I Purchased The Skydio 2 Drone!

Well, pre-purchased. It won’t ship until the 3rd quarter of this year. They just launched this amazing AI driven drone in October and are way behind on deliveries. So I have to be patient. This spring I’ll be shooting with a new chest camera setup. More on that later.

The advantage of this drone over others is that it uses artificial intelligence and computer vision better way better than others. This gives the viewers a cinematographic view of the rider instead of just following, unless the rider wants it to do that.

It was developed by a team that worked in AI and computer vision at MIT. That is a lot of product development horsepower.

Here are some favorite reviews of the new Skydio 2! Both are amazing!

New moab area mtb videos!

After not publishing for a couple of years as I shot videos with a gimbal and 4K I finally had a little time to publish 4 in January. Long dry spell but I was learning to be a software developer, my 11th career, and didn’t have the time and attention to publish.

I published the Klonzo Trails Highlights today and last week the Klondike Bluffs Highlights. More to come.

I really want the new Skydio 2 drone for shooting this spring and fall. However, I found that I would need a reservation to buy one and the next batch of deliveries is in the fall! It would be a great addition to my next videos series. So I’ll shoot a bunch this spring in the SouthWest and then ride some of the trails again in the fall with the drone. Hopefully it will arrive by then. The new series will launch next fall but I’ll continue with the highlights series.

Two more months to the Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival and the beginning of the 2020 high desert riding season! Also, this year I’ll start shooting our interesting side trips.

Navajo Rocks Trails Highlights

I’m starting a new series of Trails Highlights that are short and I present and explain just the more interesting features in trail systems. Check out my first one and let me know your thoughts.

This April I begin shooting for a new series of videos and we’ll ride along together so you can sit at home in front of a 4K TV and enjoy the experience! A big 4K TV will give you a much more immersive experience than a smart phone ūüôā These should be good videos for home gym workouts.

FINALLY, A NEW VIDEO CONCEPT

Here’s the story. Brian Kennedy (BKXC on YouTube) is a top star because he engages viewers with a more personal approach to MTB rides. I’ve always wanted my videos to be about the trails, not me.

I was going in the wrong direction. Years ago I was well known across the U.S. west. Then that went away as viewers want something different.

So the new concept is to ride the trails as before but I’ll do real time discussions with other riders I chat with along the way, at camps, and trailheads, and I chat with a lot of riders. It takes me forever to get anywhere! More fun though, and I’ll bring viewers along for my riding road trip experience for 3 months a year. I’ll also include cool restaurants and other interesting places we visit on MTB road trips, and there are many.

I’m pretty hyped about the new direction but after shooting most Moab trails in 4K in 2019 with the intention of scraping the audio due to gimbal motor noise I have to reshoot them all in 2020 with an external mic plus do interviews. Hey, great exercise excuse!

Ugh, Trips ended quickly

September Moab Trip – cut short…

I’m having a bit of bad travel luck lately. We had a great time for a couple of weeks riding Moab and Grand Junction but soon after my wife flew home from Moab I cracked a tooth somehow and the weather forecast was pretty bad. So I joined the mass traveler migration out of Moab as everyone wanted to get over the mountain passes to the east and west before the storm hit. That ended my videography shoot rather quickly and I didn’t get much done on the new 4K series.

I didn’t video our 4 day side trip from Moab to Telluride, Cortez (rode the Phil’s World trails), Durango, Silverton, Ouray, and Grand Junction but now wish I did. Not much MTB but a fun road trip through beautiful mountain fall scenes. I highly recommend it!!! We arrived in Telluride mid-week and their lifts weren’t open for biking those trails. In Junction we rode the fantastic Ribbon Trail but I don’t like the video with the cloud cover. The light was flat, so I’m not publishing it. I’ll get it in 2020 and MAYBE have the courage to drop into the Toilet Bowl. Really scary!

Death Valley Trip – failed…

For Christmas Eve and night we stayed at the wonderful Harris Ranch Inn and Restaurant on Interstate 5 in California’s southern Central Valley. We ate and drank too much as usual there. If you like beef it is the place to hang out for a while! There is nothing else to do in the area but enjoy the hot tubs, pool, rooms, and socialize with travelers in the fine dining restaurant bar. And eat a lot of beef meals.

