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Braff Zacklin

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Rained every day for a week, fairly heavy, very steady.  Starts back up Friday, but maybe only for a day.

Read somewhere D/FW had 11 consecutive days of measurable rain. A record I think.


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Because we're kind of bored, I was looking at some local places to do a night or two of camping, Murrell Park, Hickory Creek, and Cedar Hill SP.  All but Cedar Hill are closed for flooding and Cedar Hill is partially closed.  As you are probably aware, Murrell contains one of the trailheads for Northshore, and Cedar Hill SP contains one and is in the vicinity of three of the usually fast-drying trails.  We may be fuct for a while.

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Posted (edited)

We've been on the dry side for this time of year, but we're looking at 4 days of rain ending Saturday.  Will be too sloppy to ride on Sunday, but the freeze/thaw cycle will be over and I should be able to get out some next week, which looks spectacular.

Edited by Al_4_ISU

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Because we're kind of bored, I was looking at some local places to do a night or two of camping, Murrell Park, Hickory Creek, and Cedar Hill SP.  All but Cedar Hill are closed for flooding and Cedar Hill is partially closed.  As you are probably aware, Murrell contains one of the trailheads for Northshore, and Cedar Hill SP contains one and is in the vicinity of three of the usually fast-drying trails.  We may be fuct for a while.

I heard ACoE closed the parks at Grapevine so I would check first. For camping/riding I would consider Tyler State Park. Trails are open and not too terribly far.


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1 hour ago, Al_4_ISU said:

We've been on the dry side for this time of year, but we're looking at 4 days of rain ending Saturday.  Will be too sloppy to ride on Sunday, but the freeze/thaw cycle will be over and I should be able to get out some next week, which looks spectacular.

  Big nasty is blowing in here, too. Managed to sneak in a ride yesterday and today, but forecasts call for snow, rain, and overnight freezes for the next few days ... guess it's time for a annual overhaul on the squishy.

1 hour ago, TwiceHorn said:

Looks kinda like we're gonna go from 50-60s straight to 80s and up this year.  Furk.

Yuck. Many of our springs are like that. Repped for sympathy.

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91 today but look at the humidity...it isn't often we're in the teens, so I don't mind.

20200324_174919.jpg

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Fuck that.
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Everyone thinks their weather is bizarre, unpredictable, and shitty, but we really take the damn cake.

Then again, most of the general Plains area gets the same kind of violent extremes

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2 hours ago, Ths71 said:


I heard ACoE closed the parks at Grapevine so I would check first. For camping/riding I would consider Tyler State Park. Trails are open and not too terribly far.


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Yeah, pretty much all the CoE lake areas are closed.  All the primitive and lakeshore sites at Cedar Hill.

We considered Tyler, but dorba.org says the trail is closed, although TPW parks are mostly open.

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Yeah, pretty much all the CoE lake areas are closed.  All the primitive and lakeshore sites at Cedar Hill.
We considered Tyler, but dorba.org says the trail is closed, although TPW parks are mostly open.

Tomorrow TSP will be open again! Don't forget to print your pass before you get there. It'll save you time and contact ;-)

Our multi-use trails are re-opening for mountain bikes tomorrow, March 25th. They need another day of sun and wind to prevent damage from use. The next several days look awesome for some trails riding.
(From TSP Facebook page)


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15 minutes ago, Ths71 said:


Tomorrow TSP will be open again! Don't forget to print your pass before you get there. It'll save you time and contact 😉

Our multi-use trails are re-opening for mountain bikes tomorrow, March 25th. They need another day of sun and wind to prevent damage from use. The next several days look awesome for some trails riding.
(From TSP Facebook page)


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Ahhh, thanks.  I eschew the facing book.  I miss out on some of this stuff.

Also noticed at Purtis Creek SP, they have a "hike and bike trail" called Wolfpen, I believe.  Never heard it mentioned, but looks like it has a little elevation.

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More questions for the GoPro Gang @wd40, @KuЯdt, @Your Mom:

Under what resolution and framerate to you generally record?

(Noticed the "Silver" Heros typically support 60 fps @ 1080p but only 30 fps @ 4K. Thirty fps seems like it would be choppy, especially in an action video, but 4K seems like overkill, anyway.)

