LUTs, resolution and FPS – Do you care?

Those are not cycling terms, or the names of mountain bike components – they are a whole new set of nerdy things you *have* to learn about if you are going to try and make videos for YouTube.

*Disclaimer – You don’t have to learn about these things at all.  I just like to and there are times when understanding these and MANY other things can improve your videos

Like some people might sketch, paint model planes or read books, editing videos is just a hobby for me. Like taking pictures – its just an extension of my biking hobby.  If I can share it with people or relive a fun day out with some mates then that a bonus.

This might sound like I don’t care if anyone watches my videos – I do, but it doesn’t really matter.

However, making videos for Youtube is not easy. Strapping a GoPro to our chest/helmet and riding down a trail looks pretty dull unless you are riding like Sam Hill, Danny Hart, Rachel Atherton etc..  Filming jumps looks easy unless you are riding massive Rampage sized drops and gaps.

So in order to make your ordinary average riding, watchable to have to spice it up with something.  I try to have some fun, don’t take myself too seriously and lately I’ve been trying to make the videos look a whole lot better.

Your GoPro is a pretty powerful tool with a lot of the functionality of bigger more professional cameras. But in order to get the best from them you need to understand more than just is it pointing in the right direction.

Putting your camera on AUTO will mostly get you OK results and allow you to relive a day out or a ride of some sort.  But to make the image clearer, brighter, sharper etc you need to understand framerates, light temperature, ISO settings.

But I’m not going to try and explain that – go and watch, listen and learn from Ryan (aka The Loam Ranger) over on his YouTube – link below…

Disclaimer 2 – I still have soooo much to learn by the way so I am not suggesting my videos are setting some sort of standard that you should aspire to.  But if you do think they are any good – thats great and Thanks!

 

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Have I gone a bit mad?

Yes I spent 10 minutes talking to myself.  Its not unusual to be honest, last week I pretended to get phone calls from “no claim no fee” lines and my boss, while recording a fake phone in show.

All in the name of YouTube and why?  I am no sensation – I don’t have the subscribers or the skills to make it big on “the platform”.  I’m not even sure I’m using YouTube correctly.

I just like having fun…

On a serious note if you fancy making a video with me please get in touch below…

Here’s what I filmed then clipped and cut together to make the top film all in my lunch break.

AllyGuard / First Impressions

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AllyGuard – looks stealthy

There might be a really good reason I haven’t seen an aluminum mudguard on a bike before but I’ve been asked to take a look by the guys at AllyGuard, who are designing some new accessories for your bike out of aluminum.

I have just fitted the black version to my bike so this is a very early first impression.  I’ll check in after a few weeks riding to see how its holding up to some “ahem” Spring weather in the UK!

I will say, it looks very nice on my bike.

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AllyGuard – plenty of clearance

The boost RockShox Revelation fork on my San Quention have plenty of clearance for 2.6 inch Schwalbe tyres and a thicker than normal front fender.

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AllyGuard – black is the new black

The stealthy look against black forks and stanchions is very cool indeed but that is crying our for some orange stickers or paint to match my Marin…  I’ll have to think about that.

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AllyGuard – Protection against rattle and frame rub

The aluminum guard comes with some foam pads to protect against frame rub and rattle. I’m not entirely sure how long these will last, so I will be keeping a close eye and maybe upgrading to 3M tape over the top to keep them in place and waterproof it.

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AllyGuard – Protection against rattle and frame rub

The AllyGuard fits to your fork just like any other front mud guard, but as its made of metal the point where it meets the frame requires some padding. As per above – this is the area I will be keeping a close eye on.

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AllyGuard – Protection against rattle and frame rub

The guard comes with all the pads and cable ties you need and fitting is  doddle as you’d expect.

AllyGuard – safety is definitely our number one priority. The cable ties fitted and spares or specifically chosen in strength to ensure any riding conditions however in the unlikely scenario that the rider were to fall onto the guard with a substantial force the cable ties will break detaching the AllyGuard from the bike dissipating the energy minimising any risk to the rider.

