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Old 07-05-2010, 02:20 PM   #31
RandyM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetourist
"Juanita, in the Andes" I can't wait.

I use a recipe card spiral notebook for notes. The cardstock is less fragile than paper. I also wrap velcro around a pen and just stick it to the outside of my tank bag. Near the top of the map window is a good place. I do lose a few pens, but if it's handy it gets used more often.

I note words that hit me, smells, thoughts, etc. In the morning I usually note the mileage, location, and weather.

Some kind of paper roller would seem to be good also. I think Big Dog uses something based on an enduro roller.
Good tips. I'll have to think about how to rig up a roller notebook. I keep forgetting road names, town names, and other little details on the trip, and it costs me a little time reviewing maps and gpx tracks to get all the details strait.

Another thing that works well for me is geo-tagging photos. This is embedding GPS coordinates in the digital photo's data file. The usual method is to synchronize your camera's clock to your GPS clock and then to use software that scans the GPX file and matches the the photo's time to a location. Once I geo-tag my photos, do any post processing, and upload into smugmug, I can press the "Map This" button that displays the photos on a map. Example:
http://maps.smugmug.com/?feedType=ge...10861872_xQK7a

Having the photos on a map helps out when wrting up the ride report. I'm less likely to get things out of order or assign the wrong photo to the wrong place. I mostly use google's gpicsync to geo-tag because it's free and it handles the .mrw files that my SLR puts out. There is plenty of information on the web and in the gps forums on geo-tagging so I won't cover it here. I will mention that you need to be careful if you process the photos in photoshop or other software because you may lose the GPS data or change the creation date depending on how you save changes.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:25 PM   #32
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Boy! There's some good information here. I like the idea of a voice recorder. Although I would probably lose it.

I also like the idea of taking pictures of things to trigger my memory later on.

One thing that occurs to me is that yellow or orange text is VERY helpful in a ride report to seperate the OPs story from comments, for those reading a RR that don't want to read all the chaff.

I am embarrassed to say that I don't know how this is accomplished.

And yes, Dave, I would like a step-by-step guide on how to save routemaps as a jpeg to post maps on my next ride report.

Cheers,
John Downs
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JDowns screwed with this post 07-05-2010 at 02:36 PM
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:06 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns
....I also like the idea of taking pictures of things to trigger my memory later on.....
This works for me.
Unless you're juggling more than one camera, all pics flow chronologically, and that greatly helps in recapturing the flow and what happened moving from place to place. It's a note-taker and a pic taker, all in one.

The longer there is between the ride and the writing/posting, the more distant it becomes - emotions of-the-momemnt are lost, and perceptions do change over time. I think you lose what I'll term the Roller Coaster effect: the extereme highs and lows that the rider felt and could possibly relay.

Splicing action with documentary is an art. I enjoy both, but when they're both having heated sex together, then you have something very special.

Weird and unusual: Please tell me about it, and I want the details.

Why was the trip special to you? Take the skin off....
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:07 PM   #34
larryboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rider
Rob,
What language is this?
I call it Lone Script.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253
Hey Larryboy! Did you steal your daughter's notebook? I woulda turned that photo black and white.
Yes, I stole my daughters notebook and gave you a little lesson in exposing yourself.

Recording myself talking doesn't interest me as I don't like the sound of my own voice. I have to stop for lunch and gas, it's easy to scribble down a few notes, I don't wait for the end of the day. Under ten days and I can remember what I want to share, more than that and I need to write it down.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:28 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Recording myself talking doesn't interest me as I don't like the sound of my own voice. I have to stop for lunch and gas, it's easy to scribble down a few notes, I don't wait for the end of the day. Under ten days and I can remember what I want to share, more than that and I need to write it down.
I agree Rob. Everyone I know already thinks I'm looney for going off on my motorcycle alone. The last thing I need to do is start talking to myself. But an audio recorder probably works well for some and could serve a dual purpose if you wanted to include a sound file in the RR.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:33 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Rider
Unless you're juggling more than one camera, all pics flow chronologically, and that greatly helps in recapturing the flow and what happened moving from place to place. It's a note-taker and a pic taker, all in one.
I'm not sure how other photo hosting sites work, but in smugmug, even when you are shooting with more than one camera, you can "sort" an entire gallery by "date and time taken" in the "arrange" mode. This puts everything in chronological order assuming the date and times in your cameras match.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:45 PM   #37
AlanCT
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I'm heading out tomorrow for a few days of riding and camping in northern New England. I'll be bringing my Moleskine notebook and point 'n shoot camera to see what I can do with these suggestions.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:48 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyM
I keep forgetting road names, town names.
I feel some people overreact in this department. The last thing I want to read about is how someone took this road then that road followed by such and such a highway blah blah blah. That kind of writing doesn't instill any emotion or remind me why I ride. I do however think it is important to remember these things but when I start writing for a RR I try and leave out as many road names as possible. I also do this with any other specific things like what resturant I ate at or names (somewhat hard to do depending on if your riding with someone). I do this so that the reader can unknowingly put himself (or herself) into my helmet, I try to make it so they feel like they have been on this ride before.

