07 April 2014

I went to a bike race with a camera

Round and round they went

I went to a local criterium bike race on Saturday in nearby Louisville, Colorado. This one photo says a lot about the day:

I look at riders faces all day long, then come home and stare at them some more on the computer. A lot of those people I don't even know, but many I do, so going to any local bike race is like seeing old friends again and answering "what's new with you?" Besides the social fun, I am always looking for new shots, new angles, new stories - those creative shots in between the hundreds (and hundreds) of laps amuse me greatly.

Here are a few from the day (below). I feel they tell the story of what being on the sidelines of a criterium feels like. And to be quite honest, most race photographers start looking for something else to break up the usual leaning into the corner crit shot. Many times I have been with the best of the best at the Tour of California, for example, and by day five we are all kidding with each other, "Well I already got the palm trees and that cute kid over there, what else can I shoot before the call up."

It's the final lap bell - how creative of me!
One of my favorite parts of a local race is when teams gather with friends and family immediately after their category and go over the race highlights.

I also admire all these "old guys" whose bodies have yet to fail them. They are so strong (and their knees are covered in dramatic scars). If you want to watch a very impressive race, watch a 45+ 55+ category race near Denver/Boulder Colorado. Wow, these men are like the .0001 % of the population that can do this really well.

With my camera I try to catch the feel good moments like this

And share in happy moments like this

Plus take a few race shots - covering all the basics of race photography

The Classic leaning crit shot
The facial expression of effort shot
The SM3 peloton pack shot
The classic slightly blurred speed shot
The distant winding road shot
The here they come again shot. Is this lap 8 or 9?
I try to generally capture the mood of what it was like to visit with friends and watch bikes whiz by.

Observe that old technology has hit our local race scene (and these riders look pretty happy about that). Read: Our secret recovery weapon (Garmin-Sharp team, from 2008!)

Normatec compression system
pure bliss

The next time I will be back out to shoot a local race will be for the Sonic Boom. Until then, I will picture these brave strong racers going round and round, and round.