Feb 01 2017

Another Cover

I’ve been working at this photographic next chapter for over 8 years now and I measure it by time invested and treasures uncovered. Getting a magazine cover is certainly something to be treasured. And with the latest issue of Pedal Magazine I now have my 4th cover. One was for a trade show magazine, the other three have been for Pedal. And each is unique…


#1 – 2012

The first went along with a major article about doping and the state of cycling in Canada. This was a long and involved combination of photographic and written journalism. 2012, midway into this adventure. It was put together through a couple of Skype interviews with Michael and supplemented with assorted photos (some mine and some from others).

Doping hits Canadian Cycling


#2 – 2015

The next was to celebrate how significant the organizers behind the Mont-Sainte-Anne MTB events are in the grand scheme of mountain bike racing. The cover features Marie-Helene Premont and again there was a significant written piece… this time about how MSA is the last venue from the originals and is the only one to celebrate 25 years (now heading to 27!).

MSA cover featuring Marie-Helene Premont

I also did a video for the 25th anniversary… the interviews are from 2014 so it was a year in the making. The video features a few athletes but the story is really told through Patrice & Chantal.



#3 – 2016

And the latest is a product shot… it’s been years since I’ve done staged photos and I’ll admit I prefer event photography. No written content from me this time, I’ll have to make a point of getting back into writing.

Still.. it was a fun change of pace and I enjoyed the challenge. And hanging out with Tim for an afternoon was a treat… we’ve known each other casually since 2004 so it was nice to have time to get caught up.

Tim and the S3 Disc


Dec 31 2016

A Sonos sound system upgrade

In 1990 I bought a nice Denon stereo system with B&W speakers from Bay-Bloor Radio. It was my first serious investment in a sound system and I quite enjoyed it for many years.Some time in early 2001 the speakers told me they were getting tired and the amp was getting a little noisy. Plus it was a big system so it ended up in the basement, not ideal for enjoying music upstairs. For a while it got re-purposed to augment the TV as an early home theater setup.

In 2001 I got a new setup for the living-room with a stack of compact Teac & Yamaha components and Mission speakers. Again… nice rich sound highlighted by the crisp sounding bookshelf speakers. Some time back the CD changer decided to give up the ghost. This wasn’t really a big deal as by now we had adopted iTunes and were using various portable devices to stream music. And as the Internet continued to evolve and home networking became more integrated we got into some Bluetooth speakers and streaming Internet radio from these various devices. And at some point I realized we seldom used the stereo other than to play local radio. And I realized that the little Bluetooth speaker, while convenient, we really weren’t satisfied compared to the previous two systems.Perhaps I should say I wasn’t satisfied. I believe Andrea would have been happy to keep it the way it was. Not me though…

And so I began musing about getting something to integrate the streaming we do with the sound quality I look for; something Andrea picked up on.

So she went back to Bay-Bloor Radio and asked what they would recommend. And for Christmas there was this cute little white box with the name Sonos on it. It’s meant to connect all the streaming devices to the stereo and take advantage of the sound quality it delivers by using a wifi connection to the audio sources and connecting via a line in to the stereo. And it worked great for that!

Looking at their full line of products I started imagining extending the sound to other rooms. Starting with the kitchen. Andrea uses the small Bluetooth speaker when she;s cooking or baking so she doesn’t have to turn up the stereo. So I decided to add a wifi Sonos Play:3 speaker to the mix and be able to move the music or talk radio from room to room.

This presented a challenge though… it sounded ok as long as the audio source was coming from the Sonos Connect. If the stereo was the source and being fed into the Sonos the output was out of sync between the wired and wireless speakers. There are some ways to reduce the gap but I couldn’t eliminate it so after doing some more reading I decided to flip the model. The Connect got replaced with a Connect:Amp so it was the driver for all of the output. The big difference between the two devices is where the analog speakers get connected. Once the wired speakers were controlled by the Sonos amp everything synced up perfectly.


