Monday, 5 September 2016

Blokes on bikes wearing lycra.

I can't make my mind up about cycling events. People moan about watching F1 racing and to me cycling isn't much better.

On a whim I decided to go to Whinlatter Pass and photograph the Tour of Britain, partly due to all the publicity and celebrity status it gets these days and partly to see how I got on taking photos of moving objects as it's something I haven't really tried. Unfortunately I got my timings slightly wrong and I turned up about 30 minutes early. Undeterred I plonked myself down on a fallen tree just short of the summit of the pass and waited...and waited.

45 minutes later I heard the sound of a police motorbike siren and lots of cheering. Thinking they were on their way, I had my camera poised with the settings I'd tested out earlier. As it turned out, the siren was just the police clearing the road and the cheering turned out to be a rowdy group on the Go Ape activity centre in the forest!

All in all there was about a dozen false alarms before the backup cars started passing and then a tannoy announced that the riders where a minute and a half from the summit of the pass. Excitement grew and then the leading pack of maybe ten came in to view. I had my camera on continuous servo and fired off five shots as they passed. My camera fires 5 frames a second so you don't have to be a genius to work out they had passed me in a second. The same thing happened with the second group, another 5 shots, another second. I fared a bit better with the peloton, I managed to fire off 15 shots which meant they passed me in three seconds!

So, all in all, my 50 minute wait was rewarded with five seconds of action. I did get a buzz as the riders approached and passed by but it was over all too quickly for me to really say that the visit had  truly met my expectations. Maybe I was in the wrong place, I suppose I would have got better photo opportunities if I had been on an uphill stretch of the race. I will do this if I go again next year. It wasn't a wasted day though, it did excite and I was pleased with the results of my photo. These boys do travel when they are heading downhill!

A journey of two halves.

It was one of those all too frequent occasions when the weather forecast had a big wad of thick cloud and rain hanging over Cumbria whilst ...