Archive for April, 2011

A fellow timelapse documentarian posted his amazing 5,000-photo compilation of the second CicLAvia last Sunday (done on foot from downtown to East Hollywood), and if you haven’t checked it out you totally should:

I watched it through after I got home that night, but totally missed that I made it into the sequence near the end, like so from a screen capture (that’s me on the bike, having stopped to see why my friend Stephen Box was involved in an animated discussion with some LAPD officers about the dangerous manner city personnel elected to reopen the streets to vehicular traffic; click it for the bigger picture):

It wasn’t until my friend Elson posted a comment to the video’s YouTube page alerting me to my presence at the 5:03 mark, that it dawned  on me my own bike-mounted rear-facing cam was still snapping away. Low and behold, I searched through the files and found a frame taken of  him at pretty much the same moment as the one he took of me (click it for the bigger picture):

Ranger likes to sing along with the sirens sometimes. Having long wanted to record her doing so I was fortunate finally that she commenced cacophonizing right beside me and my iPhone (hence the vertical vid):

So as planned, I bolted my GoPro Hero cam to the back of my seat tube and aimed it out over my rear wheel for today’s lovely CicLAvia sequel, and it worked out great capturing where I’d been.

Here’s my first trek out to Boyle Heights from East Hollywood;

Followed by the return trip from Boyle Heights back to East Hollywood:

Juuuuuuuuuust as I was beginning to wonder where my official CicLAvia 2011 Supporter spokecard was at, it showed up in the mail a couple days ago and made real all the latent anticipation I have for the second 7.5-mile long street party taking place tomorrow morning.

I warranted being sent one of those as a reward not for my cheerleading of the first event or for my deathlessly overexposed  — if well-received — timelapse video from the inaugural ride (though both were immensely appreciated by the CicLAvirati). Instead it was because I’m a cheap bastard and kicked in only $20 during fundraising efforts.

But back on that tiresome topic of timelapses, I was debating what to do camera-wise with tomorrow’s ride. I thought about not doing anything at all, but that wouldn’t do. I timelapse practically every journey on my bike, but the last thing I wanted was a repeat of the handlebar-mounted POV as I did the first time.

In addition, my camera situation had decidedly improved with the acquisition of a GoPro Hero cam that’s actually designed for motion and action, unlike my beloved Canon that valiantly goes where no point ‘n shooter is meant to suffer such long-distance shakes, rattles and rolls.

So. I decided to mount the Hero from the seat tube (as such, at left; pay no attention to that optically illusioned extreme seat angle) so as to offer a rear-facing perspective — symbolic if you will in that I was “looking forward” to CicLAvia I and will be “looking back “over the second. I’m hopeful that angle will allow the camera to catch more faces, offering more of a “who” of the ride than only the “what” that comes from people’s backs.

I’m also aiming to travel slower. My first timelapse made it seem as if I was racing through and past my fellow CicLAvians. I wasn’t, actually, just going at my own regular pace. I’m no speedster, just a big-legged singlespeed cranker who’s gotta consciously throttle back.

In addition, I’m hoping to stop at points along the way so as to be able to incorporate footage captured from some static shots of the passings-by and goings-on. To that end, I also finally mounted a kickstand (last seen as original equipment on discarded mid-’70s bike I rebuilt into The Phoenix) to 8Ball, so I can station the bike without need of a rail or pole to keep her upright.

Last but not least I expect that I’ll still bolt my good ol’ Canon to the front of the bike, perhaps to include any interesting forward-facing snippets (or maybe if I get fancy: split screens of both front and rear happenings).

Excessive? Well, at least I’m not bolting sideways-facing cams on and trying to get full-circle coverage… hmmmmmm.

Maybe for CicLAvia III.

Thailand & Cambodia 2055

Originally uploaded by there2roam

During one of our last excursions in Chiang Mai we journeyed to a village cooperative supporting several indigineous tribes from the area, and of course I couldn’t get together with a local family for a brief and very enjoyable gong ‘n drum jam.

Photo by Susan, who’s far better than I am in getting her thousands of trip pix up onto Flickr.

Until last year, the farthest urban environment from home I’d ever rode a bike as an adult was San Antonio, Texas, which deposed riding done in San Francisco way back in 2003.

From here on out, I’ll have to work really hard to top my new 8,000-plus mile long-distance record: Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Granted, the riding we did was casual done strictly on the grounds of the resort of the Mandarin Oriental (not by choice but rather because of the resort’s bike-borrowing rules), but nevertheless: a ride is a ride.

And for anyone interested in the rest of my country-naming lesson left incomplete by the end of the vid, it’s understood the name “Thailand” has come to be defined as “land of the free.”