Last Dog Standing

Boy oh BOY did I have a lot of fun shooting this event. Seriously, what a freggin’ blast. I think this highlight reel will give you a good idea as to why. =D

Don’t forget you can buy photos from my photostore here: Martin Iwanwicz Photography – Last Dog Standing

I don’t usually dilly-dally around with all this chit-chat on highlight reels, as I prefer to have the photos speak for themselves, but this one will require a few comments along the way. But first, I need to write a memo.

Dear Cowboy-hat-wearing-course-worker-guy,

That’s right, YOU:

Cowboy-hat-wearing-courseworker-guy photo-bombed the shit out of me

No, not the guy doing the faceplant in the water. But Cowboy-hat-wearing-guy. I’m not mad at you. I’m really not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m upset. I’m upset as all hell. My star photo from this event was photo bombed by a giant white, out of focus cowboy hat. Yeah, that gets my panties in a little bit of a bunch. But I’m not mad at you. You were just doing your job, and I know the risks of using a big ass lens and standing 30 feet away from the riders I’m photographing. I know that you and many other course workers were in the area and walking in my field now and then.  But I just wish – and maybe this wish is extended to the universe as a whole – but I just wish that you waited 5 seconds. Just 5 seconds. That’s all. Let this be proof – perfect shots require a bit of luck. All the fancy lenses, monopods, camera bodies, and spare batteries – they’re just there to make sure you’re ready to capture that perfect shot with all the beautiful color and depth that makes it look real pretty. But actually getting that shot? Luck definitely plays a part.


Martin Iwanowicz
Marginally Pisgruntled Photographer

-End of Memo-

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s move along, shall we? =)


Kids Race. He already knows the universal truth of "MORE THROTTLE!"

They did jumps...

They did hill climbs...

They went through tubes...

And they went over tubes...

Some rode quads...

And some looked way cooler with indiscriminately blasting water behind them.

That concludes all the very standard and boring shots. Now we start what you came here to see – the water crossing. Yes, the water crossing proved to be the photo-highlight of the day. Not because it was very challening, in fact, for some it was probably the easiest obstable… but for others, it was a race ender. Yes, the stakes were high. Most of these photos are part of a longer series, some of which I might feature in the future.  But let’s start with an experienced rider practicing proper application of the “MORE THROTTLE” universal truth…


-no caption-

Just think how this might end. -Part of a larger photoset-

Completely oblivious to what's going on behind...

MORE THROTTLE! -Part of a larger photoset-

-no caption-

You can buy photos from my photostore here: Martin Iwanowicz Photography – Last Dog Standing

The Wedding Trip: Part 2, Pikes Peak, Colorado

Saturday, June 4th, 2011.

0200hrs (approximately) We finally go to bed.

0830hrs – My alarm goes off. I prepped my bike the previous night by tightening and lubing the chain. My tank bag is packed with my $2,700 rental camera lens, as well as my Rebel xti body (~$300) and my personal lens (~$250) for a total of about $3,250 – more than the value of my motorcycle – in my magnetic tank bag. I never use the safety strap. I have the crappy cup of complimentary coffee in my room and leave my netbook behind.

0913hrs – I buy an all-too-expensive breakfast from the hotel bar. Did I seriously just pay $4.24 for a stale, mass-produced pastry? Seriously Marriott, did you just do that?!

0942hrs, Manitou Springs, CO
1251 miles

I fill up the motorcycle at the 7-eleven with my large pack of college friends. Also, it’s pronounced “Man-eh-too” not “man-eh-tao” or however you fools say it.

0959hrs – I pay my $12 “summer adult” toll to drive up a big mountain (Pikes Peak Toll Booth in Cascade, CO). No Refunds.

Skiers being silly
Some of the road as viewed from the top
King of the hill! :D (Photo courtesy of my friend Ted)
The Proof.
The Better Proof.
The Product Plug. Waterproof Sleeves by When It Pours (my upstart!)

