Five Things to Consider Before Your Bike Trip

Five Things to Consider Before Your Bike Trip

Whether you would like to spend a few relaxing or challenging days at a new destination, it is important that you plan your trip in advance. You need to make sure that you are ready for the trip, and you have everything covered, from accommodation to protein bars and transport. The following tips will help you get your priorities right and book the perfect getaway that will make you feel satisfied and accomplished.

The Weather

Rain or shine, you’ll be outside biking in it, so the weather will have a huge impact on your trip, and is something you need to plan for. Just keep in mind that old saying, “there is no bad weather, just bad clothing!” It is important that you check out the weather forecast and get plenty of waterproof items in your backpack. If you are planning a tropical trip, ensure that you have adequate sun protection, and have the ability to carry sufficient water. You may even want to plan your day accordingly, resting during the hottest part of the day, so to avoid the heat and potential dehydration, or even sunstroke. A perfect excuse for a siesta!

The Accommodation Options

You might want to find a hotel or guesthouse that is conveniently located close to all the routes you would like to complete. Or, you might prefer pitching a tent, under the stars, in an unplanned location. Whatever you preference, you need to consider this before the start of your trip. If you are heading to a big beautiful city, such as Panama, you might want to splurge on a hotel like the Marriott Executive Apartments Panama City. However, if you are budget conscious you could always try finding a host through the amazingly useful Warmshowers website; a website dedicated to cycle touring, and finding hosts for travelling cyclists.

Rentals and Repair Availability

Before your trip, you may need to check whether there are recommended and affordable bike rental places. Sometimes renting a bicycle locally is more economical, as well as efficient, compare to bringing your own bicycle with you. If cycling in the summer month in Europe, and considering local bicycle rental, it is recommended booking your bicycle in advance, to ensure you secure the best bike at the best price. Arguable even more important to this, is researching bike repair stores along your route.

Travel Insurance

When going on a cycle trip, no matter the length or location, you will need to get adequate insurance. If you suffer an accident or fall ill, you might not be covered for medical treatment. If your bicycle is stolen or damaged, you also might not be covered. Compare the prices online before your trip, and make sure you ask the relevant questions. Some insurance companies consider cycling a dangerous sport, and will not cover you for long distance cycling. When it comes to travel insurance for cycle trips, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Local Guides and Groups

bike trip
Planning a bike and hike trip! Image via Matt Heaton

There are two main options when going on a bicycle tour;

1) Independently, arranging your own transport, accommodation and route. This option suits those who love the adventure and freedom of making their choices and not having to follow a set plan.

2) Joining an organised hiking and biking trip, with a tour company. This option is great for those first time cycle tourists, or those that love touring in groups. Leave the planning and stress to someone else, and just enjoy the ride!

Whether you are looking to cycle across Europe, or bike and hike across the Scottish highlands, and cycle trip will involve a level of preparation and planning. Treat this planning as part of the journey, and use it as a way to build up the excitement for your up and coming trip. Safe bike trails!

Is it possible to cycle across Nevada?

cycle across Nevada

You’d be forgiven for thinking that one of America’s desert states would be off limits when it comes to exploring by road bike. However, cycle tours across Nevada are some of the most spectacular you’ll find. With stunning open valleys and breathtaking small mountain ranges to the north of the state, there are numerous scenic rides available with comfortable summer temperatures. However, you might be surprised, but Las Vegas is an excellent starting point.

You can fly into Sin City and explore the Mojave Desert by road bike, taking in everything from the Hoover Dam and the Valley of Fire to Redrock Canyon and Cottonwood Valley. The River Mountains Loop Trail is another notorious cycle trip. This 35-mile ride loops around the River Mountains, overlooking Sin City and nearby Henderson. The trail is paved throughout, making it suitable for first-time tourers and veteran cyclists alike. The route is also connected to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

As with most cycle tours, you’ll often be seeing the world on a tight budget. Fortunately, your Las Vegas experience can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. When you’re enjoying some downtime, most restaurants and buffets situated within Las Vegas Boulevard and Downtown will have special off-peak offers to allow you sample a cut-price rib-eye steak, which is fine if you’re prepared to enjoy a sit-down meal mid-afternoon.

