Monday, February 25, 2013

The Bennett Paul Project : Intro

"I think I just want to graduate and become a bum. Or just work at bike shops for the rest of my life and meet tons of really cool people and higher ups in bike companies." were roughly the words that Saint Ignace cyclist and Central Michigan University student Bennett Paul said as we drove in his car on our way from a cyclocross race. The quote pretty much sums up Bennett to a 'T'.

Bennett is a mechanic, university student, talker, maker of friends, and slight hipster. Bennett also happens to be a die hard cyclists who is trying to make himself known throughout the state of Michigan this year. He once was the Michigan Junior champion and is looking to make a comeback on the podium for the 2013 season. I have no doubt in my mind, knowing his hard work and dedication, that this goal will not come true. 

I met Bennett the first week of my last year at college, it was his first week of his first year. He spoke to me, as I stood kitted up from head to toe at a local school event, about cycling and his interest in joining the schools team. I, president of the cycling club, noticing Bennett s shaved legs and knowledge of the sport, knew he would be our shining star. It's been 6 months of friendship since that day and many great memories have been made both on and off the bike.

I've decided to do a slight documentary on this rising star for a final project of sorts before I graduate in May. I'll be there making images of Bennett training, sleeping, eating, racing, learning, and making friends throughout the beginning of his 2013 season. 

To start, here are some images of Bennett from this past weekends Inside - Out Cyclocross race

Bennett Paul, master of the roads on anything with wheels. 

This is a typical Bennett move. We are walking the race course before the start to check out condition. Everytime I had my camera pointing at him, he'd always make a cheesey face. We'll have to work on Bennett allowing me to just disappear so I can take great photos.

Bennett has a cool style both on and off the bike. He can be seen here pulling up bright pink legwarmers as he gears up to start the race. 

Bennett Paul, putting the hammer down with the A class number 01. 

The course was unique in that it was both inside and outside which had riders running up loading dock stairs, around a corner, and into a hallway so dark you could swear it was out of a horror film. Bennett navigated just fine though. 

Bennett Paul holds his bike around his should as he walks to the pit area with 3 laps to go. Bennett got a flat tire, or 'mechanical' as it's known in the sport. By the time a tire / tube would be changed, Bennett would be down 2 laps. The towel was thrown in, this race was over. 

Overall, it was a really fun race day. I look forward to shooting more images of Bennett. His determination tot he sport is easily seen. I want to capture that the best I can. 

Also, shout out to Bennett Paul for letting me do this. It'll be fun and totally worth it. I promise!

.Christopher Bacarella

1 comment:

  1. Love what you're doing with this man! #OneWorldTwoWheels (thanks for the slogan Trek haha).