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

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

  1. jetjackson

    jetjackson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Somewhere in Europe on a Motorbike :)
    Great tips in this thread. I have just bought my bike in London and about to start my Ride report. I have been doing video blogs, edited together, about one per week, so far everything has been by train or plane and so I have not started a ride report yet. Next week will be my first video blog with the bike. I use an Olympus tough camera and just bought a Gopro because I realized without it I was not going to be able to get good footage on the bike.

    So my question is, what would make a good video ride report. My ride report will likely consist of a video about 10 minutes in length embedded in the report, plus a couple of photos, a bit of kiss and tell (which I can't do on the video blog) and a bit of a report that is more about the bike and the experience that advriders will appreciate.

    So what holds peoples attention in a video blog? What would make a good video blog?
  2. AlpineGuerrilla

    AlpineGuerrilla Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    I think it's difficult to have a video only ride report. For me, videos are more like a supplement to the ride report. Most video reports tend to be long and boring, so keep it short and sweet! Less than 10 minutes with a few different camera angles and a story being told is great. But of course it CAN be a litte bit longer, but that requires a lot of work - both filming and cutting.
    An example for a long, but never boring video report is "Driven" by ADV member Mundo Bravo:

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/7780879?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="705" width="940"></iframe>



    I have a different approach, as I'm not as experienced with filming and telling a story. So I didn't record any talking and have pretty much only riding scenes. Here's the video I made this summer as a bonus to the ride report:

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/I0PgcSJ6Wgo?hd=1" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" width="640"></iframe>
  3. jetjackson

    jetjackson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Somewhere in Europe on a Motorbike :)
    Yeah exactly, I don't think you should go too much over 10 minutes unless you are good at putting in a solid storyline. Enough time for someone to watch it during their coffee break I figure. I try and do the face to cam stuff to explain how I am feeling or what is happening. I am also going to get a voice recorder for the helmet so I can link the audio to the gopro footage.

    I think also, if it is just going to be a stand alone clip, that it doesn't become one big long music video clip.

    Thanks heaps for the footage clips, they are some good base lines. You have great footage by the way that D5000 does a really good job. I would have trouble recording on one of those all the time just with the sheer gigs of data that you would rack up. That is another consideration if you are trying to do a video report.
  4. AlpineGuerrilla

    AlpineGuerrilla Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    Well, I only shot a few clips with D5000, the rest is captured with the Gopro. The panning and the timelapses are shot with the DSLR, so it's only an addition to the Gopro. Might have to upgrade to a proper video camera sometimes. What camera are you using?

    Btw, be sure to post your videos in the Motorcycle videos videos videos thread once they're done. :evil
  5. calrider

    calrider I'm Lost Too!!

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    692
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    One of the things I enjoy when writing or commenting on a report is the interaction with other inmates. When I write one, I do my best to respond to all the comments. (see example in one of my ride reports here)
    It's great how a "community" can start building around a report this way. Some of the folks who've commented on my reports have gone on to become friends of mine. I've even formed business relationships with some of them.

    One of the things I've seen people do and that I've emulated is the practice of introducing a photo with text at the top of the photo, then following the photo with the rest of the story about the photo. This works well in this online format because you are always scrolling from top to bottom. I think it also builds a bit of anticipation about the photo before the full photo is revealed through scrolling.

    Another good practice is to vary the photo size depending on its purpose. Smugmug allows you to do this through parameters in the embed link. If the shot is beautiful and needs to be shown large to get the full effect, it's OK to pump it up to a screen width or height, but no more. Link to larger versions if you want. If the shot is just there to set a context or keep the story going, make it smaller.

    End your posts with cliff-hangers or teasers for the next post. E.G. "In the next post, we bite the dirt for the first time" to foreshadow an accident.

    Take a lesson from reality shows. They are always about the people and what they're going through. So talk about what you're going through. If you're uncomfortable with that, interact with and get to know people along the way and report what they're going through. A glimpse into someone else's life, especially if it is foreign to yours, is often fascinating.