How many spare batteries would you recommend?

Do you use the clear protective case or does it cause too much rattle?

Are GoPro chest mounts the only way to go (i.e., off-brand versions aren't worth the savings)?

Any other tips you have, lay them on me.

 

I might actually follow through on this, so your time and expertise is appreciated.

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30fps (actually 29 and change) is the frame rate for US tv broadcast, so I use that.  seems ok, to me.

the only time I've ever had to go to the spare battery is when I was on a week-long raft trip in the Grand Canyon.  but I sort of micro-manage my power.  I have it set to auto-shutdown after a minute of nothing.  I don't like having long clips because it's harder to find the good stuff, later.  a 4-hour day would kill it, though.  a sunday for me these days is 2, maybe 3 hours.

as soon as I get home, I download then scan through the clips and update the file names with a meaningful 'suffix' (I keep the gopro numbered filename to help preserve the sequence, and tack a blurb onto that like "jump 30sec").  once that's done while fresh in my mind, I can come back to it later and it's not as time consuming.  

a lot of that probably has to do with how my editor (Video Pad) works.  btw, I'm not gonna say VP is great, but I've been using it for years after a req on mtbr, so it's what I'm comfortable with.  last couple three videos took me no more than a couple hours to piece together. VP was cheap, and it does what I want it to do.  plus, they don't force-update it every five fucking minutes like seemingly every other piece of software I use, changing the interface and making me have to relearn it.

all that being said, Mom and KuRdt seem to have managed just fine with what they're using.  hell.  some kid at work put together a video all on his phone.  the music was awful, not much of a narrative, but it was very watchable.  dude's an excellent rider.

I think the chesty is the best pov.  I tried a chinmount on my fullface, and it put the camera too far forward, taking the handlebars out of the frame which I think is important for understanding what's going on with the bike.  bird flight videos are boring to me. 

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I record at 2.7k and 30 fps.  4k is just too much, and I found that after rendering and youtube upload that the 1080 res videos just didn't look good enough.  I've had more luck getting better looking videos using 2.7k.   That could totally be my fault, and others might get the same result using 1080.

Agree with wd that the chest mount is the way to go and I've only used GroPro branded.  I don't have any extra batteries.  It was never really a problem with the 3 I had, but I think the 7 drains the battery quicker as it has died on me more than the 3 did.  Also the 7 has the case "built-in", so no need for the protective case which I did use with the 3.  There was some audible "rattle" with it.

I'm going to look into VideoPad as an option for editing software.  I was leaning toward purchasing Vegas Movie Studio but I'll kick the tires on VP first.

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Fanfuckingtastic.  An entire work week of sun/no-rain and not one trail opened.  20% chance tonight and tomorrow then sunny until Monday.

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Woke up to a fairly heavy rain this morning, though it seems it will be sunny later.

Also, everything is covered in pollen, which deterred me from street rides later in the week.

Would have been really nice to get in some long rides during this downtime, like the mythical 20mi/2+ hours on the bike.  Not gonna happen, though.

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5 hours ago, Braff Zacklin said:

Not sure why you consider two-hour rides to be mythical, but condolences on the poor weather/bad luck. Hope things dry out soon.

Well, as mentioned above, hard to pull off around here without going in circles, literally.  Sufficient boredom, like this coronavirus stuff, and lack of other obligations, mean I can go in circles all day.  But this pollen stuff is saying maybe hold off to avoid getting sick and worrying everybody, and myself.

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Until the past couple of days, I've had to do loops or up-and-backs in order to get anything more than 10-11 miles. It's definitely not as fun or fresh as one long circuit, but my weight and legs aren't ready for the steep stuff yet, anyway.

My allergies in Idaho are nothing like they were in Texas. What's getting to you in the Metroplex this time of year?

Hang in there.

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The air.  The stuff in the air.  All of it.  Oak, ragweed, cedar, mold, dandelion, cottonwood, pine, grasses, fungus, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen.

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Bit the bullet yesterday and purchased a new GoPro Hero 7 Black and some related accessories. More than I had planned to spend, but the rationalization is it will also come in handy for fishing.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess.

