Last weekend I headed off for my annual trip to shoot the amazing Ride for Hope, a charity bike ride held every year on the island of Eleuthera, raising money to help combat the high levels of cancer in The Bahamas.
While I’ve been working with the founders of the event for over 5 years, developing their website and shooting the event, this year was a special one for me, as my wife and daughter were riding for the first time. Not a great athlete by any means, my six year old was determined to ride and complete the “Ice Cream Loop”, a three mile ride to the little ice cream shop on Cupids Cay in Governor’s harbour. She rode without a complaint, completing the loop, and then surprised us both by stating if she got another ice cream at the end, she’d happily do it again. Which she did. On both counts! Well done kiddo – I was a stupidly proud daddy that day!
My wife and daughter were only two out of the 550 or so riders that gathered at sunrise in the tiny settlement of Governor’s Harbour. From 2 yrs old to 80 yrs old, riding between 3 and 100 miles, locals and visitors from around the globe gathered to support the event and pedal their way to raising well over half a million dollars for various organisations battling cancer in The Bahamas. Some rode for fun, others rode with determination fired by the loss of loved ones to the disease.
Me? Well, I again had the easy task, compared to those facing 10, 20, 50 or 100 miles of rolling hills in fierce heat – I just got to hang out and take photographs of these amazing people. With my girls finished and heading off to the beach, I headed out on a road trip up to Gregory town, stopping along the way to shoot riders against a backdrop of incredible blue seas, riders with faces set in stone as their concentration and determination took over all other emotion. Riders grinning and waving for the camera. Riders stopping to just stand and admire the incredible beauty of the views around them. All of them leaving me humbled at their sacrifice and support of this event.
Over three days, starting with the night before pre-ride party and Junkanoo rush out, and ending with a few hours downtime on a beach before returning home, I ended up with nearly 2000 frames to develop, sort and upload.
I can only hope I did at least some of these awesome riders justice. If not, I promise to up my game next year!