    I use MS Word to write my ride reports. I've written a couple Word macros and connected them to keyboard shortcuts to make it easier to paste in the HTML code for photos and other links. Instead of typing out the HTML tags and pasting the URL in, I just copy the URL from smugmug and then hit the shortcut and it surrounds the URL with all the required HTML and pastes it into the document.

    The problem with smugmug and most image hosting sites, is that you don't know what the URL of your image will be until you've uploaded it into the site. This means that at some point you need to go online and copy and paste all the links into your report even if you're composing it offline in MSWord or another editor. Smugmug has said they will address this at some point, but I have still not seen a satisfactory solution. If you create your own hosting account on any of the many hosting services out there (I use GoDaddy), you can create folders to your heart's desire and upload photos using FTP. The advantage is that you can know before you upload them exactly what the URLs of your photos will be. With this knowledge, you can completely compose your ride report offline including all the appropriate photo links before even uploading your photos. Then, when you get to your next internet connection, you can batch upload all your photos and then copy and paste your update into your ride report. This is especially useful if you're on the road and would rather compose your report someplace more pleasant than an internet cafe and then only use the internet connection to do the actual upload. Of course, you lose all the advantages of Smugmug such as automatic resizing, photo albums etc. I use both approaches.

    The other advantage of composing in MSWord is the grammar and spell checking. IMHO having correct grammar and spelling makes a report more pleasant to read. You can break the rules but it's best to know what they are in order to break them effectively.

    Thanks for this thread. It's been a great read!
  6. ride4321

    ride4321 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,134
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    I just wrote my first RR on ADV this summer but had written others on the Triumph forum over the last few years. This one on ADV was my first in real time. I found that the first few days were a chore to write and finding the time to upload pics was a bit of a hassle. As I went along it got easier and I started looking forward to my wifi stops to post my thoughts for the day. I basically write the reports for myself and friends that want to follow along, this past one I was writing so my kids could see where I was daily. I'm not sure you should really put all that much effort into your writing. Some days will flow better than others and there's not much you can do to change that. If you have to work at it then it's probably not going to be all that great anyhow. My deepest thoughts were usually typed into notepad just before falling asleep at night and I'd post that up when I reached wifi the next day. I love seeing the people that you've met along the way and the unusual stuff that others haven't posted before. Just speak from the heart and try to give a feel of your own experience.
    I'm glad this topic came up and there's a lot of useful info here. There's some damn fine talent shown in the RR's here. I pass links along all the time to riding and non-riding friends all the time.
  7. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    709
    Location:
    Strongsville, OH
    Alright I admit it.....I'm havin' a hair-fire moment here. Perhaps somebody can give me specific guidance about how to build a RR in Microsoft Word 2010, then transfer it onto the thread page for posting here. I can build the document (in Word), but how do I get it here? I thought about using the 'copy' key then 'paste' it into the AdvRider, but I'm having no luck getting the 'copy' key to work (it always stays translucent, never comes dark). Obviously I'm doing something wrong. Anyone "been there" before ?
    Thanx
  8. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,291
    Location:
    Fulltiming in an RV! Currently NW Oregon
    The "copy" key?

    The best way I can describe it is this... in the body of your document, hit CTRL-A (this is Select All). Then hit CTRL-C (this is Copy). Now come over here to ADVRider, click into the text area where you type, and hit CTRL-V (paste).

    Try that.

    Rob
  9. Outwardbound

    Outwardbound Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    709
    Location:
    Strongsville, OH
    Yep ! That works ! Thanx !
  10. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,407
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsula
    The Chrome browser has native support for converting a web page to a .pdf file.
    Here is an extension for FireFox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/save-as-pdf/?src=search to do the same thing.
    There are also free print-to-pdf programs also available (if you don't have Adobe Acrobat). Here is one: http://download.cnet.com/PDF-Printer/3000-2088_4-10536746.html
    Those are good ways to save web pages.
    -ceej

  11. Merlin III

    Merlin III Mean SOB

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,775
    Location:
    Maine
    Sorry, but I need to say this, I hope it hasn't been covered before. Firstly, I have never written a RR in my life and I give kudos to those who have. One thing that really disappoints me are people who start a report and them just drop it for no particular reason. There are three reports this year that I have followed that were excellent and then just suddenly stopped. :cry

