Where are you based?
I live in Denver, Colardo, USA.
Where's your favourite place to ride?
Most of my rides happen in the immediate Front Range area near Denver. I love all of the classic climbs such as Deer Creek Canyon, Lookout Mountain, and Golden Gate Canyon. My favorite ride days happen when I get enough time to punch past "local" rides and go higher into the big mountains. Mount Evans and Buffalo Creek are always very rewarding road and MTB destinations, respectively. Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte are probably my absolute favorite places to ride. They offer tremendous mixes of road and trial riding and their relatively remote locations ensure that they feel wild and pristine.
What type of riding do you like to do the most?
The majority of my riding is done on a road bike because it's simple and practical. Starting the ride from my door step as opposed to driving to a start location helps me extract every last minute of ride time, which is always at a high premium because of work and family. My favorite style of ride these days is a ride done on my modified CX bike where I ride from Denver to the hills, ride some MTB trails, then ride home. Bridging road and cyclocross and MTB genres is where I've been having the most fun because the routes are so flexible and novel.
How do you discover a new route? Do you plan ahead with maps or just see where the road takes you?
I learn a lot through word of mouth. Friends try new routes and we swap notes on our favorites. Denver has a great community of people who are willing to mine every road and driveway in search of new routes. In 2014 I discovered more by simply saying "where does this road go?" and taking it without regard to whether or not it took me anywhere in particular. We did do some exploration with maps last year, and it lead to one of my favorite CX/MTB/Road ridesever up in the Kenosha Pass and Lost Park area of Colorado. In that case we thought we knew what we were getting into via the map, but nature had the last laugh and gave us a day that was way more difficult, beautiful, and fun than we bargained for. You can see more about that route here: http://www.rodeo-labs.com/2014/09/30/lost-park-rodeo-rally/
What equipment do you use to capture your ride?
I started taking ride photos with my iPhone 4. I quickly started tinkering and added an Olloclip to the mix, which was excellent for adding wide angle and fisheye type lenses without carrying bulky gear on rides. I've broken no less than five screens while dropping the phone on rides. Unfortunately I've learned how to fix iPhone screens pretty quickly. I've since upgraded to an iPhone 5s, but I use it less and less in favor of other gear. A GoPro has earned a near-permanent place in my pocket. It's very wide angle lens is a blessing and a curse, depending on the shot I want to try to grab. Guessing how to frame a shot with no screen is always challenging as well. You never really know what you are going to get. (The add on screen kills the battery pretty quickly so I don't use it). I use the GoPro for both stills and video. More recently I added a gently used Canon SX260 to the mix. I chose that specific camera because I wanted a pocket sized camera with a stupid-long zoom and I wanted to be able to get into the firmware and tinker with some features that it lacked via CHDK. Honestly it's a pretty lackluster camera with a slow lens and a lot of lag, but it makes up for that by being incredibly flexible and adaptable to the way I want to take photos. If I were working professionally or printing my photos I'd need to look more carefully at gear selection and optics, but thankfully I just do this for myself and most of my photos live on a 3" x 4.5" screen
What destination would be on your riding wish list?
I was recently in Austria on a family trip and we drove through some incredible hills and roads in the Semmering area. There weren't any big name passes full of cycling history, just local towns and less touristy villages. The restaurants were more often than not closed, and few people spoke any English. The area was pure magic though, full of emerald green forests and switchbacks galore. I'd love to ride it!
I'd also love to explore more of Colorado's less traveled byways this year. 99% of people around here seem to ride about 10% of the state, which means there is so much left that needs to be ridden and shared via photos, video, and writing. This year I will probably cannibalize time from my racing schedule in order to do more exploring in less traveled areas of Colorado. So much of cycling's narrative is told through racing, but I'm excited that the theme of exploration and adventure is gaining a better profile because it's something everybody can do no matter how fast or slow they are.