08 October 2013

Cyclocross in the Mountains

Colorado Cyclocross

I went to a cyclocross race last Saturday in Frisco, Colorado. It was one of those days when I woke up excited to get the camera gear ready in the morning and pull out my warm boots, coat, hat and gloves. I knew a dusting of snow had fallen in the local mountains the night before and the aspen leaves would still be turning their golden color. I craved that perfect combo for a photographer.

With a warm cup of coffee in hand, I loaded up my dog in the car, turned up the music and enjoyed the drive up I-70 to Summit county. The scenery from the car window was spectacular along my route. My excitement ratcheted up a notch when I turned into the parking lot at the Frisco Nordic center to the sight of cars loaded with bikes on racks - that familiar sign that I had found the bike race.

I slung my camera and extra lens over my shoulder and approached. I heard the familiar sound of The Voice of Colorado Cyclocross, Larry Grossman, over the loud speaker and exhaled - all is right I thought, the race is in progress. I felt the sun on my shoulders and looked skyward. Where is the sun, the light, the barriers, the run-up? Where should I begin shooting a day at the race.

I heard the heckles, saw the down jacketed spectators with beers already in hand. I saw my familiar friends - Dejan, Shawn, Mike - those photographers who gather this time of year to shoot the races, to capture those racers whom I admire so much for showing up and racing in all conditions. The ones who make it look so easy while on course and yet so wiped out by the time they cross the finish line. Giving evidence that they gave their all.

I never know what I am going to capture on the day. I see so much through my lens, and yet I usually take away far more memories than photos, even though those photos end up totaling in the thousands (taking me hours to sort through later). The best times are when the CX racer is so exceptional that what I see forces me to lower my camera and give a cheer instead of pressing the shutter button. That happens frequently at a cyclocross race in Colorado.  

Here is a photo that captured the mood from last Saturday's Frisco CX. This coming Sunday I will be at the race in Boulder  (Boulder Cup, Valmont Park GOLD Flyer) (CX Calendar). See you there.

See entire album of 268 photos from Frisco CX here: Pedal Dancer Images

Yes - we live here; CX in Colorado.  Photo by Karen Rakestraw for Pedal Dancer®
More photos: (click any image to enlarge)