Watching the Parade

January 22, 2010

Photographing people can be a challenge on a bike trip. Sure, you can get all kinds of shots of groups of people smiling directly into the camera lens. But sometimes it feels like that's all you can get.

The loaded bicycle attracts a lot of attention. That's a good thing, most of the time. But it's hard to capture natural photos when you are always the center of attention.

That's why I love it when something else is going on to draw the attention away from me--a busy market, a sporting event, a wedding, a concert. Or, in the case of the photo above ... a parade. We had stopped in the town of Chachopa, Venezuela to take a break. We were pedaling up to the highest pass in the country (over 13,000 ft).

The bright light of the green wall of a corner store is contrasted in the somber look of the little girl. Why such a sad face while watching a parade? I turned around to see the street filled with students in a marching band.

This little girl didn't want to watch the parade. She wanted to be in the parade.

Photo by Willie Weir

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at


Log in to post a comment

Forgot Password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email that will allow you to reset it. If you no longer have access to the email address call our memberships department at (800) 755-2453 or email us at

Not Registered? Create Account Now.