These are the trails that shoot off the harrisburg greenbelt. Some very challenging riding in an urban location. Some really great stuff.
These are the trails that shoot off the harrisburg greenbelt. Some very challenging riding in an urban location. Some really great stuff.
A few photos from a scouting ride I did in Michaux for a route that I'm taking my son's Boy Scout troop on. Coming up this weekend. Hope the kids are prepared and have fun!
Little video post from some old SAMBA group ride footage. Fun group to ride with. Good people. Good trails. Good times.
The Cranksgiving bicycle race was incredible. Competitive, fun, joking around and for a good cause: all the ingredients to make you feel good about the day. We had a blast and can't wait to do more of these event!
Enjoy the GoPro footage!
Just like the cartoon, I shouted this under my helmet as I headed out on a photo-moto-camping trip this past weekend. I've gotten the bug to do some touring after watching Long Way Round/Down and Neale Bayly Rides and reading a few moto touring books/blogs. Now I realize the 1978 Gold Wing isn't exactly an adventure touring bike, but it's also not like I live in an exotic locale like Mongolia, Kenya or Peru. (or so I thought.)
My buddy Kyle had his own adventure earlier this spring and blogged about it at fairingeast.wordpress.com. Him and his friend flew to his sister's house, got on Craigslist and picked up two older Gold Wings and couch-surfed/camped their way across the country home. I excitedly followed his journey and wished for my own. I'd taken a few day rides but didn't want to push my bike too far earlier this year because of some tech problems that were unresolved. After it was straightened out, I posted about wanting to go explore and Kyle chimes in, "I still have the bike and missing the open road. Let's do it." With that, the plan was underway.
In a few short weeks, I'd picked my Dad's brain for a good route to take. Exchanged a few emails of possible sites along the way and each plotted a Google Maps route. Most of this planning would shortly get thrown out the window. LOL.
Packing for a motorcycle trip is a bit different than a normal camping trip. While I always say that I'm taking too much, nothing shines a light on how little you can take until you have to strap it to the back of a motorcycle. I'm sure this what the backpackers deal with every time. With my minimal supplies strapped down I was ready to go (later realizing, that a few more supplies might be in order... luckily I was camping with a former Boy Scout. Motto: Be Prepared). As I was waiting for Kyle to meet up, I get a text message. "Bike won't start... Gonna find a bigger hill to push start it." Oh no. After a few fits, he got it running and said he'd be over and we are still on (unless it doesn't start back up at my house.) I admire his confidence in his ride and luckily, it kept churning along the rest of the weekend.
Fueled up, we get underway. A little behind our projected schedule. Fortunately, we had nowhere to be at an appointed time (aside from the gate closing on our reserved campsite in Elkins). This was going to be a little closer than we'd like. JUST outside of town, I feel something banging against my leg. I look down and there is my side cover flopping on my shin. The expoxied mount had finally come loose after all these years. So, we quickly pulled off the highway into a Rite Aid parking lot. This was more of a whim and first place I saw... (and all right turns so I could hold the cover tight with my left shin.) but it ended up being a smart move because they sell SuperGlue. After securing the bracket that came loose (but didn't fall off), it was time to put it back on. Trouble is, now that it's secured, it wont' fit past the seat. After removing the seat, I was able to get the cover back on and we were on our way again. This time, REALLY behind schedule.
We made our way to the Tilted Kilt in Hagerstown for a tasty lunch and then picked up 81 down into Winchester and then onto our first WV routes... Rt. 50. This was a cool road and the further you went, the more remote it got. It was quickly apparent that West Virginia DOT does not know what a straight line is and god bless em. Roads were constantly turning and twisting and going up and down mountains. We stopped in Romney hoping to find a brew pub that Kyle had remembered visiting years ago on a rallye that had great cheap food. We drove by what was supposed to be the address. While we were stopped a few locals walked by and asked to help us. We soon found out that Lost River Brewing is like 30 miles in the opposite direction and not in the town that Google placed it's "approximate location". Ok, moving onward then!
Stopping at the first Scenic overlook was incredible. Kyle shouted from under his helmet "THAT road was awesome." I agreed. I especially loved the sections that appeared they COULD have made them straight, but they resisted the urge and added a few extra "S" turns.
