I love cycling. It’s my sport, my hobby, my means for fitness, my mental relaxation tool and my stress relief valve. That’s a lot of things, but to sum them up, let’s say that I’m happy when I’m on my bike.

Consequently, I also enjoy photographing the sport of cycling, but this is something I can’t do if I’m riding at the same time. On many occasions, when I’m out on the roads, I see certain spots where I think a good bicycling picture could be taken, but since I’m riding myself, I can’t take it. (Yes, I know, I know, there are lots of cycling selfies out there, but that’s a different story.)

One of those places is a section of Community Lane, a road in Morgan County that leads to Gum Springs Road, a well-known climb up to Wilson Mountain. It’s a spot on an incline that overlooks not only the road below but also a picturesque farm with a long fence and a pond. So, when I learned that I was going to be the official photographer for the Red Kettle Ride last September, I planned to be there ahead of the very first group of riders, the fastest ones, and be ready to shoot as they crested the incline so I could have a clean background, with the fence cutting across the frame diagonally, which always helps in the composition.

When they showed up, I was happy to see a woman leading the group, pulling all the guys up the road. I wasn’t surprised though, since I knew she was none other than Karen Bott, a masters national champion who lives in Huntsville.

About the series: Behind the Lens is a photo column that explores the thoughts and mechanics behind images of the community taken by Decatur Daily photojournalists. These photos resonate with the photographer, either through the story behind the shot or the image itself.

About the photographer: Jeronimo Nisa, who is originally from Spain, has been a photojournalist with The Decatur Daily since 2008. He earned a master’s degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He previously worked in Italy and South Africa.

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