When Jeremy Dunn called me and said Rapha was planning to hold a Gentlemen’s Race in Boulder, I was, plainly, stoked. I’ve always followed the coverage of the other races and hoped we’d have the chance to share our characters and terrain here in Boulder with everyone, too.
And… Here we go!
But not so fast. JD said, “I know you will probably want to race with your team, but if you’d like to, we’d love it if you’d photograph the event.” I was torn. For all of 12 seconds. I really did want to ride, but the opportunity to photograph the event was so exciting that I couldn’t pass it up. Sure, the fact that I wasn’t in the greatest shape helped the decision making. But even if that wasn’t the case, I’d have chosen the camera bag over the lycra and chamois cream that day anyways.
I hung up the phone with JD and dialed my brother-in-law/life long friend Jason, AKA, the guy who really got me into photography. In fact, we used to argue about the merits of photography as an art form. (Yea I used to be an asshole, still am.) Luckily, I have since come to the #lightbro. Jason hopped on a plane and we were ready to have some fun.And finally, the day was upon us.We gathered our supplies: camera gear, cooler full of sandwiches and drinks, balls — needed when sitting in the back of a pick up truck going 70 mph — and our driver, Jackson Barcheck.
Then we headed to the Skratch Labs parking lot eager to take on the day. The energy was coursing through everyone we came across in the parking lot. Some more nervous, some jetlagged and wondering how hard it really is to climb at altitude, but all were there for two reasons: To try to finish the race and to have as much fun possible while doing it. We came there with a simple idea in mind: focus on four to six teams and try to grab solid shots of them before, during, and after the race.
Seem easy enough? Nope.
As everyone rolled out, we quickly learned, keeping up with some of the teams was a fool’s errand. Especially as we had one of the participants take a hard crash on a gravel descent in front of us. With his bike in disrepair, and blood painting the dirt road, we picked him up and brought him with for the rest of the day. From that point on, we covered what we could, as best as we could.As it turned out, that was a fine way to do it. Many thanks to all of the amazing participants, the crew at Skratch Labs, JD and the rest of the team at Rapha North America.
I’m looking forward to the next one.