Denver in 35mm

Between two months spent living in Denver last summer and a handful of trips there, I've accrued a good amount of memories in town. It seems like the only times lately I've reached for my 35mm camera of choice (Pentax Asahi) instead of an iPhone are when I'm headed up northwest. This trip included my first experiences riding trails in Colorado, which turned out to be a less than stellar experience thanks to the altitude. In retrospect I probably should have rented a bike last summer when I was somewhat acclimated to the altitude but I was having too much fun falling off my street bike on downhills to be bothered or physically capable. 

 Brunch is important. Very important. Also important: flat rate for the table bottomless mimosas. 

Brunch is important. Very important. Also important: flat rate for the table bottomless mimosas. 

 The native flower of Denver. Denver is one of the few city counties in the country and is the only city county where flowers are both illegal and celebrated. 

The native flower of Denver. Denver is one of the few city counties in the country and is the only city county where flowers are both illegal and celebrated. 

 Last summer, Sam and I set out to try the "Top 10 donuts in Denver." This was before the first non-Oregonian Voodoo opened on Colfax. I believe that all 10 donuts are now sold within these walls. 

Last summer, Sam and I set out to try the "Top 10 donuts in Denver." This was before the first non-Oregonian Voodoo opened on Colfax. I believe that all 10 donuts are now sold within these walls. 

 I don't know this gentleman but I believe the best description for him is "donut hero."

I don't know this gentleman but I believe the best description for him is "donut hero."

 In an alternate universe, there's a whole roll of film that didn't get ruined and it's full of fun pictures of beautiful people like this. But in this universe, we have this one photo, and I think that's just fine. 

In an alternate universe, there's a whole roll of film that didn't get ruined and it's full of fun pictures of beautiful people like this. But in this universe, we have this one photo, and I think that's just fine. 

 The fine folks at  Golden Bike Shop  provided this shred sled for a day of riding. With 2.4" tires, full suspension, and a super light carbon frame, this bike is pretty much the best bike in the game for CO trails. My lungs, on the other hand, were the worst in the game. By far. Like, they were in the D league and then lower then somehow lower than that.

The fine folks at Golden Bike Shop provided this shred sled for a day of riding. With 2.4" tires, full suspension, and a super light carbon frame, this bike is pretty much the best bike in the game for CO trails. My lungs, on the other hand, were the worst in the game. By far. Like, they were in the D league and then lower then somehow lower than that.

 After racking around North Table in Golden and Red Rocks, I found a chill loop near Boulder. As I came to find after a day of riding, my preferred mode on off-road trails is "chill." I am not what you might describe as "confident."

After racking around North Table in Golden and Red Rocks, I found a chill loop near Boulder. As I came to find after a day of riding, my preferred mode on off-road trails is "chill." I am not what you might describe as "confident."

 The caveat to the chill factor of Flatirons Vista and the few trails around it that I don't remember is that it was incredibly muddy. And that I didn't pay the parking fee for the park. Neither of these things were a problem. Mud is fun, as they say. Someone says that. I swear. Also I'm classifying this photo as a "candid" because standard bike photography calls for the chain to be in the big ring up front. It's a dumb rule made up by blowhards but hey, it's a rule. Also my iPad Air (which is the newest, latest model) corrected "blow hards" to "blowhards" so suck on that, blowhards. 

The caveat to the chill factor of Flatirons Vista and the few trails around it that I don't remember is that it was incredibly muddy. And that I didn't pay the parking fee for the park. Neither of these things were a problem. Mud is fun, as they say. Someone says that. I swear. Also I'm classifying this photo as a "candid" because standard bike photography calls for the chain to be in the big ring up front. It's a dumb rule made up by blowhards but hey, it's a rule. Also my iPad Air (which is the newest, latest model) corrected "blow hards" to "blowhards" so suck on that, blowhards. 

 All the mountain bike message boards said Flatirons Vista has the best views but the trails are for n00bs, to which I said "message boards are for n00bs" after closing my laptop and pushing up my glasses. But yeah, the views. The views were great, but I'm sure had I been able to scale a mountain via bicycle I could have gotten some even better vantage points. Based on the scale of level of effort v. quality of view, however, this trail was perfect. 

All the mountain bike message boards said Flatirons Vista has the best views but the trails are for n00bs, to which I said "message boards are for n00bs" after closing my laptop and pushing up my glasses. But yeah, the views. The views were great, but I'm sure had I been able to scale a mountain via bicycle I could have gotten some even better vantage points. Based on the scale of level of effort v. quality of view, however, this trail was perfect. 

 Half a mile down the trail revealed this view, which was spectacular. One of those views that I spend more time admiring than trying to adequately document with a camera. 

Half a mile down the trail revealed this view, which was spectacular. One of those views that I spend more time admiring than trying to adequately document with a camera. 

 Golden Bike Shop is a modest little shop with a great selection of bikes. They get away with this by having a lot of bikes stored outside during business hours (I assume they take them inside at night? Has got to be at least an hour of effort. Beats washing windows after work, COUGH COUGH LEGO STORE COUGH COUGH). There are way too many roadies in Austin for most shops to stock so many MTBs (there are exceptions) so it was fun seeing some of the weirder builds they had. Like this lefty fork Salsa fat bike. What is even happening with this thing?

Golden Bike Shop is a modest little shop with a great selection of bikes. They get away with this by having a lot of bikes stored outside during business hours (I assume they take them inside at night? Has got to be at least an hour of effort. Beats washing windows after work, COUGH COUGH LEGO STORE COUGH COUGH). There are way too many roadies in Austin for most shops to stock so many MTBs (there are exceptions) so it was fun seeing some of the weirder builds they had. Like this lefty fork Salsa fat bike. What is even happening with this thing?

 Same bike, rad detail on the frame decal. This is also a good example of "f-stop hubris." When shooting in low light or indoors or really most occasions, I have way too much pride in my dad's old f/1.4 stop lens to close up the camera for more depth of field. I end up with photos like this, where only 4/5 of my subject are in focus. 

Same bike, rad detail on the frame decal. This is also a good example of "f-stop hubris." When shooting in low light or indoors or really most occasions, I have way too much pride in my dad's old f/1.4 stop lens to close up the camera for more depth of field. I end up with photos like this, where only 4/5 of my subject are in focus. 

 One thing Instagram taught me is that if anything can save an out-of-focus photo, it's making it black and white. 

One thing Instagram taught me is that if anything can save an out-of-focus photo, it's making it black and white. 

I'll be back in Denver in August. Hopefully by then I'll have gone digital and can avoid the memory loss I experienced this go-around. 

photos available on flickr