for what I felt when I stepped into this Oasis. I am deeply touched by the Shanghais using this park for physical and mental recreation.

Inspiration : 100 Mile Paddle Day 2

Some paddlers muscles are sore, pampered with Ibuprofen or Superfoods to keep going, others just wake up after the first 13 hour paddle day. ” I prefer continuos events, after 15 years of adventure racing, my body gets in the groove on day two to day eight,” says Robyn Benincasa. Like William’s hands most everyone’s fingers are taped for today’s paddle and the start is very competitive. Everyone pushing hard resulting in the field sticking together for quiet a bit, but it is still 40 Miles to go. Unlike yesterday we have a slight river down wind, which combined with the outgoing tide will speed everybody up a bit.

 
Constantly counting paddlers, binoculars are the only way to see them at times, Roman Kraus, co founder of the event, while updating Facebook to over 900 virtual followers … Touch and go, the adventure teams are getting the paddler exchanges down utilizing the launch 5 boat ‘Patrolman Henry A. Walburger’ under Capt. Porteus’s secure navigation … Time for a cool down, race director and co-founder Andrew Mencinsky leads the lapsing members of the adventure team into the Hudson river.
 
William Rich stood his ground and finished first, followed by Ian, Garrett and Ed of the adventure team, closely followed by Carol Choi in her outrigger. Karen Wrenn finishing first in the women’s elite class followed by Robyn Benincasa. Though, with almost $20,000 raised for the various charities, it feels like everyone involved in this amazing event won. This has been a great inaugural launch and it always amazes me how people pull together under more extreme condition and the great energy it produces, check how Shane Perrin, Robyn Benincasa and Timm Ed line up to finish together in a great display of comradery after paddling 100 miles.
For more info go to 100MilePaddle.com or check their Facebook.

Inspiration : 100 Mile Paddle Day 1

No novices at this event, paddlers signed in are either full pro or very passionate ‘semi pro’s’. Everybody knows what there in for, this is the real deal. The line up of the latest high tech in endurance paddling equipment is impressive and the pre dawn start prep has something meditative. Start at 5:30am, the sun had just risen above the horizon. Welcome to the Hudson River.
Once getting out of the wind protected creek leading from Kingston to the River, the Hudson feels big, vast and majestic and the headwind reminds us all… this is a serious challenge. Lush summer green frames the river with sandbanks, rock walls and wetlands Nature and the wildlife is beautifully present everywhere. Soon the field of paddlers spreads out and they become tiny specks dancing on the horizon

 
“Hydration is king for shorter distances, for this kind of event you also need to eat, eat and eat ! ” endurance athlete Karen Wrenn changing camelbaks. Local paddler William started strong and while leading the pack found time to clean up the river, throwing a pot of grease back to the support boat.

With the weather ever changing down the river, though thunderstorms were in the forecast, the first one caught everyone by surprise. The support boats raced to picked up paddlers bringing them underneath the bridges for cover from the lighting, Shane Perrin, Robin Biancalla and Tim Ed were sitting on their boards clinging to our support zodiac avoiding the destroying shore rocks in almost 2 feet chop at 40 mph wind gusts. Tim Ed later described this challenging moment as one of the best during the entire race, it reminded him of his times as a US Marine.
 
After 13 hours of paddling, the head wind is killing the timing and in the name of safety, the race organizers decide to pull some boards and paddlers from the back of the pack off the river before nightfall. The night will give a short rest, some food and time to aid the aching muscles, but this is only half way, the most treacherous waters around Manhattan are still to come tomorrow.

Riding : LA Forest by Motorcycle

When working out in LA, I prefer to rent motorcycles to get around, since they let me avoid the crazy traffic. After a recent project, looking to get out of the city, I went riding with a friend of mine through the LA Forest. He owns a 1983 R80ST and I tried out a 2011 R1200GS from the rental place. I love the POV (point of view) perspective a motorcycle gives you and decided to record it. To get the feel, please check out the time-lapse video below.

Finding sweeping switch back road turns at 55 to 70 miles an hour was unexpected and extremely thrilling. Pure pleasure on an empty road. (Beware there are police patrols … )

See more images from the ride here.

NYC: Escape to Fort Tilden Beach

I love NYC, but I need to get out.

 
It started out as a cool, overcast Sunday morning on an empty ferry, the mood mellow, slow and meditative. It turned into a delightfully warm, clear and sunny day. Full summer will soon arrive.

Once past the Verrazano Bridge, the smell of that salty air immediately brought me into a different state of mind. The sound of the waves crashing was like what I believe John Muir once said “washing my ears” from the sounds of the city. My feet in the sand and my gaze upon the open horizon. The sun is about to break through, it is just 11am and I am beginning to unwind.

The ferry ride is somewhat of a personal luxury to me. It enabled me to hang on to the mellowness and relaxed state achieved by spending time on the beach and riding my bike along the outside perimeter of the city at sunset, not having to dive in until the last moment, helped to preserve that feeling. The mellow Sunday evening vibe of NYC helps as well.