We called on the Los Angeles-based duo of Sean Talkington and Jesse Carmody. The creative masterminds have been working together for the last several years, with Talkington most known for his work bringing to life inspired products for Team Dream, and Carmody making his mark with captivating videos and professional photography.
We had to ask, how did these two get started in the cycling world and what inspired the concept for the video?
AS: Tell us more about your respective backgrounds and work in the cycling scene.
Jesse: I found cycling through growing up with a father who was super passionate about cycling. I chose the creative visual arts and became a photographer. I wanted to photograph things I was passionate about. Getting license to see the little nooks and crannies of cycling was awesome. Cycling was a passion of mine before photography was and they melded together. Working with Sean on Team Dream projects helped me sink my teeth into that on an ongoing basis.
Sean: I had a grown-up job and realized I didn’t want to do that anymore. I started over and started working at a bike shop for $9 an hour. What drew me to cycling was the classic aesthetic of the old kits. I had so many ideas. Team Dream was a way for me to implement those ideas.
AS: Let’s talk about the video. In 40 seconds you manage to capture the epic character of cycling that many of us revere about the sport, and within the same space quickly deconstruct it down to this funny, honest scene in a front yard. Can you tell us a bit more about how the idea for this short came about and what inspired it?
Jesse: The video was inspired by the original photoshoot with LA Sweat [then Ritte Women’s Team] we did last year. This common thread Sean and I had been working on was Perception vs. Reality. How could we make this over-the-top gritty image and juxtapose it with something really silly to completely deflate it.
Sean: Kelli [Samuelson, Team Manager/Rider LA SWEAT] was involved with that original concept too. Kelly approached me. She wanted to do this thing with Ass Savers where she was completely covered in mud on the front and spotless on the back.
We really like the perception of Kelli playing a character who’s in this European cobblestone thunderstorm, jamming through it. The humorous aspect is that she’s in her front yard training.
Jesse: With the video, we wanted to build on that concept used in last year’s photo shoot. Anything we do, we want to take a step back and ask: “Is this cool?” “Is this funny?”
AS: How did the video shoot go?
Jesse: I’m really happy with how this came out. I feel like we crushed it.
Sean: There’s no hierarchy. With a shoot, some friends will come and contribute. It’s a free-for-all creative environment. It was just one of those things where you go into it knowing what you’re going to do, but you get these additional half-baked ideas to insert at the last minute.
Jesse: We used that track “O Fortuna” and it worked perfectly. I love the reveal. The reveal is funny. Some of the slow-mo drips coming off her helmet are so cheesey, I love it. Probably my favorite shot in the whole sequence is the over-the-top shot of her pain face. There’s also a little reality peppered in there with Kelli’s husband in the video, too.
AS: How do you like to set yourself apart from others? Is there an element of non-conformity in there?
Sean: Before we do anything, there’s usually some kind of conversation where we’ll touch on the question “Has this been done in the cycling world.” From a starting point, our goal is to reference outside of cycling in everything we do.
AS: Why did you want to do a project with Ass Savers?
Jesse: First of all, the name. You guys take things as lightheartedly as we do. You’re not gonna think we’re weird and we can get kind of wild with it.
Sean: In the past, companies never approached me when I worked at a bike shop. I would cold call companies with ideas for them. Now, some of those same people I cold called have emailed me interested in collaborations, not knowing that I contacted them years ago.
When Ass Savers comes to us and says, “We like exactly what you do. Do it exactly how you want to do it...” Not too many people have the opportunity to do exactly what they want to do.
Did you hear? We’re officially saving red, white, and blue asses with the USA Cycling National Team for the remainder of the 2015 season.
With the World Championships coming to America for the first time in nearly three decades, we are looking forward to supporting Team USAC as they prepare for one of the toughest races of the year.
We sat down for a chit-chat with USA Cycling Women’s Program Manager Jack Seehafer, who offered us an inside look at the US national women’s teams, sharing thoughts on development, bad weather, and the quest for gold.
AS: Can you tell us a little about your role as Women’s Program Manager at USA Cycling?
JS: My primary role as the Women's Program Manager is National Team Director. This role means helping navigate teams and riders to optimal schedules of performance, setting National Team schedules and logistics, management of staff, and budget controls. In essence I end up becoming a boss for about 100+ people on the women's side of the sport.
This is my third year in the position after working for various men's and women's trade teams. I have always had a special place set aside for women's cycling as I met my wife in the early stages of her professional career in cycling and witnessed her rise to the top.
AS: We know that riding at a high level domestically is important for development, but what about international experience?
JS: The emphasis is huge in getting riders to Europe. The racing itself is a whole notch up, roads are narrow and the peloton is usually always maxed out.
They need to be there to understand the style of racing if they wish to race at Worlds or the Olympics, as these will be the women they'll be racing against.
AS: What developments would you like to see in women’s cycling over the next 5-10 years?
JS: More racing and harder races. The women are a great show when the racing is hard and if given the venues they'll bring the athleticism.
"Cycling is like life, and life is hard."
AS: What would you say is the biggest obstacle facing women’s cycling right now?
JS: Lack of financial stability and pay.
AS: We’re super excited to see the World Championships coming to the U.S. this year, what are you and the riders most looking forward to? Are there any perks to staying on home soil?
JS: We are most looking forward to racing in front of a home crowd. We'll have the advantage too as we already understand the day-to-day workings of America. Plus, the fact that the Euros will have to travel with all their equipment for a change.
AS: Lastly, since we are fans of gnarly weather, we'd like to know what are the worst weather conditions you've witnessed riders race/train in?
JS: Hail, sleet, snow, rain and winds, especially in Belgium... At one point or another I have witnessed it all. As I like to say, when the weather goes to pot, characters shine on through.
For more information on the USA Cycling Team, visit: https://www.usacycling.org/team.php
It just rained, the roads are wet and you pull out your Ass Saver then ride along your merry way without thinking twice. But have you ever wondered how Ass Savers work? You know, like the nitty gritty hydro and aero dynamics that play into protecting your derriere from getting too wet.
Well, ask no longer! We put our Ass Savers to the test by partnering with Lx Sim - engineers specializing in virtual simulation and mechanical design.
Using multi-physics software, the Canadian engineering firm designed a true-to-life virtual analysis combining all air and water dynamics into a single simulation to evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of Ass Savers. To be sure, they analyzed a cyclist moving through water at 30 km/h (about 18.5 mph in old money) with and without an Ass Savers mudguard.
Fortunately for asses everywhere, our research and development of the perfect ass-saving mudguard isn’t all for naught. According to Lx Sim, “Simulations have convincingly shown that the use of an Ass Savers mudguard protects a large part of the back of the cyclist.”
Let’s call it what it is, Ass Savers protect that ass.
Check out the full case study here.