I’ve documented quite a few of James Golding’s endurance feats over the years. He’s an endurance athlete, a diesel engine, world record holder and two time cancer survivor
Along the way I’ve witnessed his triumphs and his failures. Watched as he’s bounced back from any set back, driven his body and his mind beyond, what to normal folk would be called humanly possible. I’ve watched and recorded. His drive, his passion, his belief in those that believe in him.
A number of years ago he was part of the ‘Impossible is Nothing’ project, those famous words still inspire him:
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men, who find it easier to live in a world, they’ve been given, than to explore the power they have to change it.
Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.
Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare.
Impossible is potential.
Impossible is temporary.
IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING.” - Muhammad Ali
This is the photo essay of his trip part way across America - the Race Across the West.
RAW takes on the first 930 miles of RAAM, traversing some of the most beautiful country in the west, leaving the beach in Oceanside, climbing the Coastal Range and the dropping into the scorching desert. After crossing the deserts of California and Arizona, racers begin a gradual climb into the mountains surrounding Flagstaff, AZ and eventually into the Rocky Mountains. The race finishes in the cycling mecca of Durango, CO. The RAW is a qualifying event for RAAM.
This is James’ Road to RAAM.
Meet the 'family'
A small handpicked team that became the ‘family’, that helped James on his Road to RAAM.
Dean - DS, Coach, mentor, friend, confidant, car driver, motivational shouter.
Charlie - Sports Therapist, soigneur, bottle maker, hander upper and anything else he could turn his hand to.
Lee - Mechanic, biomechanic, bottle maker, friend, hander upper, car driver, motivational shouter.
Me - Photographer, social media updater, friend, bottle / food hander upper, motivational shouter, coffee maker.
A moment of reflection
On the way to the start
Here we go
Best laid plans
Things don’t always run smoothly. Thats when the ‘family’ steps in and gets it sorted.
Day one, it's hot and its going to get hotter.
Ice, ice, baby.
Rural residential roads morp into sustained mountain climbs. Conditions get drier and hotter. The flora changes from trees to cactus in the last third of this section. The ‘Glass Elevator’ descent into the desert is a welcome relief, with spectacular views. Just 780 miles to go…
Day and night
Bikes need tweaking, lights need charging. Lee and Charlie tackles the jobs as they come in while james take a moment to refuel and take a quick breather.
Into the night
Our first night. It’s still hot. A smidge over 30c.
A New day.
From below sea level south of the Salton Sea we follow SR 78 across drifting sand dunes to the Colorado River valley. 234 covered.
Spray for rain
The temperatures continue to soar. Battling through highs of mid 40c. Ice wrpped in tights and water sprays are many ways of keeping him cool. It’s a learning curve for us all.
It’s cooler in the mountains, for now.
Taking it's toll
The grinding miles in the saddle combined with the searing heat and lack of sleep are taking their toll. Charles is on hand, sorting out the physical niggles where he can.
No time for views
It’s a constant struggle. The fight against tiredness, against physical pain, against those demons that lurk beneath ready for a moment of weakness. No time to stop and feel sorry for yourself or those demons will break you. No time to savoir the views on a long descent. No time to enjoy the thrill of a long descent. One Step at a time. Getting it done.
You sleep. When you can. Charlie grabs a few much needed hours before we start on day 3.
Day 3 and James is now in the zone. Starting the day in 5th position, he’s way off the mark of a podium finish. But he’s stronger, mentally, he’s focused. The end is in sight, less than 200 miles to the finish in Durango.
As the sun sets
It’s the final run in. He’s slowly but surely reeling in fellow competitors. It’s a long battle, you never give in, you just fight harder.
Not the End.
He did it! 928 miles. 3 Days, 14hrs, 32mins. He finished 3rd. This race may have ended but the journey has only just begun.
One ride, many voices. A fantastic portraits feature published by CRANKED. I'm delighted that the magazine loved the images so much that not only do they appear in Issue 10 but also the ones not featured in print can be found on the CRANKED website.
