Sunday, April 3, 2011

Attempted ride, farkle & weaving

Whilst having breakfast with the guys, my phone rang. It was Mark and they had unplanned a quick spontaneous ride to Squamish for lunch. Now I wasn't prepared as whenever I go on the highway I have to have my GoProHD videocam with me, and I was also dSLR challenged, which means I have to go home to gather my photographic equipment. I also arranged to meet someone from Craigslist for purchase of another M42 Super Takumar manual focus lens to add to my growing collection so as it looked at the time I was going to be very late to the checkpoint. I told Mark and his companions, Tony & Jeff to look for me heading North as they were heading South, just in case.

(Metal sculpture, False Creek, Olympic Athlete's Village, Vancouver, BC)

I wandered about False Creek snapping photos while waiting for the seller to arrive. Then I went home to gather my "stuff" and headed towards Hwy 99. Traffic was very heavy through town and I eventually headed north towards the Sea-to-Sky highway. All the while I was fiddling with my GPS and looking at the clock in my instrument cluster (Standard equipment on the Suzuki V-strom) . I was over an hour and a half behind so I decided to abort my ride and head down to the North Vancouver waterfront for a photo of my bike with the Vancouver skyline in the background Tried as I did I found the light very backlit and I could not come up with a suitable photo straight out of the camera as the skyline was "blown-out" and when I EC +1 it was really "blown-out" . I even tried fill flash but it didn't help much. I eventually had to resort to HDR +/- 1 , fiddled around with colour temperature, and slight curve adj and this is it

(Mighty V-strom DL650, Vancouver in the background)

I was heading back to town riding along the waterfront and decided to stop for some train porn for my buddy in West Chester, PA . I ride past the railyards all the time but this is the first time I have stopped for a photo .


About a year ago I puchased my GoProHD videocam and they announced that they would have an accessory LCD screen available "soon". I placed my order with GPScity and patiently waited, and waited, and waited. A year had gone by and suddenly the screens are now available.


I wasn't sure if I really needed one but then decided it would be worth it if only to review your video 'footage' whilst "on the road" . I had a minor problem uploading and installing the software update but eventually it worked


The box contains the LCD SCREEN, and all the waterproof and non-waterproof doors. I can now use it just like a regular camcorder.

(Here it is in Action, ready to record)

Now that I have the LCD BacPac screen, I also decided to use the GoProHD more and purchased the FAT GECKO HD suction mount on my car windshield. It also gives me more virsatile mounting options on the V-strom as it can stick to the bodywork, and also to the windscreen


NOTE: the following comments are conjecture based upon rumours and other comments from other riders where facts are not confirmed and the police investigators are still sifting through the physical evidence and to yet form a definite conclusion as to what actually happened. Read for yourself and form your own conclusions from the photos and the person who was on scene

On a serious note, there was a fatal motorcycle accident last week where a new rider, 27 years old was involved in a fatal accident where speed was most likely the determinating factor. Speeding on an urban road where the speed limit was 80 kmh and was reduced to 60, then 50 kmh as it approached a residential area. The intersection was just after a blind curve where parked cars blocked the view of the vehicle attempting to make a left turn in front of the rider. The rider took m/c training and passed in February, 2011 and was riding a Yamaha R6 sportbike.

It has created some discussion within our biking community and started further comments here

within these discussions a poster made reference to a video about "weaving" to help differentiate yourself from the background, where you blend in and make yourself invisible. It was produced by an advanced motorcycle instructor in the UK. I have heard mention about this before and it sounds like a good idea


  1. Bob:
    I haven't been keeping a running tally but has your photographic expenditure in the last year or 3 reached the price of 2 Street Triples yet? ;-)

    Good video. There is some good stuff coming out of the UK.

  2. Hi Bob,
    You're getting quite a fine collection of lenses and other bits of camera goodies. You'll be needing a new camera bag next, to pack all the new gear. I really like the train photo. Not sure why but I find the composition, the color and the lines, very pleasing to view.

