Today its the Tour of Britain day in Norfolk and Suffolk. I reckoned that a good place to watch from was Barnham Broom Golf Club. There is a tight left hand corner there, after a lovely downhill where the riders sweep around and then go on their way to ‘that’ hill and the showground beyond.
I cycled the massive 5km there and arrived at about 1pm ish. There were 2 other cyclists there who I passed a few words with. I took a few trial shots with my camera to see where I wanted to shoot from and then sat in the shade with my book. People came and went, some stayed others pottered about for a few minutes before deciding that they were going to either go up the hill towards East Tuddenham or the other way to get closer to the Showground. Some people said that they were going to watch from the showground. I thought that it might be far too busy and on seeing the scenes there from the TV once home, I figured that I made the right decision.
My friend Mark kept me abreast of where the peleton was by text, bless his heart. I tried contacting Kenn for updates but he was having a kip. Mark was wonderful, he let me know when the riders were approaching Swanton Morley by text. We reckoned between us that that would be the hill for the King of The Mountain points, what with the route not being that hilly. Norfolk and all that. I got a text when they got to Dereham. Kenn then woke up and texted me about the crashes just our side of Dereham. Mark then texted me to say that the peleton were at Mattishall. This is when I got into my photo-shoot position, right next to a bloke with a brand new Nikon, HUGE lens for some strange unknown reason as he wasn’t shooting into the distance. I was using a 28 – 80 zoom on my beloved Canon 550D and I really didn’t need any more zoom than that as the corner of the road was only 15 yards away. Kenn chose this moment to ring me and tell me that the peleton were coming down the road. I knew that as there were police bikes galore and we could here people blowing whistles.
I started shooting when the cars and the camera bike arrived, I kept my finger on the shutter and let my lovely camera take 6 shots, pause for 1/6 second, take 6 more, pause 1/6 second take 6 more and so on and so forth. I love the Canon buffering system. It really helps in a shoot where its all happening at 30+mph. I had no idea of what the pics would be like until I got home so I just kept shooting.
I couldn’t see any particular rider, through my lens but I did get glimpses of team shirts. I hoped that I would capture a shot of Brad Wiggins as Kenn would probably snigger a bit if I had missed. Happiness is a good shot, in my world 🙂 Happily I got a shot of the Manx Missile, Mark Cavendish too. He’s a bit out of focus but the bloke behind (in the original photo) is as sharp as anything. I just had to pick a spot and shoot at it.
Nikon bloke sitting next to me kept asking my advice. Not a good time chap, I was a bit busy so apologies if you are now reading this. Actually not apologies cos rattling my shoulder while I am trying to concentrate is a bad thing. My Dad would have called him an ‘all the gear, no idea’ person. He’d had the camera a matter of days and spent about 30 minutes, before the peleton arrived, lecturing me on how to shoot and how I’d bought a rubbish camera, how I had the wrong lens on and how I should stand up to shoot and not sit down. After all the sitting, my bum was numb but not as numb as my right ear with him yammering rubbish into it. After the first bunch of cyclists went by he was switching lenses from his massive lens to something more sensible and asking me to help him. I was unable to help him as I had a camera of my own to point at the riders and no time. Yup, I’m a meanie.
I got some nice shots of the team cars coming by and then some more cyclists. I will have a pleasant half an hour later, with a cuppa, and identify people. Until then I will walk the dogs and think about sorting some tea out.
I rode home, once everyone had gone by and the police had gone. Cycling with a numb left bum cheek was interesting. 5km home. Quite quickly as the need for a wee made the aching legs seem unimportant. Once home and the pics uploaded, I was very chuffed with the 2 pics I have posted on here. That’s me, easily pleased 🙂
Total 708.16 km