Monday, April 27, 2009

Helmet Cam

Randall, Mike and I have been riding together since the late 70's. Randall and I have wanted a helmet cam just about that long also. You're never going to relive the rush of the moment, but it would be cool to watch video clips of some of the highlights of your rides. That time has arrived.

Randall and I went together and bought a helmet cam to play and experiment with 2 weeks ago. We took it out this weekend for the first trial run and are still have a lot to learn with it. My main focus was don't crash with it! We rode a lot of mud and creek crossings so I thought it would be best to use the waterproof case for it. Good news is I didn't destroy it first time out with it. Bad news is the waterproof case really dampens the video and sound quality.

We rode some unusual dual sport trail and managed to shoot a couple of decent test videos that I am loading on Hopefully I can learn something and apply it so we can have some better quality videos in the future.

Click HERE for video clip.

I tried to load it in 3 different formats here but could not get it loaded so I just posted a link to my youtube page.

We still have a lot to learn, but I think we are going to have a lot of fun with it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Terra Firma

It's been a week since I stopped to take a soil sample with my nose. I am feeling much better, in fact most of the bruising is gone now. Funny how you only remember the good part of racing after you've been out of it a few years. The road trips, the camping, the competition, the trophies ... the crashes somehow get lost in remembering all of the fun times you had.

The crashes came back to me last week. As I was laying on the ground with the breath knocked out of me, I was fighting for a breath of air. Once that came, I continued to lay there trying to evaluate the situation, did I break anything? Were all the bones hooked together properly? After what seemed like 5 or 6 minutes (between getting my breath back and my orthopedic self diagnosis), I decided I was alright and attempted to stand up. After getting to my feet, I walked back up the trail the 12 to 15 feet to my bike. At least I didn't scramble my brain this time. I hit my head so hard in St Louis, at an AMA Regional enduro in 88, that I saw in black and white for a few seconds. No, I'm not crazy. I have talked to 3 or 4 racers since that time who have had black and white vision momentarily after a nasty hit to the head.

Well, I'm feeling better, I have my bike prepped and ready to go again. On my next ride, however, I don't plan on getting a close up of good ole terra firma.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ride Fast, Crash Hard

The weather has been a bit on the crazy side this last week. In the last 8 days we have had thunderstorms come through 3 nights, have received a lot of rain, had sleet last Saturday, have had temps ranging from 78 all the way down to 27. Just yesterday we started off at 59 with no wind but just before noon the temperature had hit 64. Then the wind kicked up and brought in a little thunder shower. A slow easy rain with rumbling thunder in the background made for a nice afternoon prepping the flower beds for spring. Then the wind picked up more while changing around out of the north and continued to rain. By 8:30 last night it was 43 with a wind chill of 36.

Good news. I finally feel good enough to ride again. It has been a while since my last excursion in the woods and it hurt me riding some of the terrain we rode. Randall and I got a late start which worked out good since it was still chilly this morning. We unloaded to an absolutely gorgeous day and soon were in the woods. We rode a pretty fast pace for most of the trails we were on, but it was extremely slick in some places due to the rain. We rode old logging roads, single track, dirt roads and at one point just took out through the woods with no trail trying to pick up another trail. We would never have done that without trusting Randall's GPS unit. In the old days when we had to explore everything the old fashioned way, ride the trail out ... it comes out somewhere. We have been lost more than once that way trying to find a trail.

Along about 2:00 pm, we hit one of our favorite trails to ride. It starts out as a fast old logging road and turns into some prime, loamy single track trail. The problem today is that the leaves are still covering the ground and after all of the rain we have had, they were slick wet leaves on top of mud. Randall and I both had a couple of near misses, but kept the pace up. Just as I top a hill in 4th gear and start down the other side, my front end washed out so damn fast I was about 6 inches off of the ground before I realized I was crashing. It has been at least 8-10 years since I have crashed that hard. I took all of the impact on my head and left shoulder. I just lay there on the ground for a while making sure everything was where it needed to be and still hooked together. I firmly believe that had I not been wearing a good quality helmet and chest protector, I might have suffered another concussion and I am sure I would have broke my left collar bone (again).

We rode across a low water bridge on the way back that was flooded and at one end of it there was about 30 foot of water out into the road so we stopped and I told Randall " you go first and I will take a picture as you ride through it". It looked pretty deep from where we were, but it was only up to the foot pegs. It did make for an interesting picture. I still can't believe he fell for the old "You go first, I've got the camera" line.

I am back at home now all cleaned up and pretty sore. But it is so nice to be hurting from something you wanted to do instead of hurting because of RA! I am bruised from my shoulder down to the back side of my bicep and my left hip has felt better, but it was definitely worth it. We rode 110 miles today and just in case you're keeping score Randall also crashed and broke his clutch lever earlier in the day.