    Good video & good advice. And here I just thought weaving was for fun! :)

  3. Bob

    Good video +1 - I had not seen this before (we seem to have as many advanced instructors over here as speed cameras). On a more light hearted front this remains a favourite:

    N the natural weaver

  4. Bobskoot,

    I too enjoy the Train Porn. The Locomotive you photographed is a rather old unit that typically doesn't travel far from a switching yard or terminal. Photographic evidence would suggest that until very recently it spent a lot of time in Ontario. Link and Link . Feel free to share Canadian Train Porn anytime.

  5. Bobskoot, good point about the "weaving".

    I've read and practice, moving from side to side as I approach an intersection, especially if a clueless cager is there waiting to make a left turn.

    It is my hope that the cager will see a headlight move back and forth and perhaps not turn in front of me. Still, I prepare for evasive maneuvers and/or braking, since most cagers really don't see you.

    I've been cut off by left turners, with the 1150RT's high beam on and modulating....her ABS brakes came in handy those days.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  6. Thanks for posting the video. Interesting. Like bluekat I was thinking weaving was for fun and show off, never thought of it as a safety feature.

  7. Dear Bobskoot:

    Train porn is what elevates man above the savages. Next to motorcycles, train stuff is the most addictive substance in the world. I like the picture of the "fiddle yard." I will send you a shot of the one I built in my basement.

    I will be dpoing a regular train porn feature on Twisted Roads.

    Thank you for this.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads
    The biker blog for men, and women with balls.

  8. Great video. I don't think that I've seen that one before either. The only time I've heard of other motorcyclists weaving was when they had just bought new tires. I can see how that would make you stand out from the background. So what do you think of modulating headlights?

    I also like the train yard photo and love to watch old trains (unless they are just slowly moving back and forth across a crossing. This seems to happen often around here...

  9. Such a nice day out. I like the metal sculpture. But it makes it sound like you were skulking about getting "hooked up" with a new lens. :)

    Why does the might V-strom look a little smushed?

    Great video. I'm sorry to hear of the incident and for all involved or witnessed. Such a horrible tragedy.

    -Steel Cupcake

  10. Geoff: I used to be a camera collector but now I only take photos and I need the tools of the trade, don't I ? There's a camera swap meet coming up in a couple of weeks and I needed stuff for trading . At your age you probably do the "wobble" technique without even realizing it.

    BlueKat: Compared to what I have buried away in drawers, Pentax M42 lenses are very inexpensive, plus, I'm a hobbyist. I need this stuff to play with

    Nikos: Thank you for the link. they have a whole series of these

    682202/GAW: boy, you really know your locomotives. For some reason Webshots is squeezing my photos, click on the photo for the unsquished one.

    Charlie6: the idea is that bikers blend into the background. You are trying to be more conspicuous. Plus the drivers think you are losing your balance and stop where they are.

  11. SonjaM: sometimes you weave for fun, other times you weave to make yourself more noticed. Bikes have such a small frontal area compared to a car.

    Jack r: See, I learned something new today, Fiddle Yard. Those tracks do sort of look like a stringed instrument. Somehow I liked the design

    Richard: First time I saw that video too. I've heard about weaving but never really tried it myself, but it does make sense to make you more noticed

    Lori/Steelcupcake: Click on the photo for correct aspect ratio. Webshots is squishing them for some reason. I only bought the lens because it was the right price. Actually he had two lenses, so I bought them both. They are duplicates so I can sell them or trade them at the next camera swap meet in a couple of weeks

  12. Weaving works and requires no purchases or installations. The photographic stuff sounds too complicated for me. Pocket camera always in pocket means not missing lunch with friends.

  13. Great video. I just love the fun acronyms SMIDSY and SIAM. And who can resist the dry Aussie sense of humor? :-)

  14. Now that you have it, is the LCD back pack (I refuse to resort to GoPro speak and call it a bacpac) as good as you had hoped? Given what you now know, would you order it again?

    I like the weaving idea. I understand my son does this on his bicycle after a few beers.