Also, to me I really like the idea of writing all my thoughts down. It just seems more basic. You can go back and jot things down quickly or draw some sketch for whatever reason. Now a dedicated journal does take more room and it is always susceptable to water. I just feel like an old time explorer when I have my small leather bound journal, it feels more like something a real traveler would have
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:03 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryboy
Yes, I stole my daughters notebook and gave you a little lesson in exposing yourself.
I LOVE larryboy ride reports! That notebook is priceless. Imagine how cool it will be for your kids and grandkids to read that in 50 years. I know I was in awe reading my Dads journal of his days as a flyboy in WWII. And to imagine he was an 18 year old gunner flying at treetop level on straffing missions in the south Pacific, stories of cutting Japanese officers in two with his 50 caliber blazing, totally focused, with return machinegun fire blasting holes in his turret. Wondering if he would live until tomorrow. OMFG! It sends shivers up my back just trying to imagine what that must have been like. Makes my ride reports look like weak sauce. Who cares though? It's fun writing about one's adventures. And it's fun to read for years to come. For you, your friends, relatives and ADVriders around the world. These stories will likely be hanging out in cyberspace long after we're gone.

From your handwriting I assume you are a physician (just kidding). Your ride reports are poetry in motion. Keep up the good work!

Best,
John Downs
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JDowns screwed with this post 07-07-2010 at 10:55 PM
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:19 AM   #40
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Thanks, John!!

I really should convert all of my reports to print as computers crash and websites come/go.

My wife kept a journal that she wrote in every day for about the first four years of our daughters life. She was on a kick at that time with journals, she was haunting antique stores buying journals from times long past. So, I had a little push to journal about this one..I had a really hard time getting started, but then wrote six pages in one sitting.

I wrote a short story with art work as a kid and won the overall at the county fair, I think it's still in a display case somewhere. I was in advanced writing classes in middle school where we explored the greats, Poe being my favorite as he could lead me down the dark path to surprise.

