Tucson – November 2022 – Characters of El Tour de Tucson Bike Races

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is the day that over 7000 bike racers take to the streets of Tucson. Last year I was able to capture the action in the far east side of Tucson in Vail (posting here https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2021/11/20/tucson-november-2021-el-tour-de-tucson/ )

For this years I made my way downtown for the 6:55 AM start!

The event is actually 4 different races, each taking off at different times. the 6:55 AM start is for the 100 mile race.

The motorcycle police were lined up and ready to go.

The lead vehicle was in position.

The workers pulled back the tape holding the riders back, then ran to get out of the way.

And they are off.

It is always impressive how some people can overcome the greatest of obstacles – this rider is starting the 100 mile race, and he has 1 leg.

The early start meant it was chilly – 42 degrees.

During the 62 mile (100 kilometer) race, the riders are headed through the neighborhood street, including many that have small traffic islands in the middle of the road. With a couple of thousand riders coming through it was amazing there wasn’t a huge collision as they ‘parted the seas’.

The highlight is of course the collection of characters riding in the race.

I am impressed when those who are a bit more ‘experienced’ go by in the middle of the pack.

A cool helmet, and a support of the local animal shelter – Pima (County) Animal Care Center.

Racers who are proud of who they are and where they are from.

Snowbird Santa racing off for the North Pole? With the Go Pro he is watching to see who is naughty and nice during the race.

Another beautiful day for El Tour de Tucson. See you next year.

Sonoita, Arizona – August 2022 – From Ranching to Renaissance

After our visit to the Empire Ranch house, we continued to wander the dusty roads to check out the sights. Imagine our surprise when we came across a group of Renaissance Cosplay people.

This event was not one of the more structured Renaissance Festivals that tour the country, rather this is a group of people who like to get dressed up and spend the weekend living in the renaissance period.

After checking with some people near the entrance they assured me we were more than welcome, and that they would be thrilled to have photos taken of them. Say no more!

Spokane, Washington – May 2022 – Biggest Thing Around For 278 miles

After a week of travelling about in the mountains, with a few small cities mixed in, Spokane seemed like the big city. And it has been that way for well over 100 years.

As a result downtown has a nice collection of older architecture.

The island in the middle of the river at the top of the falls was the home of the 1974 World’s Fair. This clocktower was part of the Great Northern Depot train station that was unfortunately demolished for the fair.

The falls itself is quite impressive.

Also of note is Manito Park and Duncan Gardens. As for that 278 miles – it is that far to Seattle.

Tucson – November 2021 – El Tour de Tucson

The Saturday before Thanksgiving is traditionally the El Tour de Tucson, a bike racing festival with numerous races for different skills. The longest, for the professional and advanced riders, is over 100 miles long and came as far east as the town of Vail, Arizona. This posting celebrates the riders, as well as the beautiful views of the area.

Many riders ‘posed’ as they rode past.

The first of many flashing the universal sign of Shaka (Hawaiian for Hang Loose/Right On)

Over the dry river and through the hills to Grandma’s house for an early Thanksgiving.

Celina, Ohio – July 2021 – Cars in the Lake

Each year the small town of Celina, Ohio has a festival celebrating their position on a large reservoir known as the Grand Lake St Marys. The highlight of the festival is a gathering of Amphicars.

These cars were built in Germany from 1960 until 1965 – specifically to be able to not only drive on land but become a boat in water.

The car owners come from all over the country to Celina to celebrate their eclectic, but very cool, little car/boats.

The highlight of the cars visit to Celina is known as the ‘Splash In’, where the drivers enter the water.

The queen was on hand to kick off the celebration – and go for a ride.

Then it was time for the others to enter the water….

Once they were in the lake they cruised around for a while…..

Eventually the queen(s) headed home….

As the sun set the boats came into the harbor to turn into cars again….