The Art of the Ride Report - Planning, Tips, Opinions, Discussion

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by dave6253, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. feldjäger

    feldjäger Been here awhile

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    So happy to have run into this thread! Thought if I couldn't find anything like this in the search engine I was going to start a thread just like this, so thank you :D
  2. Merlin III

    Merlin III Mean SOB

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    One thing people should do is read the thread about rules and suggestions at the beginning of the RR section. It gives some pretty good advice. Three things I have noticed as a reader are:

    1. Stay away form controversy unless you purposefully want to incite a discussion. One fellow on a long foreign RR mentioned doing an oil change and improperly disposing of the waste oil. Needless to say, his otherwise excellent report turned into a discussion of on the road ethics.

    2. Don't let the report turn into a blog where there is more input from the audience than from you. There are some out there that seem to me to be not much more than friends, both new and old, engaging in conversation. The reports include long time periods spent not on the road. Sort of a never ending ride report with really nothing to report except trite conversation about one's life.

    3. The ADV rules say you can't ask for money, but apparently it is not enforced. It seems that a good many riders are supplementing or paying for their ride this way. Readers feel compelled to post saying that they made a donation and reporters feel compelled to say thank you. IMO, that doesn't make for a good report.
  3. Mr_McBride

    Mr_McBride 'The Cartographer'

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    +1

    I agree with all three. I wished there some way to create a type of draft post so that one could begin writing there ride report, and finish it, being making it visible to everyone else. I realize that this would work best for short ride reports and would not work for long reports that are being posted from the road. But in those cases, it would allow a report of each day to be completed without other conversation in between. I don't mind a little conversation and I expect to see some questions. However, I have read some ride reports were there is so much 'other' conversation that I lost interest in looking for the next segment. I guess I should get in the habit of search for posts by inmate....
  4. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    If you use firefox, check out the Scrapbook extension. It allows you to make copies of webpages stored to your hard drive, and even make copies of the links on each page you copy. I am going to try this out in the "need to try something thread" (somewhere on this forums, cant remember real title) and see if I can work out a system.

    Another idea I might talk to some moderators about is creating two threads and somehow binding them together in terms of forum placement. Think about it:

    "Cooking the furnace; Baja on a KTM"
    "Cooking the furnace; Baja on a KTM Comment thread!"

    Everyones comments go in one thread, and whenever it receives a reply and is thus bumped to the top of the subforum, the main RR which details the trip is bumped with it (but "locked" to everyone but the OP).

    This would allow everyone to follow along in real time, yet it would also preserve one thread as the go-to place to read about the trip without sifting through responses. The inmate reporting could simply monitor the Comment thread and respond in that thread.

    Whats anyone think? I might try it even if the moderators cant help me. Moderators might want to consider something like this specifically for this forum- most forums work fine as they are, but considering the stark difference between the reporters message and the large volume of smaller addon responders, it makes sense to me...
  5. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Another idea:

    Go about writing a ride report on the road as usual. As some people do, create an index that links to the next day of the ride report to aid inmates who want to go straight to the meat of the report instead of reading the comments left by other inmates. At the conclusion of the ride report, the inmate reporting copies the HTML of all his ride day posts and consolidates them into a thread called whatever the existing report is called with "No comments version" appended to the end of the name. The reporting inmate then edits his first post writing at the top (below maybe the introduction to still gain interest) "If you would like to read the report from start to finish without any (much appreciated but nonetheless time-consuming) comments, please go here." This would make it less confusing during the ride report, but upon conclusion a version without comments would be available for those who prefer to read that way. Anytime the original thread is responded to, a new inmate reading for the first time would immediately be aware of the version without comments and could make the choice of which format he prefers.

    A favorite report of mine on advrider is Snowrider's trip to Alaska on his DR650. I really enjoy reading it, but the comments in the middle consume time (even just sifting through them to find Snowrider's ride days). This seems a perfect case for doing it with a sister report composed only of ride report days.
  6. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    If you want to see only the RR and not the comments try this: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=448705&highlight=tbolt

    For some people and often the writer the comments are part of the fun to others they just get in the way. If I write a Ride Report and there are no comments I figure no one is interested so what's the point?
  7. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    If I start my ride report and no one comments or seems interested, I would give it a while and see if any interest comes about. If it doesn't, then indeed the fun would be over and I would stop writing the report. I would love to have feedback and I personally enjoy reading a report with comments to see the interaction. Only when I reread a report do I personally like to see only the riders posts. I don't want it to sound like I hate comments because that simply isn't the case. They're great for many reasons, especially when the writer gets to see others enjoying his adventure and gets to give in that way.

    As you said though, some like comments and some don't. Is there any harm in having both a comment and non-comment version? I don't think it would cost advrider much bandwidth since its only text and links to pics.

    I'd never even heard of that script. Definitely a cool find for inmates who prefer only the riders posts..
  8. Crusier Dude

    Crusier Dude pavement inspecter

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    Hey, Lady Bug, been awhile since I have seen one of your GREAT ride reports. Hope all is well and Happyi New Year to you.
    Les in Boise
  9. Merlin III

    Merlin III Mean SOB

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    I didn't mean to imply that I didn't like reading the replies. My purpose was to address those RRs where there are way too many replies and the bulk of the replies were not really germane to the ride or were of a more personal chit chat nature.