I figure you can use or take the waterproof sleeves my company makes pretty much anywhere. Part of this trip is to prove it. Since I didn’t take my laptop up Pikes Peak, this particular waterproof sleeve is holding some papers and my steno pad.

"look sexy!"

The Decent. (Photo courtesy of my friend Ted)

1230hrs (approximately)

Due to some peer pressure, I perform some *exceptionally* hard braking into hairpin corners on the ride down. What can I say, I’m a bit of a showoff. My tank bag with previously mentioned $3,250, and about 20-lbs worth of shock sensitive equipment decides it can’t quite hold on in such a circumstance. The safety strap is safely packed away. The tank bag containing more value than the motorcycle itself takes a nice tumble over the handlebars, bouncing off the front fender and rolling a couple times along the pavement.

Yes, I just effectively hucked a $2,700 camera lens at pavement. Truthfully, it has at least two layers of padding around it, and I’m surprisingly confident it’s fine.

My friends, in the Mazdaspeed Miata convertible gesture for me to toss said bag at them. “No” is my only response. I don’t want to pay for a new windshield AND a new lens.

1245hrs (approximately)

Upon inspecting the equipment inside the bag, it is discovered that the protector UV Lens filter did it’s job. It’s cracked, but both lenses, my camera, and the portable hard drive I keep with me are all fine. Relief is washed over me.

1423hrs – We dine at local Trinity Brewing company and prepare for the wedding of one of my very best friends. Photos from said event will not be featured as part of this series, since I consider it to be a catalyst for this ride, but not part of the ride itself.

Next I roll out towards Moab, Utah…

The Wedding Trip: Part 1, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado

Cross-posted on ADVRider:

My very good friend got married just last weekend in Colorado Springs, CO. The only real issue here is that I live in Orange County, California, and oddly enough he and his then-fiance (now-wife) live only about 15 minutes away from me, but regardless, they were getting married 1,200 miles away.

So I was faced with a decision; Fly or drive. I ran the numbers, and price-wise, it would pretty much be a wash, if anything MORE expensive to ride my motorcycle out to Colorado Springs.

But on the other hand, if I ride I can do an awesome ride report, visit parks, and more importantly – do some very important PR shots for my upstart, When It Pours, which is a business specifically aimed at the touring motorcyclist.

Decision made! I would ride out there and take lots of photos to promote my business.

June 1st, 2011


Fuel stops for day 1


0846hrs, Westminster, California. Departure.

Here I am, On the road again

1036hrs, Indio, CA
121 miles

1215hrs, Ehrenberg, AZ
223 miles

I am now in the mountain time zone, but silly Arizona doesn’t do daylight savings time, so my clock is still correct.

During fueling, I  placed my magnetic tank bag on the speedometer, resulting in rotating the needle 359 degrees and ending up on the wrong side of the “rest pin”. Damn. I correctly determined that by going the speed indicated 180degrees from 0mph, the speedometer will fix itself. Actual speed necessary is about 3mph faster than that indication. No I will not tell you how fast that is. Operation performed in the flat, dry, empty desert highway.

Woah, is that a road runner? They exist?!

1344hrs, Buckeye, AZ
338 miles

1608hrs, Lake Montezuma, AZ
459 miles

1929hrs, Holbrook, AZ
600 miles

Complete with beautiful sunset…

Sunset in Arizona

Yet another picture of the Arizona Sunset

2102hrs, Gallup, NM
704 miles

Ok, NOW I can change my clock…

2359hrs, Farmington, NM
822 miles

I’ve only been on the road for nearly 14 hours, arriving fart oo late, but still being greeted with a hot (ish) shower and warm bed. Good enough. Colorado tomorrow…

June 2nd, 2011

Fuel stops for day 2

1201hrs, Durango, CO
866 miles

Stop in “Homeslice Pizza” which is an old favorite. And by that I mean I’ve been here once before, a year ago. It’s tasty and the waitress is cute.Begin to wonder why I ever left Colorado.

