It was not my intention to go to Ballard that day. I just felt the need to get out of the house and enjoy the sun a bit. So, I took off with no destination in mind other than staying away from anything that resembled a freeway. I headed north and, as I crossed the Ballard Bridge, with the sun shining and big, beautiful clouds in the sky, I thought about how long it’s been since I was in Ballard, so I decided to revisit it.
The first thing I immediately came across were “no parking” signs everywhere and streets being blocked off. I almost took that as a sign to come back another day but decided I would, at least, try to find a parking spot and if it didn’t come easily, I’d journey elsewhere that day. I went around the block and there was one parking spot (possibly the only one in Ballard at that moment) next to a bicycle shop. As I was gathering my things, I thought maybe I should have them check out my Dad’s bike, which I had been carrying in the back of my car for a week or so, waiting for an opportunity to have it looked at, and here I was in front of a bike store. Since I had no appointment, I asked if they had time to look at it while I wandered around for a while. They said, no need to leave it, they would take a look right now. They seemed to really enjoy seeing his bike, it’s an old Schwinn La Tour, everything original on it except the seat. Weighs a TON, but it’s beautiful. They filled and checked the tubes and tires, which were completely flat since the bike had not been in use for a long, long time and they gave it an overall inspection to make sure it was good to go after all those years sitting. Then they refused to take my money. I want to give a shout out to this place. Really nice people….
I walked down the street to see what excitement was happening in Ballard that was causing the blocking off of streets. Nothing was happening when I first arrived but a sign read, “The Second Ascent Ballard Criterium – 2014“. Their blog, with a link to the stats of yesterday’s races, is available here for those interested http://theballardcrit.blogspot.com. The racing began shortly after I arrived. I took a few photographs and then thought it might be a fun opportunity to play with my camera and different ways of shooting this race. I experimented with panning (which I haven’t done for years so I was a bit rusty at first). It was fun, though not always easy, to try to get the timing right. (You can see the effect much more clearly when you click to enlarge the photos).
According to the signs, the races went on until 9:30 pm! I could not stay that late this time but, being one who loves night photography, maybe next year I’ll get some night shots.
Have a great week!