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Old 07-05-2010, 12:58 AM   #11
RandyM
Less talk, More ride
 
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Westminster, Ca
Oddometer: 898
I have a few thoughts on making reports better.

1. The teaser pics are great because they help the reader decide if it is the kind of ride report they want to spend time reading or not. The opening paragraph and teaser photos should give the reader enough information to figure out what kind of ride it is.

2. The beginning of a trip often involves a long ride out of the city or hundreds of miles of interstate. I find that this is the hardest part to make interesting, because it is usually uninteresting to me. I'm thinking that I need to plan a stop at some place interesting, scenic, or weird on the way out to help get the report going.

3. One thing that can also add to the report is a short discussion of any special gear, or bike modifications, for the trip. Any time you have to improvise is good story and photo material also. On the other hand, I have seen a few with dozens of photos of the rider tearing the bike down and rebuilding it. If there is too much of that, it could change the flavor of the thread from Ride Report to Rebuild report. Exceptions maybe for vintage bikes or for very neglected bikes.

4. Some very good ride reports follow a theme throughout the report. Cannonshot's reports, for example, often take us to historic places and he provides a little background history of the place he visits. Another theme that works well is when the rider is trying to complete a goal that may not be obtainable. 50 passes in 50 hours is a good example.

5. Excessive Bike photos. In some reports, nearly every photo has the bike in it as the central subject. It can make the report look like it is about the bike, and less about the rider and the ride. What I am trying to say is that the bike should not be the central subject of every photo. The bike is a participant in the ride and most photos should reflect that. The bike can be used very effectively in a photo to show scale, i.e. how big the rocks are on the trail, or how deep the mud puddle is.

6. Excessive ADV salute photos. It seems like half of the photos from rallies are of various inmates wallowing around camp, drinking and giving the salute. I think it gives a miss-impression that everyone sits around camp drinking and saluting each other instead of riding. My opinion is that photos of people riding, should outnumber static photos of inmates giving the salute.

7. Video can really add to a ride report if there is good action, rough trails, or great scenery. I have been playing with a contour HD helmet camera and have had some success, but video can take a lot of time to edit and publish.

8. Ending a ride report is the second hardest part of a report for me. Again, it is usually a long uninteresting trip back. Usually I end it quickly, but you can also make a review of your personal thoughts and feelings about the trip, what you learned, and what you might do differently next time.

Those are some of my thoughts about writing a ride report. Hope it helps.
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