    Now some will probably say that maybe something came up in the rider's life that prevented them from finishing the report. If that is the case, fine, I understand, but in the three case I mentioned, I have noticed that the writer is still around and posting elsewhere or has finally apologetically posted a statement saying that they have been pretty busy and will finish the report sometime in the future. Isn't there some ethical obligation to your readers to finish a report once you start one? Just sayin................:deal
  12. AlpineGuerrilla

    AlpineGuerrilla Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    Basel, Switzerland
    Well, in my opinion, no. As harsh as it sounds, be thankful to get anything at all. :deal

    While there can be various reasons for not finishing a report, I think the only thing you can influence is the feedback. Interact, ask questions about the ride or simply say 'great' or 'thanks'. This way not only will the writer stay motivated, but also more people will be able to see the thread and will thus (hopefully) post. When the RR gets abandoned, of course you can bump the thread and ask (or beg, it's up to you) for the report to be finished.
  13. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,716
    Location:
    Now serving just Snohomish County
    Reader input really helps to keep the motivation up. It is very time consuming to write a report for a trip. It has taken me several months to find the time to write the text for my latest report. If you make positive comments, it really keeps the writer interested in finishing.
  14. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,291
    Location:
    Fulltiming in an RV! Currently NW Oregon
    Positive comments are huge, even on small reports. My one "live" report so far was done in one post, but got several not-so-friendly responses, and it kinda soured me on doing anymore. I have another RR in progress (haven't posted anything yet) that I probably won't finish due to lack of time and photos.

    Rob
  15. Merlin III

    Merlin III Mean SOB

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,775
    Location:
    Maine
    Thanks for your input. IMHO, no one is doing me a favor by writing a report. On the contrary, readers are doing a service for the writer. In the best case scenario, both parties get satisfaction. In the final analysis, people do almost everything for their own self aggrandizement and writing RR reports certainly qualifies as one of them. If they finish the report and are proud of it, they will feel good about it. If they do a lousy job, or don't complete the task, most people will feel that they failed.

    I don't think RR writers are any different than novelists, short story writers, poets, or song writers. There is a lot of satisfaction in completing those endeavors, but acknowledgement in some form by the audience is the goal of publishing. Getting back to the original premise, how would you feel if you bought a promising novel and found that the story ended after the fifth chapter with absolutely no ending? I think most readers would feel cheated.
  16. jetjackson

    jetjackson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Somewhere in Europe on a Motorbike :)
    There are a whole lot of threads that are finished already, you could just read those. Just skip to the end and make sure it has an end.
  17. YOUNZ

    YOUNZ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Oddometer:
    329
    Location:
    Around Pittsburgh
    You don't pay for a ride report, but I agree, it is courteous, at least, to finish a report in some fashion, no matter how brief.
  18. Road Dust

    Road Dust Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    Woodstock, GA
    In my personal opinion, you need to write a few RRs before you start trying to impose your personal rules on those who actually take the time to write RRs.

    I usually try to write my RRs while I am on the road. I usually spend 1-2 hours per day writing and uploading pictures to the report. I do not write the reports for you. I could care less if you read them or not. I have no obligation to you what so ever. I would guess that most people who stop in the middle of a report have a very valid reason for doing so.
  19. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,115
    Location:
    Sandia Mountains New Mexico
    Port Solitaire Seeks a Storm

    Name of bike - Jo Jo

    Fly and ride a KLR 650 from Richmond Virgina to New Mexico - Home. No interstate, back roads and dirt. Just received my motorcycle license. I leave on the 17th, it may be cold. I will be solo. I have no agenda.

    This thread is gold. I will deliver.
  20. Rob.G

    Rob.G Mostly Harmless

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,291
    Location:
    Fulltiming in an RV! Currently NW Oregon
    Ideally, I'd prefer to also write them while on the trip itself. Even if you don't finish it, or upload each "chapter" as you complete it... but it saves a lot of "work" when you get home, gives you something to do in the evenings, and the events of the trip are much fresher in your mind.

    Rob