Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

Sunset with a side of Aurora

January 19, 2019

The Big Yellow Ball returned to the sky yesterday, as did the color blue.

We had a lovely bit of color yesterday afternoon to close out the work week.

If we’re lucky we might be back to what passes for normal around here, weather-wise, for the next few days, anyway.

The Jamis Aurora Elite, ready for its closeup.

This would be useful, as I have a Quick Spin video to finish for the Adventurous Cyclists. It concerns the Jamis Aurora Elite, which I last reviewed in June 2011.

It’s surprising how little the bike has changed over the years, and that goes double for the price, which has been pegged at $1,699 for the better part of quite some time.

That ain’t bad for a steel bike with rear rack and fenders. A small bright spot in an otherwise dark time.

Videocy: Backstage at Radio Free Dogpatch

December 1, 2018

• Editor’s note: What we have here is your basic compound fracture of the funnybone: a video about a podcast with a blog post attached. It’s like watching some homeless dude trying to wash the windshields of a three-car crash with a squeegee swiped from the gas station across the street and a Big Gulp cup full of his own pee.

Don’t ask me why I thought this was a good idea, because I don’t have a reasonable explanation, beyond noting that it’s been a while since I shot a short for Adventure Cyclist and I thought it might be prudent to blow some of the dust off my less-than-mad videography skillz.

Also, I’m striving for a weekly episode of Radio Free Dogpatch, and while this isn’t exactly that, it’s close enough for government work. Especially if you consider the way our government works lately.

So, hi, and welcome to … to … to whatever the hell this is.

• Read the script after the jump.

Days decrease, and autumn grows

October 10, 2018

Yesterday’s clouds were a harbinger of mildly unpleasant weather,
the sort one expects in October.

It’s that time of year again.

This morning, instead of going straight to The New York Times to see what deviltry Cheeto Benito has been up to while we slept, I cued up Weather Underground to find out what Thor has in store for us here in our little corner of the Duke City.

Also, I was wearing socks. And pants. O, the humanity.

I already miss my summer routine. Reveille at oh-dark-thirty as Field Marshal Turkish von Turkenstein (commander, 1st Feline Home Defense Regiment) leaps into my rack. After a brief exchange of the usual courtesies it’s up and into the Columbia shorts, guinea tee and Tevas for the trip to the kitchen, where I burn an English muffin for Herself, pour a cup of joe for myself, and top off Miss Mia Sopaipilla’s kibble.

Next, open the sliding glass doors and a kitchen window. Fresh air reminds me we have two cats who haven’t mastered the flush toilet. But the litter box will have to wait. First, the news. One foul chore at a time, please.

With the international, national, regional and local butt-nuggets exhumed, examined and expunged, and a second cup of coffee to wash down a snack of some sort, it’s time to generate a bit of bloggery and/or paying copy before embarking upon some healthy outdoor activity.

Here we have another indicator of the relentless passage of time, as reliable as falling leaves. Come autumn, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News and Adventure Cyclist reduce their frequency of publication, and my income stream — hardly a raging torrent, even in the heart of the cycling season — becomes more of a dribble, the last warm sip from summer’s water bottle.

I delivered the video teaser of my Jones Plus SWB review to Adventure Cyclist on Sunday, and yesterday the November “Shop Talk” cartoon went off to BRAIN. Now I’m fresh out of other people’s bikes to ponder, and there’s just one more ’toon to draw for 2018.

And that healthy outdoor activity? Come autumn, it’s as likely to be a run as a ride. This year I started jogging again in July; this lets me sort of sneak up on my knees, give them time to grow accustomed to the idea that we enjoy this sort of thing, before winter winnows our options.

It’s a useful fiction, one that keeps me in shorts a while longer.

It’ll all come out in the wash

October 5, 2018

I’m ditchin’, man.

Well, no; no, it won’t.

But I’m in the wash* anyway.

 

*We call washes “arroyos” down here, and sometimes we don’t come out, either.

Spaghetti western

August 24, 2018

The director at work. Just call me Quentin Ferrentino.

Back in the saddle again. …

Wrapped a video about the Bianchi Orso yesterday and shipped it off to the Adventurous Cyclists. I don’t know if these little flights of fancy get any altitude once they leave the nest, but making one drags me out of the dark corners of my head and into the light, however briefly, squinting like an astigmatic Morlock without his prescription Rudy Projects.

The Bianchi Orso in a bikepacking configuration, up against the Wall of Science.

There’s never a plan. Well, not really. I always snap some stills of the bike and its bits in various configurations, loaded and unloaded, up against the Wall of Science. But then I just bugger off with the machinery, a GoPro and an old Flip Video tripod, and see what happens. Make a ride of it. The body sweats in tandem with the brain.

By the time I get around to shooting video I’ve already written the print review, so I have that road map filed away for reference, a sort of mental GPS chirping, “Proceed 500 meters down the trail, cross the dry wash, then tackle that kitty-litter climb. Try to look like a bikepacker instead of a poseur. And stay out of the cholla f’chrissakes, you still have to edit this footage.”

Speaking of which, after a couple-three of these little adventures with the bike in various getups I have a mountain of clips to turn into a two-minute molehill. It’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle without any idea of what the finished picture is supposed to look like.