The plan was to continue on to Death Valley National Park and ride some interesting four wheel drive roads with our bikes. There could be some fun video there and in ghost towns. However, the morning after Christmas the passes out of the Central Valley to L.A. and to the south and east were officially closed due to a large snow storm. So we headed north and home.

So sad to unpack our van and not have any video of Death Valley riding!

September 2020 MTB road trip!

OK, getting antsy for MTB riding in CO and UT. While we will be on station in April we are thinking also about next September. Instead of Katya flying in and out of Moab I would like to pick her up at the Denver airport and do the following road trip through CO back to the familiar terrain of the Grand Valley.

We would have riding at Yeti’s HQ in Golden, maybe Vail and Aspen, LEADVILLE!, Crested Butte, and maybe try the wild trails of Ouray and Montrose before our favorite trails at Lunch Loops, 18 Road, and Kokopelli in the Grand Valley then on to Moab.

Here is the link with the trip on Google Maps. The only issue is that Hwy 82 between Aspen and Leadville is closed now so it re-routes back to I-70. We won’t do it that way.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Denver+International+Airport+(DEN),+8500+Pe√Īa+Blvd,+Denver,+CO+80249/Golden,+CO/Boulder,+CO/Rocky+Mountain+National+Park,+Colorado/39.2039124,-106.8552346/Leadville,+CO/Crested+Butte,+CO/Ouray,+CO/Fruita,+CO/@39.2812378,-106.4105181,8.15z/data=!4m51!4m50!1m5!1m1!1s0x876c7f2a98ff44ff:0x49583bb435b59c6a!2m2!1d-104.6737376!2d39.8560963!1m5!1m1!1s0x876b981287686cf7:0x14c64654208055dc!2m2!1d-105.2210997!2d39.755543!1m5!1m1!1s0x876b8d4e278dafd3:0xc8393b7ca01b8058!2m2!1d-105.2705456!2d40.0149856!1m5!1m1!1s0x876979e4455903e9:0xfa27ee43a78e8217!2m2!1d-105.6836389!2d40.3427932!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x876a91243b08979d:0x45a43089dfe8ed21!2m2!1d-106.2925238!2d39.2508229!1m5!1m1!1s0x8740723e8a38d3e3:0x37006e19d5e7f39f!2m2!1d-106.9878231!2d38.8697146!1m5!1m1!1s0x873f1f7caf7386f3:0x9003c80400295bdd!2m2!1d-107.6714487!2d38.0227716!1m5!1m1!1s0x8746fdb8a3115881:0x3772e7019fc1fe0b!2m2!1d-108.7289882!2d39.1588696!3e0

YIkes! I haven’t posted in a long time!

The Toilet Bowl on the Ribbon Trail, Grand Junction, Colorado. As usual the camera flattens the terrain a lot. It is steep and scary! Damn hard to walk down.

I spent 3 weeks on an MTB road trip to Utah and western Colorado last September and October but posted nothing. Ugh. Me bad. Which many people knew already.

We did something a little different and after Katya flew from San Jose to Moab and I picked her up there we drove south to old mining towns deep in the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. We started with Telluride, no lift riding in late September except weekends, then over the next few days to Phil’s World at Cortez, CO and rode the fantastic Rib Cage Trail, Durango, Silverton, Ouray, and up to Fruita and more MTB on trails we know well. After that, of course, Moab!

Katya flew home from Moab after a couple of weeks of traveling and riding in heaven but I remained in our van around Moab. I had increasing tooth pain so saw a dentist and was diagnosed with a cracked tooth. Definitely not from MTB. So I drove back home to California to figure out whether it needs a root canal and crown or just get pulled. While I was waiting for an oral surgeon it cracked and a third fell out. So the 2nd molar got pulled. Whatever. Damn tooth screwed up a couple more weeks of riding.

The MTB was rather uneventful except for the amazing Ribbon Trail near Grand Junction. There is a shuttle now available, finally, so Katya and I went up and rode The Ribbon. Jeez, you spend about 20 minutes on slick rock descents! You don’t even think about breaking, just max out the speed of your bike on huge rock ramps!

Along the way is the Toilet Bowl, a big steep slick rock descent that looks way less steep in photos and videos. I need to nail that drop but it is scary. Very scary.

The trail descends into an amazing deep red rock canyon and we ride the scenic wash down to a trail junction. From there it is up either way but we are in Lunch Loops! There is a maze of amazing trails to ride back to the trailhead on Monument Road.