Once you’ve had your fill of the bright lights of Vegas, the next best area to start exploring is to the northwest in Reno. In fact, a very popular Nevada cycle route begins in Reno and meanders slowly into Utah and Salt Lake City. It’s not a tour for the feint-of-heart, given that it spans 650 miles and requires 30,000 feet of climbing along the way. The journey takes you along US 50, which is regarded as ‘The Loneliest Road’ in the state. Although you might be concerned about the lack of shelter from the sun or services en route, the longest you have to go without a stopover is 85 miles. The most challenging stretch is the 110-mile journey between Fallon and Austin, which also features a 4,700ft climb.

There are plenty of opportunities to sample life in Utah as you make your way across the border. You will encounter small communities, such as Delta and Payson, on the southern side of Utah Lake. The final leg of the journey to Salt Lake City is a gentle 60-mile ride along the urban highway, although the climb towards the city’s basin is the last grueling physical test you’ll encounter.

What’s great about cycling in Nevada is that you can pitch a tent or spend the night in a yurt in any of the state’s 23 parks, if you prefer not to use motels and hotels along the way. Nevada State Parks lists its restrictions and limitations within its FAQs. In terms of what to carry with you en route, personal identification is essential if you need to verify your age to play games, drink or enter watering holes, as well as when paying using credit cards. English is the most commonly-spoken language in the state, although Spanish is also spoken in some Hispanic communities. In areas where Filipino communities live, Tagalog is also spoken. So, if you’re fluent in either Spanish or Tagalog (unlikely, we know!), that is a bonus on your travels.

What’s truly fascinating about cycling in Nevada is its diverse landscape, which can be explored at a pace that allows it to be truly appreciated. From flat, pastoral views to expansive climbs beyond small mountains and eerie rock formations that resemble something from a Western movie, Nevada is not the one-dimensional gaming state that some would have you believe.

Photo credit: Dip in road at Valley of Fire State Park by A Train / CC BY-ND 

5 Best places to ride a bike in 2018

Best places to ride a bike

As soon as you leave the bike racks in Gas Works Park, it becomes clear that the Seattle Urban Loop is one of the best places to ride a bike in 2018, but there are many more, from Arizona to Maine, and all the way down to Florida. In fact, the United States is home to some of the most incredible biking routes anywhere in the world, and the following are the 5 best places to ride a bike in 2018:

The Seattle Urban Loop

The Seattle Urban loop in Washington is the ultimate place to ride your bike, from the stunning vistas across Puget Sound and Seattle seafront, to the perfectly maintained trails and cultural encounters.

Pleasant scenery and easy riding ensue once you depart from the bike racks in Gas Works Park, and cycle onward to Magnolia Boulevard. The Seattle Urban Loop eventually reaches Lake Washington, before passing the University of Washington and returning to the original starting point in Gas Works Park.

However, it is only upon reaching the ocean at Alaskan Way, when the appealing nature of the route is clear. Fishing boats, and cruise ships take to the open seas while the sun reflects from the incoming waves, and cycling along the Seattle waterfront is suddenly a cultural experience, as well as being a most enjoyable adventure into the outdoors.

The Cadillac Challenge Loop, Acadia National Park, Maine

Rugged cliffs form a natural barrier against the marauding Atlantic Ocean in Acadia National Park, home to the best cycling route in Maine, and one of the most scenic regions on the west coast of the United States. The Cadillac Challenge Loop is a 27 mile route with a seemingly never ending series of bends that wind their way past soaring ocean views, isolated coves, luscious landscapes and romantic lighthouses.

However, the real attraction of cycling in Acadia National Park, is the Bike in Acadia month, a government initiative in which the roads at the park are closed. There is simply no better place to see the sun rising, or going down, in Maine and the opportunity to cycle in pleasant surroundings without the distraction of traffic, makes Acadia one of the best places to ride a bike in 2018.

