June 6: Stage 4, Monticello to Corte, 56 miles and 6,079’ of climbing

•June 6, 2012 • 1 Comment

Here’s the link to today’s route: http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/185899976

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Today we left the coast, though in Corsica it’s pretty hard to be away from a view of the sea for long.  The island is only 50 miles wide and 100 miles long but I’m pretty sure it has 800,000 miles of road, no two are parallel to one another, and nothing is flat for very long (except for sections near Bastia and in the southeastern portion of the island).

Tonight we stay in Corte for two nights.  It’s the islands old capital, and the home of the only university.  It’s small, about 7,000 people, but feels much bigger, probably due to all the French and German tourists, and students. Lots of restaurants, and pretty stone lanes.

6,000’ of climbing is becoming the norm, but my legs are pretty tired today.   We were looking forward to an easy day tomorrow, but I just noticed that we’re faced with our biggest day yet.  Only around 65 miles, but with 8,000’ of climbing!  Ouch.

June 5: Stage 3, One hell of a loop from Monticello, 82 miles, 6600’ of climbing

•June 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Not a big photo day today…

Here’s a link to the route of today’s ride from my GPS [http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/186181816].

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Today was hard not so much because the ride was excessively difficult, but because it followed yesterday’s ride.  This is one hilly island.

The coastline along northwestern Corsica is magnificent.  Some call it the most beautiful coastline in Europe.  I don’t know about that, but it sure is beautiful.  The small coves are perfect places for a quite swim, or even better, to moor a sailboat for a quiet evening.

Some of the road sections here are not great, but most are. There are plenty of picture postcard little villages along the sea with harbors, cafes, and old stone buildings.  If we stopped every time we had the urge, a 6 hour cycling day would take 12, which, when on a bike, isn’t practical.

June 4: Stage 2, Cycling St. Florent to Monticiello, 75 miles, 7050’ of climbing

•June 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Here’s a link to the route:  http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/185577499

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This was a big cycling day.  The bar for cycling nirvana was set yesterday so surpassing that would be difficult.  Today was fantastic, but a very different riding experience.

One mile after leaving the hotel we started climbing on another perfect Corsican road, which was followed by an awesome descent.  Then, it was miles of rollers through the “Desert des Agriates”.  “Desert” is what they call it, but something is seriously lost in translation.  OK, so there are no trees, but there are lots of “maquis” (Corsican scrub), wildflowers, nettles, and various vegetation.

The roads in this region are exceedingly narrow.  They have a white line down the middle, but the lanes are less than 5’ wide each, so basically it’s a big bike lane that cars are allowed to use.  Fortunately, there were not too many cars.

7,000’ of climbing in 75 miles makes for a big day.  Ending your ride with the last 30 miles faced with a brutal headwind makes for a really, really big day.  I ran out of food and water and had to start asking the locals if they could fill my bottles.

And then, to get to our hotel, we had just one more climb, 5 miles at 6% just to make the point that this tough day was not going to end easy.

All in all, the roads were fantastic.  There were a few stretches of potholed crap and rough surfaces, but the majority of the roads and terrain make for a wonderful cycling.

June 3: Stage 1, Cycling Bastia to St. Florent, 67 miles and 4000’ of climbing

•June 3, 2012 • 1 Comment

Here’s a link to the route:  http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/185577581

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Let’s get this out of the way first and foremost.  This first day was one of the most f*ing amazing road cycling days I’ve ever experienced in my 30 years on a bike.

The road surfaces: Perfect (except for a 5 mile stretch that was being redone for next years stage of the Tour de France).

The road Topography: hilly, with lots of rollers, climbs and fast descents.  Just the way I like it.

The scenery:  we cycled along one of the most beautiful coastlines I’ve ever seen: azure waters, shear cliffs, sandy beaches.  It was picture perfect.

The cars:  at times there were quite a few, but as typical, the French have a whole different perspective towards cyclists.  We are not targets.

May 30- June 2 – Arriving in Corsica: Ajaccio to Bastillica to Bastia

•June 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Corsica is basically a thin range of ancient volcanic hills protruding from the sea.  There are precious few flat parts.  The roads are narrow twisty strips of asphalt that wind around the mountainous terrain, usually running alongside the serpentine rivers that crisscross the island.

Above the narrow coast, the land is lush:  thick with oaks, chestnut, and various fruit trees, most of them hundreds of years old.  Beneath the trees the ground is a dense bed of ferns, ivy, and myriad small bushes and grasses.  Birds are everywhere, and their songs create a constant audio backdrop.

The June weather is mild and humid, not tropical, but a hell of a lot moister than Santa Fe.

Small villages dot the island.  They are quintessentially French, with more roadside cafes that the village’s size can reasonably justify, and are usually filled with locals sipping aperitifs while having animated conversations about who knows what.

We stayed two nights at a friend’s house “La Manoir” which will be 500 years old in 2015.  This is most certainly the oldest home I’ve ever slept in.  My room is on the third floor, and I sleep below a massive beam that strains from the weight of the last 500 years.  The floors are sloping and undulating in every direction.  The walls on the ground level are more than 1 meter thick, tapering as they reach the top floor, but still more than half that thickness at the roofline.

