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  1. #1
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Video and still camera fun on Donner Summit ride, and first clipless ride in 20 years

    Last Saturday, a friend and I took our yearly trip to Donner Summit to record video of the riders in the Donner Summit Bike Time Trial. As usual, watching the riders suffer got me all hyped up to do my own suffering, which I also recorded video of.

    Our first stop was at the general store in Soda Springs. We always like to give them business, as they are very friendly. Also, when I went up there to buy snacks after a mtb ride at Hole-In-The-Ground in July, the owner told me he hadn't been able to do much mountain biking because he had to lay off his employees in order to make ends meet. In spite of this, when I went to pay for the snack-size Snickers bar after I had already bought the rest of my goodies, he told me the candy bar was on him because I did that gnarly downhill on a hardtail (never again, btw! The climbing was much better!).

    On this trip there was another employee there, which was good news. While I was picking out my food items, she received an emergency call. When I paid for my stuff, she told me that the call was about somebody's house that was ransacked by bears! (she volunteered that info, I didn't ask as it's none of my business).

    Back outside, I got my bike ready to ride the easy west side climb up to the summit. This was my first ride with my new Shimano M520 SPDs, and my first clipless ride in twenty years. I had been using clips and straps all this time. Yes, that's right. All those steep climb videos of mine up until now were not done with clipless pedals.

    There was an interesting banner on the storefront that said "SAVE DONNER SUMMIT LET'S BUY IT". Interesting. I didn't know Donner Summit was in danger. I guess I'll have to do some Googling to see what's up.



    Since we both enjoy video as a hobby, we both came armed with multiple cameras. I had a ContourHD on my helmet, my new GoPro HD Hero2 on the chest strap mount, and a ContourGPS on my handlebars. I already had one, but I bought this one from a member of the cycling club I belong to. He had me pick it up for him from REI a couple months ago, but he was having problems with it and wanted to return it. Since I bought it on my credit card, they wouldn't give him a refund. I bought it back from him, reset it, reloaded the firmware, adjusted a few settings, and bought a new 32 GB Class 10 card for it. He had been using a Class 4, which is too slow for HD video. After that, the camera performed flawlessly.

    My friend had a Kodak Playsport Zx5, a Samsung camcorder, and a new GoPro HD Hero Naked (those are now $130, btw). He mounted these at various locations on his vehicle to capture third-person footage of my climbs.



    When I was almost to the summit, I noticed that the rock people I posted in this thread last year were in different positions, so after I reached the top I rode back down to take some pics. Due to the ridiculous 10 image limit here, the rest of the pictures from this trip are here: http://s149.photobucket.com/albums/s66/hardmf1/



    We went downhill about 1/4 mile to our favorite spot for recording the riders. This is also the best view spot and most fun for walking around on the rocks above Donner Pass Road.

    While we were waiting for the riders in the time trial to arrive, my friend had some fun with the panorama mode on his still camera.





    During the time trial, there were many other riders climbing who weren't in the race. This one stood out from the crowd. You can see my bike leaning against the guardrail across the road.



    Here's the video of the hill climb time trial.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHF2wul9aCg


    After watching that, it was my turn to have some climbing fun! I managed to do this climb about a minute and 15 seconds faster than last year (28:34). This is in spite of a 7 pound weight gain since last July and a pulled muscle in my back that I got from sneezing while sitting in a chair, of all things! Luckily the endorphins took over and the pain disappeared on the last half of the climb, just in time for my usual hard push for a PR.

    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/220420920

    I think the clipless pedals and the "draft" I got from the riders I caught up to helped out. There are some headwinds further up that are always there whenever I climb this mountain. I don't ever remember a completely calm climb, so in this case there was some benefit from following another rider at climbing speeds.

    Here's a pic my friend took of me slowly catching up to another rider. Don't worry, he dropped me right before the vista viewpoint at the Rainbow Bridge, which is where he turned off.



    Here's my video. This was one of the more fun climbs, IMHO. The woman you see in the video thumbnail gave me one hell of a workout on the last half of the climb (for those who don't know, I'm also a female cyclist). I just didn't have enough oomph to pass her. Very motivating!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOr8zNnL1Uc


    Here's the third-person video from my friend's Kodak and Samsung cameras mounted on his vehicle. This is the climbs up the west and east side of Donner Pass Road, plus the climb up Donner Lake Road.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edMjrlkx-eY

    Here's the video from his GoPro HD Hero Naked. This one does a little better with the scenery, but unfortunately he had the waterproof door installed, which muffled and muted the audio somewhat. This is especially noticeable when his vehicle is stopped.

    http://vimeo.com/49190382

  2. #2
    Senior Member FMadridRN's Avatar
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    Great looking clips. I dont think with have any mountains like that here in Southern New Jersey....I could be wrong though.