Moab Mountain Biking, Utah

Experience the splendor of Moab by bike, an unforgettable mountain bike route with stunning views through magnificent canyons, and a series of trails for all levels of experience.

Moab has some truly awe inspiring scenery, from the Amassa Back Trail which climbs to the top of a giant mesa perched out over the Colorado River, to the immense sandstone walls which tower high on the Arizona skyline.

Another highlight is the varying levels of experience required to visit Moab on a bike, the Slickrock rock trail is a world famous and highly technical route, whereas the Bar-M Loop Trail has a much easier terrain, while still offering the same incredible views of the other routes. A proper bike rack for SUV or car will allow you to carry multiple bikes and secure them properly until the destination.

Miami to Key West, Florida

While it may be a distance for more experienced riders, the 160 mile stretch between Miami and Key West is a highly rewarding cycle route with tropical landscapes, wildlife and a relatively flat terrain.

Few places in the world can boast the views between Miami and Florida, with palm trees lining both sides of the road, and sweeping ocean views providing an unforgettable backdrop. The route is also known for having a reasonably flat terrain and a refreshing tail wind which only adds to the enjoyment, and allows for the possibility of completing the 160 miles in a single day.

Unique and treacherous, the variety of experiences is obvious when you must keep a look out for alligators and snakes, which often take to the roadside for the heat of the pavement. Regardless of the obstacles, cycling from Miami to Key West is one of the most entertaining cycle routes, and a ride with a wide variety of things to see.

Black Canyon Trail, Arizona

While not as famous as the Moab, the Black Canyon Trail is another mountain bike trail in Arizona which makes this list with no apologies. The trail stretches for more than 60 miles through desert, cacti and sandstone canyons with thrilling downhill’s and challenging riding.

Beginning in the overgrown Prescott Forest, Black Canyon is mostly a descending trail which leads across dramatic views of giant mesas, past the Bradshaw Mountains, and through a series of inspiring canyons.

Even though this trail was purpose built a number of years ago, the surroundings are entirely natural and a day spent in the depths of the Arizona wilderness, offers an isolated adventure which is every bit as enjoyable as the more popular trail in Moab. Do not forget that choosing the best hitch mount bike rack is the key to safely transport your bikes to the destination and keep them intact.

 

Gorgeous Mountain Trails in the US to do on a Bike

make money while cycle touring, cycling to the Canadian Rockies

So, you now have a bike and can’t wait to ride in on a unique mountain trail? It’s really hard deciding on a good enough trail, though, isn’t it? Well, if you need awesome research fast, we’re here to help you with 5 best picks of breathtakingly gorgeous mountain scenery you can enjoy while cycling.

1. The Whole Enchilada, Utah

This is definitely a five-star ride, encompassing 26 miles on various side trails which will take you in the ballpark of 5 hours total. The level of difficulty is an intermediate one, so chances are most people can do it. We love the landscape most of all, it looks pretty rugged and has plenty of views you’ll want to stop and admire for longer.

You’ll already going to start at quite an elevation of about 10,000 feet, which means you’ll be cycling very near the edgy peaks. You even have to gain some 1,400 feet more up to the narrow Burro Pass, but that’s nothing compared to the descent.

So get the best high-power binoculars because you won’t want to miss a detail. The aspen forests are imposing, and the old pines look like giant soldiers that guard the entrance to the prairie. The fast flowing creeks and slippery tracks of Hazard County explain why this portion of the trail has this particular name.

Then, the Porcupine sections are a challenge as well, but the view when you get to the Colorado River is totally worth it. The terrain is very diverse, you’ll get to try different technical skills from thru to single track, so that’s why it won the gold medal.

2. Trail 401, Colorado

If you’re a real mountain biking fan, you must visit the place where it all began. And that will prove very insightful because Crested Butte in Colorado offers plenty of trails to enjoy taking you through some of the most enchanting alpine landscape you have ever seen. The trails that wax and wane here are all nearby bucolic mountain towns too.

