Monday, March 21, 2011

Cycling - Stratford to Dargo the easy way

Usually on the bike, except due to being run down last weekend, I ended up being behind the camera. Lesson number one - Make sure your camera battery is fully charged (or at least you have your spare with you)...FAIL. I had to be careful to have enough left for presentations.

The race is a gruelling 110km from Stratford to Dargo and beyond in some absolutely gorhgeous countryside and seriously you could stop a zillion times and get some amazing shots as the scenery is beautiful.

I wasnt sure whether to write about the photography or the ride, the ride is tough and then you get past Dargo and it becomes Hell, or so I am told, you must have granny gearing, it is not unusual to see riders with a 28 on the back and a compact 34 on the front, seriously this saves a lot of people in the last 12 km.

All the pics can be found at actionpactpix site
For a review on the annual Stratford to Dargo held in November each year refer to Cycling Tips

The views are fantastic

The riders started in Stratford and I didnt take so many "along the road pics this time as I wanted to just capture a few key parts (due to limited battery life). the scenery and the ambience of such a beautiful ride.
Phil Brown at the start. A bit nervous knowing what lies ahead
Mike Renehan obviously smiling, this ride is practically in his backyard and forms his main training routes, so he smiles knowing the territory (or nerves).

On Sunday there were three grades, but it was a great ride for those that raced. Fundamentally determinastion is a key ingredient to riding past Dargo.
The three LCCC riders, altogether (and the reason I dont take many pics from car windows)

Dean Macintosh leading Mike Renehan along the road to "banana hill"
This is a compulsory walk, so I tried to capture this
The gaps in the bridge are quite big and riding is TOO DANGEROUS
The road was full of excited bystanders....
Loving "Lightroom" and presets, some I have created and some from the many freebies I have sourced

Mike Renehan smiling as he walked the final hill. It is a killer and he was not the only one who walked.

Kristy rode up the hill and I think I finally took a pic which captures how steep this hill actually is. The final 12 km is full of surprises like this, there are gradients in excess of 16% and some nasty twists and turns
Someone turns up with a motorbike and you have to play with the camera seriously dont you.
After such a great effort - a reward is required.
I was happy to take some pics as it is just perfect scenery, one day I am going to take pictures only and not be worried about bike riders, there are usually lots of other great things about this road, the motorbikes and the old homes and the Dargo township, all just great things to take photos of.

I must confess I watched a fantastic tutorial on Lightroom this week, it is for ightroom 3, but I found I learned a lot and I have Lightroom 2. It goes for about 35 minutes so I got my lunch ready and sat at my computer and watched it (it was better than Dr Phil),and I took notes, I am going to watch it again too, as it was great. Terry Whites Adobe You Tube Videos

I also have downloaded a plug in for my lightroom, to export pictures directly to facebook which is also great and a plug in to put watermarks on pictures.

I think the thing I got from the Terry White you tube clip was some more ways of getting a good workflow going. Moving pictures from Lightroom into Photoshop and back and once you start to master these skills, you are saving time which can be used to do more editing (or watching Dr Phil...that episode you missed).

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