“OK, lessee here, there’s an intro, here’s an outro, now what about the in-between? Component roundup, yup; racks and sacks, uh huh; bikepacking rig, mmm hmm. Some road. Some dirt. How ’bout something ridiculous, just ’cause? Two minutes on the nosey.”

Finding some suitable background music may be the biggest hurdle. Apple’s iMovie doesn’t include a ton of useful tunes, and I draw the line at going all Ennio Morricone on these things with my two-bit orchestra. Light on the good, heavy on the bad and ugly, is what. I don’t have a piano, the flute scares the cats, and my guitar “stylings” sound like a raccoon chasing a rat through a box spring at the dump.

Lights, camera, inaction

April 3, 2018

Must be a gravel bike.*
* Gravel not included.

Timing is everything.

Yesterday morning I went out for a short run (keep muscle memory alive!) and then hopped on the Giant ToughRoad SLR 1 with the idea of wrapping up its video review for Adventure Cyclist in advance of the next member newsletter.

It might have been smarter to do the shoot first and the stumble second.

I figured that by midmorning on the Monday following Easter weekend most of my fellow trail users would be on the job, in school, or buried deep in household chores. Nope. My cinematography was interrupted over and over again by moms pushing strollers, dog walkers, hikers, rock climbers and other truants.

You’d think we had the nation’s second-worst unemployment rate or something.

What? We do? Never mind.

And with Il Douche busy crashing the economy I might have to start shooting these things on a trainer in the living room. The open space around here is liable to start looking like a hobo jungle out of “The Grapes of Wrath.”

 

That Voodoo that I do

March 14, 2018

Remember the “Suburban Singletrack” video I posted a while back? This is a sequel of sorts that takes in some of the foothills trails south of Indian School Road. I threw in some northbound bits, too, including a rocky stretch that I usually reserve for running.

The Voodoo Nakisi taking a break before a fast downhill near the Elena Gallegos picnic area.

Different trails, different bike: Last time I rode the flat-bar, single-ring Voodoo Wazoo; this time it was the drop-bar, triple-ring Voodoo Nakisi.

What can I tell you? Sometimes it’s useful to have that 22×26 low end.

I’m particularly pleased to have been able to clean one sharp, rocky, left-hand hairpin that’s been confounding me regardless of the bike I’m riding. I’d been going wide, but turns out tight was right.

Who knew? Not me, brother. I’ve been dabbing on the sonofabitch for three years.

Next I’ll have to shoot some video of the Elena Gallegos trails, which I rode today. Those draw a bigger crowd. The trails, not the videos.

A brief diversion

March 5, 2018

The Oscar, like the Pulitzer and Reuben, continues to elude me.

But the white man can’t keep me down. Underemployment and boredom are powerful motivators. Thus on Saturday I clamped a Shimano CM-1000 to the stem of my Nobilette and documented my first visit to the North Diversion Channel Trail this year.

The NDCT is an easy ride from El Rancho Pendejo, and it’s the trail that got me interested in Albuquerque as a winter alternative to Fountain Hills when we still lived in Bibleburg.

The Nobilette and I visited Balloon Fiesta Park back in fall 2014, shortly after we moved to town.

If February had me by the brain stem with a downhill pull I’d jump into the trusty Furster and motor on down to the Hampton Inn at Carlisle and I-25, which proved a perfect base camp for exploring the hundreds of miles of paths and trails available in the Duke City.

The hotel sits adjacent to the I-40 Trail, which feeds into the North Diversion trail a short spin to the west. The NDCT runs from the University of New Mexico on the south to Balloon Fiesta Park on the north. In between, you can connect with other trails that will take you east to the foothills or west to the Paseo del Bosque Recreation Trail, the crown jewel of the local network.

This 21-mile spin starts at El Rancho Pendejo, picks up the Tramway Recreation Trail a few blocks west, then crosses over Tramway to the Paseo de las Montañas Trail, which eventually bridges Interstate 40 and leads to Indian School Road.

A quick right-left on Washington and Cutler leads to the Hampton on the I-40 Trail and thence to the NDCT. Turning right on Bear Arroyo leads to a bridge over I-25, and from there the ride home is a blend of off-street bike path and quiet suburban streets.

Mostly I ride the road, but when I become exasperated with boneheads and leadfeet the trails are a pleasant diversion. Pun intended.

Making tracks

January 29, 2018

Yesterday kind of got away from me somehow. It never really did warm up as advertised. But I finally got out for a short spin, and for laughs I took a Shimano CM-1000 along for the ride.

These trails start two blocks (!) from El Rancho Pendejo, as part of the Casa Grande Linear Park, and you can take them south to within eyeshot of I-40.

They tend to crowd up pretty thick on weekends, but I must have hit the sweet spot, because there weren’t all that many other folks out and about.

The recording of the Orchestrion, a mechanical street organ at The Hague (not the album/concept by Pat Metheny), is by RTB45 at www.freesound.org.

Movie Monday

November 13, 2017

In which we learn that an hour on the patio listening to birdsong beats a day wasted reading tweets from twatwaffles.