A selection of some of my favorite shots from over the years.
Full fat Sonder Vir Fortis. The bike of choice of Para Olympian cyclist Steve Bate
3 Peaks at Ribblehead
The toughest CX event in the UK. 38 miles with 5000 feet of climbing. Some descending....
This girl can
A shoot featuring a young enduro racer Katie Clark sponsored by Garage Bikes, riding her new Pivot.
Sunset at the O.K Corral
Part of a series of images shot to promote a new event soon to hit the British shores...
I'm currently involved with a dance project with the fantastic eclectic mix that makes up Grounded Moves. These guys and gals cover all aspects from Lindy Hop through to Breakin. This was from a shoot we did in Brixton early one morning...
Above, below and under
Whilst shooting bikes was my main object for Factor Bikes, I never pass up an opportunity to capture a different aspect. Here we made Jake Birthwhistle show us his swimming moves. It's not all glamour on these shoots.... Sometimes you still gotta train.
A recent shoot with Islabikes for the launch of their new pro Series range
I'm currently involved with a dance project with the fantastic eclectic mix that makes up Grounded Moves. These guys and gals cover all aspects from Lindy Hop through to Breakin. This was from a shoot we did in Greenwich enjoying the late evening sun..
A shoot for long time cancer survivor and all round tough guy of cycling James Golding to show off his new Cancer UK kit along with a new bike from Trek.
The lonliness of the long distance cyclist
Part of a shoot for MET helmets.
Part of a shoot for MET helmets, featuring the Bluegrass Enduro Series at Glen Nevis.
A hunt for the northern lights. They're elusive and yet abundant. Worth the late nights.
National CX Championships 2016. The steps were just one of many challenging aspects of a truely championship worthy course.
The night time 'fun' race with tequila shortcut for those who were a bit thirsty. All part of a fun packed Rapha SuperCross two days at Shibden Hall, Halifax, where cyclo cross racing took over the park...
On a shoot for Cycling Plus. Riders hug the car as they chase to regain the group ahead.
The beautiful elegance of night riding
a pattern of light silently breaking the cycle of darkness
A sign of combatitivity
Checking the bikes out
Ringing the bells
You may now kiss the bride
3 long weeks
Col du Tormalet
Weather in the mountains is a fickle beast. It changes so rapidly. One minute you are bathed in sunshine, rewarded with stunning vistas then suddenly the shutter drops and you can barely see your hand as the mist envelops. Makes for planning images an adventure...
The Col du Tourmalet can be literally translated as 'Bad Trip' which for many this formidable climb can be... The 'temple 'is time to take a breather on this long climb, time to reflect how far you've come and how far you have to go. A time to pray that the next section isn't quite so brutal.... You may linger a while...
The race is on
Being a tourist
New bike, fresh shadows, old concrete
Heavy engineering reflects and contrasts with new aluminium...
A promo image created for City Cross and the boys at Morvelo.
Thin White Line
This image won a gold medal in the 2012 PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris competition back in 2012. Shot during a local evening criterium, during the elite race. The rider is James Moss riding for Endura Racing.
There is a race on. Behind the scrum of motorbikes. Nuetral service, commissionaires, press, photographers and assorted all vying for the best postion. Behind them the riders are tackling the infamous Arenburg Cobbles. Both sides lined with spectators, the best line is a narrow strip on the left, but barriers make this line hard to stick to. The riders are forced to ride the cobbles. Some make it some don't. The beauty of Paris Roubaix. It's brutal, survival of the fittest and sometimes pure luck of the draw, with mechanicals and random spectators ruining the party on more than one occasion. Oh and don't mention the weather...
A road less traveled. Following a man on a mission. A dream to break a record.
Tour of Britain 2013.
Hadleigh Olympic Park
Preview imagery produced as the Olympic MTB venue took shape.
Low n Fast
Dave Collins, part of the ever popular Hope Racing Team tackle the invitational race, where teams of 5 race over an hour, off camber, uphill, steps and mud, all for cyclo cross glory... Rapha SuperCross.
