There was a time when Nice and Monaco were more familiar and dare I say it, routine to me than my hometown London. That’s probably true of many a lensperson in cycling to a local mountain range and to the friends in yellow from up the hills in Annecy it was a way of changing scenery and adding sunshine to their imagery bank account for an upcoming new season’s garments or wheelsets.
This scenario can mean staged events repeated over and over again in moments frozen at 1/500th of a second all day long that can soon wear the polish off the promise of a day out in the mountains riding bikes and having your photograph taken. I think that’s a real talent of a good model, resilience, patience and of course grace. And it always ends up as a bit of a race at some point, it just does – that’s athletes, especially when they’re professional ones. But I like if possible to not direct a narrative, preferring instead to just witness a day off on bikes for a group of workmates through a viewfinder and allow the natural atmosphere to gather inside my cameras. That sounds pretentious and a bit lazy but I find it works well and creates it’s own narrative free of constraint.
So here are some frames of frozen moments of a day in the maritime alps following cyclists around and occasionally asking them to repeat themselves, but on the whole letting a day out of the office on a bike do what it does best, create a natural smile of freedom and the occasional little race.
And the quote? I don’t remember when now but I think it was of my paraphrasing Greg Lemond that years later became one of those awkward moments when I tried to explain it to him and it made no sense.
©Augustus Farmer 2017