Weather, news and events

After several days of rainy weather in the Black Hills the trails are finally ride-able again. A ride at Buzzards Roost yesterday presented less than optimal conditions, but by this morning the trails at Storm proved to have dried to a tacky brilliance.

The Sturgis BAM website has been updated to include a link to, check out the new new Knifeblade page.

The 6’th annual Tinton Time Trial will be held this weekend on Sunday the 26’th of June, check out the event website for more details. This is a fantastically fun and relaxing event for those of all ages and abilities, as much a get-together as a race.

Buzzards Log:

Storm Log:


Last week I bit the bullet and invested in a GoPro HD Helmet HERO Camera … Among other things this will enable me to more easily compile photo collections of various stretches of trail for this site.

Initial impressions (things that weren’t obvious from the marketing literature):
While the GoPro is fairly small and lightweight, once strapped to your helmet it is a definite burden, although one to which you will quickly grow accustomed. Your helmet straps may require some adjustment in order to keep everything in the right place.
Battery life is highly dependent on the video capture mode. Capturing video at 720p @ 60fps yielded 2 hours 15 minutes on a new freshly charged battery, while 720p @ 30fps yielded 3 hours. These are the highest and lowest bitrate settings, respectively.

Once you have a whole pile of video, you need to edit it … Unfortunately it does not edit itself, as well there are no magical editing fairies that will show up to help you. This seems like it will probably be the largest stumbling block for most people who make this type of purchase. Having some prior experience with Adobe Premiere and Sony Vegas I decided to try out some more consumer friendly options. The first video below was edited with Cyberlink PowerDirector. It seems quite easy to get the hang of for a timeline-based editor, but is somewhat limiting. The biggest example of this is that the transitions seem to all be fixed duration. The second video below was edited with Avid Studio. This software was also fairly easy to dive into, although not as straightforward as the Cyberlink option. Avid Studio was also clearly the more powerful and feature-rich of the two, but irritatingly it seemed quite imprecise in terms of frame selection, mouse control only?

This video is of the Centennial Trail from about 8 miles south of the Elk Creek Trail Head (a few miles north of Dalton Lake) to the Elk Creek Trail Head. This covers miles approximately 10-18 of the Sturgis BAM Knifeblade race.

This second video is several miles of Trail 40 leaving Silver City (near the Pactola inlet) to the west.

BAM recon 2 and 3 of 4

I rode most of the rest of the BAM route this week, staging out of the Elk Creek Trail Head. It seems the best route (there are several depending on where you are coming from) to the trail head is to hit Sturgis on the way and head up Vanocker Canyon, making a left on Runkle Road. The trail head is a few miles down this gravel road. The other options are either narrow and gravel for many miles or narrow, twisty and tourist-laden.

This is great riding in both directions, rough and sometimes tough, but excellent.

Log 2/4:

Log 3/4:

Mileage (car): 120mi

Mileage (bike): 32mi

BAM recon

Parked at the Piedmont City Park today in Piedmont, SD and rode up Little Elk Creek, past Dalton Lake and cleaned the first ridge. This makes up about the first 10 miles of the Knifeblade Rock and Roll 35 mile cross-country mountain bike race/ride that is part of the Sturgis BAM Festival coming up on July 9, 2011. I took a bunch of audio notes and a few photos and will be riding the rest of the route over the next week or so. You can expect to see the route detailed on the site shortly after that.



Mileage (car): 38mi

Mileage (bike): 20mi