Over the bars
Perfect timing. For me that is.. Not intended. No one was hurt thankfully!!
Mountain bike action during the night.
Bernie Eisel tackles the first section of cobbles on this iconic race.
A small snippet of articles published featuring my images.
Stybar - Strade Bianche
Featured in VeloNews back in April, this great shot I got at Strade Bianche at the final corner, now makes it way back into VeloNews as one of it's 'Best Photos' of the year. Pretty pleased with that.
A portrait feature on bikepackers. Published in issue 10 of CRANKED mountain bike magazine.
Pro for a day
Nice 3 page spread in the January issue of Cycling Plus featuring my images & One Pro Cycling. Grab a copy to see and read the whole article.
One Day Ahead
A recent feature in Cycling Plus utilising my imagery from the challange.
Part of a 15 page spread in issue 6 of Conquista featuring imagery of james Golding as he attempted to break the 7 Day record.
On going work with the UK’s most proactive children’s bike designer and manufacturer, now producing bikes for all generations…
And occasionally I shoot weddings. They're fun. A celebration of a couple's love for each other, captured in my own unique way. If you'd like me to shoot your wedding drop me a line.
Don't let it rain on your parade
Shrouded in love
A moment to reflect
Off to the putting green
Ringing the bells
You may now kiss the bride
The final prep
Beautiful end to a beautiful day
Commissioned to shoot the new range of Factor bikes, featuring David Millar and his exclusive Factor ONE Chpt./// model.
People fascinate me. The characters, the players, the bystanders all united in their passion for the sport of cycling. This is a small snippet of some of the amazing people I've had the privilege to meet and capture this moment in their busy sporting lives.
I'd rather be climbing
Portrait of Para Olympian Steve Bate for a feature run in CRANKED magazine about riding when losing your sight.
A blast from the past. Shot at Beamish museum, where the past comes to life...
Al - Cross people
Part of a feature shot and written for CRANKED magazine - "Cross People"
Paul - Cross People
Isla - Cross People
Verity - Cross People
Verity - Cross People
Portrait shot for Cycling Weekly feature.
Newly retired. Taking a well earned break before hitting the stage at the Braveheart Dinner
One of the best loved pro mountain bikers out on the world circuit.
Dominant on the UK MTB scene for many a year.
The life of a pro cyclist is spent travellng, riding, eating & sleeping. They see the inside of many hotels throughout their careers.
Sean "The King" Kelly
Never mess with the king...
The granddaddy of mtb racing here in the UK. Craig has done it and probably won it all in his time. Still going strong with added competition coming from his two young equally as talented sons.
Irish rider with AnPost Chain Reaction. Taking time out after a hard days training out in Calpe.
A quiet moment in the back of the Endura Racing team bus on the way back to team digs after an impressive 3rd spot in the Tour du Finistere back in 2012.
Tom Stewart, riding for Madison Genesis in the 2014 edition of the Tour of Britain.
The glamour of finishing a stage & changing ready to roll onto the next one.
Or Graeme Freestone King as he's otherwise known as... What he doesn't know about Campagnolo, isn't worth knowing....
David Millar at the launch of His collaborations with Factor Bikes, Castelli-Chapter/// & Brompton.
Enthralled by an evening of auction as the Braveheart Dinner raises money for young riders. Kelly donated two donkeys to the auction causing quiet a stir but raising in excess of £600.
A few faces from a fab Aggregate 100. Photo gallery now online to view here:
A London based dance troupe, showcasing Lindy Hop though to beatbox and beyond. Shot in various location.
Based north of Stoke on Trent, Longstaff Cycles is a small British manufacturer with a well known reputation for building bespoke audax and trike cycles for over forty five years. What isn’t so well known, is that Longstaff built winning trikes for the last Paralympics and World Championships. A classic story of a traditional small British company quietly doing what it does best and hitting well above it’s weight along the way.