Sonos Connect:Amp on top of the 2001 Teac Amplifier


Sonos Play:3 speaker, wall mounted

You can probably guess where this goes…

Once I had that all working I decided my office could use some better speakers. So I added two of the smaller Play:1 speakers and configured them to be left & right channels. And then one last Play:1 to sit next to the bed. It’s configured as an alarm clock πŸ™‚


Beside alarm & evening/morning entertainment


Two Sonos Play:1 sit on top of my desk-side cabinets

All in all… I’m very pleased with the setup. And three stereos in 26 years isn’t bad!


Oct 31 2016


Cyclocross racing in Toronto got a big boost with the recent CXTO event in Christie Pits Park this past Saturday. And it was a fun event to cover. Lots of people I know were there, a good turnout of racers and good crowds.

I haven’t finished processing my photos yet, in part because there was another race on Sunday. And in part because I had an unexpected request to provide some photos for this article on the CBC.CA website.

Oct 24 2016

Colorado wrap-up

Well! September 25th to October 15th was a home to Fruita Colorado and back trip. What a trip it was! Let me wrap this up in a summary entry.

  • 4,149 miles (6677 km) for a 2016 total of 9,022 miles (14,520 km)
  • 741 miles was the longest single day of driving according to my RoadTrip app (650 was my earlier estimate)
  • 10 states and 1 province
  • 14 nights camping and 5 nights in a motel
  • 671 L of diesel (177 US gallons) with a 23.5 MPG average

Previous blog posts cover the getting there and the bike riding while there. What an amazing place to be, I already long for being back there and Andrea does too. So wrapping this trip up I have to say that spending most of the time camped in Babe was perfect. She never let us down. The nights in motels were a bonus and I think for the most part they were optional. Staying longer, even heading further south to do more riding would have been awesome. Could’a should’a? No going back though, it would have required better planning on my part. And things like full campgrounds at the end of September wasn’t something I expected. Now I know better.

Leaving Fruita

I don’t think Andrea and I talked much about this moment but it was the end of our time riding in CO. Something we’d been planning for a long time and something that was ending too soon. It arrived and there was no turning back so we loaded up Babe, headed out of town and steadily uphill. The climb led us from Fruita at 4500 feet to Vail and over that pass at 10,662 feet, then down to Siverthorne/Dillon/Frisco (9,000 feet) for our overnight stop. We had a late lunch in Frisco with a stop at Rocky Mountain Roasters to stock up on coffee beans.

The weather was changing as we left and while we didn’t get snowed on the was certainly freshsnow up in the mountains. Our days were still warm enough for t-shirts but the nip of winter was there.


After a night in a Dillon motel we went up over the Loveland pass (11,990 feet) and then took secondary roads down through the mountains until they were behind us and the high plains were in front. The distinctive Flatiron foothills were all that remained of the majestic Rockies once we got to Boulder (elevation 5,400 feet). Babe was happy to be done with mountain passes for this trip though πŸ™‚

We spent the day wandering around historic downtown Boulder enjoying the pedestrian shopping area and some of the fascinating architecture. And then a delicious dinner at the Leaf restaurant that was 100% vegetarian. Our plan was for a late(ish) dinner and then head to Denver for our last night before Andrea flew home. I thought we should eat a little earlier because I wasn’t keen on driving in the dark and we agreed to an earlier meal since we’d also be able to watch some of the “presidential” debate (neither a true debate nor very presidential!). Dinner was good though. And the “debate” didn’t take away from that πŸ™‚

On a side note… every town we were in that had a bike shop got a stop from us with me looking for the perfect hydration backpack. Not too big, not too small, room and secure places for all the things I like to bring. That included Boulder. And I’m home without one. I’ll have to look for sales over the off season.

CO to ON

The next morning was one neither Andrea or I was looking forward to. It all went smoothly though. Andrea got to the airport with time to enjoy the lounge. Babe navigated her way eastward and was happy to be getting to lower elevations. And I know we both wished it would have been longer… a good sign that it was a great trip.