Among the 750 miles of trails, one still stands out. Trail 401 is another intermediate ride stretching of about 14 miles at an elevation of about 9,700 feet. The ascent starts on Gothic Toad to what is called Schofield Pass. The views are outstanding and the faraway Maroon Bells look spectacular.

This will mostly be a singletrack, which explains the intermediate level. However, there are whole green fields that stretch before your eyes and patches of aspen forests to roam through, so this trail looks amazing even during the fall.

3. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, California

You might think we’ve selected this trail purely based on its peculiar name, but you’d be wrong. Lake Tahoe is an amazing area, it’s a huge alpine lake with crystal clear waters and plenty of interesting biking trails around it. So while this is an already popular destination, its southern part is what’s considered the cherry on the cake.

That’s exactly where you’ll find the Mr. Toad’s Ride, which is indeed very wild since it encompasses 20 miles of advanced single tracking at an elevation of about 6,300 feet. That’s what makes it very technical, therefore more appropriate for experts.

You’ll feel a real adrenaline rush coursing through your veins as you’ll be going downhill as well. Granted, you have to do quite a bit of vertical climbing before that, but once you get to Tucker flat you’re in for a real roller coaster ride. There’s also the Saxon Creek portion with its quite challenging singletrack descent.

All that takes place among the most breathtaking vistas of forested areas and through plenty of meadows. The overall distance is 20 miles, so make sure you get enough water and snacks for the ride.

4. Cache Creek – Game Creek, Wyoming, and Idaho

Traditionally called the Wydaho area, this is where the Jackson area is located. Jackson Hole is remarkable among the nearby Teton Mountains, so that’s another great place if you’re into the thrill of the downhill ride. That’s because these mountains have very abrupt walls, and they’re really huge.

Biking around here is a thing just as of late, though, so the trails are very new and look well and they’re quite diverse from downhill to cross country, to single track. So you can choose your poison, but the trail between Cache Creek and Game Creek is really a game changer.

Apart from the fact that it looks incredible, with amazing views of the massifs, this intermediate 10-mile loop ride runs through a semi-wilderness of immense valleys, and you’ll get to experience an isolated cross-country run.

5. Hangover Trail, Arizona

Located in Sedona, which doesn’t boast as many trails as other regions, the Hangover Trail is one of the few precious gems in this area. That’s because it combines an accessible and technically difficult terrain with its heart-throbbing landscapes with red rocks that will make you think your cycling on Mars.

The vortexes in Sedona look quite eerie too, and the single track trail that stretches on 3 miles can nevertheless be considered for experts only. At 4,400 feet, the Hangover trail is very technical but also very dangerous because of its abrupt rocks and rolling terrain, combined with narrow trails and a massive exposure.

But the views are indeed amazing, considering you’ll go up on a saddle-like formation and then keep riding about 200 feet on the rim of the abrupt canyon. You’ll ride on slick rock for the most part, but there are different sections too like dirt trails, step-ups, roll-off portions and the treacherous off cambers.

The ride of your life

With so many thrilling mountain trails to do on your bike, we’re curious where you’ll be heading next. What trails have you tried so far? What did you love? What did you hate? Leave us a comment and share your story.

 

Top Gadgets a Cyclist needs to have Tons of Fun

Top Gadgets a Cyclist needs, brodie green bicycle circuit

Do you love cycling? Well, there’s a way you can love it more, even if that’s hard to believe. If you get some top gadgets that are, for good reason, all the craze now, you can raise your fun level incrementally. Don’t know what to choose? Read on.

Front light

Cycling in the dark is a great experience. And it’s amazing because at night everything looks different, the streets are quieter, and the world gets an eerie look. Or you might just be getting late off work, and you still want to ride your bike home. So a front light can be great for fun, but also practical for those awesome night rides.