I'm very thankful that Baldy has provided this site for us as I probably never would have written a single word without this outlet.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:23 PM   #41
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Some observations from my 4-month long trip (almost) hitting the 4 corners of the US and Canada and posting updates to a private mailing list as I went along:
  • My pace was to ride 3 days, rest (and write!) on the fourth. That way you can recover and catch up on your note taking / pic processing while it's still fresh in your mind
  • For your photography - practice practice practice. In particular, if you can afford Lightroom and some training, it'll make a vast improvement in your shooter skills and how fast you can process your imagery.
  • Don't think you have anything to practice on? Look around your kitchen or garage and try arranging things together and see what comes out. I was amazed what a picture of a glass of red wine next to a bowl of strawberries on a red table-cloth looked like.
  • Do a lot of reading on photography sites (like advrider's sister site dgrin.com), read what others have done, post your pics and ask for critiques, etc. There's nothing like constructively honest critiques to open your eyes and make you better.
  • The best pictures bring about an reaction in the viewer. If the shot moves you, chances are it'll move someone else too.
  • Use a GPS, and download the tracks file at the end of the day. The GPS tracks, together with your photographs (you did remember to sync their time bases together, didn't you?) make for great reminders of where you've been and what you did.
  • When writing your story up - keep the segments short, and shim an appropriate number of pics in between. Not many of use have the gift of words that can capture and enthrall an audience - but a few good pics together with a some well-chosen words can accomplish the same result.
  • Note the word "appropriate number of pics." I've read RRs which had boatloads of pics, and I found the amount of imagery overwhelming and distracting. Remember your reader's attention span, and give them just enough to leave them wanting more.
  • Sequence your pictures and words so they tell a story. Words help put the pictures in context, pictures should transition from one scene to another in a manner where the reader can imagine themselves actually being there.
  • Tell the reader what was going through your mind at the time - how did what you go through impact you? What did it make you feel?
  • Exaggerate a bit if it serves the story. It wouldn't be the first time a moth casting a large shadow by the firelight was a dragon in disguise.
  • Stop and stay in the houses of people you don't know - it's a great way to stretch yourself, learn new things, and learn how to get along with people you've just met while you're in their house. You'll find a rapt audience for your travel tales, and an opportunity to practice your storytelling on a (willing but) captive audience.
  • Avoid repetition - if you must say the same thing twice, say it differently.
Equipment and other things:
  • While DSLR's can do a lot of things a P&S can't do, they also cost a lot more, and under good conditions a P&S can be just as good. Pick the right tool for what you're trying to accomplish that's within your budget - it's better to get a 'lesser' camera with more flexibility than a better camera that you can't afford to get all the cool lenses it needs in order to realize it's full potential.
  • DSLR's are bigger and heavier than a P&S. On the other hand, when you're shooting in difficult situations, they can't be beat.
  • GPS's are great for helping keep track of where you've been and where you're going. I consider them a must have.
  • A reliable bike. While breakdowns / repair stories can be fun to read about up to a point, the experience of the ride has to be the central focus of the story.
  • Good travel insurance. Sometimes less-than-fun things happen - and can be mitigated by a good insurance policy, which adds to a story that we can all go 'ha ha' about later.

Things to NOT do:
  • So you went on a big ride with all your buddies and took lots of shots of them riding their bikes? They may find these pics absolutely enthralling - the rest of us'll find it boring as all get-out, and your readership will suffer as a result. (Fact: I went through a RR posted in this format, and the guy stopped part way through the trip because of the lack of response.... HELLO!)
  • Ditto the repeated shots where the bike takes up most of the pic. I got it the first time, after the second time I'm outta here.
  • If your RR is "went here, did this, went there, did that" - yawwwwn.
  • Posting lots of pics and letting the reader sort out the good from the bad. I've got better things to do with my time.
  • Being less than absolutely vicious at culling your pic selections. Just because you think it might be important doesn't mean I want to spend time trying to figure out if it is.
  • Post videos of you getting philosophical. Not many of us have the intellectual chops to go there, much less impress those of us who can.

I think I'd better stop here for now. HTH!
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timk519 screwed with this post 07-08-2010 at 04:22 PM
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:39 PM   #42
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timk519,

Thanks for the excellent and well thought out contribution.

I'm learning so much from everyone. I would have loved to read all this before my first 14 RRs. Hopefully, all this great advice will encourage some new Ride Report Authors.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:25 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timk519
...Tell the reader what was going through your mind at the time - how did what you go through impact you? What did it make you feel?...
This is the gut, a must to bring it alive.
You can legitimately go from fool to hero here.

Unless you're doing a 4-star trip, there are things that will go wrong.

I wanna know what went wrong.
It's all well and good if you saw God once each and every day, but I want to know what mood Satan was in when he made a visit.

Geographical, mechanical...and most certainly emotional.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:41 PM   #44
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It's all well and good if you saw God once each and every day, but I want to know what mood Satan was in when he made a visit.
Hot damn that's great prose
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:44 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyM
Another thing that works well for me is geo-tagging photos. This is embedding GPS coordinates in the digital photo's data file. The usual method is to synchronize your camera's clock to your GPS clock and then to use software that scans the GPX file and matches the the photo's time to a location.
Being old ancient and technically challenged, I've had to come up with a simpler method to do something similar. Having a RAM mount and power plug on each of my bikes, the Garmin always goes along. If there is any doubt that I will remember where I was when I shot a particular photo, I first do a close-up of the lat & lon displayed on the GPS, then take the shot. Sometimes the shot has to come first, but I try not to forget to get the location before I move on. A simple man's method of geo-tagging. Also, to assist in making trip reports more accurate, cameras and GPS remain on Alaska Standard Time year 'round and wherever I go, so I never have to remember whether I changed the time when I entered a new time zone, just have to mentally adjust the time according to where I was. After zipping back and forth across the country many, many times, it's pretty easy to do now.
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