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Old 11-22-2003, 08:13 AM
psyklone393's Avatar
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Cool ride report -- with helmet cam

last weekend we went down to austin to visit my mom, and since the track that she lives just minutes away from was having open practice all weekend i figured we should go ahead and haul my bike and suzie's atv down there with us. the weather wasn't cooperating very well but since we could hear that some people were riding anyway we decided to go check it out. since i hadn't ever ridden this track i talked to a guy that was parked next to us who was getting ready to go back out, i was curious if there were any dangerous corners (it had been raining pretty hard) or kickers that i needed to watch out for. he said that the whole track was pretty slick and that the jumps out of turns were pretty tricky because getting traction was kind of tough. the dirt they have is nice, but when it gets wet it pretty much turns to clay. after my first lap i had to pull off because my knobs weren't cleaning out, i had to dig the clay out with a stick ... at that point my poor little 125 was just spinning its wheels and getting nowhere. i had seen a couple of riders down on my first lap and went against my better judgement and decided to go back out, but due to an impeller seal going out i only made it one more lap before i was done which is probably just as well ... things started to get really ugly shortly thereafter. it was drizzling off and on throughout the morning and the track conditions were getting worse. we were watching riders go down left and right. there was one particular jump that everyone was washing out on the face of, it was right after a 180 turn coming off of a step up/step down and it looked like they couldn't dig in enough to get their bikes lined up for the jump. most of them would low-side it going up the face and on more than one occassion it took several people to drag a bike off of the jump because one person alone couldn't reach it without sliding back down. nobody got hurt, so it was kind of funny to watch ... but i didn't want any part of it. my initial plan was to do a couple of laps and get comfortable with where everything was and then go put my helmet cam on and give it its maiden voyage, but obviously that didn't turn out like i thought it would. aside from my mechanical problem i would have needed at least another two laps before i was comfortable and had memorized the track. this place is huge and it works you pretty hard in some places. just before we left i decided to send suzie out on her atv (polaris magnum 425) with the helmet cam so she could roll through the track and get the layout on video. she's never ridden on a track before so i wasn't too worried about her getting too crazy, and at this point there was only one other person that i saw still attempting to ride so i wasn't too worried about 'what if she doesn't hold her line' or 'what if she plows into someone with that beast of a quad'.

well ... i distinctly remember watching her at different sections of the track and thinking, "holy crap. there's not going to be anything left of that poor polaris by the time she gets it back here." here's one of the pics, you guys probably saw this in the photo gallery earlier in the week. this one is larger and if you look real close you can see the backpack that's holding the camcorder.



and here is some video from the helmet cam. there's a long one that has nearly the entire track, it's about 20 megs. the quality isn't the best but i had to sacrifice a little to get the file size down. the short clip has a couple of different sections that are in the long one, this one is better quality though ... and the file size is only 4.8 megs. you can see a couple of the rain drops that landed on the lens, but they don't really get in the way. and if you listen, you'll hear her bottom out a few different times. it still makes me cringe.

long clip (right click, save as)

short clip (right click, save as)

the canon zr60 that we got worked out great, it's a good size and i'm still impressed with the video quality. it's hard to tell in these little video clips, but the quality is great. the helmet cam itself worked like a charm as well. when the tape from this ride is played back on a television it looks crystal clear, i couldn't be happier with it. if anyone ever plans on getting one of the helmet cams from helmetcamera.com you should be warned about this:

the 'mounting strips' that they send claim to have been tested at speeds up to 200 mph. i figured they were probably just velcro strips, but was i ever wrong. it's like velcro on steroids, and it's hard plastic. once you 'pop' the mounting strip from the helmet cam onto the mounting strip on the helmet, it's not coming off until you decide to take it off ... and that's where i ran into the only snag i had with it. i couldn't get the helmet cam to detach from the mounting strip on the helmet. i finally pulled hard enough to get it off, but the mounting strip came with it and i figured that the cheap adhesive backing they used just let go of the helmet, but what actually happened was it held on tight enough to take the lamination from my helmet where it had been mounted. in this case my helmet was the weakest link. i'm going to epoxy that strip back on and in the future instead of trying to yank the camera off of the helmet i'm going to take something thin like a screw driver and work the mounting strips apart.

so anyway, i can't wait to go back there now that i've got my bike fixed because it really could be a fun track given the right weather conditions. chances are next time we go suzie may have a sport quad because she had a blast and is wanting to ride tracks now, so that will be cool. one thing that stood out like a sore thumb was the four strokes out there. i couldn't believe what i saw them doing. the corners that i was struggling to keep my back tire under me in, they cruised through like it was a freaking cake walk. my wheels were spinning like crazy and not hooking up and these guys were digging in and plowing through that stuff like it was nothing. i wish i hadn't seen that because since then i've been pricing yzf's.



-Z

Last edited by psyklone393; 12-17-2003 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 11-22-2003, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

Nice write up batman...err psyklone. Your a pretty good writer. I was captured anyway.

Still working on the download, so haven't seen the pics yet, but that's cool about your chick liking tracks.

Depending on money, a good all around sport quad for a woman IMHP is a KFX400.
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Old 11-22-2003, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

Good report!!

I'd love to have a helmet cam, I'd get some killer footage for sure.

Did you have any trouble with the camera from vibrations and impacts from jump landings?
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Old 11-22-2003, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

Wish that the track would have cooperated for you a little more. Can't wait to download this later and look at it. (baby is cryign so I have to go)

Great pic of Suzie.
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Old 11-22-2003, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

Ok, my boy and I just finished watching both video's and I thought they were pretty good. We both laughed at your girly going woohoo, and when she talked (don't remember what she said). All in all pretty good I thought.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2003, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

woody --> thanks for the quad recommendation. she's not sure what she wants yet, so i'll have to go check those out. any other recommendations for a rider in the 5'9" 130lb range are welcome!

thumper --> i pack the camcorder in a padded box so it's pretty well protected. i've only had it out that one time and it held up just fine. as far as the vibrations being picked up in the video are concerned, the helmet cam only picks up any vibration or landing shock that your own eyes would pick up since it's mounted to your head so it's not bad at all.

ima --> i can't blame the little one, it's breakfast time!

oh yeah, i forgot about her talking in there woody ... in both clips she does a 'woohoo!' on a small step up, but in the long clip she says, 'i am losing it on these hills' and then later she's coming out of a turn and she says 'this is harder than it looks. turn turn turn! oooaaah!'



-Z
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Old 11-22-2003, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

Excellent! Psyk...for a helmet cam the quality fo that footage is outstanding!
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Old 11-22-2003, 11:04 AM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

Great write up thanks, but dang I think our moniter is going out, I cant get any videos only sound
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Old 11-22-2003, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

Quote:
Originally posted by psyklone
oh yeah, i forgot about her talking in there woody ... in both clips she does a 'woohoo!' on a small step up, but in the long clip she says, 'i am losing it on these hills' and then later she's coming out of a turn and she says 'this is harder than it looks. turn turn turn! oooaaah!'



-Z
Yep, that's what she said. My 5 year old thought it was really funny when she was talking.

And Yes, the KFX400 would be awesome for her. Heck I'm 6' and 230 and I love it, very nice power delivery etc. Unless of course you have the money for a TRX or YFZ 450...
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Old 11-22-2003, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: ride report -- with helmet cam

that's awesome quality! and an awesome chick! man if she can handle that 700 pound menace on a muddy track like that, then she can defenitely handle a KFX/LTZ400 (kawasaki/suzuki respectively) that track looks like a ton of fun, that huge triple looks crazy :

awesome!

Rob
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