    There are some writers who post in a slightly different format or in a different color that accentuates the fact that that post is from the author. Doing a RR that way solves the problem.
  10. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    Hi Les,


    If all goes as planned I will be doing a lot more riding this year starting with Death Valley in March and ending with Baja in Nov. In between those two I have three weeks of vacation scheduled for riding in our beautiful NW. Ride Reports will be coming.
  11. flashbackmac

    flashbackmac Adventurer

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    were getting off the subject.TAT planning ,some of this other stuff is not really helping
  12. Ghostyman

    Ghostyman Been here awhile

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    Wrong thread?
  13. John Fabian

    John Fabian Fabe

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    This past summer I traveled with an iPad using it to write, edit photos, and make internet connections. Next time I will take a laptop. The iPad was up to the task, however I had a learning curve that I never quite mastered. The one correct decision I did make and I recommend it to everyone using an iPad is this: get a bluetooh keyboard. Typing on a keyboard, in a tent, is far superior to typing on the iPad's glass. You make less mistakes and the editing is easier when you do.

    Working with photographs on the iPad is, in my opinion, slightly cumbersome. Additionally, its high resolution will often have you uploading files 2-3 times larger than needed. You must always remember to reduce the resolution before uploading. A small point but one that takes extra time.

    So I plan on taking my laptop next time with a great word processor, and Photoshop installed. Also, I always travel with a paper shirt-pocket notebook and pens.

    I did not read every entry in this thread. Has anyone mentioned the components of a daily diary?
  14. Mr_McBride

    Mr_McBride 'The Cartographer'

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    No, but I definitely interested in everyone's thoughts on daily dairy entries.

    Please share...
  15. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    I agree with the creative title.

    It is about passion and humour. If you are able to transfer your emotions in your writing and photos you will draw a great audience.

    Make it a transformative experience for both you and the audience.

    Telling a mini story per post is also a great way to keep your audience on edge. Mix it up: lots of photos with minimal captions, photos that chronologically tell the story by themselves without comments. Then grab the attention again and write a few paragraphs without pics. Follow basic syntax rules, use active voice, and make good use of punctuation.

    Although it is good form to watch your spelling, (The Klay is always lurking):huh not all of us are native English speakers, and when the story is good they will be overlooked. Preview the post before submitting, and re-read at least 3 times.

    A story behind a story in a story is one way to tell a great story:wink: The use of emoticons is also great to convey more emotion or humour, learn to use all the features available to enhance presentation and be polished.

    Make good use of various other media, when posting a video make sure it's not too long, not necessarily in terms of time as much as in terms of the "boring factor" use caption to pitch the video.

    Answer all the questions but don't quote all the banalities, look at how skilfully Colebatch does it in Sibirsky.

    In my ride report I created a couple of characters and told their story, yet during the tale I also expressed my emotions as the narrator. Using 2nd degree is also really interesting for the reader, it makes them work intellectually, and because this is an international forum it creates cultural ambiguities that are great elements for interacting.

    On the cultural, relate your interaction and what you learn but try to avoid lengthy descriptions. Unless you are a decent writer, you can lose your audience quickly just because of the short attention span, and the competition.

    Provide only some of the technical aspect of the trip (bike prep, gear, planning, documents, etc...) so you provoke, and stimulate the interaction with your audience, by allowing or forcing it to ask questions.

    Because of the interactive nature of the narrative, I like the exchange of opinions, but if I am telling a story I would not let the interaction interject with my flow, I would finish my section then follow up.

    Finally I think one of the most difficult decisions to take is opting to do a current ride report or a post ride report. Obviously it depends on the length of the trip/ride but if you commit to doing it during, and set both high expectations on your audience and high standards for yourself, it will be very time consuming, especially if you are a perfectionist. Think about the editing for videos, sound bites, pics, narration, technicalities, etc.... If you do it after you will have more, IMHO, to contribute. Your presentation will be a lot cleaner.

    Learn how to make your life easy. If you write a long report, things like batch editing, typing the whole text, and inserting links to other content, pics etc off-line, then copy/paste will go a long way to make your life easier. You can focus more on your writing and choosing your photos than having to worry about technical aspects.

    My wife, another inmate, and I are leaving for 6-7 months this fall from Victoria, BC to Argentina, and I am still on the fence about writing during or after.

    As previously mentioned, take notes on events, and jot down ideas for a story when they happen, just a few key words to trigger your memory later.

    This is a great thread, thanks Dave.

    Test out my theories and read my ride report and tell me if you get bored or want to find out more. The Motorcycle Chronicles of Jackie and Valentino (:deal shameless plug)
  16. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Ill say that your response reads like the requirements for a college paper. This isnt an insult at all- as mentioned earlier the person writing the report has to decide whether its for him or the audience. Your suggestions here are definitely based on pleasing the audience.

