Sunday, March 30, 2008

Just Passing By

Spring has sprung and here is the proof. First photos of the spring classic race at Kent Park which is just west of Iowa City on Highway 6. I have passed by the entrance dozens of times but never drove in...till today. What a great county (?) park. I enjoyed seeing the bridges but I have to admit I was excited to see the race more. So excited that I plugged the adapter for my ipod into the lighter and wondered why there was no sound. After a few miles down the road when it occurred to me that I never plugged the thing into my ipod! I knew I wouldn't be able to stand listening to the radio for 90 min.!

Here is a series of four photos of the climb to the finish. To walk up one had to walk at quite a slant. Hard enough to walk let alone race a bike and pass people!

You can see Kathleen right behind the rider on the right in the red. 00:00:00
She sees her move as the Punk Rock Girls get out of the way.
Carey is right behind. 00:00:03 second later.

She pulls even with one girl. 00:00:0 5Now she is free and clear and you can see just a touch of a handlebar on the right edge of the picture. 00:00:07 Kathleen passed 4 people in 7 seconds on that killer hill!

I will post pictures of the team on the Bike Tech blog tomorrow. An update for the PEAK Art blog is coming soon.

Get out and take some pictures it's spring,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bike Racing: A Glance Back 2007

Best or Favorite.
It's hard to tell. These are my picks for top 10 bike racing pictures of the for the 2007 racing season. It was a fun and educational year for me. My sister has tried quite a few of the disciplines of the sport. I was lucky enough to be there to share. Unlike pictures of a football game where all the pictures could turn out to look like ant sized people on a green rug, biking pictures can be up close and personal. And that is for us regular people without the big lenses. All of these pictures were taken on my trusty Kodak DX7440

March 10th: Prairie Rude, Cedar Rapids
Shooting the different types of racing required different strategies. For crits you have the opportunities that they will be back so you can try again and move to different locations. You know the route and you can see the action as it unfolds.
Not every picture has to be of action. I think you can feel the excitement and anticipation in this picture. You can see the news crew interview a racer. This is fairly large number of participants that enjoyed this early race.
April 28th: Iowa City Road Race at Sharon Center
I like this photo of the women racers as they are about the pass the Amish lady out for Saturday marketing.
Setting can make a picture really tell more of the story. This is a high speed short circuit with plenty of tight turns, a screaming downhill right 90 degree turn and a horrid up hill. The pace car (not sure on that term) made me nauseous as the camera and another person were looking backwards jerking and careening around.
May 16: Weekly Europa Time Trial on 18th Street
You, your bike, the road and the clock makes for a grueling 10 miles. The spring series of TT is great training for racers as they check and see where they are for the summer season of road racing. The sun at this time of day and the lone rider on the road (complete with family cheering section) make this picture what it really is- just you and your bike and the road.....
July 1: State Championship Team Time Trial
The first TTT for our area. I can't remember how many teams 22 or 24 came from all over Iowa race around the Littleton/Hazelton area. A treat for the racers was a ride down Amish Boulevard. I stayed at the start/finish so I got PLENTY of pictures of each team. This years race will be July 6th.

September 29: Newton Cyclocross
First cyclocross race. I have found my new favorite type of race. It's close, you can take pictures every time they pass, you can change locations, the leaves are turning, that nip of autumn in the air, run-ups, barriers, technical and nice long runs make up cyclocross. What more can I say. It's a long time till next September.

I really like the flow of this picture.

November 25th: Iowa City Jingle Cross
Hard to really pick-but I believe this is my favorite pictures out of over 2,200 bike pictures taken last year. I love the colors and the mass of riders climbing up that goat hill, actually called Mount Krumpet. The racers went far and wide but it was very compact for us to watch as we could see almost the entire course. Newton was very pretty but Jingle was my pick for best race of the year, picture wise.

...and the crowd went wild!!!! Professional Todd Wells showed everyone how Mt. Krumpet is attacked. He rode up each and every time. Of course he made it look easy. He and pro Chris Horner were a pleasure to watch. I loved the tunnel of sound as the crowd cheered for each and every racer.December 13: Kansas City National Cyclocross
Wow nationals. They rotate the location of Nationals so we felt fortunate that it was held fairly close. The level of racing was way up there and that in and of its self make it very rewarding to watch. My favorite races was the Men's collegiate, all in their school kits and the professional men and women's. Picture opportunities were aplenty. The variety of weather from huge snowflakes to bright and clear blue skies with ice on every branch and twig made for some very pretty pictures.

This year's racing will be just as exciting. Mountain biking will be added to the mix. I am already looking forward our favorites of last year and to Leadville100 in August and Chequamegon Fat Tire next September. I will be helping with Bike Tech races and I joined Ingawanis Mountain Bike and will help them as well.
I will be trying out my new Kodak Z712IS. That in and of its self will make the season VERY exciting!!!

Go out and take lots of pictures.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Reflection of What's Really Important

We should all take the time to play in puddles.

On the shores of Lake Michigan this last July.
This reminds me of another special time at Traverse Bay, Mi.
Elizabeth and I watched the beautiful sun set together. Then, when leaving to go back to the hotel another mother and daughter got on the same shuttle. The were probably 50 and 70ish. My daughter was only 4 and I'm not really saying how old I was, but I caught the eye of the mother and we shared just a flickering moment. Perhaps shared the same thought. "That was special, sharing one of nature's greatest shows with our girls?

Sailing on Lake Michigan, June 2005, by Racine, Wisconsin. I would rank this as one of the best time with Christopher. A quiet evening sail on Lake Michigan while watching the sun set with the lights of Racine turning on seemed very peaceful. We had a fun weekend together learning something very new. We don't have too much water in our neck of the woods.

One of my favorite times with Ben is going with him while he is golfing.
This picture is taken at Pheasant Ridge Golf course, July 2006, but my favorite round with him is at Crow Creek, by the North and South Carolina border. It was fun just to ride along in the cart and watch him play his favorite sport. It was very peaceful we only saw a couple of people out on the course as they had just aerated. The course was beautiful and you could smell the ocean.

What is really important? Hoping that you did your bit to instill values for the next generation. My hope and prayer? Try and make my own little corner of the world a little better. Even it is is a world of three people.
So I try and tell them and then I try and live it.
If you try and do your best, be kind to others, say thanks, encourage those around you and set goals for yourself you will have few regrets.
Take a moment and set your goals. What about this year, five years what about 10 years from now? Will you have many regrets that you didn't try or wasted your time? Or will you have satisfaction that you took the plunge what ever the outcome?
It is my turn to think and reflect and write down so I have those goals in a physical form.

These aren't terrible recent pictures but they are among my favorites. Here's to a NEW and FRESH new year. Happy Birthday to me.