Pescadero Road Race – Photography

Pescadero Road Race 2009 gallery

I'm not sure why but I wasn't really into shooting yesterday as I wound my way over the hills and down to the coast for the 2009 edition of the Pescadero Road Race. Funny thing, since last year it was my favorite day on the Northern California racing calendar. Maybe it was the low lying cloud and coastal fog, or perhaps it was the fact I was running on only 5 hours of fitful sleep. In any event, you go through the motions and invariably find out you're glad you made the effort.

Last year I parked the car on the outskirts of Pescadero and rode my bike to several spots on Stage Road. This year I opted to take the car on the course and make one or two careful moves around the circuit (in the direction of the Pelotons of course). Equipment wise I was packing a rented 200mm f2, which made cycling the course impractical. It's not a piece of glass you casually sling over you shoulder for a ride in the country. Other than a handful of frames with a wide angle I shot with it exclusively. I came away impressed. It's even hand holdable for 30-45 minutes at a stretch off the monopod. That's definitely bad news for the bike budget.

As for the 2009 race itself, several riders appeared to have left blood and tissue samples on Stage Road. The surface was damp and there were three or four loose gravel patches waiting to punish a moment's inattention. The riders soldiered on which is more than I can say for the poor "S"erpent that opens the gallery.

Here are the photographic results. Click any of the images to view the gallery of selects.
Or check out the larger gallery of roughs.

Leave a comment if you are interested in a print.
Unframed custom prints are available in two sizes. Dimensions are approximate pending final print workup.
Small 12" wide x 8" deep, on 19 x 13 stock to allow framing latitude. $100 plus shipping
Large 19" wide x 12.5" deep, on 22 x 17 stock to allow for framing latitude. $150 plus shipping
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Rolling over the hills on 84 Flying down Stage Road Big Grin Big Man gallery

24 Responses to Pescadero Road Race – Photography

  1. willy in pacifica says:

    Five hour of sleep is a luxury.

    A bunch of us rode a 230k night time ride starting at 8pm Saturday night. Nice and flat and it seemed like we had good winds. But did not sleep from 8AM Saturday until 10PM Sunday.

    • I don’t know how you do it Willy. You must sleep like you’ve been pole axed after a ride like that.

      • willy in pacifica says:

        The night time rides are lots of fun. I just put my two new Schmitt Edelux lights on the bike for a test run. I have the GRR (Gold Rush 1,200k) in a few weeks so wanted to be sure they were dialed in.

        During the ride I just kept thinking that if I was not doing this ride all I would be doing is sleeping. We finished at 6am then I hung around for the other riders to finish. Got home about 8:30 but with 3 girls it is tough to get any sleep so decided to just stay up and not screw up my sleep pattern. So was up till 10pm. Had in-laws in town as well so had a full house.

    • old5ten says:

      with all that time, flat roads, and good winds for 230k you guys must have slept at least 5 hours…

  2. I actually saw that road kill snake during the race! THought of calling out ‘Snake!’ or some such, but decided it wasn’t worth it…

    • Matt,

      I wanted to get a shot of the snake surrounded by wheels but never got round to it. I think the course was tough on you guys this year, as I edited I picked up half a dozen guys bleeding.
      Hope you had a good race.

  3. Steve Sharp says:

    Any pictures of the Cat 4/5 35+ race? I was 2nd.

    • Steve,

      Congratulations on the podium.

      Did you have a look in the larger gallery of roughs? Afraid the race makes it difficult to keep track of the pelotons. Did you spot me on the course. I was likely on Stage Road after the first climb the first time you’d have passed me then I moved out onto Highway 84 (opposite the Teepee) before finishing up at another spot on 84, 1/2 mile from the right onto Pescadero Road.

      Who do you ride for and what was your race number, I’ll have a look.


  4. Arthur Duberg says:

    How to order a print?

  5. Steve Sharp says:

    I ride for Rock Solid (Bishops Peak / Arts Cyclery) forgot my race bib # but I think it was like 752 or something like that.
    Steve Sharp

  6. Great photos! You managed to snap a great picture of one of my attacks (pescadero09_4959.jpg). I’d love to use it with credits in our team blog, as well as order a print or two for my family. Please send me an email? Thanks, Nils.

  7. Dave Wyman says:

    Another set of beautiful and beautifully creative photographs. You put your lens to spectacularly good use. The DOF both seems to pull me into the photo and really does turn it into art.

    I can never achieve such shallow focus, even with my 400mm lens – it’s an f/5.6 – unless I spend a lot of time with Photoshop.

    Andlthough I’ve been involved with photography for a long time, I’ve probably never been consciously aware of a 200mm f/2 and I doubt I’d ever seen one. Yet this past weekend, I spent some time with someone how has one. It is a small world.

    I do have a somewhat unusual photograph OF the 200mm f/2 lens I saw last weekend. I guess I can say I used the lens to make a photograph, but not because it was on a camera. It’s not a cycling photo, but it could be next time, if I ever come across the same lens.

    After seeing your current crop of photos, I know I need to keep practicing with my own photography.

    • which shot Jessica. if you right click on an image and open it in another window you can see the image number or perhaps you mean the first shot.

      glad you stopped by.


  8. Veeral says:

    Sensational touch with the b&w treatment. The guy in the last pic needs a razor and shaving gel :-)

    The 200mm f/2 warrants the pain when you get some amazing shots with gorgeous bokeh.


  9. Domestique Journal says:

    You are very talented with a camera, another nice set.


  10. martha says:

    Would like info on prints. tx
    pescadero09_5508.jpg and the one next to it.

  11. chris says:

    Your “roughs” are better than 75% of all the pictures I’ve ever taken. I love your blog.

    • Thanks very much Chris… I’m still working at it too. Continuously shooting races definitely helps raise the level of photography.


  12. I am interested in ordering some prints from the TofCA and a couple others, how should I go about doing this?

  13. kerry-in-Japan says:

    Just stumbled on your site. It’s a real inspiration. I’m a bike junkie as well as a wanna-be photographer so I find your site a site for sore eyes and I have spent a long time looking at everything.

    I went riding two weeks ago in the mountains here in Japan and took a few candid and then afterwards, after the bike was cleaned up, did a few bike portraits.

    Kudos’ on your photography
    ride long, ride strong.