This past Sunday I should have been racing in the Vanier Park Cyclocross Classic but, a combination of a sore knee sustained at New Brighton when I was run over while lying in the sand, and some revelry on Saturday night to celebrate the 30th anniversary of VIFF, made it too difficult to muster up any enthusiasm for racing. At my age you pick your poison, stay up late the night before a race, or go to bed early, don’t drink delicious fermented grape beverages and feel great lining up at the start. I chose the former this particular weekend.
The sun was shining brightly when I arrived just before the start of the races at 10:30. My camera was ready and while I walked the course, I realized I hadn’t a clue how I wanted to shoot the races. Usually I have a plan where I’ll spend a certain part of each race at different locations where I think the best shots will be. I’d even shot this event two years running so I had a pretty good idea how the course was laid out. I wandered to one spot near the stair run where another photographer I knew looked equally disinterested. Then the racing started, Citizen and Cat. 3/4 groups racing first. I started clicking tentatively and then, after ten, fifteen shots (checking each time to make sure I could still focus) I started to feel that excitement I usually felt and now suddenly I knew what I wanted to shoot.
I was running from place to place, changing lenses, setting up portable flash units and really enjoying the racing. The crowds, and they were substantial for local cyclocross, were cheering and cowbells were ringing in my ears. Good familiar sights and sounds. And I left after all the racing was all done with a smile on my face and invigorated as if I’d actually raced that day, only not quite as sore.
The race was again run by West Coast Racing and co-sponsored by Trek-Red Truck Racing with the course designed by Sven Sturm who also performed many other duties including race director, awards presenter and bread tosser. Sven’s race report and more of my photos can be found at Cyclocross Magazine online.