The thick walls hold in the moisture, making this house feel like one massive wine cellar.  The daytime temperature outside is several degrees warmer, and a few percentages dryer than inside.  And the outside ain’t all that dry!

We had lunch today with our friend Babette and her sister at a nearby restaurant, “Chez Paul” which overlooks the village.  Eating in the mountains of Corsica is a feast of meat.  Charcuterie is the island specialty, and it shows up just about everywhere.  Today’s lunch was a “price fixed” meal:  Charcuterie, then cannelloni stuffed with Brocciu (a soft, ricotta-like cheese) covered in a thin sauce of sauce bolognaise.

Dinner at Babette’s was vegetarian, made especially for Dave, which only meant endless amounts of cheese.  Being a vegan here would not only be impossible, it would be inconceivable.   At lunch today, ALL the salads had some fish or animal in them, with creamy, cheesy pasta as the only option.

We left Babette’s before noon.  The drive north was spectacular.  This is one hilly island.   While driving through the center of the island you would be forgiven if you thought you were in the Alps.  The mountains aren’t as high in absolute terms, but the vertical – emphasis on vertical – prominence is amazing.

Oh, we have no cash.  There is no place – and I mean NO PLACE – on the island to convert USD to EURO.  So, we have dollars we can’t spend, and not all places take credit cards.  So money is a problem.  We need to figure something out…

Our first day of cycling is tomorrow, Sunday.

La Tierra Torture

•April 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Women Cat 1-2 then Men Cat 1-Pro.  Click on this link to find and expand individual photos.

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jumps at la tierra

•April 29, 2012 • Leave a Comment


jumps, originally uploaded by robert j. mang.

Opening Night at the Center for Contemporary Arts

•March 27, 2012 • 1 Comment

Arrhythmic Visions opened at CCA on March 16.  Click here for a slideshow of the evening.

To see photos of Alison’s installation, go here.

Alison Keogh with "Cloaked Earth"

Art Capture Services for Artist Sarah Hewitt

•February 10, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Sarah Hewitt

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Photo Shoot: Ghost Town & Abandoned Buildings, Cuervo, NM

•February 7, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Chairoscuro

•January 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

“aftermath”

Recent Low-Key Studio Shoot and Workshop

•January 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Some photos from a recent low-key portrait shoot and workshop

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Alison Keogh’s Installation, “Repose”

•December 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

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Artist Capture Services for Artist Patricia Naylor

•December 18, 2011 • 1 Comment

Here are some recent photos I took of Patricia Naylor’s work in my studio.

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Studio Workshop: Low-Key Lighting for Objects and Portraits

•December 16, 2011 • Leave a Comment

 

This workshop is being given for members of the Santa Fe Photography Group.  See more on the workshop here.

Artist’s Open Studios: Suspend your Temptation for ART!

•November 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Go here for location map

And visit these artist websites:

Alison Keogh   ;  Ann Painter  ;   Joseph Morris  ;   Julie Claire  ;  Mary Hodge

Katy Kidd   ;  Kaelen Green   ;  Tory Hughes 

Santa Fe Photography Group

•November 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We now have a new Photography Group in Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe Photography Group consists of individuals that have a common interest and enthusiasm for photography.  The goal of this photography club is to share knowledge and ideas amongst the members with an eye to increasing our collective photographic skills.

While we absolutely welcome those with a basic photographic background, the pace and structure of the group will be primarily driven towards more serious photographers with intermediate to advanced-enthusiast experience.

To learn more, please visit www.santafephotogroup.comand check us out!

Cyclists – downtown Santa Fe

•November 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment
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Cyclists-Santa Fe, a set on Flickr.

Exit 297, clay applied to wall in 1 min 7 sec.

•October 19, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Santa Fe clay applied to wall, 17′ x10′ by Alison Keogh

Occupy Santa Fe 10.15.11

•October 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment
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Occupy Santa Fe 10.15.11, a set on Flickr.

Scenes from Occupy Santa Fe October 15. An interesting crowd.

Art Being Create in 1 min 2 sec: “Exit 264”

•October 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Local Santa Fe Clay applied to studio wall, 10′ x 10′ by Alison Keogh

White Sands New Mexico

•October 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment
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White Sands New Mexico, a set on Flickr.

An amazing, though difficult place to photograph.

New gallery: 1,000 FACES in Santa Fe

•September 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment





 

 

Share the road, it’s the LAW! Bumper Sticker from Zazzle.com

•September 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Buy sticker:  Share the road, it’s the LAW!  from Zazzle.com.

I designed this sticker as a reminder to drivers that in the eyes of the law, bikes are vehicles and belong on the roads. This, despite what most cyclists hear from raging drivers who think that only a machine that burns fossil fuels is allowed on the pavement.

“Stratum” by Alison Keogh

•September 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

“Strata Installation”  Handmade paper, hand collected clay from Santa Fe, beeswax

3 pcs @ 13″ x 12″ x 12″, 2011

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see more at Alison’s Website