    It does seem like doing it in route would be more taxing on the trip. The thing is, as mentioned by others earlier, there are benefits to doing it during. If you do a post report, everything is done and the people reading it cant "give" to you as you are "giving" to them- the interaction is one of the best parts of many RRs. The readers can suggest roads you are nearing that you need to try, dirt routes, or even meet up for some riding and a beer at the end of the day. They can ask you questions that you can answer with knowledge fresh on your mind, and there is a sort of mystery and anticipation that occurs when they must wait for the next installment.

    As you say though, post report is usually more organized and fluid- the reader doesnt get lost in a sea of replies or otherwise lose track of where the writer is etc.

    Im doing a trip to Alaska in 2 months and I still havent conclusively decided whether to do it during or after.
  17. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Not really... Tranformative learning

    Posting anything on line is to a greater extent audience-directed.

    Further, the three fundamental elements of rhetoric are the rhetor (the writer or the speaker), the audience, and the context. Unless you are writing a personal journal and are the last/only person on earth, you cannot dissociate audience from speech (written or spoken). Arguably, a personal journal is also written with an audience in mind even if it is limited to just -You-.

    Maybe if you write a page of a journal, and when you get to the bottom of it you rip it up, and throw it in the fire without ever reading anything you just wrote (I'm not sure that's possible), you might be able to minimize the influence of the audience. However you would still be unable to exclude your influence as such. Wouldn't this be closer to neurosis than to writing though?

    I am also not convince that any of these suggestions definitely indicate pleasing the audience, because your comment appears to underline -punt intended- that if one writes less for an audience/more for oneself, it is acceptable for the output to be of poorer content or lesser quality...

    just sayin...:nod
  18. Ghostyman

    Ghostyman Been here awhile

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    You've brought this "audience vs. myself" dichotomy up a few times now. I meant to reply to one of your earlier posts but didn't have the time to make a short and coherent response. This reply doesn't qualify as coherent but I want to continue the discussion a bit.


    You want to put philosophy and ramblings in your report. That is fine. If is isn't well-written, nobody will read it. Even if it's well-written, few will read or reflect on it. Most will gloss over it for the pictures and "adventure" aspect of the story.

    Ride reports have made me think deeply about life. Some have changed me. None of them were written to do so. They were written as a way for the author to tell a story, and I found personal meaning in that story. That is when you truly affect someone -- tell them about you and your journey and then let them place themselves right next to you for it.

    I rarely finish reports where the author is obviously pushing a concept or viewpoint. I enjoy ones where the author takes you on a personal trip with them and shares a bit about themselves. Swamp, fishfund, jettn jim, parepin, littlewan... these are names I remember because the author is an integral part of the story.


    I think you should reconsider your relationship with the audience and why you want to write a ride report. The stuff by ac_elite is spot on in terms of writing a good report.
  19. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    I wont be pushing any viewpoints or philosophy. I might not even write a report because I dont think I have anything to offer that anyone really wants. I mean that. I legitimately asked (earlier), received answers, and now agree that people mostly dont want any personal viewpoints or philosophies. I enjoy the reports that give personal viewpoints or even that have agendas since it gives me a chance to view ideas that I could never think of without the eyes of someone else, and argue for or against them in my head. Others (the vast majority) dont. Roger.

    The main thing I was hoping to hear more feedback on was writing the report during the ride versus after. This is why the vast majority of my last response addresses that discussion. Can we put away the switchblades? :lol3
  20. GSF1200S

    GSF1200S Been here awhile

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    Talking about presentation, polish, transferring emotion, instilling interaction by the withholding of details (bike details for instance), avoiding lengthy descriptions so that you dont lose your audience, etc all seem to me to be ways to bring in a "great audience," and great immediately suggests both quality and quantity. If I personally wish to write a very exhaustive and lengthy description about something that would make most of ADVrider click away in a glazed boredom, then the report is primarily for myself and secondly for anyone who chooses to weather my excessive description. If I choose to forgo that lengthy description even though I personally would prefer to cover it more in detail, then I suppose I am choosing the audience over myself. I do agree your list is a good one, so if I have somehow given the wrong impression that I think it sucks, well that isnt so. I guess we are talking about differing shades of bias here. I think of it like this- you could be:
    audience----x---------------------------------personal
    or
    audience----------------------------------x---personal
    or anything in between. That is what I was under the impression of earlier in this thread, and so I mentioned your ideas seemed audience biased. You mention the self as an audience and I agree- I didnt really intend for my 3 sentences to infer any kind of semantic argument.

    Heres how I view self vs audience. Self is whatever I think, feel, want, need, and experience; audience is everyone else and what they think, feel, want, need and experience. I can write to please Self, or I can write to please Audience. I can also do a mixture of both, but as you mention above by omitting lengthy descriptions, etc- at some point one needs to choose. THIS is where I see your statements being audience biased, though I dont condemn that in any way. Is it clearer now? (No sarcasm)

    "I am also not convince that any of these suggestions definitely indicate pleasing the audience, because your comment appears to underline -punt intended- that if one writes less for an audience/more for oneself, it is acceptable for the output to be of poorer content or lesser quality..."
    I honestly didnt understand this completely. Can you explain this from another angle so that im sure I know what youre saying?