Saturday, March 17, 2012

Astoria, Manhattan, and Long Island City Twice (26.9 miles)

I had discovered that work on the East River Esplanade had been completed up to 59th street a few weeks ago, and realized that this now created a long stretch of MUP connecting the 125th Street Bridge with the 59th Street Bridge leaving only Long Island City to contend with to make a full circuit back to the entry to the Triboro bridge to start the route over.

Today I used this route to make 2 laps totaling 26.9 miles. This included 1,178 feet of climb according to GPS (6 bridge crossings).

The weather was fine, a little moderate headwind on the East River Esplanade, and tons of foot traffic (as expected by day of week + weather). I believe this route would be better for laps on a weekday, and it's still a safe way to get to midtown from Astoria any day.

This is my first daytime shoot with the HD Hero 2, and I can see a marked improvement in the image quality already.

Taking a cue from a picture of a GoPro helmet I found, I placed another mount on the right side of my helmet, horizontally. As shown in the picture, I created a 45 degree angle arm with the joints supplied with the original Moto Edition, and my new Outdoor Edition accessories. This way the camera can be turned upside down so it rests near the eye level of the helmet wearer. The good people at Gopro included a setting built into the camera that allows it to shoot upside down, as well as making the LCD display upside down. Here is a picture of the latest mount, you can also see where the first mount is placed. I'm not sure which I like better, but I am sure that I like having the camera centered on my helmet rather than always pushing down on the right side. I could probably add some padding inside my helmet that might make it more comfortable to wear.

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As far as the new viewing angle is concerned, I'm not sure it adds much to the footage, and likely detracts from it due to the fact that my face obscures the left side of the frame. Either way, it was worth trying. I will likely be purchasing, and testing, the GoPro chest mount at some point, as I like that camera perspective as well.

Some highlights of the ride were the young skateboarders shenanigans on the 59th Street Bridge. You can see them nearly run into a tricky gap at 1:10 of 3-17-2012 Part 12, after dodging the skateboarders I had a bit of luck though, when I finally got a nice shot of the Q/N trains as I came down the bridge. I was able to follow one train as it left Queensboro Plaza, and watch it turn towards Astoria to disappear behind a building. On Randall's Island I shot a purposefully cinematic clip rolling off a grassy hill following a DEP boat as it passed under the Hellgate and Triboro Bridges, this video is found under 3-17-2012 Part 5. The second time I reached the foot of the Triboro Bridge, I crossed paths with a cyclist who I had spoke to before near the same spot some weeks ago, when I was riding with my girlfriend. He is a more knowledgeable cyclist who offered good advice regarding what to eat during rides, and where to meet other cyclists on 9W. After maybe a twenty minute chat, we parted ways, and I started my second lap of this route. Nothing more of note transpired, and it was a very enjoyable ride as a whole. I feel that this route will make a good addition to my usual rides.

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