I missed my chance to get some wifi before Andrea took off and my route had me in remote places for the next day plus so we were on our separate ways back home. Let’s just say mine was a little slower so it took a little longer. A few days longer. Like the trip out though it was filled with amazing scenery and I very much enjoyed it. I camped in an abandoned campground, next to a couple or lakes, had to use my bug netting for the first time, and enjoyed a final few campfires. I hiked and biked a little. Even took out my u-bass. A little.

I was pressed for time to get to Denver to make sure I was there when Andrea arrived. The return trip wasn’t the same though so I kept my driving time to shorter chunks and avoided major highways until I got close to Canada. And then it a border crossing and a few final hours until we were all home.

It only took me a little over a week to wrap up this trip report… not too bad since there were so many adventures along the way. And now I’m back into my “winter” mode getting Babe ready for hibernation and looking into some IT consulting. And covering bike races… the Vaughan Cyclocross Classic was yesterday.

I’m back.

Oct 17 2016

Three MTB rides around Fruita CO

I started this while Andrea & I were still in Colorado. I’m finishing it sitting at home a week later now that I have Internet & time not driving πŸ™‚

After leaving Gunnison Andrea & I headed to Fruita with the intention of staying camped out in the 18 Road desert, riding the MTB trails there as well as some of the ones closer to the Utah border known as the Kokopelli loops. We had four days of riding ahead and were happy to stay put for the first two nights and then do some exploring of trails we hadn’t seen. Mission accomplished!

The drive to Fruita was about five hours, included crossing over Monarch pass and shopping as well so no riding on the Monday. And it ended with a motel room for the night, the first for us on this trip. The shower was a welcome treat.

We did get to ride three separate sections of trails in the Fruita area so let me tell you a little about those very different days of riding starting with 18 Road.

18 Road North

There are more than 20 trails with a little over 80 km to cover on the 18 Road trails (here’s a link to the MTBProject map). They’re a mixed bag ranging from long climbs to pump track fun. Throw in some ridges to ride down and dry riverbeds and you’re pretty much got the picture of this area. Desert that will leave a dusty coating on everything and trails to put a smile on your face. You can get trail maps at the bikes shops and even the coffee shops so be sure to get one there. The trail heads may or may not have any so don’t assume.

The campground at the end of the dirt road was mostly empty when we arrived on Tuesday morning and totally full when we left Saturday. With ample options to pick from we took a site on a lower loop that was a little sheltered, off the “main” road and only had one other campsite so we wouldn’t have a big group camping with us. Turned out to be a good choice.

Day 1

Day one was an easy ride down a couple of the trails and then back up. With the exception of Edge Loop the trails run down from the Book Cliffs and then there are a couple of climbs back up to repeat. I’ve never been tempted to ride the Edge Loop though… the other trails are so much fun I couldn’t see the point in the limited time we’ve had there. Our route was across Frontside to Western Zippity, both trails that can be ridden in either direction. Prime Cut is the main route back up if you don’t want to ride the road. And then for fun we took Kessel Run back down with another ride back up to our campsite.

Day 2

Day two was a little longer with the full Chutes & Ladders trail, Vegetarian back up to Down Uppity and then another ride up Prime Cut. To finish the day we went down Joe’s Ridge where I opted to head back up the campground loop while Andrea kept going down MoJoe and then took Western Zippity back up. About the only trail we didn’t ride was Zippity Do Da and this was because it’s one of those trails that pushes all the wrong buttons. Joe’s Ridge has a few sections when the terrain falls away on both sides and ZDD is even more dramatic. We just didn’t feel like walking it.

Kokopelli Loops

This group of trails is also called Mary’s Loop in honour of Mary Nelson and you’ll find a marble plaque on the trail named after her if you know to look. (MTBProject link)

The trailhead is a few miles west of Fruita so we packed up Babe and headed out after two days of no driving. These trails run along the north/west side of the Colorado River as it makes it’s way to Utah. And it feels more like Utah riding than the 18 Road trails. Dramatic scenery and some trails that come too close to the edge for my liking! We started with the easy Rustler’s Loop which is perfect to stretch your legs while taking in the scenery. From there we headed to the start of Mary’s Loop and took the first branch off onto Wrangler’s Loop. This included the toughest climb of the day, most of the trails are rolling with some technical sections. Then back to the main section of Mary’s Loop before trying Steve’s Loop. The most challenging attribute is how close to the edge the trail goes at times. Close enough that we walked a lot. And paused to take a few photos and regain our nerves.

