2015 Mobbin' Monday Summer Criterium Series: Spadra

For just a moment lets continue with the "hot summer" theme (thanks to John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian, Steve Boone and the Lovin' Spoonful, or whoever sang the version you are most familiar with):

"Hot Town Summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city
All around people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk hotter than a match head

But at night its a different world
Go out and find a girl
Come on, come on and race all night
Despite the heat it will be alright
And babe,  don't you know it's a pity
The days can't be like the night
In the summer, in the city
In the summer, in the city…"

The Spadra Criterium was the second of Mobbin' Monday's Summer Criterium Series races happening every Friday night in Pomona during the month of June.

The darkness is still, mesmerizing, yet at the end of the street, forms even darker, shadow along the pavement from around the distant turn. Did you see? Was something, someone, there? Stealth and speed brings them closer, even as you blink to clear your eyes, attempting to focus, bring some clarity, some sense to the ephemeral. With quickness they approach the feeble orange glow of the street light to which you have been drawn. Just as quickly, their momentum carries through the light to recede and, ultimately, disappear back into the dark.

This is fixed-gear, brakeless criterium racing at night. Time and the darkness grant but a moment of revelation to the gathered spectators, before plunging us back beneath the enveloping shroud. Darkness enhances mystery, and the uninitiated might wonder at the fleeting forms, at one moment machine, the next human, and finally, a curious melding of the two.

You never know what to expect at these "grassroots" races, and the unpredictability adds to the allure. Another element of mystery. Workers at a course-adjacent manufactory, working the late shift, huddle in the light cast through an open roll-up doorway, their own short break, a moment to escape the stuffy warehouse interior. A semi, eighteen-wheeler, big-rig rolls onto the street between races, causing a delay as the driver, deliberately, carefully, skillfully backs the trailer to a loading dock right where racers and their spectators have gathered at the start/finish line. I welcome the beams cast by the headlights and wish they could remain for the duration of the race.

Thanks to Luis, who always seems to be the face of Mobbin' Monday at their events, and to all the other Mobbin's, because I am pretty sure it takes a team to put on a race.

Hope no one was blinded by my flash - I tried to use it only when racers were past, or right next to me, so as to not cause a problem. That limits the type of photos that can be shot, and I quickly realized that I was going to have to rely on a more artistic bent to them this time. The shadowy forms, murky lines, sudden splash and glow of color. Art over realism, yes, thats it. Art. I guess I can always fall back on that excuse. Be forewarned, if you click on the Flickr album link there is a lot of "art" in it this time (forty photo worth). Maybe by next week I will have figured out a way to project a more suitable light.