|See my Gallery of America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride on Google+|
This year, my only preparation was looking up the times of the race starts and the wagon train - Like in 2012 I deliberately made no plan of what I was going to do after capturing the race start at the Montbleu Resort at 6-8am; so I arrived just as the first heat was gearing up to leave the starting line from the Montbleu Resort and spent the first few starts trying to capture the enormous scale of 3,200 bicyclists all trying to start a race at the same time, before getting a few starting line interviews.Following my usual custom of going west to capture the bicycles going through South Lake Tahoe I worked my way down Highway 50 from the state line to the traffic sign just before Wildwood Ave. more or less repeating the middle opening of every previous year's video. By tradition, I would usually have kept filming as I walked west towards Lakeview Commons and El Dorado Beach, and spent most of the late morning waiting there for the wagon train.
But then I thought to myself: "Wait, wasn't the point of going out with no plan having the freedom to change ideas? What if I turned around 180 degrees and went East instead?" The advantages were immediately obvious to my mind: instead of coping with not being able to keep up with an ever-thinning stream of stragglers, I would instead focus on filming my way east along US 50 and hopefully catch the wagon train much earlier in the day against a much prettier natural setting.
|See my Gallery of scenic shots from Marla Bay and Zephyr Cove on Google+|
By the time I walked the additional couple of miles to Zephyr Cove, enough time had passed for the scarcity of thick packs of bicycles to no longer be a problem and I was pleased to find that not only was there a beautiful stand-up shot in front of the M.S. Dixie II (which would let me plug the Sternwheeler Races on camera) but also a good opportunity to catch some of the first large groups of bicycles to be passing that spot so early in the race.
By the time my batteries were charged and I was ready to go on to shoot my stand-up at Lakeside Inn, the traffic conditions had gotten much worse. Since the Horizon, where AMBBR had been held every year since I started covering it, had closed for remodeling this year, the finish line had to be across the street at the Montbleu Resort; forcing the entire bicycle race to turn left across two lanes of traffic on US 50 at Lake Parkway. This caused an enormous (and apparently unforseen) traffic jam from the finish line that backed up well past Lakeside Inn to Khale Dr. and beyond.
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Luckily, I was on foot, so I got to the Montbleu much faster than anyone in a motor vehicle possibly could have, even accounting for the fact that I stopped every few hundered yards to film the now thick crowds of bicyclists coming in towards the finish line.