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Posted (edited)

sweet!  if you're gonna be a bear, be a fucking Grizzly.

little lung lacquer ride today, mostly to test 2.7k resolution (spoiler:  no better on my ipad, than 1080p), but also because this place is getting smaller, and I gotta ride it while I can.  

I never used to have allergies, but they've really started coming on in the last few years, or so.  a wheezin geezer, right about now.

 

Edited by wd40

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Well, I got tired just watching that. Super tight and chunky.

Do you prefer your slow and hyper-techy bandit trails or fast, flowy stuff like what you ride at lift-/shuttle-serviced destinations?

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4 hours ago, Braff Zacklin said:

Bit the bullet yesterday and purchased a new GoPro Hero 7 Black and some related accessories. More than I had planned to spend, but the rationalization is it will also come in handy for fishing.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess.

Nice, dude. I look forward seeing some footage from your neck of the woods.

 

37 minutes ago, wd40 said:

I never used to have allergies, but they've really started coming on in the last few years, or so.  a wheezin geezer, right about now

Oak has always been the worst for me.  On days like today when I knew I was riding and would be outside for hours, I start the day with Flonase and Zyrtec.  Keeps it mostly in check and allows me to enjoy the outdoors.  Those damn Live Oaks man, spooging yellow all over everything.  Also with the dropping of the leaves, it sometimes makes it hard to see where the trail is going and causes corners more of an adventure than normal.

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We get super leafy trails up here with all the Red/Shumard Oaks and other deciduous hardwoods.  But only in the fall, really.  Not only can you not see the trail, but corners are slickern owl shit.  And I don't think there are any carving skillz that can overcome that, you just gotta slow down.

 

So, wd, on some of your rockhopping there, the nose of your saddle was visible. Are you out of and behind the saddle on some of that?  Or is it more standing pedaling with the seat dropped?  I guess you gotta move back to get your wheel up over some of that.

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honestly, Braf, I dig both.  they each make you appreciate the other.   if there's a pref, it's whatever I'm in the mood for, that day.   today's ride is one I've been wanting to do for a while, but with all the off-camber roots and rocks, it's just too much to try to ride in the wet.  finally got a dry Sunday.

KuRdt, the oak is the worst.  cedar doesn't hit me hardly at all.  up until this week, a dose of Flonase in the morning is all I've needed since the buds started up.  I forgot even that on Wednesday, and did a quick lunch ride at St Eds.  came home covered with little yellow oak pollen meteor traces.  an hour after I got home, I felt like I had the flu.  body aches, fatigue, etc.  shit didn't respond to Flonase and Allegra for two days (Zyrtec makes me jumpy).  ran out of Flonase, yesterday, so not quite armored up for today's onslaught.

2x, if you're seeing the saddle at all, I'm descending.  on climbs and pedalling moves, the handlebar will disappear off the bottom of the screen, except when lunging it forward.   I never drop the saddle on climbs.  I find it a huge disadvantage in those instances where I fail to extend it back after a drop and I've got to do some technical ups.

but it does bring up an interesting thing about these slower, techy videos.  unless you've ridden them, you really can't tell what's going on.  I suppose if there's an extra point in favor of the big flowy Enduro stuff is that the videos are easier to interpret for strangers.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, wd40 said:

honestly, Braf, I dig both.  they each make you appreciate the other.   if there's a pref, it's whatever I'm in the mood for, that day.   today's ride is one I've been wanting to do for a while, but with all the off-camber roots and rocks, it's just too much to try to ride in the wet.  finally got a dry Sunday.

KuRdt, the oak is the worst.  cedar doesn't hit me hardly at all.  up until this week, a dose of Flonase in the morning is all I've needed since the buds started up.  I forgot even that on Wednesday, and did a quick lunch ride at St Eds.  came home covered with little yellow oak pollen meteor traces.  an hour after I got home, I felt like I had the flu.  body aches, fatigue, etc.  shit didn't respond to Flonase and Allegra for two days (Zyrtec makes me jumpy).  ran out of Flonase, yesterday, so not quite armored up for today's onslaught.

2x, if you're seeing the saddle at all, I'm descending.  on climbs and pedalling moves, the handlebar will disappear off the bottom of the screen, except when lunging it forward.   I never drop the saddle on climbs.  I find it a huge disadvantage in those instances where I fail to extend it back after a drop and I've got to do some technical ups.

but it does bring up an interesting thing about these slower, techy videos.  unless you've ridden them, you really can't tell what's going on.  I suppose if there's an extra point in favor of the big flowy Enduro stuff is that the videos are easier to interpret for strangers.

