C.R.E.E.P.

In recent months. I’ve been understanding the idea that photography should be about telling a story as much as capturing what’s in front of the lens. While I understand the concept, putting it into practice is more difficult.

I took these snaps at the Leicester Forest Cycling Club time trial on Saturday. I’ve cluttered my photostream previously with endless pictures of slightly overweight men in skinsuits, gurning away on their expensive bikes.
I’ve never looked at them after uploading them and so I can’t be surprised that no-one else has ever been interested either, other than the bloke in the picture.

Local time-trialling seems to be a thoroughly British thing to do. The dusty village halls, the home-made sandwiches and the results boards stuck on folding tables all add to the charm of events happening every weekend, up and down the country. I guess they are to the Sky team and their air-conditioned wonder-bus what Sunday League pub team football is to the Premiership.

On Saturday I should have been racing, but the crusty old tubular tyre on the back of my race bike finally gave up an hour before my start time and so I decided to photograph the event instead.

Whenever I’m not racing and am either photographing or marshalling events, usually on the same A46 (‘Six Hills’) road, it depresses the hell out of me. The flotsam (or is it jetsam) of discarded litter, the abandoned, half-built projects and decaying businesses that line the road make it feel like the end of the earth. The idiotic driving, huge volume of traffic and constant, buffeting wind do little to lighten the mood.

Looking back at the resulting pictures and the processing I gave them as soon as I got home, it looks like my feelings for the place and my disappointment at not riding are reflected in a gloomy set.

Still, it all helps tell the story…

The Drowning Man

Inspired by one of my Flickr contacts, I decided to shoot the Leicester Forest CC involvement in the Castle Classic bike racing in Leicester in black and white and with a 35mm compact. Not the usual choice for a colourful sporting event where long lenses rule, but I’m pleased with the results…

Castle Classic Team Race 1
Castle Classic Team Race 2
Castle Classic Team Race B 1 (1)
Castle Classic Team Race 5
Castle Classic Team Race 7
Castle Classic Team Race B 2 (1)
See the full set on the Leicester Forest Cycling Club Flickr feed here.

ekki mukk

Too late out of work to ride the time trial, so I took my camera and flash…

6 si askham
It has been so long since I’ve used my digital camera, I struggled to remember how to use the thing. And so with only 15 riders out and only one chance to shoot each, I only managed to catch a couple of shots with the look I was after.
7 andy warby
If only the framing of the shot above was as good as the one below, I’d have been very pleased…
8 martin hall

Harby Hill

Melton Olympic Hill Climb 
I took a ride over to Harby Hill yesterday to watch the Leicester Forest CC riders take part in the Melton Olympic hill climb. I rode the 70km round trip on the On-One, hub-geared, titanium prototype that I’ve never really got on with. The hub makes the bike really heavy and when you add a load of camera gear, it felt as heavy as the bike I rode to Poland. For some reason, the shifting has never been quite right either. I could spend time getting it set up, only for it to ‘adjust itself’ a few miles later.
Melton Olympic Hill Climb

On the way back yesterday, as I was out of the saddle climbing up into Rothley, it shifted and threw me over the bars.

I rode the rest of the way home grumpily nursing my bruises, cursing the bike and the hole it had ripped in my lovely Rapha socks. Within minutes of getting home the bike was in the workstand and several kilos of back wheel were removed and cast into a dark corner of the shed.

When a couple of final items arrive from Chain Reaction (in the blink of an eye usually), the bike will be reborn as a singlespeed cyclocrosser with 29er (carbon rimmed) wheels…

All kinds of awesome. THE bike for a Friday afternoon commute in the sunshine
Yesterday’s ride, and my commute in this morning have taken me to 8789km (5462 miles) for the year so far. In 2008, I rode 10,006km and it dawned on me yesterday that maybe I could achieve this milestone again. 
I’ll let you know…

Secret Sound #2

Yesterday saw the first Leicester Forest Cycling Club open 10 mile time trial for a few years. It was a really successful day with sunshine and dry roads and a new course record by Mr. Matt Bottrill.
Due to feeling a bit ropey for the last few weeks and just not getting the chance to ride much, I didn’t start. Instead I volunteered to take the photographs of the day.
Here are a selection of them:

IMG_0609

IMG_0670

IMG_0655

IMG_0631

IMG_0747
Some more can be found on the Leicester Forest Flickr page and many more on my hard drive. If you’d like a large print of any of them or even the big digital file, let me know. For a small donation here I’ll send them to you.

Tak Edwardia?

As promised a couple of posts ago, it’s time to post up a few pictures from the first roll through the Holga.
I had the film developed at Peak Imaging in Sheffield who performed a super-quick turn-around, but not quite quick enough to get them delivered back more than 30 minutes before we left for the airport. I just had time to scan them but not enough to straighten them up or remove the crap that seems to be stuck to the glass on my scanner.
Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with the results. The double exposures that I took at last Thursday’s Leicester Forest time trial almost did what I expected, as did the one taken on my commute. The simultaneous view of the ruins I ride past and the bike I’m riding on. Looks like the peacock that I snapped as I rode by hadn’t seen a Holga before either…
My favourite though is the panda portrait. I’ve been doing them for years, but this is probably the first time on film…

I realise this lo-fi style is not to everyone’s taste and there is a danger of flying close to the borders of Hipsterdom, so I’ll keep this in mind and limit the aount of these pictures I load on here.
If you do want more, keep an eye on flickr…