My First Time: Exploring Tokul East w/ GoPro HD

[Saturday 3/6 riding out at Tokul in Fall City, Washington. Shot with a GoPro HD at 720p, 60fps. First time using the GoPro and the chest mount (obvious from the downward angle).]

First time out with the GoPro HD and I have to say I’m impressed. The christening of the GoPro took place at Tokul East in Fall City, Washington. It is a great spot for winter riding and has a pretty good selection of trails to choose from… it’s basically the only place I go during the winter.

In setting up the GoPro for the first ride I made a couple decisions on settings and mounts that seemed to work out pretty well. First of all I chose to ride in the 720p, 60fps setting (r3) as I definitely wanted 60fps with the forest setting and the speed at which I try to ride at (don’t want the sides of the video to be choppy in 30fps).

[Saturday 3/6 riding out at Tokul in Fall City, Washington. Shot with a GoPro HD at 720p, 60fps. First time using the GoPro and the chest mount (obvious from the downward angle). ]

After watching my own fair share of helmet cam footage I decided to try out my friends chest mount for the ride as I really like being able to see the bike in the shot. I had it about 90-95% of the way through its arc towards being fully pointed up (pretty much parallel to my body), and I think I will definitely put it up 100% of the way as I think the angle was a bit low at times (especially when things got steep). The chest mount is also great for training purposes as you are able to see your body position, timing of your braking, and how well you are moving the bike in general. The chest mount is SO easy to use and you don’t even notice it when it is on. Next time out I am going to try a side mount helmet angle to see how I like it and get more perspective, although I think the chest mount is going to be the favorite position for more aggressive riding.

On this trip I went up with one of my friends, Ty, who you see in my favorite moment of the video, being the flowpark fail. The weather was great, as it has been for much of this surprisingly dry PNW winter, and Tokul was in prime shape. I have significantly more footage than is shown in this video as there are a decent number of trails to explore at Tokul but I picked the highlights in order to import the video in the highest quality. I have literally zero video editing experience and just used Microsoft Movie Maker and music I could find in my iTunes. If you live in the Seattle area and haven’t been up to Tokul East I highly recommend it.

For the record my crash at the end looks much worse than it actually was, as I really had a glancing impact with the tree and my bike took more of the impact. You can actually hear me laughing the whole time because I thinking about how stupid I was going to look on video.

In terms of my future plans for the GoPro, I’m road-tripping to Moab in 9 days so I should have some more footage in the coming weeks. I also have a couple mounting ideas and will try to improve my editing skills (or lack thereof). I just wish there was a way to post the video in the same quality that it is on my computer (maybe I’m missing something, if so please fill me in). Hope this was helpful for some beginner GoPro helmet cam users and gave the rest some entertainment with my best George of the Jungle impression.

Jamie Finch

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