Tuesday, November 9, 2010

MNR with a side of toppings and whiplash!

I made it out for another episode of Monday Night Ride at Tranquility, which was the first since daylight savings. It was dark on the way home from work, but weather was in the 70's all day. How can I say no? Fewer riders showed up for last night's ride, about 13 as compared to the 20 plus that we had last week. The gang started with a backwards ride through the north side, continued on in the correct direction on the south side, correct direction on the north side, then did the south side creek backwards.

*Click on any photo to enlarge it.*

Since the need for lights this fall, I've been trying to capture the true meaning of the "night ride" on camera. The little point and shoot camera just couldn't hack it. Decided to pull out the DSLR and tripod. It's a lot harder than taking pics of a race, because you have to imagine where the trail curves and none of the photos are staged. Just the MNR progressing as normal. Even harder is the focus. Since I was shooting way off in the distance and trying to frame my scene ahead of time, all I could see was a pitch black hill. I had to manually focus on a far off light as a reference point and then cross my fingers. For shots like these and also for fireworks, it's best to set your camera to bulb mode (meaning the shutter opens and closes depending on when I push and release the button).Waited for the riders then used my remote shutter release to avoid camera shake. Tripod is a must!
Dave, remember when you asked if you were screwing up my picture? The result was pretty cool. Check out the lights from the riders on the right side. 

I was pretty happy with what I got and the riders had rejoined where north meets south. Had my camera on tripod in my left hand, steered my handlebars with my right. Took the bypass over and proceeded down the inner loop exit. Saw a bump in the trail and thought it would be terrible if I fell. Like one of those premonitions. Well I went over the bump, lost my balance from the 20 lbs of camera gear in the left hand, and flew to the right. I landed in the grass and all I could think was save the camera. So my head hit the ground and I remember trying to brace the fall of my camera in my left hand to prevent it from hitting the ground. The lens filter was all that got a little dirty in the dirt, whew. Brushed myself off and met up with the guys.

We ordered pizza at Paul's to go along with the recovery drink. Went home and fell asleep for the night. I woke up at 3am, neck sore like crazy! Neck pain in the direction my head hit and the direction that I lifted my head and body to prevent damage to my camera. Whiplash! Also got scraped through the long sleeve and knickers. Crazy thing is that I wasn't going that fast!

Moral of the story? Don't ride your bike at night down the inner loop one handed with 20 lbs of camera gear to throw you of balance! They say that photographers sometimes go out of their way to get the picture. Well there you go!
Check out the city lights in the background!  
Someone's taillight in the mix. Notice the inner loop hump at the start of the light path

 Trying to capture the turns in the trail

1 comment:

  1. Nice job of capturing the dark version of the Monday Night Ride. I would expect to see photos of this quality in a magazine. It great how the city lights make the sky look lighter that it actually was.