Round and Round


Today was Riverton’s Historic Criterium. What’s a criterium 1?A criterium is a short-distance bicycle race with a number of sharp turns. The course in Riverton is eight tenths of a mile and, over the course of five hours, Riverton’s event runs several races — each between twenty-five and forty miles.

I’ve never before photographed the criterium, but today I decided I was going to get out and capture some shots. I didn’t consider which lens was attached to my body as I left the door, which left me with my 18-105mm lens as my only option. I could have headed home to switch out to my 55-300mm option, but it was in the mid 90’s and I didn’t much feel like doing that much walking.

I’d been hoping to capture some images of the cyclists’ faces as they passed by, but my shorter focal lengths forced me to re-think my plans. Instead of faces, I concentrated on wheels, and camped out near the course’s corners. Racers were taking these turns at around twenty-five miles per hour, and were bunched in a pack, so I hid myself in the shadow of the street sign. Just in case. Had I not be concentrated on my viewfinder I don’t think I’d have gotten even as close as I did.

I’m pleased with my results, and am looking forward to bringing several different lenses with me in 2018. The action is intense and, now I’ve captured some of the race, I’d like to head back and photograph the town-wide party which erupts along the course. It seemed every house had a tent, chairs, and tables set up for viewing the spectacle. Grills were fired, DJ’s were playing, and people were enjoying the afternoon. It’s events like Palmyra’s Farmer’s Market, the Clarence B. Jones dedication, and Riverton’s Criterium 2 which makes me glad I’m able to enjoy small town life.

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  1. …is a question everyone asks. 
  2. Riverton and Palmyra are really one larger town. Economics and the baggage of history has kept them apart but the line is beginning to blur, to the betterment of both municipalities.