Our rest stops were getting shorter as we pushed on for Elkins. We journeyed into Thomas where we had another destination to visit. Mountain State Brew Pub. Thomas turns out is a small little town that is two 1 way streets cut into a slope. Aged shoppes with great names like the Flying Pig Breakfest and Lunchery, Purple Fiddle and Pickel Patch gave the town a vintage feel. We headed out of town looking for our destination and quickly found it at the top of the mountain (luckily, cell reception wasn't COMPLETELY dead... yet).
At Mountain State Brewing, we chatted with the bartender and a few locals curious about our trip. We told them we hoped to hit Elkins and they cautioned us about the setting sun, running dear... etc. "So where is a good place around here to camp", Kyle asked. "Camp 70... Head down to Davis. At the Shop and Save, go around back and there is a dirt road. cross the bridge and follow that about 2 miles and you'll hit a few camp sites. Just pitch a tent there. It's free." Sweet. I wasn't convinced it wasn't just a ploy to more easily attack us while we slept. But turns out the people in WV were probably some of the nicest people I've met in a long time!
We set up camp and head back into Davis (which was about 2 blocks smaller than Thomas... and that wasn't big to begin with.) We found 1 place open, Hellbender Burritos. Had a little bite to eat and headed back to camp. The West Virginia sky was just amazing. You could see millions of stars since there were no nearby city lights on the horizon. A complete darkness just fell all around. It was incredible. While I've camped almost a dozen times just this year, I still feel a bit of noob at times. Maybe it was the "remoteness" of it all, but it's amazing the stuff you hear when you can't hear the normal things... like traffic noise. Of all the animals you'd expect to hear in the woods, foxes are not a favorite (they sound like a woman or child screaming in pain.)
We awoke to a slightly damp tent from the overnight rain (good call on the rain flys), packed our gear and headed back into Thomas to hopefully find a place to eat. The Flying Pig Breakfest and Lunchery was our stop and had a great home cooked (and cheap) breakfest. We rerouted our Sunday at this point because we didn't quite end up where we wanted to be. We elected to adopt Kyle's route that he had originally mapped out but not before we made a quick detour for Rt. 72. This was a spasdic light line scribble on the map that was too tempting to resist. We both agreed, that has to be interesting. And as we made the turn onto the road, we quickly found out we were right. A large yellow sign greeted us telling us that for the next 15 miles, the road narrows, steep hills, tight turns and trucks were forbidden. Definately interesting!
Rt. 72 turned out to be a mostly farm road that wound it's way through Canann valley. I'm kicking myself for not stopping at the one far field that was situated dead in the center of a few mountain ranges with a field of horses out front. NEXT trip! The road lived up to it's expectation. You had to stay on your toes for on-coming traffic, gravel, steep drops and washed away road sections that instead of fixing them, they just put a caution sign up.
Back on a main route, we picked up pace and headed to Seneca Rocks for a stop at a general store and checking out the climbing supplies and tours. If I were a rock climber, this would be the place to visit. Very cool. As the day was getting away from us, we decided to hammer for home to meet up with the Sunday social crowd in Harrisburg, but not before we wound our way through more mountain passes on our way back to civilization. As we pull into a McDonalds to sort our route on our "old school GPS", we note that we are headed to Wardensville. Kyle mentions, "I think that's where that restaurant that wasn't in Romney is." Sure enough, it was. Kyle was able to revisit a stop he made on a road rallye previously. My how things change. Gone was the little greasy spoon with elCheapo food and drinks. It had morphed into a quaint little boutique brewpub that served up a mean pulled pork sandwich and served up a Wit PA (now called Harvest) with locally grown cascade hops. [fun fact: WV does not serve beer until 1pm on Sunday]
The ride up Rt. 81 was pretty uneventful but in contrast to all the twists and turns we had encountered for the last day, it was nice to just open up the throttle and pound out some miles. Stopping a few times to stretch the legs, we soon found ourselves "back in the burg" just in time to meet up with some friends.