  3. #3
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    WOW. I love that area. BEAUTIFUL. I'd love to do that someday!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  4. #4
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    You so cal boys need to come up this way...the east side of that climb (area) is a Mecca for riding...there are more awesome rides leaving from Truckee than I can count.

  5. #5
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    One of my YouTube subscribers finally convinced me to join Strava, so I uploaded this ride as my first activity. I come in 43rd out of 99 women. It shows a time of 28:30 for the Donner Pass Road climb.

    http://app.strava.com/rides/21580262#385877013

    That link defaults to men and women, which makes me suck really bad at 552nd out of 781 men and women. If you click on the drop down menu on the right and change it to "Women", it changes to 43rd out of 99. Both of these are "All Time" views.

    Here's the summary page for the entire ride: http://app.strava.com/rides/21580262

  6. #6
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Darn you....beat me by ten seconds.

  7. #7
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    I've got my work cut out to stay ahead of you now! I figured you were better at climbing than you let on. After all, you live near all these great climbs.

    Too bad we didn't meet up and ride up this together. It would've made a great video!

  8. #8
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    i'm listening to the video right now. sounds exhausting!

    edit: excellent! i especially liked the part where you held the woman's wheel for a long time until her final kick to the turnaround.
    Last edited by jyossarian; 09-11-12 at 08:39 AM.
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  9. #9
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    It was good stuff! Heart rate hit 199. Last year it hit 201.

  10. #10
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    This one stood out from the crowd...

    Stood out because he was wearing his helmet incorrectly?

    Craig in Indy

  11. #11
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Gorgeous photos!
    Don't believe everything you think.

  12. #12
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    Dang girl. Look at your heart rate! Nobody will ever accuse you of being a slackard.

    Wonderful photos, videos, and narration. I always enjoy your videos. Thanks.
    Deut 6:5

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    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  13. #13
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    FTU - now you need to join our Clyde Club on Strava.

    http://app.strava.com/clubs/clydesda...bikeforums-net

    I wonder what happened to nrowensby? He started the group but has since gone quiet.

  14. #14
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Thanks all

    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    i'm listening to the video right now. sounds exhausting!

    edit: excellent! i especially liked the part where you held the woman's wheel for a long time until her final kick to the turnaround.
    That was some great fun! I was starting to catch up to her again when she pulled in to the summit parking lot.

    Having a rabbit to play with is much more fun than the usual solo climbs I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    Stood out because he was wearing his helmet incorrectly?
    Haha, I didn't even notice that! The climber's jersey with the mountain background is what I like, although if you watch my video of the hill climb time trial you will see that he wasn't riding like a "grimpeur" in the Tour de France. Poor guy, I actually felt sorry for him. From looking at his face as he approached, he didn't look like he was feeling 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    FTU - now you need to join our Clyde Club on Strava.

    http://app.strava.com/clubs/clydesda...bikeforums-net
    Done. This Strava thing is pretty fascinating, you know? I uploaded all my 2012 rides and the best of the 2011 ones, and I had a few QOMs on the steepest San Francisco climbs ride I did the day before Thanksgiving.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/21643383

  15. #15
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Dang that's a steep grade.

    I hear you about having a rabbit... very motivating. Then you cathc up to them and start thinking, "uh oh, what do I do now?" If I pass, i'll die and then he'll pass me back. If I don't pass, he'll get mad. Oh no!

  16. #16
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    That's why I gave her plenty of room on each of my failed attempts to pass. Twice I was thwarted by approaching cars, so I had to drop back behind her (you can see it in the video).

    I had to keep the level of effort just below the point of nausea. I refuse to push myself so hard that I puke. I've heard of people doing that in hill climb time trials. Since I'm not in an official time trial, I don't need to do that, right?

  17. #17
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    My friend uploaded his video of the day's fun. He combined footage from all of our cameras, plus still shots. I told him to leave my climb audio intact though. I always want the full effect of a good sufferfest to come through. As a bonus, he left in some of the descent audio too, which blended in perfectly with the music and added some excitement to the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrGFwjJxyBM

  18. #18
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    My friend uploaded his video of the day's fun...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrGFwjJxyBM
    Awesome video! I nominate his video for the 2012 Bike Forums Cinematic Awards under the "Best Editing" category.
    Deut 6:5

    ---

    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
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  19. #19
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Thanks volosong. I passed your post on to him. He told me he spent 16 hours editing that video, so his hard work really paid off! I know I loved it!

