If your camera doesn’t lie, you need to teach it to.

I mentioned last week that you should dust off your GoPro no matter where you ride and what you think your riding is like, and make a film. Firstly because you bought it and you might as well use it, and secondly you never know if someone will like it and give you some sort of feedback on your video or ask questions about where you are riding.

We are all Average Mountain Bikers!  That’s not meant to offend, but just to keep us all grounded and to make you feel OK!

The third reason is you CAN make your footage and riding look interesting/exciting with some simple video editing tips even if its not.

Take these two videos for instance, both compiled with basically the same clips, but both have two different vibes to them.

The top video is longish at about 7 mins, with some chilled music. Long clips, with us pedaling between locations, and even having a sit down with a cup of tea in the middle.

Its great for those that were present to relive the day to an extent, and its useful for me to use to advertise the guided rides I do in the area, that are not particularly gnarly or filled with adrenalin packed action.

The second, uses much the same clips but is shorter at just over a minute and uses faster music to convey a more action packed ride.  Nothing was sped up (other than the obvious tea and cake bit),  I also cut out much of the pedaling, cut faster and shorter clips together and suddenly you have a much more exciting video that might have some wider appeal.

What do you think?

Which ride would you have preferred to have gone on?


Just go out will you!

Under the bridge
Under the bridge

Its great riding with your mates.

Banter, racing, taking photos, stopping at the cafe, motivating each other up the hill, egging each other over the drops, laughing and joking. But its also great to go out and do stuff on your own.

Your pace might be faster or slower than the group you ride with; your ideal choice of ride might be different also; or you might just like the solitude from time to time. If you are like me, with a busy family life and commitments, there are also times when your diary just doesn’t line up.

I use this time to explore and often find stuff even on my door step that’s fun, either for riding or for photos.  I love that I can do this at my pace without everyone waiting for me. It means I can change plans or direction when I want, cut the ride short or extend it without the gang having to vote on it.  I can also do silly things like talk to the camera and take endless selfies !

So the next time you miss the group ride or can go out Saturday and not Sunday, don’t sit at home being sad that they will be having fun without you – go out and have fun on your own…

Here’s two videos 6 months apart of me doing a little solo spin on my local trails.  Note the bridge in the first video….  This the same spot where I got some water and made a brew 6 months earlier in the second video.

Please Subscribe to my Youtube channel and comment on the videos – even if you don’t like them – comments and feedback are really useful!

Forget last weeks GoPro advice

Last week I said – “Chest cam footage is boring!”

Its is mostly, unless your are watching something Kurt Sorge hitting the 2016 RedBull Rampage course.

This has a certain appeal as you can feel the 50 foot gap jumps and vertical drops.

I don’t ride like this, so if I want anyone to watch or even be a little bit interested in my videos I need to do something different. My tips for ONLY using one angle such as the chest mount:

1. Keep the video short – 1 minute or so
2. Within the video keep the clips to a few seconds each
3. If you want to show long sections of the same bit if trail, just chop a second or two out of it along the way. It may look jerky at times, but this is a far more interesting in my opinion.
4. Maybe add some music – be careful as Youtube is a bit fussy on the copyright – Music is especially useful if you want to cover up swearing, shouting or to make a longer video a little more appealing

So once again with some music courtesy of Youtube’s library of tunes

If you have any more tips please post them below…


Trail Review – FOD Freeminer

Trail Review – FOD Freeminer

Trail Review - Freeminers FOD

I set off for an early start to meet some friends and ride at the Forest of Dean. The newly extended Freeminer trail was our main reason for visiting as well as riding the extremely popular Verderers.

I got to the trail center and parked up at 7.56am – first car in the car park which costs £3.50 at this time of the year. We had arranged to meet at 9.30 but I had decided to get there early and do some riding on my own and to specifically familiarise myself with the extension to the Freeminer loop. I hadn’t been to the FOD (Forest of Dean) for a while and I was keen to refresh my memories.

Trail Review - Freeminers FOD

It was real treat to be at the car park on my own and be the only rider on the trail. The FOD trails are really popular and can get quite busy at the weekend – a full car park by 10am is not unusual so this was great! The loop is only about 4 miles (6km) but there are some steep climbs and loads of technical features. Roots and switchbacks challenge you on the way up and drops and fast berms entertain you on the way down. And in between there are some great little jumps and table tops! The Table Tops is a new highlight section of this trail. It allows riders of all abilities to ride a technical trail full of easily rollable features, but for the adventurous you can make some more of it and get some air beneath your tyres which I tried to do with mixed success. This isn’t a fault of the trail just limits in my abilities and confidence.  However, this section of the trail has since been closed for some urgent repair work such as been its interest from the more adventurous trail riders.
Trail Review - Freeminers FOD

The Freeminer Trail really has a bit of everything combining the table tops, berms and a few wooden boardwalk sections with some great natural features including the brilliant final twisty rooty gully and a few stretches of singletrack – you have a short but feature packed trail that takes about 40 mins to get around. During that 40 mins you get a great work out on the bike – swapping between climbing and descending (a dropper post is certainly handy here) and with plenty of opportunities to jump and drop for all abilities.

I loved it and it looked awesome in the low morning sunshine.

For more info on the trail and how to get there check the link below:

http://www.pedalabikeaway.co.uk/advancedriding.htmlTrail Review - Freeminers FOD

This review was first written with slightly less words on Tim’s personal blog on the 5th October.