It is not that often that I can combine my two passions. Seven years ago I picked up a bug a few days before I was meant to do the Cape Argus Cycle Tour and since the whole trip basically done and dusted I flew down to Cape Town, had a very relaxing time with the family (no carbo-loading) and watched the race instead with my camera pretty much glued to my face. I was not that successful – I think I ended up with some very blurred pictures of very fast cyclists. My legs felt brilliantly the next day though.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity again to combine photography and cycling (and this time in good health.)
I was introduced to the Maratona dles Dolomites by my fellow members of the Frankfurt International Cycling Club on one of our Tuesday evening rides in the summer of 2007. It was part of my induction into European cycling and everything was new to me. Never mind the actual event, I am not sure at that stage I even knew where the Dolomites were. I recall vividly though how it was described with awe and as the Shangri-La of cycling (OK, maybe it a bit of an exaggeration on my part there.) It was just described as being something great. Oh, and I had to do it. I really had to do it. One other bit of info included was though that everyone wanted to do it. And as a result to get a place allocated was probably as illusive as finding the ancient Shangri-La. I was lucky it seemed and in November last year my place was confirmed.
On June 30th my day started in the chilly town of La Villa in what must be one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The race is not easy. You need to climb seven mountain passes (and I mean serious, leg torturing passes.) Names like Campolongo, Pordo, Sella, Gardena, Falzarego and Valparola will remain ingrained in my mind for years to come I am sure. As will the name Corvara. These are all without doubt the most breathtaking of places (and in more way than one.)
So when did I have time to take photographs? Not during the ride – I had other things on my mind. On the drive there and back home I made sure I had time to stretch and rest my legs…