A 49-Minute Tandem Ride In 78 Seconds: My First GoPro Video…

Well, a couple “can you believe its” came about over the weekend; and here they are:

Can you believe it…

  1. Debbie’s almost over her bout with Sinusitis!
  2. Mark’s almost over his bout with something other than the flu!
  3. We had 5°F temps on Thursday, but it hit 68°F today!
  4. We had severe storms on Saturday morning, but a sunny afternoon!
  5. We had an absolutely lovely day today!
  6. We actually got out for a tandem bicycle ride yesterday afternoon!
  7. We also got out for a motorcycle ride on our Road King today!
  8. I actually used all of my new techno-gadgets and created my first video feature!
  9. As promised, I kept the video short and to the point!  Tandem Time is Awesome Time!

In other words, both Debbie and I were finally feeling well enough to get out and go for a tandem ride about the same time the weather decided to perk-up and give us a day that was just about ideal for a couple of folks who’ve had lungs full of crud for the past few weeks.  The other wild card was Debbie’s knee, but she threw caution to the wind and gave it a shot!  Her knee is still sore, inflamed and screwed-up, but the tandem cycling didn’t make it any worse; gotta get that fixed… and soon!  I asked the Dr. to write Debbie a prescription for a new car with an automatic transmission so we could write it off on our taxes as a medical expense.  Apparently you can get a scooter if you have mobility issues, just not a car to prevent you from having future mobility issues!  Ok, so much for my attempt at humor.

Anyway, with temps rising above 50°F my sweetie let me know she wanted to get out take a leisurely tandem ride: woohoo! This also gave me a chance to play with the two GoPro cameras and other acouterments  I picked up over the holidays.


One of the first things I wanted to look at with the camera was the back-end of our tandem’s frame to see if there was any detectable deflection under heavy pedaling loads.  While our efforts on Saturday certainly wouldn’t  yield any true test conditions that could have produced significant frame deflection — and noting I’m still waiting for one more camera mount that will give me the perspective I’m looking for — I was able to get one of the cameras attached to the top tube using a roll-bar mount and aimed correctly using the LCD backpack so it could capture a rear-facing view of the boom tube and rear triangle.  You can see the roll-bar mount just aft of the stainless steel coupling under my seat and can see the GoPro’s clear protective case peeking out from under the tandem’s top tube.  The photo at right provides you with the field of view I was interested in.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.11.24 PM Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 10.13.47 PM

I mounted a second GoPro on my helmet, which you can see in this somewhat unusual view from the 1st GoPro… which is technically mounted upside down: I’ve just flipped the photo 180°. What’s up is actually down….


Every time I pick up one of these cameras I learn a little bit more about them and I can easily see how they made a billionaire out of the guy who came up with the concept and the brilliant marketing behind the product.  No, I don’t think we’ll ever have any “epic” footage to share, but it’s kinda nice to be able to capture a lot of images without having to pull out a camera and take a photo.

But, to the video.  Again, let me preface this by nothing I’ve never used a true video camera or GoPro’s before, so this was truly my first attempt at videography.  I’ve probably taken a total of 20 videos using my digital cameras over the years, mostly to document how things related to our tandems or the motorcycles worked to supplement a blog entry.  In other words, noting longer than a minute or two and with minimal editing.  Speaking of editing, I also got to use my new-old-stock / refurbished MacBook Pro and the GoPro Cineform video editing software for the first time.  Thankfully, there are a few self-help videos out on the net that do a  great job of explaining how the video transfer to computer software and editing work; those were a HUGE help.  Beyond that, it was simply a matter of spending an hour or two watching football while pulling out a few (16) clips from the 3 hours of video that were captured by the two cameras, and then edit those down into “visual bites” that could be strung together into something that I found appealing and somewhat entertaining; hopefully y’all will too.

For any readers who don’t ride a tandem bicycle, perhaps this gave you a little taste of what it is we find enjoyable about riding two-up on a bicycle built for two.  For the folks who ride tandems, perhaps the rear-facing view and shadows added some interest.  Sadly, the YouTube quality of playback isn’t all that great… I’ll try to work on that.  Definitely a lot of compression going on there.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
This entry was posted in Bloggishnish, Technology & Equip., Whimsical Or Entertaining. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A 49-Minute Tandem Ride In 78 Seconds: My First GoPro Video…

  1. cbratina says:

    What amazed me was the incredibly wide Q Factor, even accounting for the wide angle lens. Our FSA carbon crankset had a 168 mm Q Factor. I changed to an EDCO Competition with Phil Woods BBs to get away from the unsealed BB bearings and reduced the Q Factor to 139 mm front and 152 mm rear. They are much prettier, only 25 grams heavier, and we are steadier when sprinting out of the saddle.

    • TG says:

      Actually, you under-estimated the fish-eye effect that a 2.5mm lens has on an object that’s only a couple feet away…

      The rear tread / Q-factor on the Calfee is 155mm. Those are daVinci cranks sitting on a 111mm Phil Wood Ti/Mag bottom bracket.

  2. Very Nice! Enjoyed that!

  3. Marv B says:

    Nice first film! Care to pass along the tips you found on transferring and editing? I’ve had my GoPro for a while and have accumulated quite a few videos, but just haven’t had the patience to spend the time “learning the ropes”.
    By the way, GoPro has a new iPhone app that does the remote control and includes a preview mode.

    • TG says:

      Thanks. There are definitely a few things I’d change now that I see how the video look on YouTube, but that was the whole purpose of the first video: just to “learn” and see if I could figure out how to get data pulled off the cameras and transformed into a video that was under a minute long with music, titles, fade-ins/outs and some other editing trials thrown in.

      “Kyle” has one of the better gigs going on GoPro Tips & Tricks. He’s detailed enough without getting into minutia to make sense for the average dolt like me.

      This is a link to his YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/kylemartn101/videos

      This is one of the two Videos gave me a quick jump start on editing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEBe6hVXXHA
      This was the other one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoFOB1uLX6g

      There are several others that he uploaded “about 4 months ago” where he offers additional tips that I haven’t looked at yet, but that are probably pretty helpful too.

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