I’ve been riding le Tour de Femme since 2009 and to me it is so much more than a one day ride. It is a community of heart, compassion and hope. Seeing many of the same people every year, coming to volunteer, sponsor and ride, I wondered why the tour is so special to them. In these series of interviews, I have the distinct pleasure of introducing you to some of our sponsors, riders, volunteers and finding answers to some of the burning questions. How did the tour start? Who lives in the house at rest stop #1? Where do those cookies come from?
After a quick stop at CSH, we sat down at the Harvest Bread Company to talk. Gerald and I connected at my first TdF, when I was bald from chemo, and he captured that moment for me. Thankfully, my cancer has stayed away, and we celebrate every year. Knowing the time and effort it takes to cover an event and publish the photos, I am especially appreciative of his gift.
Gerald Dukes is much more comfortable on the other side of the camera, but he was brave and gracious for our interview and photo session.
He found out about the tour through his friend, Tom Bland, whose wife Nancy died of cancer. Both he and his wife Millie have been volunteers since the 1st ride and he has offered his photography services ever since.
What brings him back year after year are the women and their stories and his desire to capture this day for them. He works really hard to get a photo of every rider, while capturing the details (tributes written on legs, arms and cards) that touch all of our hearts. Below are a few of the photos he has captured over the years.
This year, when you see Gerald with his camera, be sure to say hi and thanks. No doubt, you will be treated to a warm greeting, winning smile, and a memory of the day.
Gerald Dukes- professional photographer, volunteers his services at le Tour de Femme