For this last reason, I think this was our least favourite day of riding. And it was almost enough to have us skip the Rabbit Valley trails the next day. I’m glad we didn’t though, they were a lot more fun. First though, here are some photos from the Loops.

Rabbit Valley

When the sun sets in the desert it gets dark and cold very quickly. This Friday night was the coldest night of the trip even though the daytime temperatures were still up in the mid-twenties.

As I mentioned the walking because of trails so close to the cliff edge was a turnoff for us. We had heard that the Western Rim trail was nice but we were a little hesitant. So we started out on the double track Kokopelli trail Don’t let double track fool you though, this is still a technical and challenging trail. One that you can take all the way to Moab in Utah if you like. And you’ll pass a marker to let you know you’ve crossed the state line. And then you’ll get to the Western Rim. You’ll know you’re there when you take a steep drop-off down the rocks and start winding your way along some fun single track. Here’s a link to the route. This turned out to be a longer ride that we expected (so pay attention to the scale of maps as they change!) and while we had intended to ride Rabbit Valley 2 back we ended up getting back on Kokopelli. I think this was the first day we drank almost all of the water we’d brought along. And getting back to Babe was a delight.

So there you have it! This was the end of our riding time. We had one more night of desert camping and then we were headed to Denver via Boulder. Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

If you’re wondering about the second Westy that showed up, Mike drove from California to do some riding around Fruita and Moab. He spotted Babe and spent a few days camped next to us.

Andrea, Joe, Mike and me

Andrea, Joe, Mike and me


Oct 03 2016

A Colorado one day sampler

Here are four panoramic photos from our day in Gunnison & trip to Fruita. It was a beautiful place to be, fabulous spot to camp and great trails to ride. Big sky… I would have loved to stay up to take some photos but we were both totally wiped from the ride and were in bed by 9pm. Perhaps tomorrow when we’re in the Fruita desert.

Oh… and if you’re wondering about internet and the blog updates here’s the scoop. Andrea has some connectivity from time to time via her Blackberry. I have a little MiFi hotspot that connects less often and has very limited data. Neither useful for blogging. However…

I broke some more nipples on my wheels (an ongoing story, ask Steffan about it πŸ˜‰ ) and so we stopped in at Double Shot Cyclery in Gunnison to see about getting them fixed. That got us free internet while we waited. Side story: in trying to true the front wheel he got up to 9 nipples that broke at which point I asked about replacement wheels. They had a nice pair of used DT Swiss wheels at an awesome price so that’s what I’m riding now! New rotors and new tubeless tires included.

Today the plan was to have a shower before we spend the rest of the week camped north of Fruita in the desert. We were going to use the state park to camp & shower but ended up deciding to get a motel room for a few dollars more. Staying warm after a show is a good feeling. Getting internet for the evening is a bonus.

So here’s a bonus blog update thanks to staying warm after a shower. Four photos, all taken on my iPhone (so far it’s the only camera I’ve used).

Hartman Rocks

Andrea on the Hartman Rocks trails. Babe is in there too… good luck finding her!

Hartman Rocks

Riding through fields of sage at Hartman Rocks. If you think it’s flat then it’s fooling you.

Hartman Rocks

Sunset at Hartman Rocks. We could see Gunnison in the valley miles away. No-one else though.

Blue Mesa

Andrea at a lake in the Blue Mesa area. It was a scenic drive from Gunnison to Fruita.

Next up will be the 18 Road trails north of here where we’ll ride and camp. We also plan on riding in the Kokopelli trails that go all the way across the Utah border. Looking forward to riding and camping in the desert!

Note to Bob: wish you were here!

Oct 02 2016

Howdy from Colorado

After picking Andrea up in Denver, we headed south and now have a few nights of camping in Colorado behind us. I’m writing this from Gunnison after three days and nights up in Gothic campground (above Crested Butte). The first night was in a private campground below Colorado Springs we grabbed because the state park was once again full.

