8 Aug 2010

20k Time Trial (warm up)


And now in the spirit of odd bikes: :-)

7th August 2010. The Tour of Denmark (Post Danmark Rundt) came to Middelfart. Having studied the route we decided to park the car near the top of a long but fairly gentle hill on the route to the Old Bridge. The idea was to make photography easier if the riders were travelling more slowly. A number of the shots were taken out of the open car window. Where we had comfortable seats with grandstand views as the riders passed on the climb.

The lack of commentary did not aid understanding regarding who was riding at any particular time. The total time involved with a 18.15pm start and 100+ riders at 1 minute intervals meant that the last riders were leaving almost at dusk. My picture taking went from bright, hot sunshine to cooler and breezier with failing light.

Some of the kids had those awful plastic horns from the South African World Cup. Many others had red plastic hands which were thrown liberally from a Postal van. These clever devices clapped louder and faster than most of us can manage on our own. Which gave plenty of room for impromptu applause when an ordinary cyclist rode slowly up the hill pretending to be invisible.

I used the Panasonic Lumix TZ7 in automatic mode with an  image size setting of 10M. All of the pictures required heavy cropping to make the riders large enough to fill the frame. This also helped to remove much of the commercial junk and street furniture backgrounds as far as possible. Though at the cost of considerable loss of image sharpness. There really was nowhere else where there was a featureless background. This hill is riddled with caf├ęs and ice cream parlours with no on-road parking. So we parked on the grass verge and were untroubled by the many police motor cyclists. 

"H-e-l-p! Where are my stabilisers?!?"

I started off by practising my panning technique on the riders checking out the route. I was on the opposite side of the wide road so this required quite a bit of telephoto zoom. Though this made matters more difficult because it was almost impossible to capture riders unless they were still coming towards me.  It proved impossible to pan as they passed due to the very long delay between shutter release and image capture. Camera reset also took several seconds. So a rider missed somewhere down the road could not be captured later when they were much nearer.

"You wouldn't be smiling either if you were sitting on this saddle!"

I have marked all of my pictures with my initials and the low resolution (due to heavy cropping and downsizing for the blog) probably makes them unworthy of  publication anyway. But it's still nice to be asked first if you want to use any of them for profit.

"Just act casual and nobody will ever notice us in these outfits."

"'Grr! I think they've given me Andy Schleck's gears!"

 "Well? Am I close enough now?"

"I'm just going for a spin around the block."

"Good grief! Is it really supposed to hurt this much?"

"Has anybody seen my hat?"

"Are you sure we do it clockwise?"

A Danish mountain bike in action.
This is a weak joke in reference to the relatively flat landscape found in much of Denmark. While Denmark certainly lacks any high hills it is rarely truly flat. 

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