Another Shiny Side Up has come and gone, but the resulting memories and friendships will last a lifetime. Northern California’s premier custom bike event is the place to be for the bicycle enthusiast. These folks come from around the world on the last weekend in July to ride through the streets of San Jose and enjoy a true bicycle holiday. The event is a one of a kind, like many of the bicycles that can be seen at the show that takes place in History Park on the last day. But the show is just a nice finish to a weekend full of bike riding with some of the awesome people from the bicycle culture. I am happy to say this was my second time at Shiny Side Up, and I am already excited about next year.
My Shiny Side Up experience started with a birthday ride on Thursday July 21st for my great friend, Ralph. As Ralph celebrated his 41st birthday, I was excited to be celebrating my first year in the bike culture. The night was filled with bike riding, beer drinking, good friendships, and more. I personally had a little too much fun. Ralph, a.k.a. Ref, rides with the Chopaderos and the Chopaderos know how to bring the party. It was a great way to start the weekend with some close friends, but I was too tired to make it to the ride across the Golden Gate Bridge with the Other BC the next day. The Others are so gracious in inviting everyone to join them in a fantastic ride across the Golden Gate. This is something that everyone needs to do at least once in their life. The ride offers the opportunity to ride with cool people and experience fantastic views of the city of San Francisco. I did manage to pull myself together for the Friday night ride through San Jose with some more awesome people. My great friend Jodi helped put together a nice little pre-pre-ride and that ended with a rockin’ party at the Keyes Club in San Jose. I couldn’t find the bottom of my beer because people kept refilling it for me, but this is how the bike culture works. These people have become family to me and the love and respect is huge.
Saturday July 23rd was the official Shiny Side Up Pre Ride. Starting around 2 o’clock, riders gather together to ride and celebrate through the streets of San Jose. The ride begins at San Pedro Square and takes everyone past the Shark Tank on the way to Chacho’s, a local spot for awesome tacos. The next leg travels to Jack’s bar and then finishes up back at San Pedro Market. I was excited to see all of my many friends at the Pre Ride that I had not seen on Thursday or Friday. People from all over the globe like Hawaii, Huntington Beach, and even Japan that help make this event absolutely amazing. Good food, cold drinks, awesome people, and great stories are just some of the things that can be found during the Pre Ride, and no written description is sufficient.
Sunday caps off the weekend with a bicycle show at History Park where the coolest custom bikes on the planet are displayed. The family friendly event gives anybody the chance to talk to some of the people that work hard to make the bike scene the place to be. The bike show is just a fun experience for all, and I would like to thank the many people that work hard to make it happen. A special Thank You to the Cruiser Shop in Campbell and Dominick Guida for your hard work. Dominick is the go to guy for your custom bicycle needs. So next time you are looking for a bike, go see Dom at the Cruiser Shop and tell him the White Ninja sent you.
I hope my images help to show how awesome Shiny Side Up really is. I know for a fact that my good friend Wim built a bike that no one picture could do justice. It is not easy to capture so much awesomeness in one image, but I did try. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the other photographers like Kuya Hoc that bust their ass to produce photos during these events. I took over 20,000 pictures during the 4 days of bike riding. That is no mistake… I said 20,000. I take the time to select the good photos, edit them, and publish them for my friends to enjoy because I love to do it. It is that simple, I do this for love. My love of bikes, my love of photography, and my love for the people riding next to me. I feel this is a large part of why these photos are so strong. I love what I am doing and I am photographing people that love what they are doing.
Most of my images are captured using my GoPro on time lapse. I have recently mounted my GoPro Session onto the hub of my front wheel so it spins in a circle as I ride. This may sound weird, and it is, but the images are awesome and I am enjoying the results. I had my other GoPro mounted on my frame and pointed backwards. This was a recent change as well, and I enjoy trying to find new ways of using the GoPro to capture images. Some of the photos from Sunday were taken with my Sony A6000, but I did not use it as much as my other two cameras. I do a small bit of editing with Lightroom, but I do not crop or adjust the horizon line. I like to present my captures as they are to maintain the concept of movement and action in the shots. If anybody would like to learn more about the details of my photos, please feel free to ask. The White Ninja is happy to share some secrets. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process.
Please enjoy these images and share them with your friends. I only ask that you respect the people in my photos, and do not reproduce these without my specific permission. I work hard, so please respect my work.