Flowery Branch Criterium 2013

IMG_0034Headed over to downtown Flowery Branch to check out the first of two weekend criteriums that are part of Dingo Race Productions Dingo Days of Summer Series. I only found out about this race 3 days ago from the local Flowery Branch newspaper. I was hoping that the event would be well attended and go rain free because I’d love to see this be a yearly thing. I also thought it would be interesting to see some actual FAST people blaze around  a course made of streets I am very familiar with.

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Shooting was tough. I’m not anywhere near an expert photog, but I have a Canon point and shoot with “the most manual features you could get on a point and shoot” at the time I bought it. It has enough control over shutter speed/f-stop, & ISO that I can -sometimes- get some neat shots where the background shows the motion and the riders are in focus. Today that was hard though because overcast sky just screws with the camera, ugh sooo bright.

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Pretty sure this was the start of the cat4 crew.

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Tried to get one of those fancy arty shots you see from the big tours when the riders are small but the countryside is huge and beautiful, but hey, this is the FB so it didn’t really live up to the quality you see in the bike mags, aight?

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Found some giant old industrial cement blocks to stand on which allowed me to get a sort of overhead angle of the back stretch. The pace at this section was usually pretty tame as the riders had just come up the only real upgrade of the day and then hooked a 90 degree turn just before here, Strategy seemed to be planned here then applied just before turn 4 and the front stretch, which was blazingly fast. I may not be totally on point here but from my perspective that is how it was going…

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Both shots above from the same corner. For the second one I was laying down because I wanted to get the whole police building in the pic. That place is so Mayberry/Andy Griffith-esque.

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There was a somewhat gnarly manhole cover right in the middle of turn 1 which I am suprised nobody bailed after hitting today. Pretty sure these are the cat3 riders possible mixed with another class. Girl on the front was absolutely mashing it. Stupid white overcast sky.

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Really wanted to get a shot of a long string of riders across the storefronts of the whole block of downtown, but this was about as close as I got. I overheard the owner lady of Sample Pleasures saying that she wished she would have had more notice that this event was happening.  The Calliope Sweets folks and Liberty Candy folks seemed super stoked about the race and the foot traffic it was creating for them. I would love to see this race become an annual event in Flowery Branch, but to do so, Dingo Race may need to think about having some things happening alongside the event that will draw some non-bike people to check it out. One thing that may be helpful would be a printed handout that explains how crits work, primes, the different categories of racers, etc. It was super cool to have a handout explaining all the different kinds of races at Dick Lane Velodrome at one of the big events I went to there. There were still a decent amount of spectators today, but the event does have the ability to grow.

IMG_0112Overall I had a  good time, and I would like to have stuck around to watch the Pros, but I had to bail. The schedule may have been able to been tightened up a bit as there seemed to be a lot of time that passed between races. This gave the riders lots of time to warm up on course, but for spectators if the action isn’t supplemented with something between race action, it can get a little long.

Good job Dingo Race Productions and THANK YOU for bringing an event like this to Flowery Branch. I never dreamed I would see a bunch of road bikes hauling ass up Main Street in a real actual race here, so rad. Hope everything goes well up in Oakwood tomorrow and come back again next year.

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One thought on “Flowery Branch Criterium 2013

  1. Betty says:

    The photos are AWESOME! & the writing isn’t bad either. Thanks so much.

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