I live in Aldgate, in the beautiful Adelaide Hills and today our small town was host to the bike race the Tour Down Under, simply because it was on the route.
First of all I set my cameras in the completely wrong direction…. well, they went that way last time I was home to see the race…
I had all my fancy cameras and looked very professional and in front of 100's of the patrons of the local hotel I was set up there facing the wrong way.
Fortunately a friend came out of the crowd and kindly pointed me in the right direction.
I decided I would place myself right in the center of the road and the bikes would go round me….!!! There is a small island there and I set myself up there, once again in front of the patrons of the hotel.
It was incredibly hot, around 40 degrees, and the sun showed no mercy, but I wasn't going to stand out there like a dork with my umbrella…. besides, I got there before the Newspapers, and the photographers gave me a disdainful nod of their head as they walked to another vantage point.
I'd been there half an hour or so and an official come up to me and said I had to move.
"I'm going to stand there and let the participants know there is an Island here" she said… you will be in my way.
"I'm OK. I'll stand behind you I said, besides your flag is orange and if it gets in front of my camera it will add interest."
She looked at me as if I was whacky, and I could hear my friends in the pub taking bets that I would be removed.
Shortly after a policeman arrived and said I should shift…. but I'll just check he said.
His radio crackled and he went on to speak in a very loud voice… "We have the media here in the middle of the road. She's wearing black….. (he forgot to say I had an orange scarf and shoes and glasses on) not real observant I concluded.
The voice cracked through the hand piece and he smugly put it up to my ear.
"Is she behind the warden? OK let her stay." "Are you sure"? he said…. "She'll be OK" the voice said. A small cheer went up from those who were watching, the official frumped and the Policeman galumphed.
"OK, I need your name, do you have any ID"? No, I said, and I knew I wasn't going to give up my position.
So he got me to speak into his pocket recorder… Name and address. So there you are.
I got a few thumbs up from the crowd and after a while, the warden and I became best friends after I checked on her life story…. works every time.
She is an athlete, she's competed in Mexico….."Oh, I'm about to go to Mexico….. friends for the hour we were. etc, etc.
And this is the result…..
right in the middle of the riders.
Now Why have I mentioned the pump in the title.
Well, our small village was a stopping off point for the horses and carriages that traveled the road, They stopped Aldgate overnight. It was a steep undulating road and gradually took them up to 1000 feet above sea level.
There was a pump and a water trough in the centre of the road… almost where I was standing. The Hotel is called the Aldgate Pump hotel, and we in our small village are very protective of things past specially that special pump….
But recent road works have changed the road and the pump was shifted only to be stolen a few days later… so a friend put up some signs and in the middle of the race he was arrested and placed in handcuffs… so I filmed all that too. Video and film. But it seems the police just wanted to make a statement for the half hour it took them to arrest him and took him round the corner to his house and let him go.!!!
It was a fun day, tens of 1000's of people lined the road… ours was just a small part of this International race. Jamie normally films it from the back of a motorbike but as he's in the Antarctic it's a bit difficult to be in two places at once.
I looked over the road at one stage and the women having their hair done in the hairdressing salon had come out to watch with their hair in foils, families were there, old and young and of course lots of Lycra.
I was so hot that after the event I spent an hour in the pool cooling down, but it was a great day.