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

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

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    #81
  2. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    This is a wonderful thread. I've learned a lot here. My ride reports are in fairly entertaining but that being said they could still use some fine tuning.

    My major bugaboo is photo composition and quality of my camera. I would say that about 90% of the time I just "see, point and shoot" with little regard to how they will look when I post them. As for the camera for now it is what it is until the cash fairy visits my wallet.

    After learning about the rule of thirds I spent some quality time with Google to learn as much as I could this afternoon.

    My friends and I are doing a day ride tomorrow to "Glade Top Trail" in Missouri and I will apply the techniques and suggestions I learned today from this thread and the rule of thirds.

    Hopefully my next ride report will reflect better technique and photo composition..
    #82
  3. storman113

    storman113 Adventurer

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    I have enjoyed reading this tread with all the advice and comments.

    I am posting here a pre-ride report with the hope that the readers here can critique and provide some pointers. All positive (if any) and negative accepted. I'm hoping what I learn here I can provide a decent RR and well received RR on the ride to Spokane and the future ride to the east coast.

    Norm

    Planning a trip to get some custom made boots in Spokane, WA. I have found I don’t like motorcycle boots, but lace up boots. In the car I could make it in one day. I however expect to triple the mileage and take 5 days on the bike. This will be my first multiple day ride. I got out the maps and Google route planning and made the plan. I posted on the forum asking for a revue of my route. Received many responses with suggested route changes, places to not miss, places to miss, places to camp, eat, and invitations to stop by for a beer when in the area. ADVriders are awesome!

    This may seem like overkill for a short ride but I have dreams of a cross country ride next spring/summer to visit my daughter in West Virginia.

    On a short test ride to my sisters, 350 miles away, I took two days to get there. Wanted to camp out to test the gear, what to leave behind and what to bring next time. I did learn a lot! Both what to pack and things about myself. I really got an understanding about what to eat and not eat on the road.

    This pic of dinner is self explanatory!

    [​IMG]

    I also learned the porcelain toilet can withstand tremendous pressure overload.

    I experienced many things on this trip. Stopped for gas eight miles from the house, dropped the bike next to the pump! Very nice attendants, two of them and self to get bike back up. Had to self talk to get bad trip vibes out of my head. At several rest stops with other riders there, they would introduce themselves and chat a bit about where to, where from etc. Met some great people with very interesting stories of self and rides. I was overwhelmed with the new community I was joining.

    Myself: Returned to riding after a 30 year lay off. When living to SoCal used to dirt ride in the desert a lot. Then with little ones and one car, commuted to work for a couple years. My son in college picked a bike to get around on and it got the old biking juices fired up. Did my research and took the Team Oregon 1 day course. Wow, wished I had taken a riding class 30 years ago!

    Based on age, size, riding ability and what type of riding I wanted to do I purchased a BMW F800ST. The low center of gravity and belt drive was the deciding factor. I attended the BMWMOA rally in Redmond, OR and though I was going to max out the credit card! So the unit now has all the farkles I could afford.

    [​IMG]
    #83
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Norm,

    Great Start! I'd read it. Both photos are very nice and help set the mood for a multiple-day moto-camping trip replete with Ranch Style Beans. Those are yummy, but is that all you had for dinner?
    #84
  5. storman113

    storman113 Adventurer

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    Thanks Dave6253. Now it's time to load up and go have an Adventure!

    Yep just the beans!!! Forgot about all the stuff I learned about camping with my boys in the Scouts. Been practicing at home with camp recipes from the bike. Different thread though!
    #85
  6. blender

    blender Just another rider

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    No, you're not alone on this one. An ability to spell, compose thoughts, and compose a sentence (with correct punctuation) really helps. If you expect to communicate in a language then you need to learn the rules of communicating in that language.

    Honest, it's not *that* hard to do.
    #86
  7. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Then you probably know your use of parenthesis is overkill.​
    #87
  8. PsychoSayWhat

    PsychoSayWhat Been here awhile

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    This is a great thread!

    I've been reluctant to post any ride reports, especially prior to the split between the big trips and the day trips forums. Most of the riding I do is local and just for a fun few hours. Even though I really love my little rides, my thinking has been along the lines of "who in their right mind would want to read about a day ride in NJ?" :lol3

    This site is great for trip info/inspiration and I'm leaving Saturday for a week-long trip through the Northeast using some of the info I've gotten from other inmates. It's still pretty "local" on some accounts but it's a huge deal to me - it's going to be my first solo multi-day trip in about 20 years. If it weren't for all of the reports I've read on this site, great or otherwise, I wouldn't be doing it.