I don't think I'm in Phoenix anymore...

Lovely Colorado... Why did I ever leave this place?

Hello, Million Dollar Highway!

CO550, The "Million Dollar Highway"

It's like a big truck...

This section of road has made me more nervous than any other paved road I've ever been on. Including Pikes Peak Highway.

Ouray, Colorado, with a bit of color adjustment, just for fun.

1452hrs, Montrose, CO
984 Miles

Skipping Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park because I got up late (Look at Durango timestamp)

1728hrs, Salida, CO
1115 miles

~1900hrs, Colorado Springs, CO
~1225 miles

Destination arrived. Prepare for wedding… oh, and the Pikes Peak Highway with some of my best friends, and the real meat of this ride report – the ride home through Utah…

Barclamp Shim

I got this clock (Formotion C-Clamp Clock) for my SV650 (Year: 2002, sans-S) because it didn’t come with one.  The only problem is that the clock is designed for a 1″ diameter handlebar, and the SV650 only has a 3/4″ one.

No problem, stopping at the local hardware store fixes that. Picked up a ~1″ long piece of 3/4″ copper tube and cut it in half with a hack-saw the long way. Wrapped in electrical tape to keep it and place and *ALSO* prevent corrosion…

Connecting copper and aluminum together WILL cause galvanic corrosion, so the electrical tape is my half-assed approach to using the wrong metal for my shim, as I’m pretty sure the barclamp is polished aluminum. If I’m smart, I’ll buy the right shim ASAP, but this worked very well for an upcoming trip.

Anyways, pictures!

1st layer of tape

Tube, cut in half...

Second layer of tape

And the clock is installed!



Motorcycling Daily Gear List

In preparation for an upcoming ride here is a complete list of everything I carry on my bike 90% of the time.

First up; what I carry on myself:
– Wallet (World’s Thinnest Wallet. It’s OK if you have big pockets, but it is longer and wider than most wallets. The real solution is to just carry less.)
– Cell Phone (Currently a Samsung Galaxy S, which I’m very enamored with. I have the Captivate.)
– Keys.
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm (Peppermint)
– Belt: BISON Last Chance Heavy Duty Belt. Worth mentioning because it’s the toughest belt I’ve ever found.

Second; what lives on the bike:
– Cable Lock
– Bungee Cargo Net
– Cinch Strap (small. 5′ long, 1/2″ wide? Maybe 3/4″)
– Stock tool kit (surprisingly useful)
– Waterproof bag by When It Pours containing documentation: Maintenance log, pens, registration, motorcycle owners manual)

Trunk supplies

– Motorbike keys, including garage door opener (very handy) and cable lock key.
Formotion Handlebar Mount And Clock, since the 1st Gen SV650 doesn’t have come with a clock.
– Heated Hand Grips (Not pictured. I use Symtec Motorcycle Hand Warmers, with a rocker switch rather than the toggle switch pictured in that link. Also make sure to put the switch on the LEFT handlebar if you install your own hand warmers. Also this is the best investment I’ve ever made.)


Keys, clock



Third and final; what lives in my tank bag.
I take my tank bag on 90% of the rides I do. In reviewing what I carry with me, I realized most of this is just to form the habit of carrying that particular item so that I know it’s there and know where to find it. I don’t actually need an emergency whistle on a daily basis, but I know exactly where it’s packed. I’ve even started taking my tank bag on other adventures (auto car, airplanes) because it’s so consistently packed, I know exactly where everything I need is.


