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.