  20. #20
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    This one is really a labor of love. I always have fun when we head up there and shoot Video. I might do Spooner this year if you are up to it. The problem with Spooner is it is a lot harder to get off the road for those shoots. Yeah, I edited for sixteen hours, but I also relived the whole day while going thru the 5 hours of HD video and 300 stills. I think it is, without a doubt, my best editing effort to date.

    I may not ride, but I do love watching and filming you ride, as you are and will always be a life long friend.

    -Ray
    Last edited by noWheel; 09-12-12 at 06:39 PM. Reason: wanted to add some details
    http://www.youtube.com/user/mrRhwalden <--- Just some of the stuff I like!

  21. #21
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Spooner? Hell yeah! I need to make a YouTube-worthy first-person video of that climb anyway. I have third-person video that you recorded. I edited that video with that crappy Magix Movie Edit Pro software, so it has a clip with no audio. I think it was all Kodak C182 footage too. Now that I know about transitions and audio fades to eliminate the annoying clicks between clips, I can make a much better third person video

    Here's the website for Spooner. We'll get good footage of the racers too, which of course will get me all hyped to do my own climb!

    Your Donner video is the best video you've ever done, and the best one I've seen so far of that mountain. Keep up the good work!

  22. #22
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Well done Great ride, cool pics and video!!
    http://www.ablokeandabike.blogspot.com

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Gorgeous photos!
    Thank You. About 85% of those photo's where shot on an Olympus C4040-Zoom. It's an old 4.1 mega pixel camera, circa 2001 but don't let the low MegaPixel count fool you. This camera has awesome optics and a very good sensor. I think the pictures look better then a majority of the 12 plus mega pixel point and shoot cameras on the market. Keep in mind, other then a little scaling in Final cut, the pictures were untouched. I used no color correction and the camera was in full Auto with burst mode on.

    This goes for anyone on a budget and wants a good camera to learn basics on, that takes great pictures, go find one of these they are a great starter DSLR for still photography that can had for about 100 bucks. Not to mention, this camera make you feel like a "real" photographer and that will show in the final work.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/mrRhwalden <--- Just some of the stuff I like!

  24. #24
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Those of you who enjoy hearing me living up to my username and suffering on climbs will LOVE this!

    I normally don't upload videos this long, but I wanted to demonstrate my friend's awesome audio editing.

    He had the idea to hook up a lapel mic to a Sony stereo voice recorder that records in 192 kHz mp3 format. His plan was to sync the audio to the video footage from one of the three cameras I used on this climb.

    This is the GoPro HD Hero2 chest strap mount footage. The audio from the camera had a clicking noise, most likely due to the cord from the lapel mic hitting the camera case, so we chose this footage to sync the voice recorder audio to.

    The advantage of chest and helmet-mounted cameras is clean, quiet audio with no road rattle, which means background sounds are more audible. This is especially handy on group rides when you want people to hear the commentary from the riders.

    This was a solo ride for me, but I caught up to a couple riders who were going just fast enough that passing them would have caused me to blow up. With the body-mounted camera, you can hear when they shift gears, and the female rider's surprised reaction when she turned her head and saw (and heard! ) me "freight training uphill".

    You can also hear the whirr from descending cyclists' bikes, which is badass, IMHO.

    The original voice recorder audio was only in the left channel due to the mono mic, so my friend converted the audio file to dual mono in Final Cut Pro, which makes it come in both ears like a standard mono signal. He also removed the hiss in the audio that I noticed when I attempted to convert the audio to mono using Total Recorder Video Pro Edition. He did this by removing the unused right channel in the original file before rendering the audio as dual mono. After that, he synced the audio to the video in Final Cut Pro.

    Normally I would edit my climb down for time, but this is a demonstration of the audio sync and how it stayed in sync for the entire 28:34 it took me to climb this mountain (plus a little more time at the top when I'm slowly riding back to the summit parking lot and catching my breath). The synchronization is most noticeable when cars pass, other cyclists descend, and I shift down when the climb steepens near the beginning.

    The suffering is more audible in this video, so be forewarned!

    Donner Pass Road climb 9-8-12 (entire climb w/voice recorder audio) - YouTube

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