The approach to Los Angeles International from the north brings you in from the coast heading east almost directly over downtown before turning south and then west to make the approach to the north complex. This approach gives you a very good view of Dodger Stadium. I had the camera to hand as we came in so grabbed a few quick shots of the park. With the MLB dispute now solved, there should be crowds showing up here before too long (if they haven’t already depending on when I post this).
The Cascade Bicycle Club organizes a few large rides throughout the year and March is the time for the Chilly Hilly. This is a ride around Bainbridge Island which means taking the ferry from Seattle across to the island. I was going to do the ride with a friend of mine but he got injured prior to the ride so I ended up doing it alone. Not many photos from the ride but I did record some video on a GoPro and that result of that is below. It wasn’t too chilly but it was definitely hilly! No video from the big climbs. Too much effort went in to not grinding to a halt!
One weekend afternoon, we took a walk through Discovery Park in Seattle. We started up near to the top of the park and then took a trail that brought us down to the shore. The trail continued along to the lighthouse at which point we started back to our origination point. As we walked along the shore, the wind was quite brisk and it was proving to be fun for some guy that was out kite surfing. Not only was he enjoying the conditions but I think he quite liked the attention. He was very close in to the shore so was being watched by a lot of people doing the same thing as us. I shot a little video of him before moving on and here is what I saw.
Victoria residents like to make use of the water for their activities. While we were there – and despite the weather being far from friendly – there were plenty of people out on the water. Their choice of activities varied. We had some stand up paddle boarders, there were kayakers, canoes and what looked like dragon boat teams but maybe that isn’t the right term for this type of boat. Wherever I was wandering, there was always someone out on the water. They managed to avoid the ferries and floatplanes without too much trouble!
The arrival of an NHL franchise in Seattle has prompted the rebuild of the Key Arena. Part of Seattle Center, Key Arena is a pyramid structure. It did not have the capacity for supporting an NHL franchise so a major rebuild was undertaken. The roof structure was kept but everything else was rebuilt. They gutted the place and dug down into the ground to effectively double the capacity of the facility.
It opened in mid October. There was a pre-opening event with the Foo Fighter playing but the official opening was a Coldplay concert on the Friday followed by the Seattle Kraken home opener on the Saturday. On the Sunday, they had an open house for people to come and check out the arena. There was no likelihood of me missing something like that. However, the weather was not looking great. They had a market and some bands outside but the rain also decided it wanted to be there. This was not a problem inside the arena but it did make the outside a bit less appealing. Still, it was fun to check out the new event space.
The ice hockey arena was open to view rather than covered up for other events. There were a couple of players working on the ice for a while but it was mostly empty. The Zamboni machines did come out to polish the ice though. There are plenty of interesting food and drink spaces around the venue. Pricing will be what you expect of a sports arena but they did look a lot nicer than you might see at older venues. The structure of the building has been preserved to some extent and you can see interesting shapes in the roof line. Outside it is easier to appreciate the old roof structure. Inside they have all sort of space for lighting and show installations and there is acoustic treatment for the roof to make it work as a concert venue.
It is now renamed the Climate Pledge Arena. The group that is supporting it is significantly backed by Amazon. They have designed the location to make use of renewable resources as much as possible and it is supposed to be incredibly environmentally sound. No doubt that will annoy some people – if you are annoyed by somewhere not polluting somewhere, have a think about your priorities. The venue already provided good income to the city and the new operators have to provide that income to the city whatever they achieve. This is a nice change from the usual approach of cities subsidizing major sports franchises. We shall see how they get on.
After our hike around Whatcom Falls Park, we headed down to Boulevard Park between Fairhaven and Bellingham to have our lunch. We sat by the water watching the activities out on the water. While we sat eating our sandwiches, someone came zipping along the shore on an electric surfboard with a hydrofoil. They were certainly pretty quick and headed off in to the distance. It was a while before they came back the other way which leads me to believe these things must have a pretty decent battery capacity. To any surfers reading this, have you given one of these things a go?
Back to my time shooting bike racing at Shelton for this post. Today I am focusing on wheelies. Powerful bikes are able to pull wheelies without any trouble but, while racing, that is not something that people try to do. However, while accelerating away from the start or from a slow corner, it is not unusual for the riders to get the front wheel off the ground. It is usually pretty brief so you aim to get it quickly.
When the races are over, it is a different story. As the riders run a final lap after the checkered flag, if they see you watching or holding a camera, it is not unusual for them to pull the front wheel up for an extended period. It makes for a cool shot if you are ready. These shots are a selection of wheelies O got during my (exceedingly hot) day out shooting the racing.
Having looked through the catalog of images after finding the elevated view of Victory Field, I came across the shots I took when I went with some work colleagues to a minor league game there. It was a lot of fun although I have no idea how the game was. Watching baseball at a stadium is an enjoyable experience that happens alongside a baseball game as far as I am concerned.
The sun was setting as the game got underway and we had some nice light in the sky. I took some HDR and panoramic shots which I have been able to reprocess using the latest versions of Lightroom as opposed to the one available at that time. I also got a few shots of the players at work and had a wander around the perimeter of the field to see how it looked from different angles. Looks like I was using a rather wide angle lens at some point too.
It is quite amazing to me the cornering that motorbike racers achieve. When I am out on my bicycle, I am always wondering how well the grip will hold up in tight bends at speed but I am not anything close to the cornering angles these guys achieve. Sure, they have a prepared surface and custom rubber for the tires but even so, it is amazing how they push them to the limits (and occasionally beyond).
Watching them come through the corners, it was a regular thing to see the knee pads down on the surface of the track. Some of them adopted a far more aggressive approach, though, and the occasional elbow could be seen getting down to the surface. I wonder how that feels through the leathers and whether it is a good feeling or an unsettling one.
To see these guys coming in to the bends and then heading away from you with the bike and body cranked so far over and the throttle being modulated to keep just enough power on to maximize the speed out of the bend was so impressive. Riding motorbikes has never been something I have been terribly interested in but watching someone that knows what they are doing extract so much from them was very cool.
I was scrolling through some shots of ships when I came across these pictures of the baseball stadium in downtown Indianapolis. It sits next to the football stadium and is just south of the hotel we were staying in on a previous trip. There was an evening game underway, and the fading light provided a lovely view of everyone having an evening at the game. I have been to Victory Field for a game on another visit when some of my work colleagues wanted to check it out. I do have some pictures from that trip but perhaps they can have their own blog post.