We’ve had one night of rain, one very hot day, two beautiful days in the high mountains complete with chilly nights and now we’re headed to Hartman Rocks just SW of Gunnison. After I get a couple of broken spokes fixed here at the Double Shot Cycling. Sipping coffee while we wait πŸ™‚

So… I have limited time to write so I’ll just post a gallery of photos for you to enjoy. We’re having a good trip. And Babe is too as long as we stay away from high mountain passes… she didn’t enjoy Monarch Pass (over 11,000 feet) but has been a real trooper at everything else.

Sep 28 2016

Three Days in September

Lots of days led up to these three days. They were mine to use. And I did. As best I could! Let me tell you a little bit about these three days in September.

I blame a race in Leadville CO and a bunch of cyclists who got an idea two years ago and did something about it in 2015. I have to share in the blame too since I have now driven my VW Westy from Toronto to the middle of Colorado (& further west) for a 3rd time. All to meet Andrea here… destinations Moab, Leadville and now Fruita. So here I am.

The days before – well the weeks before! – were all prep for getting on the road. The objective was being in Denver by noon on Sept. 28 and I couldn’t leave before Sunday morning (the 25th). I’m in a suburb of Denver now. My plans didn’t work out tonight so I’m going to enjoy a shower in the morning. The state park I had planned on spending the night at was full and I hadn’t planned on that. It was too far a drive to find another, the local Walmart doesn’t permit camping, so a room for the night.

Lots of changes were in the works in the weeks leading up to this trip. Some major changes including a new turbo charger which I generally don’t like to do before a “race”. So far so good though! And I just got a message from Andrea that she’s in Chicago with the first leg of the flight done and the next soon to start. She arrives here a little before 2pm (8:30am as I write this).

It’s about 1,500 miles from home to here. And I feel pretty good about having driven the full way in 3 days. Keep in mind that old VW’s don’t go fast so a mile a minute was the plan. That’s still 25 hours of driving plus stops for gas, food, and the occasional photo. And here I am.

Day 1: 678 miles, 1 province & 3 states. Slept in a huge parking lot and didn’t even hear all the trucks!

Day 2: 530 miles & 3 states. Passed a sign on Hwy 36 that said “Geographic center of the United States”. Slept in a motel after watching the presidential debate.

Day 3: 250 miles & 2 states. The state park I wanted to spend the night in was full so another night not in my camper.

Now let me share a few of the photos.


Toronto: Packed & ready to go. That bag up top cost me about 4 miles per gallon on fuel consumption!

iowa 80

Iowa: on I80, the world biggest truck stop

Iowa 80

Iowa 80


Sunrise Babe looks small @ Iowa 80

Smith Center

A motel in the middle of the US… I think she wants in.


Babe doing her part to control bugs

High Prairie

High Prairie country through Kansas… long straight roads with little traffic

Prairie View Kansas

Prairie View Kansas… nothing to see but wide open farmland


Babe adding colour to Colorado! This was on Old US 24.

The mountains...

Sunset over Denver at Cherry Creek State Park. Too bad the campground was full (all 152 sites!)

Sep 17 2016

A Week at Shelter Valley Folk Festival

I’ve been to the Shelter Valley Folk Festival every year since 2011. If you’re interested in a look back just do a blog search for SVFF. The first entry from 2012 touches on how Andrea and I got interested in the festival in the first place. And how the idea of volunteering crept into the picture. I’ve published a few videos and galleries over the years as well.

This year was a delightful mix during both the set-up volunteer time and the festival itself.

I wrote earlier about going to Vermont with Andrea for the Overland race. And driving back on Sunday to be ready for Steff and Saba to come over and then get on the road to Grafton. It made for a long day but meant we three volunteers could get our time in and get the work done that needed doing.

On Getting There

While away I’d exchanged some messages with Steff and they needed to make 2 trips to get everything together since I wasn’t able to go down and pick them up. The first load arrived while Andrea & I were away so we got home to the living-room/dining-room full of stuff. Not that it’s usually much different even when it’s just the two of us πŸ™‚ . And that was great because Punch got a visit with a couple of happy people.