Tank Bag and everything that goes inside



Listed as pictured..
Upper Left -> Upper Right
– Towel
– Rain Fly
– Shoulder strap I never use and forgot I even had until I tore my bag down for this writeup.
– Emergency Whistle (on lanyard)
– Compass (on lanyard)
– Mounting straps for Saddle Bags (No, they don’t need to be in my tank bag, but I kept forgetting to take them off when I took the saddle bags off and then I would notice them and the only bag I had was my tank bag so now they live in there to make up for my deficiency as a person)
– Safety strap for tank bag (never used)

Middle Left -> Middle Right
– 10.1″ Netbook style Laptop computer (System76 Starling)
– Waterproof Bag for Netbook by When It Pours
– Headlamp
– Ibuprofen for when I don’t drink enough water (this pairs well with drink a lot more water)
Cortech 21-Liter Tank Bag With Magnetic Mount
– Waterproof bag by When It Pours containing: Miniature Road Atlas, Male/Male headphone cable because you never know when you’ll find a stereo that needs some love from your mp3 player, SquareUp credit card reader to square up without cash or do some roadside vending, Checkbook
– Assorted zip ties
– Flashlight with magnet-on-a-stick
– Tire Pressure Gauge

Bottom Left -> Bottom Right
– Assorted business cards
– Assorted pens
– Assorted fuses
– Dramamine, for the one time I bought it while being the codriver for a road rally. I don’t usually get motion sick, but try reading while someone is driving on twisty roads.
– Cheap sunglasses
– Steno Pad to try and organize my scattered brain
– Toll-booth change
– Spare tire stem cap
– Cables for laptop/cell charging
– My Buff
– Minature tripod
Leatherman Skeletool CX
Etymotic Research ER6i 32dB Noise Reducing Earbud Headphones. May not be legal to use while driving. Understandably so, since you  can’t hear anything else if you have the volume turned up.  Regardless, protecting hearing is very important, and they work great when paired with voice navigation from a GPS.
Ear-Peace earplugs
– Lens cleaning solution (for visor and cameras)
– Microfiber cloth

after years of riding, this is what I’ve determined to be the most essential things to carry on a motorcycle on a daily basis.

All packed in with room to spare



Published: Dirt Bike, June 2011

Thanks to my friend Erek over at I’ve been published in Dirt Bike Magazine’s June 2011 issue!  This is pretty exciting. I’ve had the pleasure of being on the cover as a racer for an event guide (Formula SAE – California, 2010) and the pleasure of getting the covershot for a small, local newspaper (Catalina Islander, Dec 10, 2010)… but this is a big-time NATIONAL magazine (international?). Definitely moving up! :D

Dirt Bike Magazine, June 2011, Page 19

Dirt Bike Magazine, June 2011, Page 19 Launched!!!

As many of you may know, I’ve been working on starting an eCommerce business selling waterproof bags and luggage. Just today, I listed the very first product for sale. I’m pretty excited about this. You can check it out here:


Dirt Diggers Desert Scramble, Spangler Hills, 2011-03-27

Buy photos from this event here: Dirt Diggers Desert Scramble, March 27, 2011 Photo Album

Lens: Canon 200mm f/1.8 USM… although, most shots were done at f/2.8 since it was really sunny in the desert.

Highlight reel…

Buy photos from this event here: Dirt Diggers Desert Scramble, March 27, 2011 Photo Album

Prospectors Enduro, Spangler Hills, 2011-03-20

This past weekend I shot the Prospectors Enduro in Spangler Hills.

Anyways, I took way too many photos.  I rented a Canon 7D for the weekend, and at it’s top-speed of 9 shots/second, and the 18megapixel resolution, it ate up the memory FAST.  If you want to check out the full album, it’s on my photostore, here. (note:  Photos should be available before 4am pst, March 22)

Sorry guys, in the interest of getting them up quick I didn’t sort out the bad ones.  There are a few subcategories:  Road Crossing, Lap 3 Check 1, and Misc.  The Misc photos were mostly taken around the Lap 3, Checkpoint 1 area as well.

Cars and Coffee – Irvine

It rained today…

173 photos from this event for sale in my Online Store

23 photos posted here, for your viewing pleasure!

Buy photos from this event

Or, you you want one of the photos featured in this post, you can Buy BIG versions of these digital photos.

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