Last week a new Eddy Merckx route was presented; a 30 km and a 70 km route around Meensel-Kiezegem, place of birth of Merckx. It’s a very nice region to bike and I need the altimeters; so, early Saturday morning I made the 45 minute car ride to the car pool parking in Tielt-Winge (exit 23 on the E314) and started from there.
Again a week with lots of rain. Carefully watching the forecasts: Tuesday evening it was supposed to stay dry; so I took the opportunity to make a short ride around Antwerp. Low sun at one side and black skies in the other direction. Beautiful!
Most of the time I start a ride from home, certainly on a week day. Its not always easy to find inspiration for a nice track which is also different enough from the previous ones. RouteYou, Fietsnet are certainly good sources; and sometimes recuperating a ride of a few months or years ago also helps, in this case a ride from August 2014: list of all my (Strava) rides via Veloviewer & download the GPX file from Strava.
Very nice ride after some days of rain and thunderstorms!
The weather is very unstable these days in Belgium: especially in the afternoon and the evening lots of thunderstorms. Therefore, today I left early (around 8:23 in the morning, outch!) for a ride of about 100 km: first 20 km to Nijlen, and than participate in the (very small) sportive organised by Wielerclub Geelse Wielertoeristen (65 km) and back home afterwards. Misty and fairly cold in the morning, (too) hot from 11 a.m. on …
Just after Geel when following the canal Bocholt-Herentals, I lost track, i.e. no more “Geelse” arrows on the track. No problem, the canal followed by the Albertkanaal is a very nice cycling track direction Antwerp. And when you can follow some other cyclists – and as was the case today – even a large group at 40 km/h, that surely adds some more fun ; and resulted in 13 PRs on Strava 😉
I like cycling on small roads in green areas, but certainly also in industrial areas, especially the harbour of Antwerp. Having to wait before a bridge – as was the matter today – for 10 minutes because some river traffic had to pass, is not really a punishment.
The route via the “Noorderlaan” to Stabroek and Ekeren is the “short version”, about 55 kilometers. Weather was better than the previous days: luckily no rain or only small drizzle, but still cold and cloudy.
The month of May was a busy month with as main goal the London Revolution (300 km in two days) exactly in the middle of the month. Preparing for that event and some nice long rides afterwards resulted in a total of 910 km, the second most I “ever” did, only preceded by previous month. Certainly not a topper in altimeters though.
Trying to “escape” to cycle only in my own neighborhood, also means to take the chance to combine business trips, city trips, all trips with cycling at those locations. In this case my wife attended the TNW conference in Amsterdam. I came over one day later, cycled on Friday and we had a very nice prolonged stay until Saturday evening.
Always a pleasure to cycle in The Netherlands, a real cycling country with very good infrastructure. My route (found via RouteYou) was also very varied: part in the city, in the polder, at the coast, in the dunes, through little villages; and almost always crossing or bordering water (and beside the Amstel during the last part).
The days are getting longer. The goal during this and next months is to perform one or two weekday ride per week. Today only time for a ride of about two hours. Luckily only about 2 hours, because I underestimated the cold Northern wind a bit: cold legs, cold ears 😉
The route went via small roads South of Antwerp and via the banks of the small river Nete. Ideal also to do some more GoPro tests (see also previous posts). I installed the GoPro with a helmet strap; installation was very easy and the camera was stable attached to the helmet.
I used the camera in two ways: video and time burst (1 photo per second).
Other urgent activities this Saturday (one of them: visiting a BMW car dealer ;-)) and very bad weather on Sunday, make that only a little ride around Antwerp was possible this weekend. A little tour around Antwerp: ideal also to shoot some GoPro “city marketing” pictures of Antwerp and surroundings.
On the menu: A bit river (Schelde) side, a bit harbor and via the North of Antwerpen (Ekeren) back home; part of the route via parks and cyclist only roads (i.e. the “Ringfietspad”).
My new GoPro stayed in the same position (see previous ride). And instead of using the timelapse mode, I took individual photos.
Some first conclusions/drawbacks:
- having the GoPro installed on the handlebar of course makes that only pictures right ahead can be made
- the two default settings of the GoPro Session are: Video & Timelapse; switching to Photo mode is fairly simple, but has to be done every time the camera shuts down to save battery.
- images are taken in “super wide” mode; ideal for landscapes, less when taking pictures with objects close to the lens (and large deformations).
The best images can be found below: 12 images of about 50 were retained and edited with Google Photo (crop and/or “auto” image amelioration). Challenge for the reader: Find the one image taken with my smartphone.
A next time I’ll try the following : GoPro strapped on the helmet, wide instead of super wide and make small timelapse image sets (e.g. with a 1 second interval) instead of using the single photo mode.
But the market research had been done and the decision fell on the GoPro Hero 4 Session. Smaller than the normal GoPro and less advanced and thus also less expensive (half the price; 220 EUR); bought it on Tuesday at Coolblue and got it delivered yesterday; and ready for a test on my evening ride today.
I used the timelapse mode with a 10 seconds interval; for a ride of 2 hours 15 minutes this resulted in 812 photos. A small selection (unedited photos) can be found in the slideshow below. All in all nice results 🙂
Creating the timelapse playback (with GoPro Studio) I choose to reduce it to 25% of the normal speed.