cycling, travel

1st BIKEPACKING trip on my new Checkpoint

In 2020 I enjoyed 14 multi-day trips on my Ghost. The 15th in November … I didn’t enjoy quite so much.

In 2021 this is only my 2nd multi-day cycling adventure. About 90km return. Overnight camping on Horne Lake. 22 hours total.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube. A peaceful, windless September night.

My first overnight TEST of the Checkpoint ALR 4  with full load. Mixed trail, highway and gravel.

Checkpoint passed with flying colours.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

cycling, hiking, travel

My NEW Touring Bicycle

Due to the pandemic, it’s very difficult to TEST RIDE bikes. Shops simply don’t have much inventory.

I knew that the Trek Checkpoint line were often included in lists of top Gravel Bikes for All Terrain.

I was looking for something more rugged and with more carrying capacity than my otherwise excellent Ghost.

I ended up with the Checkpoint ALR 4 … mainly because I lucked into finding one in stock at West Point Cycles in Vancouver. Still — it took over 4 months to get the accessories I wanted.

This bike is Aluminum, not steel, so it’s relatively light at 10.26 kg / 22.62 lbs. Carbon fork.

It’s got a ton of attachments. I special ordered the deluxe BONTRAGER racks front and back. I’ll load up with 4 full size panniers for longer trips.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I bought an inexpensive (CAD $43) 25 litre rear top pannier bag for those trips I want even MORE capacity.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I upgraded the tires to BONTAGER HARD-CASE editions. That should mean fewer flats.

I’ve put an AirTag on it so can locate the bike with the FindMy app.

Internal cables are tidier.

I now have the option to use drop bar grips — but I normally prefer flat bars. Happily, I can switch between several handlebar positions on this rig.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I put a quad lock for my phone central on the Blendr Stem.

As for pedals …

Once in a while I’ll take off the saddlebags and use it like a mountain bike.

Click PLAY or see it action on YouTube.


What is the Rule of 430?

… a formula that demonstrates replacing about 430 driving miles with 430 riding miles can offset the carbon cost of your new bike. Anything above 430 miles, and your bike is now carbon-negative.

Future BIG bikepacking trips I’m considering include:

cycling, food, friends, hiking, travel

visiting Newport, Oregon

I happily joined in the Adlard family and friends vacation to Newport, Oregon following our climb of Mt Adams, Washington.

Newport only has a population of 11,000 yet is a big tourist destination. Great beaches.

Here’s the vista from their rented beach house deck.

We enjoyed cycling the HUGE beach. (VIDEO)

It’s WINDY so Kites and Kite Surfing are popular.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

That’s close to Devils Punchbowl State Natural Area. A fun stop.

Oregon Coast Aquarium is well worth a visit too.

We had 3 terrific dinners at seafood restaurants on Newport’s Historic Bayfront. Research for Chef Dave Adlard.

Local Ocean was great. Clearwater Restaurant, as well.

“Dead Guy” burger at Rogue

Tom enjoyed our stop at the Rogue Nation Brewery & Spirits factory. We did well, as well, at a boutique wine tasting shop.

Dave cycles every day. So our group cycled every day.

The iconic image of Newport is the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Art Deco and Art Moderne design motifs as well as forms borrowed from Gothic architecture.

When you have destinations like Newport, who needs Hawaii? 😀

friends, travel

visiting Sage and Cole

Sister and brother Sage and Cole hosted me in Olympia WA while I organized my Covid test within the 72 hour limit required for my international flight home to Canada.

THANKS.

Did you own a huge house, big lot and a 3-car garage when YOU were Cole’s age?

They schooled me on Anime. Demon Slayer.

One night we watched the first few episodes of Only Murders in the Building.

We went out to lunch, one day, for a HUGE meat pie.

I travelled Portland to Olympia via Flixbus, an excellent service. They carry bicycles under the bus. Recommended.

human rights, travel

I like Portland

En route to specific events, I stayed in Portland in 2019 and 2021.

A good vibe.

It’s a smaller, pedestrian friendly city with good public transit and bicycle thoroughfares.

A mild climate. Great city parks.

Though very White, the majority of citizens are liberal and progressive, supporting human rights.

Most days I browsed Powell’s Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

In 2021 I stayed at the excellent Lolo Pass hostel. Private rooms $162. Dorm beds $43.

In rural Oregon there is no shortage of right wing extremists including Proud (Incel) Boys. The world saw violence and looting on Portland streets during the George Floyd protests. Too bad.

Ongoing — the biggest problem is homelessness. It is awful.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

cycling, ethics, food, McCharles family, travel

Murdering Salmon & Halibut

I really like Salmon. Try to avoid thinking about how they are killed for my pleasure. 😐

But my Dad and brother have always been keen fishermen. I’ve joined them on charters a few times in Canada and Mexico.

Many times found reasons to avoid those trips in the past. I really fear sea sickness. 🤮

Since my Dad sold his boat, they’ve done two charters a year, most recently out of Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island.

