As the 2016 race season becomes a fading memory, I look back at some of my favourite photos from the year. This collection represents pictures that remind me most of the 2016 season. I wasn’t able to shoot every race this year. I often find that taking photos while ensuring a proper warm up a bit stressful, so there were some races where the camera didn’t leave my bag.
Here are some of my favourites from the races I did shoot:
My season opened with one of my least favourite things. Running. The Le Mans start at Topaz this year nearly killed me, but it helps to sort out the problem of early season call ups.
That realization that you’ve taken the corner a bit too wide. I get that often when racing. Come around a bit too much on the outside and that person behind you sneaks through inside.
The mud would come later in the season. We opened this year up with incredibly dry conditions. Things were fast and dusty at the first race of the year on the island.
Every now and then I try playing around with black and white. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes I like the end result.
Cross is hard. Unless you feel like this after a race, you might not be doing it right.
While a ski hill may not typically make for a good cross venue, the Mt. Washington course layout was tight and technical providing fun races. Plus, the backdrop is pretty spectacular.
Crowds tend to gather where carnage is most likely. Off camber descents can provide this. This one at Mt. Washington did not disappoint as it turned from slick to bumpy and hard with the changing weather .
A slight tweak of the wheel or a bit too much lean can be all it takes on these off cambers. I have been there many times myself. You think you have it, then suddenly you don’t. Crashes are a part of cross even at the highest levels. If you aren’t crashing every now and then, you aren’t riding on the limit. That’s what I like to tell myself to help ease the pain (and the bruised ego).
Banked corners are always fun.
Cross courses often look like a work of art to me. The city and parks department may feel otherwise.
I love the family friendly aspect about cyclocross. I’ve been bringing my kids to the races since I started and we all have a great time. These kids were playing with the leaves prior to the start of the intermediate men. Seeing kids having fun at races helps to remind me not to take things too seriously
Lines in the sand. There are many paths through, but choose wisely.
It’s hard to imagine a more scenic venue for race than Transfer Beach in Ladysmith. Early racers were forced to run this long beach section, but as the day went on a well worn line through the rocks was formed and riding it became possible.
It’s inspiring watching younger riders. The Triple Shot youth team is a dominant force in the Island cyclocross scene and fun to watch.
One of my favourite things about cyclocross is the starts. They are fast and frantic, and often result in chaos. One person goes down and everyone behind is suddenly forced to change their plans. The sand pit after the start threw a few people off (literally).
The earlier sand pit spaced things out here at the Bear X’ing. Lots of battles brewing early on in this race.
I love those features that make you hold your breath and commit. This drop had me feeling on the edge each lap, partly because of the cheering crowd that had formed around it.
Nothing like a little bit of crowd “encouragement” to keep you on your toes.
The start line anticipation. I like watching how different racers prepare themselves at the start of the race. The different rituals performed. Mine usually involves looking around at everyone else’s starting gear and stressing about my own.
Sometimes it’s hard not to smile when you are slogging through the mud on your bike.
The spectators help make the race. Cheers and cowbells help to raise the spirits in the midst of suffering and make cross fun. I’m appreciative for anyone out cheering during my race.
Mud and wood stairs don’t mix well. Throw in some toe spikes and it can make running up them a bit treacherous. This staircase at Hot Cross Bunnies was short, but tricky.
For me this image captures the madness that was SSCXWC this year. This was a particularly rowdy section that saw exercise balls being hurtled and kicked at racers as the made their way past the crowd. Mud was flying, beer was spraying, and few made it through unscathed.
Another scene capturing the mayhem at SSCXWC in Portland. Most riders skirted the edge of water. Some hit the jump behind the canoe, sending them to a most certain watery crash. This guy decided his best bet was to just hurl his bike up in to the air and hope for the best.
One of the highlights of the season for me was getting to watch (and race along side) Sven Nys at SSCXWC. I have seen him race at Cross Vegas, but that was at a distance. Seeing him up close putting on a clinic in the mud while simultaneously mixing with the insanity around him was a sight to see.
A final reminder to keep smiling out there. Cyclocross is fun. Just ask Sven.