Thanks, yeah, I wondered about the total perspective vortex that seems to be MTB videos.  

And yep, re-watching, looks like a quick drop/descent with some uphill right in front.  

Edited by TwiceHorn

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1 hour ago, wd40 said:

honestly, Braf, I dig both.  they each make you appreciate the other.

Great point. Like the Shag/Surly cliche, "Once you've seen one pair of breasts, you want to see them all," I feel the same way about trails. The vids and stories you guys share make me want to experience what you're riding. At the same time, I love being able to roll, and if I were always grinding up and down techy stuff, I fear it would become overkill.

No question I'd be a better rider for it, though. ;)

1 hour ago, wd40 said:

but it does bring up an interesting thing about these slower, techy videos.  unless you've ridden them, you really can't tell what's going on.  I suppose if there's an extra point in favor of the big flowy Enduro stuff is that the videos are easier to interpret for strangers.

I've never ridden or even seen that trail, but I can tell how much work you're doing, hence the joke about getting tired just watching.

You're constantly having to burst, either to get up and over traps or to descend rideoffs or to accelerate after a 180-degree turn. And those sharp transitions (such as a steep drop into a bottom V followed by a steep up) can be fun but are super challenging. Just work work work work.

That's why I asked what your preference was.  Some days (OK, most days), I just wanna cruise.

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Well, as long as it isn't raining and things aren't all yellow with pollen, I'm forcing road rides.  As boring as it is, it's better than sitting around, and there's less traffic.

But to keep their duration short and try to maximize effect, I'm sprinting and doing a half-mile, minimum, of uphill intervals.

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Also windy af.  NWS says 18mph with gusts to 30.

Riding out in the open, I got hit with a gust that actually pushed my bike a little bit.  Don't think I have ever experienced that.

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I got out for an hour or so yesterday.  Just the basic south Austin trails.  The best part was seeing some teenagers that had built a nice little dirt kicker gap jump.  It's down behind Walgreens where there was already a nice hump that was fun to jump.  The hump is still there but they added onto half of it to give the option of a bigger jump.  I chickened out on it but I'll hit it one of these days.  

More rain today.  

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I got out for an hour or so yesterday.  Just the basic south Austin trails.  The best part was seeing some teenagers that had built a nice little dirt kicker gap jump.  It's down behind Walgreens where there was already a nice hump that was fun to jump.  The hump is still there but they added onto half of it to give the option of a bigger jump.  I chickened out on it but I'll hit it one of these days.  
More rain today.  
Heh I saw this yesterday too. There were some dudes sessioning it when I rolled up, so I hit the normal version of it. Been seeing more features popping up down there. There's a little lip built on the trail that runs north of the creek between escarpment and MoPac, and I hit it by accident the first time through.

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I'll have to look for that.  I stayed on the south side in that section.  There's also a new drop at the spillway at escarpment.  South side.  Next to where the trail goes up from the concrete, theres a steeper drop off to the side now.  Maybe it was always there but yesterday was the first time I saw it and hit it.  

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you're a better man than I am if you clean that gap, Mom.

did a fun 2hr rain ride, this afternoon.  some slick roots, but kept the rubber side down, mostly.  we skipped the big downhill line, mostly because we didn't want to climb all the way up there after all the other climbs we did, but did hit what I call STARFlight and some other fun drops.  probly 20 years ago, I had my first real face plant on that section.  loosened a couple teeth.  but atleast no one had to call in the chopper.  someone else earned it that nickname, years later.

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On 3/29/2020 at 8:56 PM, Braff Zacklin said:

Some days (OK, most days), I just wanna cruise.

well, I'm definitely looking forward to some film of long, big sky, downhill cruises with all that rushing wind.

