- Bike Checks
Why did he win? This photo wins the Vital MTB Sea Otter Photo Contest because it tells the story of our ever-changing sport. Ideally, we always look for creative angles and new ways to see Sea Otter through the lens, but the submissions this year didn't really fit that bill, so story-telling through imagery was at the top of our list when deciding a winner.
Wheel size was certainly the most talked about topic at Sea Otter this year, whether in the pits or on the downhill course and this photo speaks to that. Yep, Aaron Gwin won the Pro DH race on a 29er, but this photo says a lot of things about 2013 that a photo of Gwin probably couldn't. While it's not the most technically sound photo of the competition, the elements of this photo are pretty mind-blowing when they're broken down. The rider (Steven Bafus) is on his every-day trail bike (with dropper post lowered), but it's during a downhill race. Though on a 29er, he's running a full face, goggles, jeans and flat pedals. And the action is solid, he's blasting a massive nac-nac (higher than most riders doing straight airs over the same jump) with a gaping crowd below. To have all of these *conflicting* elements in a single photo still seems really strange, but in 2013 wheel sizes, clothing styles and riding disciplines are fully blended...all in the name of FUN. That, right there, is the story that makes our sport of mountain biking, and this photo, a winner.
The following two photo submissions earned their shooter a Vital MTB gift pack.