Sometimes there’s not many curves

What better way to follow up a great day of riding on a Saturday, then to do some more on Sunday!  We had made plans yesterday to go riding with our next door neighbors this morning, and we sat around waiting for them to go.  There was some rain in the area off and on last night and this morning, but not enough to deter Bonnie and I from riding.  By 11AM though, the skies had cleared to plenty of sunshine…but still not nice enough weather for them to go riding.  We have had problems in the past with them backing out on plans, and I guess that’s why last year we just stopped arranging to do things in advance with them.  So, at 11AM, we spread the word with other riders that we know, and told them “hey, impromptu ride now…can you meet?”

9 people showed up.  And it was a beautiful day for a ride today.

We met at our local HOG chapter location, Indianapolis Northside HD.  Everybody that planned to go showed up by 1:30.  Aaron and Etta, Steve and Marcy, Gerald and Lenora, Ellie, and Bonnie and I.  After a few minutes of helping the dealership get rid of some edible donuts, it was decided that Steve would lead us all towards Crawfordsville, Indiana…to the Creekside Lodge for a late lunch / early dinner.

Today’s ride didn’t have many hills or curves to it, but the riding was in great weather, with the sun shining down and forcing most to shed their light jackets throughout the afternoon.  Road conditions were excellent, and Steve led at a very good pace.  Ellie hadn’t been riding very long, and did a great job powering her 100th Anniversary Harley to keep up with the bikes in front of her.  This was her first ride with our group, and we look forward to more rides with her in the future.

The Creekside Lodge welcomed us to their outdoor patio, where a number of other bikers were already swigging beer, cold ice tea, and eating the items from their menu.  The food there was pretty good, once they retrieved all the tenderloin sandwiches they had initially brought to us that was massively overcooked.  The second sandwich actually was prepared very well, and worth the extra wait. 

The ride was accident free, with nine people that enjoyed each others’ companionship.  The back muscles got a work out the last two days, but will help get them back into shape for the 10-day motorcycle trip that is quickly coming in May.  It’s that time of the year where the sun is powerful as well, and the riding farmer’s tan will quickly be arriving onto wind burnt skin.  Ahhh….love the weather…so much, will probably ride to work again tomorrow.  And I may be able to talk Bonnie into jumping on and allowing me to chauffeur her to work as well.

So, another day of safe riding, good company, and enjoyable sunshine…even if we got headed out late.

One more video from earlier this week

One more video to share.  This was captured this past Wednesday along with the other videos I posted.  This is a couple miles north of 58, going north on IN-135 to Story, Indiana.  We had gotten caught behind a home being moved on the road for a few miles, so just started the video camera after the semi pulled off on the shoulder when it reached the abode’s next location.

NOTE:  If you click the quality button in the YouTube window, and change it to 1080p, the video quality gets MUCH better.

Order of riders is Aaron, Sherry, Jeff, Smitty, Sid, and then myself running sweep and video.

Video link (click the URL below):

Another video of the Nashville, IN motorcycle riding area

One more video from a test ride earlier this week.  This is Salt Creek Road and Sweetwater Trail just east of Nashville, Indiana…a thin two lane country road that runs through some good curves and woods.  It’s really a great ride once the foliage is out, but still not too shabby with the trees bare.  On the north end of this ride, turning east takes you on the north side of Camp Atterbury (already had the video turned off at this point).

Video link (click URL below):

There’s not a lot of scenery and great curvy roads in Indiana, so looking forward to our May trip in which after the ride to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC with Rolling Thunder, we are spending some days riding the curves in Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky….with video camera going of course.

Drift HD170 Stealth video camera review

There’s lots of video cameras out there that can be used for things like extreme sports, motorcycling, and other fast-paced action capturing.  GoPro makes a series of cameras that are highly recommended, but the HD versions cost quite a bit of money, and from looking at some of the online reviews, doesn’t offer enough qualities to make it worth purchasing over some of the lesser known versions.

After looking over tons of Youtube videos and reviews, I settled on the Drift Innovation HD170 Stealth camera to use on my Harley.  There was a great deal on the Stealth over Christmas at 60% off on Amazon, and after telling my wife about it, I found it under the tree on Christmas morning.  With the cold weather of winter, I’ve been unable to test it…until this week.

The box that the Stealth came in has a number of mounting options included.  From mounting on the side of a helmet, to mounts for the bars on a bike, there are plenty of possibilities.  I won’t go through a detailed review of the camera due to the hundreds of reviews already found easily online…but some nice features include a pocket or wrist mounted RF remote to start/stop recording, a built-in LCD display, a rotating HD lens to capture custom angles, and the fact that it can save hours of 1080i video on a single battery charge and when using a 32GB SD card.

The helmet mount presents the most stable of image capturing, but due to the fact I like to look around a lot, the captured video when viewed on the big screen tends to make me a little dizzy.  So, a affixed recording position is required.  The best spots I found were on the handlebars, but only when using a RAM mount system (purchased separately), as the included mount is low quality plastic, and doesn’t do well to eliminate vibration from the bike or road.  A second good mounting location is the crash bar that holds the lowers, but again the included mount does little to eliminate vibration and a custom solution is required.

An example of the video is included below, with a link to YouTube.  The test video was recorded on State Route 135 in Indiana, heading north from Story to the Nashville area.  Video is almost 16 minutes in length, and the conversion to YouTube makes it look grainy with the downsizing; it looks much better on a big screen TV obviously as it’s true HD then.  And…disregard the date shown in the bottom right of the video.  I had done a firmware update that morning, and forgot to set the date field  🙂  I also just purchased an external microphone to capture much better quality audio…so you may want to mute your speakers if you decide to watch my test video below for now.

My overall impression is that I like it.  It seems to capture pretty good video overall, and I’m still fine tuning the settings to get the best possible output.

Video example (click on the web link below):

Testing new blogging software on iPad

Testing a different blogging software on my iPad called Blog Docs.  I’ve been using an app called Blogsy and it seems to work fine, but always looking for something better to use.

Photo insert test coming up:

Above should be a 5-way collage on top of a construction graphic.

ETA:  Well, don’t care for this…too many problems with the HTML code.  Back to Blogsy I go!