I'm back from 5 days of shooting the Tim Johnson Ride on Washington. It was an amazing event to be a part of -- professional cyclists and bicycle advocates came together for 5 days and 500 miles of extremely challenging route finding and riding in order to raise awareness about cycling.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, as this is a pretty unique event. So I brought a wide range of gear, and kept an open mind. The first day was rainy, so I shot my 5D from the support vehicle. The next 4 days were sunny, so I put my camera in my jersey pocket and got on my bike.
The group was moving much faster than I'd anticipated -- often hitting 25mph on the flats, and 40mph on the descents. We had to stay close together in order to maintain our pace and arrive at our destination on time. Between riding in a speeding peloton for 100+ miles each day, capturing moments on video, simultaneously looking for and shooting still images (often riding with no hands), and trying to eat and drink enough to physically get through the day, my mind and body were running on all cylinders.
One of my favorite moments from the ride:
Volkswagen CEO Jonathan Browning joined us for the final leg of the ride, from downtown Baltimore to the Capitol in DC. He and Richard were taking a turn at the front of the peloton, and we were barreling down the road, drafting behind them. I turned to Tim and said that I should get a shot of the CEO pulling our group of 25 people towards DC. Tim agreed, and says to me "ok, let's attack, follow me."
Tim Johnson has been racing his whole life, and Tim is FAST. So he led out, and I tucked in behind him, and we raced up the road ahead of the already speeding peloton. I didn't have much time, as Browning could only last at the front for a few minutes. My heart rate was off the charts and I couldn't breathe. I pulled off the road, jumped off my bike, grabbed my camera, steadied myself, and set up for the shot.
I watched through the viewfinder as the group approached. They were flying along, 2x2, and there would only be time for one shot. At the exact moment when JB and the entire peloton entered the frame, a car pulled in from the opposite direction, covering him up and totally blowing the shot: