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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Street Cred II: Cyclocrossterium @ Kaw Point

I didn't try to race this one, though I'd have had more fun with it than I did with the Filthy Several Hill Climb stage two weeks ago. I had Molly this weekend, and she requires enough supervision that it was either me or Corinna, we both couldn't race. And she's a lot more competitive person than I am, and a lot likelier to prevail for that matter, so I wore my photographer's hat.

And I got some pretty satisfactory results, I think. I have 41 shots to share here, which seems like a lot until you consider I culled them from 566 frames I actually shot.

Panning is tricky, though, so I don't suppose there's anything to do but shoot a lot and then see what you get. If your focal point is just slightly off, panning creates a piece of shit image. Or if you shoot too slow, the subject needs to be clear, it's the background you want blurred.

I didn't just pan, of course. Before and after I did my usual search for interesting portraits. And I experimented a bit with location relative to the riders. The criterium only lasted a half hour, so I could only experiment so much. And a couple of the places I shot from yielded almost nothing I liked.

They started with all the bikes laid down by the silhouette of Lewis & Clark at Kaw Point. Then the riders all went down to the tip, by the water. The race then started as a footrace up the hill to the bikes.

Someone got on the wrong bike and raced the whole race on someone else's ride.

It's a fairly competitive group, at least half of the group. There's a contingent that ride at a more casual pace, just enjoying a few beers and riding with friends in the park on a beautiful, unseasonably warm January afternoon.

Which is probably how I'd come off if I had ridden the race. Even when I'm going balls out, I doubt it looks it. I'm certainly nobody's idea of fast.

Corinna finished second among the women, but considering the long, hard road she's had recovering from TBI, the fact that she was able to ride to Kaw Point, race for a half hour, then lead Sally and Phil on a levy adventure, that's huge. Sally had beat her by a pretty wide margin, but if they both had the same injury, my money would be on my wife.

Molly was pretty bored some of the time, but she seemed to think the before and after party were pretty fun, and when the pack of people ran past to get to their bikes, she thought that was pretty cool.

And after, I treated Molly to a trip to the garage sale store (that's what she calls thrift stores). She digs thrift stores more than any kid ever.

I had a couple of beers during the after party, though that's something I'm trying to cut out. It's 182 days until RAGBRAI, and a couple months after that I'll be on BikeMS, and I know these rides will go tons better if I lose some weight. I missed the century loop cutoff by a half hour both days on BikeMS last year—I bet if I drop 50 pounds, I beat that cutoff by a half hour instead.

I've got 172 miles in the saddle already at the middle of January, so it's not that I'm inactive. But it's easy to put back what the bike takes out plus interest.

The number one source of empty-ass, totally useless calories in my life is booze. Beer, mead, cider, bourbon, scotch, gin, rum, schnapps, tequila, I pretty much love it all. Not a big vodka fan, but it'll do in a pinch. Half the battle is not keeping it in the house, same as potato chips. If I leave potato chips in the store I basically never eat them. If I bring them home, somehow they end up getting eaten.

I guess I just need to stay focused on the long game.

Hell, if I get skinny, I might even be able to put in a respectable showing at Street Cred.

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