On Monday those two rode up on bikes with the rest of their stuff. I had been loading up all the things that were already here so it was a matter of loading bikes on the bus and getting on the road. Which we did somewhere around 10:30. More or less on schedule to get to the site for noon.

The advance setup crew chief is Myk and once we got on site we looked for him to see what he wanted us all to work on. After a little discussion he decided that we’d stick together and work as a team to build the three side stages. I was slightly hesitant because I wasn’t sure I wanted to boss my son and his girlfriend around but only slightly. Steff and I have done a bunch of things that required solid cooperation (canoe camping quickly came to mind) and I liked the idea of getting to spend that much time together. It’s probably 15 or 20 years since we were in the same place for days. So this meant a lot to me. To be fair, the one more recent time was 4 years ago when Steff came to SVFF for the weekend.

On Being There to Work

Ever since I decided to make the week ahead of the festival my time to volunteer I’ve been thrilled with what’s come of it. It’s hard, honest, work-up-a-sweat and get calluses kind of work. And when it’s done you get to see the very real results of your work. So… building stages that a couple thousand people will sit in and around is a big deal! And there’s not much room for getting things wrong. Did I mention that this was the first year for Saba and Steff to be onsite as volunteers? Definitely a jump -n-the-deep end kind of start!

We started on the Lavender Stage. It’s usually the hardest to make work so why not! The location and layout was also changed from previous years, adding to the need to adapt. So off we went. It’s a couple of days work to erect this stage so we only got started with an afternoon of time. It was a good start though. And we also set up our campsites at the top of the hill.

I knew where I was going to park Babe up on the hill. My “secret” spot for getting her reasonably flat. Saba & Steff tried a place near the trees, something they changed their minds about a day or two later. But there we were! Working and set up to camp and life was good!

Camping spot


Getting there on the Monday meant we had a wide open field to pick spots from. That changed a lot as the week went on. As it always does.

Volunteer Work

Monday was all about getting settled in and getting ready. The rest of the week was full days with lots of hard work.Β  Day by day the three of us worked together to set up the stages. From Lavender to the Village stage and then finally the Pine stage. We got better as we went along and having started with the hardest meant we had easier stages to set up later. And along the way the hospitality crew did an amazing job of feed us.

So many amazing moments as the week unfolded… I can’t do it justice in words or photos. You really have to be there to get the whole picture. Days filled with effort, challenges and accomplishments. Perhaps a trip to a lake for a swim to wash away the sweat and dirt before sitting down to some home cooked food.Β  Evenings filled with camaraderie and live music around the campfire. Wake up the next morning, get fed and repeat. Life is good!

So here are a few photos to help tell the tale. Oh… I should mention that Steff celebrated his birthday there (Sept. 1st) and thanks to friends (Barb in particular, Saba too!) he got put on the spot.

Festival Time!

And then it was Friday! A few minor things in the morning while waiting for Andrea to arrive, sitting and relaxing with friends as they rolled in, a celebratory beer (or two). All leading up to an evening of music.The lineup was great with lots of musicians Andrea and I had never heard before. And we’re still listening to them weeks later.

A the end of the main stage there was a little hanging out at our camper and then awesome music around the campfire.The volunteer campfire is always a treat as lots of the musicians camp up there too. And since many of them know each other it’s like a reunion for them too.

Repeat on Saturday with some side stages added in during the morning and afternoon, and then wrap it all up with more music on Sunday. We didn’t stick around for the post festival BBQ but next year we three volunteers are counting on it.

Here’s a video of photos I put together… if you want to see them at your own pace they’re all published on my website.

Sep 15 2016

The 7th GPCQM

I’ll jump ahead to this past weekend for the Grand Prix Cyclistes de Quebec et Montreal (GPCQM). This was the seventh time these UCI World Tour races have been held and they continue to be popular with riders and spectators alike.