Our guards are made from grade A1050 aluminium, this grade is chosen because of it’s very high ductility. Meaning no matter how deformed the guard gets if at all it can be bent back to shape countless times, although we wouldn’t want you riding around with a guard looking past its best so we would probably just replace it for you.

Being a softer aluminium if the AllyGaurd were ever to contact the stanchions it would not scratch it as the densities between the AllyGuard and the stanchion are so drastically different as the stations are a vary dense hard alloy.

They come in raw/silver and black and are available from AllyGuard’s ebay store – link below.

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Follow AllyGuard in Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allyguard/

Buy yours here: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AllyGuard-MTB-DH-Aluminium-front-Mudguard-Mountain-bike-accessory-Downhill-/382636044741

allyguard in colour

Wild Trail Snacks – Review

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I like to take trail bars on long rides, days out etc, as they don’t get as squished as fruit or sandwiches and can slip in a pocket or pouch for easy access. So I try loads and often pick up a handful of Paleo bars in Lidl/Adli while at the tills. I stumbled across these Wild Trail bars in a COOP store in Wales and noticed they were actually made in Wales too so decided I had to check them out further.

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They come in 4 flavours and are really simple – each made from only 5 natural ingredients.  My favourite is the Apple, followed by the Carrot Cake.

They are really tasty,  gluten free, dairy free and even VEGAN Friendly.

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These boxes are pretty good value if you compare with other leading brands like NAKD (even when bought in volume), with a comparable level of protein per 30g coming from either the cashew or peanuts in each bar.

These also have quite distinct flavours unlike NAKD that mostly tastes the same, usually because of the overwhelming sweetness provided by the dates in my opinion.

I must admit I haven’t had a NAKD bar in a while – I just feel they are more expensive.

Back to the Wild Trail bars – some excellent nutritional info can be seen in my picture above or you can visit the website for a full break down, if you are really into that sort of thing.

https://wildtrail.co.uk/our-snacks

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Wild Trail Carrot Cake

  1. Raisins
  2. Cashews
  3. Gluten free oats
  4. Dried carrot
  5. Ground cinnamon

Nutritional Information: Typical values

Per 46g bar: Energy 761kJ (181kcal), Fat 5.9g of which saturates 1.1g, Carbohydrat

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While these are tasty, neatly packaged and are MADE IN WALES (lets not forget that!), a single 30g bar is not enough if you plan on using this on its own as a trail top up. So you will want to pack a few.

My fave bars and a bit of a luxury are from Veloforte.  I love Veloforte bars, though they are so chewy you need to top up your energy stores just to eat one! Their bars are over £2.00 each but they DO have twice the protein in them and are amazing!

However, 2 x a Wild Trail Bar will get you the same nutrition and for still only half the price, and you can then mix your flavours.

So I guess its just a matter of choosing how you want your nutrition packaged.

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I bought mine in a box of 4×4 different flavours straight from the website for £9.25 inc shipping – that works out as 58p a bar.

These could become my go to bar…

https://wildtrail.co.uk/shop/wild-trail-mixed-multipack-bundle-4-x-4x30g-cartons

https://wildtrail.co.uk/shop/16-mixed-box

Do you have a fave trail bar or snack?

 

The fine art of Faffing

Your bike is dirty, its been dirty for a week or 2.

But its ok you have a really valid excuse. You came home from a night ride and promised yourself you’d clean it the next day, but the next you were told that your new bike was ready to be collected from the shop and the dirty one got a little neglected…

So you decide its time to give it the love it deserves and give it a proper deep clean.

But first a cup of tea.

Electing to be super efficient, get started by getting some stuff ready, while the kettle is boiling – genius!

While in the shed looking for the end to the hose you realise that its a complete mess and needs sorting out, start sorting and decide that this is a far bigger job than you anticipated.

Time for an existential crisis!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existential_crisis

That’s enough of that! Time to gather your thoughts and boil the kettle again.

Make a cup of  tea!

While drinking the tea you ponder upon the last hour and decide that you can’t possibly be the only one who behaves like this and sits down to write about it (THIS!).

Finishes blog post and starts again.

Its now way too late and you have to get back to work…