Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

First GoPro HD Movie

So I finally finished pulling together my first little (which turned into bigger than anticipated) movie using the GoPro HD camera and iMovie 09 (see previous post). Just as I was wrapping it up I noticed some advanced tools (like adjusting the opacity of cuts) but I simply got tired of messing with the movie so I’ll save those features for future little movies.

And by little movies, I literally mean little movies. This one is too long. I’m thinking shorter cycling-related scenes and fast cuts. Nothing that lasts this long. . . it’s just too long for my self-prescribed adult-onset ADD to handle.

Oh. . . here it is on Vimeo.

Preview of Coming Attractions

I recently (and finally) purchased a GoPro HD video camera. The camera’s been on my list of things I’ve wanted to buy for about a year now. I just hadn’t gotten around to pulling the trigger until I discovered it was available at REI and I could combine my 20% off coupon and yearly dividend, which resulted in a sizable discount. So I picked it up and ordered a 16GB SD card. (Note: Photo is not of my hand, freaky thumb, foreign coin, or camera… I was just too lazy to take my own photo.)

I have a few filming ideas in mind (mostly cycling-related), but initially I wanted to take it out for a test run. What better place (or controlled environment) than good ‘ol Hains Point. I was heading down for a time trial workout anyhow so I brought along the GoPro. I placed the camera in different locations on the bike and did laps at speed, filming different perspectives. For example, I placed the camera on the stem, forward facing, and did a lap or two. Then I placed it out near the brake lever (facing forward, then facing rearward) and pounded out a few more laps. I switched camera locations a couple more times and did a few more laps. I ended up doing 8 or 9 laps at speed and capturing quite a bit of video.

Pulling everything together using iMovie 09 has been (as Sir Alex Pline predicted) a time suck. I’ve put together a pretty coherent series of clips but now I need to add a soundtrack and do some additional tweaking. At any rate, here’s a 22 second Vimeo preview clip (from the cutting room floor and poor quality because I haven’t decided whether I want to invest in Vimeo’s HD fee. . . still figuring this stuff out).

I’ve been pretty impressed with the image quality (outside Vimeo) and the ease of use of the GoPro HD. Figuring out iMovie 09 cold has been another thing though (and trying to synch up a soundtrack has been a little frustrating). I think I might want to eventually move to Final Cut Express at some point but for now I’m just trying to figure out iMovie 09. Stay tuned for more stuff.

Like an Old Blanket

Well, the past couple of days have provided a great opportunity to actually get OUTSIDE and ride. So I’ve taken advantage of this warmer weather to commute to and from work like I normally would be doing this time of year. Driving to work this winter has been making me crazy. I realized I hadn’t ridden to work since around late November of last year (although I’ve been riding indoors on my rollers). This was in part due to my little altercation with a car which kinda messed up my hand for about six weeks. And then it got cold (and I turned extra wimpy) and then all the snow came. Needless to say, one week led to another and I ended up missing a significant amount of road time (that’s sad).

Sometime last year I decided I wanted a smaller commuter bag. I had been using my mammoth Ortlieb messenger backpack. And because it was so large, I wasn’t always careful with what I packed around, meaning I’d just throw whatever in there I could fit (MacBook Pro, work papers, entire change of clothing for work, lunch, extra bike clothes, the kitchen sink, whatever) and nearly 30 lbs later I’d be hauling all that around VA, DC, and MD. So I figured I’d downsize and economize on what I carried around. (Believe me, I’ve tried this before.)  So I purchased a Timbuk2 commuter backpack and tried that a few times. It seemed to do okay and it didn’t even get too scuffed up when I laid down (is that right, laid down?) my bike in November.

However, when I recently started commuting again, I noticed the Timbuk2 was actually pretty small. I tried jamming in all the usual things but I couldn’t fit in everything. I forgot some stuff the first day and had to leave some things at work because they wouldn’t fit. So I pulled down out of the attic my trusty Ortlieb messenger bag, put it on this morning, and it felt like wrapping myself in an old blanket.

I realized I’ve been using this bag for about 10 years (sans the times I’d think I’d find something better).  We’ve actually been through a lot together: Cold, heat (with lots of sweat), and unexpected torrential downpours (keeping everything completely dry inside). The bag is nearly bombproof. About seven years ago, while riding to work, I slipped on some ice and my bike whipped out from underneath me. I hit the ground hard, got tossed over, and then I spun around on my Ortlieb like a turtle spinning on its back (and nothing happened to the bag!).

As goofy as it looks, and as goofy as I look wearing it, I’ll keep the Ortlieb (again) until it finally wears out and then I’ll probably replace it with a more current version. I hope I can return the Timbuk2, or sell it on eBay.

More Boxes

Over $34K worth of team clothing arrived today via FedEx. Those five boxes are h-e-a-v-y! Staring at the boxes and thinking about double checking each individual order is a little exhausting at the moment.

The good news is, this is the first time I’ve actually been home when the boxes arrived (no chasing them down at FedEx). I guess the other good news is that each order is individually packaged so at least I don’t have to go through the trouble of sorting all of the clothing for each team member (that would be a pain and very time consuming). The other boxes in the background are team socks and team t-shirts ready to hand out. Why do I always have all this stuff???

Too Much Salt!

So my first blog posting is nothing earth-shattering. Nothing profound. Just a simple complaint that restaurants put way too much salt (good ‘ol NaCl) in their dishes. I typically watch how much salt I use not only for health reasons but also because I don’t like sweating out a bunch of salt when I work out.

I just returned from a work trip in California and I can tell I consumed too much salt eating out at restaurants (even though I tried to watch what I ate). I know the carnitas at Speedy Joe’s in Palmdale were salty and the bacon at Crazy Otto’s in Acton were likewise salty but there must have been other salt-laden meals over the three days I was there.  A three-hour workout on my rollers left salt all over my face, I could taste it in my mouth, I could feel the sting in my eyes, and it left salty sweat marks everywhere. Just gotta sweat that stuff out.