Monday, May 10, 2004

Richmond, Virginia

I have generally not been the biggest booster of the Richmond metropolitan area. I have lived here for nine years now, and it still doesn't feel like home. However, after Saturday, I'm willing to, well, not be a h8er.

It all started on Friday, when a guy from ECPI came into the office where I am technically not employed, but was there anyway, offering up two VIP passes to the CapTech Classic, a bicycle race event to be held in downtown Richmond Saturday. Since I had no other plans, and my brother's avid bicycle enthusiasm has rubbed off on me a bit, I accepted the passes. I also figured it would be a great place to practice some photography.

It turned out to be a wonderful day weatherwise. Friday night I had gone to Friday Cheers to see Camper Van Beethoven, and it was miserably hot and humid. Later on, however, a storm front moved through just north of us, bringing neither hail nor thunder, but fabulously low humidity and moderate temperatures.

I arrive downtown just around noon. There was FREE parking. The event itself was free. The course selected for the race, although only 2km, was a terrific selection of hills and curves. Unfortunately, the attendance was sparse. That made it easy to move around, but such a great event should have gotten a much better turnout.

On one of the downtown plazas, there were several booths set up by various sponsors of the race. One of them was giving out free bike helmets; I thought it was only for kids, but it turned out to be for everybody, so I got one. I also managed to do some serious job search networking at a couple of the corporate booths. My pass entitled me to enter the VIP area, with food catered by The Bull & Bear Club, featuring crab cakes, hummus, fresh mozzarella in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tomatoes and basil, and other delectable treats. Oh, and Michelob.

I shot six or seven rolls of film, all around the race course which I walked in reverse two times. No, I wasn't walking backwards, I just was going in the opposite direction that the racers were. It's easier to get shots of them coming toward you that way. A roll or two of that was taken at 8th and Franklin, where I ended up talking to a friendly police officer. He was mostly on "blocking the street" duty, but had time to speak to a wandering amateur photographer in between stopping some of the less intelligent people from walking in front of forty bicyclists coming downhill at forty miles per hour.

I've posted up a selection of the photos at my site. (Note to self: learn how to use the "Create Web Gallery" function in Photoshop Elements a LOT more effectively, mmmKay?)

And yet . . .
It's still a stupid slogan/logo.

current music
Gary Jules - Mad World


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