By the way, I’m warming up to the Klonzo Trails near Moab finally. They aren’t as technical as I usually prefer but there is a lot of fast flow fun with some great technical in places. Video to come. I’m not publishing my Ribbon video. It was a cloudy day and the light too flat. I’ll shot it in sun in 2020. The same year I die in the Toilet Bowl…

First 2019 Road trip – Hurricane MTB Festival

We’re heading to the fun Hurricane MTB Festival at the end of this month, March. Hoping that it doesn’t rain! That wiped out my Moab trip last year and flooded out 2 days of Outerbike. Totally sucked.

1) We may demo a bike or two but not a priority. Yetis are our beasts of choice and they won’t be there this year. Of course I’ve had good rides on others. Fezzari from Salt Lake City area is a very good performer. Ibis as always is strong but I’ll demo them in San Jose in April.

2) It’s a festival! So fun to hang out with other riders and the breakfasts and dinner are tasty and fun. And, weather permitting, a BBQ at the Guacamole TH! This is one of our very favorite trails.

3) We have tricked out our 97 Ford Aerostar road trip van with a cargo box and awning on top and upgraded our bike tray rack to the new Yakima Dr. Tray. 34 pounds instead of 50 for the other Yakimas and Thules. Better on my lower back. We also had the van detailed inside and out and wow does it shine! Looks almost new! Auto detailing shops do a much better cleaning job than I can do.

4) I’ve added the iPhone XS to my cameras and I added a little more equipment. The GoPro 6 and the Evo SS gimbal are still the main setup. I’ve worked all winter and didn’t produce any new videos. I’m still working on the concept for the next ones and reshooting the trails in Moab, Grand Valley, and Virgin / St. George in 4K. A lot of riding to do!

So in a couple of weeks the road trip season begins! After Hurricane Katya flies home from Vegas and depending on weather I may go on to Moab and Fruita or down to Sedona, then maybe Moab and Fruita. Such great options, heh?

October 2018 MTB Road Trip – Too Many Troubles!

I just returned from Outerbike in Moab and the end of a 3 week road trip. The first part was a visit to Yellowstone and that went well. We rode Fruita, CO a little then over to Moab where I ripped my lower back and was off the bike for five days. Ugh.

That is rare for me but when it happens I’m almost totally disabled. ¬†Even down and up on the toilet because hellish torture. ¬†Living out of our van is no worse than a motel room and at least in the van I have a 360 degree view!

Finally back on the bike for a couple of rides and then the weather turned to rain, rain, rain on the Saturday afternoon and Sunday of Outerbike. The weather looked bad for the rest of the week so I drove home. Fortunately few trips have this level of disappointment.

I was able to shoot some additional video near Fruita and the Horsethief Trails near Moab.  Besides my other problems I forgot my GoPro chest harness at home.  When Katya flew home she sent it to me Р$40.  Ugh.

We did enjoy showing off our repainted Yeti SB95c’s! They look so new and shiny! Photo on Horsethief Bench above the Colorado River.

Fall 2018 MTB Road Trip Plans

In mid Sept we have this trip planned for 3 weeks!

Yellowstone Moab route

We plan to ride Jackson Hole, Park City, Fruita, and Moab. ¬†About a 3,200 mile trip with all the driving around to trailheads. ¬†The leg to Yellowstone, which Katya hasn’t been to yet, is about 15 hours as is the return from Moab. ¬†Ugh.

There is one more thing! ¬†I just scored a Red Bull Rampage ticket so I’ll be riding the Virgin / St George area at the end of October for a week or so!

Las Vegas Great Santa Run Plaza Hotel Offer

Thank you for registering for the REDBULL RAMPAGE!!!

This General Admission ticket allows 1 person access to the Red Bull Rampage on October 26, 2018.  Access is via a rough 4-mile road and a bike valet is included with this ticket.  Bicycles or walking only, no vehicles of any kind allowed.  Tickets must have the name of the person attending on them.  Tickets are transferable within the Strideevents.com platform for a fee of $15.

Tickets are non-refundable and will be sent digitally to the purchaser 3 days prior to the event.

This ticket includes a $5 donation to both Dixie Mountain Bike Trail Association and Wings for life Foundation.

Jim Preston

#3226098

Category Name

General Admission Ticket

Category Price

$65.00

 

 

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