What a journey my little disposable camera has been on. The intent was to document the gals I ride with in Jackson, Wyoming, USA. We lovingly call ourselves a bunch of “Bad Barbaras.” Who’s Barbara? One day while enjoying a PBR [beer] we realized that there was no female equivalent to the term “Jerry,” and we needed something to describe our stupid antics on the trail. Dwelling on narratives to pitch for Disposable Heroes I kept coming back to my gals, so, I sent it in on a whim.
I started the project in Jackson, but quickly ran into an issue: I got a last minute invite to photograph and attend Crankworx. Going to Crankworx wasn’t the problem, but the fact I was going to be absent from my home for two weeks made things difficult. Plus, it seemed silly not to shoot up in Whistler, Canada. I knew I’d connect with a lot of cool gals, and that seemed worth sharing. Plus, when I applied I said something like: “show a rad group of ladies on the trail” so I felt this technically fit the parameters. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission right?
In all seriousness, a lot of women are too intimidated to ride because they don’t see themselves reflected in what they perceived to be a “mountain biker.” How do we fix this? Female representation shouldn’t always have to be a big hooplah. Instead, it would be cool for lady shred to be a normal thing. That’s what I honestly love about Crankworx, there are so many incredible female mountain bikers shredding, competing, or working with bike brands that it almost feels normal. By saying this, I don’t want to undermine the issue, because it’s still there and we have a long way to go. However, when I look through these shots, I get excited. Photographed are the Juliana Free Agents, Kaylee Gibb (the shot that didn’t develop) and her six-year-old daughter Alora, the 17 gals who competed at the first ever Jump Jam, and lastly, Delilah and Claire—who I met at Crankworx and accidentally ran into in Wyoming. We then rode Teton pass the next morning, which was so RAD.
Seven shots left, I set out to race and shoot the Grand Targhee enduro, but had a minor snafu you could say. In Stage 2 I sent it over the handlebars and snapped my collarbone like a twig. Hours later staring at an ER ceiling I remembered about the camera and got really bummed. But, then I realized, my injury was actually part of the story. Getting hurt is an innate part of this sport. It sucks, but what has blown me away is how some of my friends genuinely went out their way to help. Ironically, the people who stepped up the most were the gals I had initially planned to shoot with. So in a convoluted way, things came full circle. I Love you Barbaras.