With the trip a few days behind me now, I am more excited for the next one. I think my enthusiasm has gotten a little infectious. My youngest son asked if I was taking another trip with Kyle again soon because he'd like to go. In his defense, it's only because he wants to camp more often and it's less about the bike trip. Maybe we will find a short trip close by and give it a whirl.
While we prepare for our family's Boy Scout troop ride coming up, we have been riding much more. So, we headed out on a little tour of the Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails starting in Colebrook and riding through Gretna and back. As usually, we ran the GoPro cameras again. These are a few snaps from the photo mode segment. I'll put together a video from the various rides in a little.
Maybe I need to spend more time in the menu system of my GoPro 3. I haven't used it a lot lately and it's been a bit of a "point and pray" camera. I've gotten some images I really like from it... But not without some post processing. While I'm ok with that, I'd love to get the overall images "out of camera" a little better.
I realize that the shooting conditions I'm in are a bit tough to get a good shot when you have a camera on manual and time to analyze and "figure out the shot" so I guess a camera attached to the bar grabbing a shot every 2 or 5 seconds (forget where I set it) isn't really doing all that bad of a job. Most shots are a bit under exposed while under tree cover.
Anybody else experience this with the GoPro 3 while getting started with it?
(Small inset photos are RAW and the larger zoom is post processed.)
**** Update ****
I found a few articles and tested this out a little bit with my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition. Timelapse capture settings of .5 sec and 1 sec will calculate exposure on the first frame and then lock exposure. Capture settings of 2 sec and longer will auto expose each frame. I could be wrong, but I haven't seen this documented anywhere then forums.
This weekend was great weather for us to get out for a nice mtn bike ride. As the kids are getting older, they can ride better and farther. Fired up the GoPro 3 with handlebar remote to capture the ride.
Was going through my newly updated YouTube channel and found some additional Mountain Biking Go Pro videos that had been previously unblogged here. This GoPro Hero 2 video was captured at Swatara State Park on the awesome trails maintained by SAMBA.
Last week I took a little trip to Virginia to ride the Skyline Drive on the motorcycle. We encountered a bit of rain, but at least the photos had some "atmosphere" to them.
Playing more and more with the GoPro, this time in photo mode. It's a little limiting... but still fun. Lighting is the big issue I'm finding right now. In heavily wooded shots, you'll see below that it leaves the shutter open a long time. It can be cool, but you'll get a lot of 'throw away' shots if the terrain is rough... which it is for mountain biking.
I am contemplating a 3D housing and not link the two cameras together, just set one on photo and the other on video. That would be interesting. Anyone try that one?
Anyway, on to the images. That's probably why you are here anyway.
More summer sharing. Yes, if it seems like I've been mostly shooting video and not photography it is because I have. I've always enjoyed working in the video realm and now that tools are more available to a cheaper price points to be able to do exciting stuff at home. I've been playing.
This was just a simple edit with trip from our Kayak trip with Outer Banks Kayak Tours. It was a nice tour, very informative.. learned a lot and had fun. I reccomend them if you visit the OBX. Video edited while on vacation using my iPad and iMovie.
As the summer kicks into full effect, it is action sports time once again. And since a good photographer “shoots what he loves”, I’m back into the sports shooting scene again. Actually, It is more sports “video” currently with the GoPro Hero action camera.
I’ve loved this little camera and I’ve been using it quite a lot lately. I’ve been taking it kayaking at the Outer Banks (NC) and even hauled it out into the surf with my son playing around at the beach and set it into photo mode.
I’ve posted a few recent kayak trip videos and today is no different. This particular video was shot at 720p60 and interpreted the footage down to 30fps to get a natural smooth motion slo-mo effect. It really helped enhance the relaxing mood of floating along the Yellow Breeches creek here in south central PA.
Next up… more bicycling and more motorcycling videos/photos. The biggest downfall of owning a GoPro is the frantic neuroses of where do you mount the camera next. There must be an actual name for it condition (add a comment if you have a suggestion and we’ll coin the phrase.)
We took our first family kayaking trip (our new hobby). I quickly mounted a few mounts for my GoPro on the bow of my new boat and let it roll while we put in the water. I need to grab more b-roll footage and see what else I can do, but here is a fresh clip editted with iMovie on the iPad. (yes, you can directly import and edit GoPro video footage on your iPad.)