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Maybe the last good ride of the year?

1939 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  Montanan
For the first time in a while we had a great Saturday. In the past few weeks we have suffered through rainy weekends. Here was the view from where I work last week:

A busy schedule and the crap weather conspired to keep me off of the bike, and I wanted to continue my experiment with videoing from the bike using my digital camera. I have been tempted to buy a GoPro Hero 2, but I hate blowing that much money on something so non-versatile, and that I cannot see as being much different than a conventional digital camera (which I already have). I mounted my Nikon Coolpix S8100 to a camera mount that bolts to the fuel cap mounts, but the shake was so bad that you risked puking while watching it. My digital cameral has anti-shake software, but it apparently is not enough to put a dent in the vibration generated by the bike. Thus, I did a bit of research on the internet and found a vendor who sells a pad that is supposed to filter our the vibration by using silicon pads. This helped, but still the video is not watchable. Here is a picture of this setup:

So I decided to try a low tech solution; using my body as the antivibration mount. I cut a hole in the front pocket of a small fanny-pack ($6 at Target back home or $26 at Intersport here in Switzerland). The fanny pack mounts to my chest (I used a lanyard to keep it from slipping down my chest. The tricky part was to adjust the camera angle so that it afforded a good view and was not perpendicular to my torso (an orphaned sock provided an adjustable pad to make the proper angle). Here is how the modified fanny-pack looks with camera inside:

So, with the nice weather, I decided to go for a 150 km ride through the Jura Mountains and test my new camera mount. Geneva lies between the Alps and the Jura, and the Alps get most of the attention. The Jura are not so impressive in size and while there are some ski resorts there, the season is short and the snow conditions are not so great. That said, the region is beautiful and the riding is excellent. Here is the view leaving Geneva and looking west toward the Col de la Faucille:

The ride up the pass was great. I videoed it with my jerry-rigged (but sano looking) setup. Here is the top of the pass, which at one time was supposed to form the Swiss/French border, however the Calvinist Swiss gave it back to France, to prevent the Catholic residents of this region from contaminating their country (the Swiss eventually lost this battle and Catholics now have the majority):

On the other side of the pass is a long high valley called the Vale'e du Joux. The highest point in the Jura is La Dole at roughly 1700 m (5500 ft) here is a picture of La Dole and the ski resort at its base:

Just before crossing back into Switzerland is the town of Bois d'Amont. Here is a picture with a little sawmill with the Madonna:

I crossed back again into Switzerland at the town of Le Brassus and had a bite to eat. Excellent burger and fries and a nice ice cold Portuguese beer:

The rest of the trip was more or less uneventful. But the video experiment was a success as far as I am concerned. You can see for yourself here (you might want to skip the first 5 minutes as it is just city traffic):

Tour of the Jura - YouTube
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Video of ride up the pass

Here is the video to replace the dead link on my earlier post. Apple IMovie is a nice tool for making a video. First time playing with it and I think the results turned out really well. I did get a bit carried away. Here is the link from youtube: Motorcycle Ride up the Col de la Faucille - YouTube
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