For the riders it’s probably a rare treat to get put up in one of the finest hotels rather than a one star spot. The Frontenac is beautiful and I know first hand how well they get fed there. The spectators love the scenery and it’s a delight for both locals and tourists. For me… this is the second year in a row that I’ve opted to fly rather than drive my trusty Westy. It’s one of the rare occasions that planes, hotels and a bus ride make more sense.

Team Tinkoff Interview

My weekend started Thursday morning when I took a Car2Go out to a hotel airport and then a shuttle to the terminal. This worked out well and meant I didn’t need to leave Babe in a parking lot with strangers. And it probably would have worked out to be about the same price if there’d been a Smart Car available at the airport when I got back. The fact that there were none meant I had to pay for a cab and that was considerably more expensive. Lesson learned.

The first race was on Friday but I had an opportunity to get some photos and do an interview with current road world champion Peter Sagan shortly before dinner on Thursday. Pierre Perron of MV Canada (clothing supplier to Team Tinkoff) and of course that was awesome. And it included some more lessons. The first being… I should do my own interviews rather than being the cameraman. I trust my instincts to ask the questions that I think people are interested in. So the video is so so. This shot with two Peters though… totally worth the time to be there.


Peter (world champ) and Peter (me)

I was thrilled to have been in Richmond to photograph the event he won to get the rainbow jersey and certainly wished him luck in the race ahead. He didn’t sound confident about his chances of winning the Quebec race though. Or the upcoming world championships in Qatar.


Sagan in the final 500M at Richmond

Quebec GPC

And then it was Race day. Here’s how it looks from a photographers perspective:

  • Mandatory meeting at 9:15 so have something to eat before then
  • Get photographers bib after meeting, you have to wear that at all times when on the course
  • 10:00 is the start of the team presentations
  • 11:00 is the start of the race
  • Keep track of the laps as the race proceeds and you go to the various spots you like for photos
  • Hop on and off the shuttle (or do a lap on a moto) in order to get the shots you want
  • Be sure to make time to eat. And drink lots of water!
  • Get back to the finish with 2 laps to go and start sharpening your elbows
  • When the organizers say go you run to get a good spot in the photographers zone behind the finish
  • And then you wait. Until…
  • The riders come to and cross the line around 6 hours after they started (so perhaps 17:00)
  • Jump up to get post race photos of joy and pain
  • Find a spot in front of the podium to get those shots too
  • Go to the post race press conference around 18:00
  • Process and upload photos until you fall asleep at the keyboard

And you know what… I love it! Some of the photos I’ve been able to take, some of the moments I’ve witnessed, well they all add up to being amazing and well worth the time and effort. A few photos might help show that. And these are only from this year… perhaps I’ll try to put together a highlights reel when I have more time.

Montreal GPC

And then it was over! Saturday was both a transfer day (a bus to Montreal) and a set of criterium races in the late afternoon. The transfer used to be by train and that was definitely nice. Which makes me think perhaps I’ve flown to this event three times… they’ve used the bus for two years now. In any case, Saturday is a time to reflect and relax for everyone. The riders get to prepare for Sunday’s race, the organizers move all of their services to the new location and we press get to complete whatever didn’t get done the night before.

As for the crit action, you can see a few photos on PedalMag.com. It was fairly low key.

It was an opportunity to hook up with some friends for great company and beer afterwards though! And that eventually led to meeting up on the side of the big climb during the race and passing on a VIP pass I had. It was put to good use πŸ™‚


A VIP smile

Then it was time for waking up and repeating the previous list of activities. Add in getting back to the airport in Montreal in time for a 20:00 flight to Toronto followed by a cab ride home. It’s now Thursday as I write this and I can say that I’ve mostly recovered.

One other personal highlight for me was meeting a couple from Wales (Karl & Karen), He’s keen on photography (Nikon is his camera… I’ll forgive him for that), passionate about cycling (Sky is his team) and recently retired from the police force there. A few similarities and a few differences. And lots of great chats over the weekend as we bumped into each other. I hope we will meet again at some event in a similar unexpected way πŸ™‚

Happy retirement sir!


Ted, aka Karl

All in all, it was another great weekend of racing and I tip my hat to the organizers. They are amazing!



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