I can’t believe that this year’s BC Bike Race is over, not only over, but over by a week. After my second year as full week crew I can safely say that BCBR event week is simultaneously the longest and shortest week of my year. On Days One through Four it’s possible to feel like there is no end in sight, but by Sunday when trucks are being unloaded in North Vancouver after close to 800km of travel it is easy to look back at the week past and wonder ‘what the hell just happened’. I think the experience for riders is roughly the same as it is for crew.
BC Bike Race is photographed by a tremendous and experienced group of photographers led by Dave Silver producing magazine quality images for riders, many of whom are in BC for the first time, on trails like none other they’ve ridden. My role with BCBR is a little less exciting; I am on the operations side and managed the daily collection, sorting and delivery of more than 500 pieces of racer luggage. I love the event this much. There was no way, however, that I would head out with BCBR without my camera and intention to make some images. On Day Two riders started coming into base camp after a very wet and cold ride above Campbell River, BC. Some of whom were nearly hypothermic from the unseasonal rain and cool temperatures, faces covered in mud, and limbs shaking from the cold and caloric deficit; I reached for my camera.
This is personal work and perhaps an adjunct to my Portrait Project, but what I saw in these Race Faces beyond the cold and exhaustion was elation and excitement. When I asked if I could make their portrait, riders largely responded with a smile and a light in their eye, even beyond their glasses. My project for the week had revealed itself. These are a selection of images from this project and I hope you can see in these photos what I saw in rider’s faces when I photographed them at the end of their race. If you see yourself in any of these images, drop me a note.