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I'll have to look for that.  I stayed on the south side in that section.  There's also a new drop at the spillway at escarpment.  South side.  Next to where the trail goes up from the concrete, theres a steeper drop off to the side now.  Maybe it was always there but yesterday was the first time I saw it and hit it.  
Do you mean the steeper drop down to the spillway, or the big drop right up the hill from it? I only noticed that big drop up the hill like a month ago. Looks perfectly doable, but I haven't worked up the nerve to hit it yet.
Thought about trying it the other day, but then decided in case I fuck it up I don't want to be taking up precious hospital space during covid-19. At least that's what I told myself.

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Yesterday was stunningly beautiful, so I found time to sneak in a ride.  Wasn't my best ride ever, as most of the trails had a couple of real soft spots you had to get off and walk around (less you rut the shit out of them) so you didn't build up as much of a flow to the ride as you like.

Found some dry stuff eventually, and got into my flow.  Nailed this section of 3 tree gates in about 100 feet (I took this picture last August) as you climb up a decent slope with some good sized roots. 

04cabba318c4ba93b2c812bd38e87c42.jpg

I was stoked about it, and celebrated by promptly spinning out on the next rooty climb beyond that.  Oh well.  Take the little victories where you get them.  Dropper post is really helping navigating the tougher, tighter downhill stretches.

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5 hours ago, KuЯdt said:

Do you mean the steeper drop down to the spillway, or the big drop right up the hill from it? I only noticed that big drop up the hill like a month ago. Looks perfectly doable, but I haven't worked up the nerve to hit it yet.
Thought about trying it the other day, but then decided in case I fuck it up I don't want to be taking up precious hospital space during covid-19. At least that's what I told myself.

The steeper drop down to the spillway.  There's the main drop down right at the corner and the steeper drop just a few feet west of it.  I'd never noticed the steeper drop until that ride.  When I go up that section from the spillway I always pop up it and then stay left and parallel the creek for a little ways until it meanders right and then up the hill.  I've never gone up right up the hill above the spillway, always just assumed that led to the road.  

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On 3/30/2020 at 5:08 PM, Your Mom said:

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Always difficult to tell from pictures, but I don't like the lip on the landing side of that gapper (assuming it's the one farther from the camera). Price for failure seems high (cuz I'm always on the case).

So with that in mind, I'd follow @KuЯdt and make a beeline for the B-line and use the kicker on the left for a nice, safe, flat landing.

There are a couple of gappers near the bottom of one of my regular routes, and I've only just started hitting them. There's another trail with some tabletops and those are far less daunting as the penalty for being a pussy is less severe.

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21 hours ago, wd40 said:

well, I'm definitely looking forward to some film of long, big sky, downhill cruises with all that rushing wind.

Nah, dude. All my vids are gonna be slow, grindy, 5-mph climbs set to operatic solos--and not the good ones that everyone knows and likes.

11 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

I was stoked about it, and celebrated by promptly spinning out on the next rooty climb beyond that.

This is how it works. Probably some distant cousin to Murphy's Law.

I hit a modest jump just right last week, started giggling (I giggle like a kid on a swing anytime I get air) ... and promptly ate dirt for failing to track my front wheel through a turn and letting it drift over the lip.

11 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

Dropper post is really helping navigating the tougher, tighter downhill stretches.

Glad you are liking the dropper. The three biggest advances in mountain biking the past 20 years, imho, are disc brakes, tubeless tires, and dropper posts. Won't leave home without 'em.

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17 hours ago, Braff Zacklin said:

Always difficult to tell from pictures, but I don't like the lip on the landing side of that gapper (assuming it's the one farther from the camera). Price for failure seems high (cuz I'm always on the case).

So with that in mind, I'd follow @KuЯdt and make a beeline for the B-line and use the kicker on the left for a nice, safe, flat landing.

There are a couple of gappers near the bottom of one of my regular routes, and I've only just started hitting them. There's another trail with some tabletops and those are far less daunting as the penalty for being a pussy is less severe.

I didn't stop to get a good look at it, but I can't really tell which way you're supposed to approach it.  I always come at it from the far side as seen in the pic, because you're kind of coming downhill toward it with some momentum.  Not really the case coming the other direction.  Also that lip you mention actually is pretty ramped up, so it may be the intention to hit that and you have the larger landing surface in the foreground.

I went by it again yesterday and the kids were out there building more jumps near it.  Bigger ones too, kinda BMX-style.  I worry they are doing too much and the city will raze all of it because it is very close to, and visible from, the VCT.

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