The fight against the mud is never ending. The riders forge a path as best they can. Behind the scenes and vibrant hub, ankle deep in slop, runs, pushes, carries, washes. An endless production line.
"Keep a week clear in April" the voice on the other end of the line randomly said.The voice belonged to the enigmatic James Golding. We’d met briefly in the past, I knew a little of his story but when he mysteriously rung me at the start of the year to ask if I could be available for a little photo taking jaunt, I said yes, without question. Little did I know what I was letting myself in for…
Fast forward to April and departure into the unknown, 10 days in the company of people I either vaguely knew or had never met before. And why?
Why indeed. James is a very special man.
5 years previously he had been fighting the toughest battle, the one for his life. Having being diagnosed with cancer complications set in during his treatment leaving his life on a knife’s edge. His odds were less than 5% survival, but against these most difficult of odds, he found the strength to fight and on the 12th April 2009 having learnt to walk once again he headed out the door of the hospital…
When faced with the ultimate challenge of life itself most people would rejoice and lead a sheltered life, but not James. The cancer was a turning point in his life, giving him a new lease of life. He wanted to prove himself time and time again whilst raising funds for the very people who helped in on his lowest days, Macmillan cancer. These images were captured during a week in France following James as he tried to capture the World 7 Day record. It wasn't to be, for a number of reasons. This is unfinished business...
An adventure. A trip to visit the land of epic sagas. Elusive lights, breathtaking vistas. The land of fire and ice.
A hunt for the northern lights. They're elusive and yet abundant. Worth the late nights.
A lazy winter sun, sleepily awakens over Thingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. The landscape carved from lava.
The golden waterfall, living up to its name.
Erupting every 5 mins, spouting hot water over 30m into the air.
The southermost village in Iceland.
One of many amazing waterfalls located in Iceland.
Shadowed by the volcano.
Legend says that these are the remains of two night trolls who were petrified as they were trying to pull a three-masted ship out of the sea. The dawn caught them and had them turned into stone.
According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall.
Bird feeding on the small lake in central Reykjavik is almost a national pastime.
Details of the stained glass found at Skálholt
A grade 1 listed former flax mill nestled in the urban village of Holbeck on the outskirts of Leeds city centre. This fascinating building was constructed between 1836 and 1840. Built in the Egyptian style with the office section of the building based on the Temple of Horus at Edfu. The vast single storey weaving shed was once the largest room in the world covering a staggering 2 acres, natural light was provided by 67 conical glass domes on the roof. at the time of construction the architects, Jospeh & Ignatius Bonomi were ahead of their time. Their unique design at once set it apart but also proved it's downfall. The whole building was built under compression, which meant the weight of the roof was supposed to keep it stable. It failed immediately. The architects rectified this problem by putting the building into tension, something that had never been done before or since.....
Another claim to fame for this amazing building is the fact the worlds first hydraulic lift was developed here, to enable sheep to reach the roof. Yep, sheep were used to keep the grass down on the roof which had been sown to help keep a constant temperature in the moist flax room.
The heady days of the flax trade collapsed in the 1870's leaving Temple Works to run as a normal textile mill, until the 1950's when Kay's catalogue obtained it. Kays folded in 2004 and since then Temple Works fate has hung in the balance with many plans come and gone to develop the site. Large cracks in the main room combined with a partial collapse of the main facade means work is needed sooner rather than later to preserve this historic ground breaking inspiring building. While it's fate hangs in the balance, the building has become home to a thriving creative hub that regularly hosts many events, from music through to experimental theatre.
The images are mainly a collection of shots of the amazing glass conical domes as the sun sets in late autumn, reflecting the buildings inspiration of the Egyptian god of the sky Horus.
Modeled on the original Horus temple in Edfu. A neglected jewel of architecture just a few minutes walk from the centre of Leeds.
A small snippet of the roof space seen from the inside.
66 at sunset
66 glass conical domes, elegantly dancing through a late autumn sunset.