    For me at least, thinking about how to share my experiences will add a lot to the trip and give me something to think about to bring the experience more into-the-moment and keep the devils at bay.

    Thanks everyone!
    #88
  9. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    A grasp of the spirit is more compelling than a command of the language.
    #89
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    That's exactly why I love posting RRs. Well said.:thumb
    #90
  11. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

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    While NJ is your backyard it is new and different to those who have never been there. I hope you decide to share your first solo multi-day trip in about 20 years.:thumb
    #91
  12. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    [​IMG]

    :1drink
    #92
  13. spacekadet

    spacekadet Been here awhile

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    Hi,

    For what it's worth, I made up my mind a year before departure what kind of report I would write. My route was not well documented. In fact it was not confirmed as possible, even by experienced riders.

    It drove me nuts trying to get clear, specific, useful information about routes, distances, towns, ferries and other important facts. I trawled every blog I could find, becoming embittered and outraged at the self-indulgence of the blog concept, and eventually left without knowing whether I would be able to complete the trip.

    Personal anecdotes, people that riders meet, misadventures ... can be amusing if you are in the mood for it, but I think they mean a lot more to the rider than anybody reading about it.

    So, I was determined to keep my report well-organised, easily searchable, and with facts separate from personal reflection. I decide a FaceBook "fan page" was the best solution (but far from perfect). I was able to sort photos into segments corresponding to maps, as well as providing separate notes about stuff that would otherwise be hard to discover.

    One think that really sucks about FB is that it tries to order your photo albums according to the date that you loaded them. Very, very annoying. When I added the last album, after my return, it was positioned first. So then I had to upload and delete a photo in every other album to get the ordering right again.

    Short of making a dedicated web site, what other approaches are available for user-friendly report that will endure?

    Oh yeh .. it's here http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000988460461#!/pages/Borneo-Adventure-Ride/126919557338575?ref=sgm

    Colin aka spacekadet
    #93
  14. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    We probably all have our favorite style of ride report, as well as preferences as to the locale(s) covered. Yet there are some riders whose RR's stand out and draw readers regardless what our preferences have been in the past. Inmate metaljockey is one of those. His narration, his photos... the method in which he takes the reader along on his travels... it's captivating. And yet... ZOA, with her imperfect English, manages to convey so much with a few words and a multitude of small photos.

    In other words, there is a wide spectrum of methods, styles, abilities that still manage to create very readable, enjoyable ride reports. If I had to make a guess, it is the report from someone who is revealing his/her humanness - something we readers can connect with - that gives them their quality.

    Some reports I've read have good photos of places the rider saw in the ride, but they are posted too small to make out the details, and sometimes it can be the details that make the difference between a good photo and a great photo. In the early days of my own digital photography, when an 8MB card was considered adequate, and a 32MB card was huge, I would often take photos at low resolution in order to cram as many onto the cards I had with me as possible. Now I do everything I can to fill a 16GB card before my battery runs down, using the highest resolution available. Back in the day, I carried extra cards and plenty of spare batteries. Today I will carry an extra camera so as not to miss any once-in-a-lifetime shots due to a camera not working. A two-day trip will usually provide another 300 to 400 photos to go through when I get home, from which I may find 30 or 40 worth keeping.

    It has been said that a picture is worth 1000 words. If that is true, a person who has trouble writing, or does not feel sufficiently literate to author lines of prose, can use photos to tell the tale, connecting them in logical sequence and merely providing suitable captions for the images.

    The most important thing is to just do it. No matter how poorly a ride report might appear to its author, someone, somewhere will read it... and wish they could do one as well.
    #94
  15. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    [​IMG]

    Do you want photos to document the ride? Then you may want to consider shooting while riding. I've been doing this since 2007 and have learned a few tricks along the way. I'll share my method, and welcome anyone else to add to it.
    [​IMG]

    I'm sure many of you are thinking this is stupid and dangerous. I agree, it can be. (The majority of people probably think riding a motorcycle is stupid and dangerous anyway.) If you think this may lead to disaster then I wouldn't encourage you to attempt it.

    The most important consideration is shooting pictures only when it can be done so safely. No picture is worth dying for. Your camera is definitely not worth a crash, so make the commitment to just drop the camera anytime your safety is in jeopardy. (There's a way to save the camera.)


    [​IMG]

    Instead of mounting the camera at a fixed point, I prefer to shoot with one hand. Because of the throttle and brake, I use the left hand for shooting. This requires practice in manipulating the camera with one hand. With a little practice you can retrieve the camera from storage, turn it on, point-n-shoot, turn off the power, and stow it away. It is important to do this without taking your eyes AND ATTENTION off the road. Practice while seated on the bike and with your riding gloves on. It helps to have a camera with a power button and shutter release that is glove-friendly.