As Pacific salmon numbers decline, it’s gotten increasingly more difficult.

June 2021 they decided to try a new guide in a new area. An interesting and entertaining character.

Captain PETE with my Uncle

We stayed in Port McNeill for 2 nights as Pete lives there. He made the final decision whether to fish out of Port Hardy or Port Alice.

Fishing had been better out of Hardy, so that was the final decision.

It was about a 3.5 hour drive from Parksville to McNeill. Another half hour to Hardy.

We headed north at 6am on the hottest day in thousands of years (at least).

I’ve been to the north of Vancouver Island a few times — but feel I don’t really know the remote, unique area. I’m planning for a couple of weeks bicycle touring. Some day.

It was an hour at full throttle to get to the open fishing area. Seas at the north tip of the island are dangerous. Weather often horrific.

Our day was dead calm, compared to normal.

My family likes to fish for salmon first. Switch to halibut next. We had our limit of 8 Chinook (Spring) salmon (2 / licence) by about 12:30pm.

I even caught fish. It was fun.

4 year old salmon

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

Pete took us further out about 5 miles to a spot he calls his butthole. It’s a shallow, sandy bottom area.

We ended up catching 4 halibut. They were bigger and much more of a challenge to murder than salmon. The largest halibut required Pete to use his harpoon.

Cost for 4 was about $1600 including 2 nights hotel, charter, fuel.

We brought home well over $1600 worth of fish.

I’d go again. Did not get sea sick.

On return to town we found all restaurants closed. Power failure.

Happily our motel had a huge, noisy generator.

related – Canada has budgeted $647M over 5 years to try to save declining Pacific salmon.

cycling, hiking, travel, video

My video/photo editing workflow

Updated September 2021.

A #CovidGoal was to improve my video editing.

A secondary goal, to improve photos and start sharing them more. I started an Instagram account for my hiking pics – BestHikeVisuals.

Mostly I’ve been disappointed with the many limitations of Instagram. Not yet a fan.

After posting my French Creek tribute, I declared I was GOOD ENOUGH at video editing for my purposes. Approaching “Concious Competent“. I could sit down at a table with a professional video editor and understand 75% of what they were talking about. 😀

NEXT STAGE = STORY

Story. Story. Story.

Every edit should contribute to the STORY.

I threw this one together quickly as a teaser for upcoming West Coast Trail videos. But in some weird way, it’s evocative of that wild and challenging hike.

I’m particularly happy with the audio.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Mostly my videos are for outdoor recreation, but I also hope to get back indoor soon shooting Gymnastics.

Here are the BASICS for upcoming shoots:

  1. I’m usually shooting solo
  2. 3 cameras (Sony ZV-1, GoPro 7 and iPhone X with DJI OM 4 gimbal)
  3. ZV-1 is primary A roll footage.   It has by far the best audio. 
  4. Ignoring all advice, I mostly shoot Intelligent Auto Mode.  In fact, I shoot Intelligent Auto Photo Mode almost all the time — as it also allows Intelligent Auto video. 
  5. ZV-1 mode #2 = 1080p / 60fps (60 is better math when slowing for 30fps output)
  6. ZV-1 mode #1 = 4K / 30fps for zoom and cropping  (I’ve switched from 24fps to 30fps for EXPORT as it’s a little clearer, though less cinematic.)
  7. ZV-1 mode #2 = PHOTOS 4:3 RAW and JPEG both
    1. Apple’s free Photos app is not great, but I’m still using it for organization.  I’ve switched to Pixelmator Pro for editing the best of the best photos for Instagram.  
  8. I quit trying Sony S-Log2, S-Log3, and other HLG profiles used by the cool kids as it was way too much hassle for dubious gains in quality.  I often shoot photos in RAW and JPG both as colour correcting RAW pictures is much easier.  
  9. iPhone on the gimbal for B roll: slow-mo, time lapse, special effects, etc. (mostly 4K 60fps)
  10. I’ve started experimenting with the Moment – Pro Camera App on the phone.  
  11. GoPro is for B roll: action, water, mimic drone, etc. (mostly 2.7K 60fps as 2.7 is the highest it can go with Superview (16:9 aspect ratio) enabled.  I’d only switch to 4K if on a tripod.)
    1. 16:9 ratio
    2. low light set on auto
    3. ISO min 100, max 400 (400 might be low)
    4. Protune off
    5. Head mount, chest mount, handlebar mount, selfie stick, or tripod, depending on the situation. 
  12. Editing with Final Cup Pro X on a MacBook Pro 2020 with the new silicon chip. 
  13. Export in 1080p
    1. master file using ProRes 422
    2. export ‘Computer’
    3. export H.264 Faster Encode
  14. Shoot 120 fps only for smoke, fire, fast moving sports, etc. 
  15. As little hand held video as possible.  Use tripods.  Handheld would only be used to show ACTION.  Close-up motion.  I don’t shoot much of that. 
  16. Shorter the better for my videos. 
  17. No ads