*

Of heat waves and bikerides

Happy Canada Day! It’s officially summer, and having worked the bulk of our underEXPOSED shoots in wet weather, wet is what I packed for. Apparently I failed to consider the blazing sun/summer factor in this shoot, so my lack of shorts and abundance of sweat will be apparent, I’m sure, when episode 111 airs next year. Lesson definitely learned.

Also not lacking on this shoot is the raw commitment and athleticism involved in shooting mountain biking. Mason and pro-skier-turned-pro-downhill-cyclist (but still a pro skier) KC Deane, have been incredible to watch as they work long days, sacrificing sleep and food for riding bikes and taking pictures. The weather has pushed past 30 C every day of their shooting, and KC is relentless in his pursuit of ripping down steep, slippery faces to create an epic shot. Literally, before his dust settles from yolo-ing (I just said that in print) down a mountainside, KC will already be hoisting his bike upon his shoulders, digging his toes into weather-packed earth, and marching up the mountain, under the unforgiving sun. And then he does it all again. Three more times. In short, the guy is a beast. No wonder he’s pro in two sports simultaneously (three total in his 28 years on this planet).

I haven’t asked Mason what KC is like to work with, but my best guess? He’s the kind of athlete that photographers like Mason dream of working with. KC has only been a pro downhiller for about eight months, but I’d bet it’s safe to say he’s one of the most underexposed guys in the game right now — and we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of him in bike mags in the near future. Especially if Mason and I can sell a story and pictures after this week.

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