    You must be comfortable riding with only your right hand. Be sure you can brake hard, steer confidently, and possibly even make clutchless gear changes all with one hand. When riding off-road where conditions require the use of both hands you probably won't have as many opportunities for shooting while riding. With the camera quickly assessible I'll just make a quick stop to get the shots I want.

    Don't compose your shots by looking at the screen. Just point in the general direction and squeeze the shutter release. Also don't screw around with the zoom. All these things will rob more of your attention. You can digitally zoom and adjust the composition later with crop and rotate tools that any basic photo editor can do.

    I only use a point-n-shoot camera while riding, although some inmates have had success using a DSLR. I also carry a DSLR, but only for stationary shooting.

    I am constantly coming up with ideas for new angles to shoot from.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This photo is not all that great, but the shadow kind of demonstrates how low I lean down to get the front wheel shots.
    [​IMG]

    Camera saver. I have dropped the camera at least 4 times while riding. Especially with gloves on it can easily just slip out of your grip. My $22 Gearkeeper saved it each time.

    Gearkeeper makes a CB Mic Keeper that truckers use. I've found them at the big truck stops like Flying J Travel Centers on the shelf with all the CB Radio accessories. Trust me. The standard size is more than powerful enough to retract the weight of any point-n-shoot. You don't need the heavy duty size. The steel cable extends smoothly and far enough to hold the camera in just about any position within arms reach.

    [​IMG]

    This photo shows my camera with the Gearkeeper. Also, see the mode dial on top of the camera. I've found the dial is easy to bump into the wrong position while manipulating the camera with one hand, so I use a small piece of duct tape to hold it in the correct position. I attach the large snap-hooked end of the Gearkeeper to the tankbag and stow the camera in a tankbag pocket. When riding without a tankbag I attach the Gearkeeper to my jacket and stuff the camera in a jacket pocket. Both places work well. The Gearkeeper has a small clip that I attach to the standard camera lanyard. This clip allows you to quickly detach the camera for off the bike shots. Although there are many great point-n-shoot cameras on the market now, I chose the Panasonic Lumix because of that manual power switch that is easier to use with gloves on than many of the cameras with depressed buttons.
    [​IMG]

    My wife captured the Gearkeeper in action at arms length.
    [​IMG]

    Another consideration; It may seem oxy-moronic at 80mph, but just as with shooting when stopped attempt to hold the camera steady and squeeze (not jerk) the shutter release button. With a decent amount of light only the close landscape should be blurred, which gives the nice sense of speed.

    Keep a safe following distance from other traffic.

    Getting good moving shots? Then share them in a report or in pics, pics, pics...


    Any other moving shooters have anything to add???:dunno
    #95
  16. littlebull

    littlebull tiny mighty mo

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    Dave,

    I love this idea. I'll be sure to try this on my next ride. Thanks for sharing, and taking the time to get us the details on the lanyard.

    littlebull
    #96
  17. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Like you say, the shooting on the fly thing is great and for sure a lot of people have been doing it for years. Here are a couple of more things that may be helpful.

    I like to use a waterproof camera so I can keep it "exposed" for easy access. When doing dirt rides, the waterproof model is great as there is protection from both dust and water.

    For dirt rides I use the gearkeeper and keep the camera in a partially open pocket on my vest. The quick access makes for getting some nice crash or post-crash shots as the camera is so readily available.
    [​IMG]

    When not using the vest, like on street rides, I use a belt case with a magentic flap. This allows you to draw, arm, and fire the camera with one hand. Again, the waterproof camera makes it no big deal to carry the camera "exposed" to the elements on the belt. If there is no other spot to connect to, a key ring can be connected to the jacket somehow for a place to snap on to.
    [​IMG]

    Hope this adds to the already great information posted here and helps out some others.
    #97
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    Cannonshot, I think it was from you that I learned about the Gearkeeper lanyard on the euipment forum several years ago. Thanks!:thumb
    #98
  19. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

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    #99
  20. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    I use a neck lanyard with a snap-together keychain. This keeps the camera at about waist level & handy to drop in a tankbag pocket. For off the bike shots I just disconnect the keychain. The whole rig fits handily into my camera case.

    Great tip on taping the mode knob on the camera to keep it from moving. I had one that would always turn when I put it into the tank bag. Lost a bunch of pictures that way as it would turn to high ISO which washed them all out. Like a dummy, I never thought of taping the knob, I just bought a new camera..... :lol3