Camera

With the best helmet cam you can find, you’ll be guaranteed lots of fun. Now you won’t have to stop every five minutes to take amazing outdoor photos. Besides, it will prove a great entertainment even when you get home and you look at everything you caught on tape. And there’s nothing better than original snapshots that actually capture true bits of life.

Smart lock

How can you enjoy yourself if you’re always worried that someone might steal your bike? Well, a smart lock takes care of that issue. And we’re not talking about an ordinary chain that can easily be cut, without you even knowing it.

But if someone tries to break it, it will immediately start a very powerful alarm, while you’ll be sent a message. And even if the thief gets away with it, there’s a built-in geolocator that will tell you the exact position. This feature can also be amazing if you don’t remember where you parked your bike before a fun night out.

Smart pedal

Everything is smart these days, so why not the pedals too? These babies come with their own GPS, so once you get moving, the GPS will begin recording your journey. That’s great if you want to use cycling for fitness, particularly because you’ll get a better idea of your speed and elevation.

You can also get an app to use along with this kind of thing, which is amazing because you can control it remotely, without bringing your phone along. And don’t forget that this pedal is so smart, it doesn’t even need a battery to work, as it can generate its own energy.

Turn signal gloves

If this isn’t the mother of all bike gadgets, we don’t know what is. Speaking of safe fun, you’ll need to use the turn signals so you can let other cyclists and drivers know where you’re headed, right? So there’s no easier way than using gloves which can light up with an easy touch. That’s perfect for those night joy rides, but can even be used during the day.

Portable generator

That’s not for charging your bike, but instead, it uses the kinetic energy produced by cycling to charge your other gadgets. This is very useful when you’re going on prolonged cycling trips, and you still want to pack light enough so you won’t be destabilized by a heavy backpack. So instead of carrying a phone charger with you, you can easily get a bike charger that’s placed on the rear hub so it can charge with energy directly from the wheel.

Boombox speakers

If you love listening to music while you’re cycling, but you’re still afraid of some accident that might happen, you should get a speaker. There are box-shaped speakers that look like a water bottle, which can easily be hanged to your backpack. The best of them are waterproof and resistant to impacts, and since they can be confused with a water bottle, no one will know where the cool music stems from.

Hammerhead navigation

If you don’t want to lose time using a map or a GPS, and if that Siri-like voice really annoys you, then a smart navigation system is all you need to get you to your dream destination. This device is easy to use, it goes right on your handlebar and uses a phone app to tell you where to go. Don’t forget the awesome LED that helps with poor light too.

Friction drive

How can you get through awful, rocky terrain if you don’t have a mountain bike? If you still want to use your own in lieu of that, you need a friction drive that can easily be set up to your back wheel. That helps you with those mountain roads that combine forest trails with paved paths. Basically, you’ll be getting a rubber cover for your wheel, which you can also use if you want to show off at home with cool moves.

Bike trailer

This isn’t a gadget per se, but it’s amazing for those cycling trips that last for days at a time. And since it’s impractical to put all your stuff into a backpack, then you might use this sort of trailer. The best models on the market don’t weigh much, they’re water-resistant and scratch-proof, so you can easily use them in different terrains. Will it slow down your game? Sure, but it will be totally worth it to bring a piece of home comfort.

Foldable helmet

Yes, you can actually get one of those. That’s not technically for having fun on your bike, but more likely when you get off your bike. Say you want to go on a sightseeing tour and pedal your way along magnificent views, but you still want to stop once in a while to visit a museum or drink a cup of coffee. Now, carrying your helmet might really be uncomfortable, so folding it up in a tight little pack and stuffing it in your backpack is a dream come true.

Chalktrail

Do you love asphalt painting as much as you love cycling? There is a way to combine these two, and that’s by using a Chalktrail. This device is mounted on the rear end of your bike, leaving colorful trails on the sidewalk, so you can actually paint with your bike, which is amazing for kids and grown-ups too.

With so many awesome gadgets to choose from, we’re curious what you’ll pick. Do you already have one of these? Leave us a comment below.

 

How to Pack for a Hiking Trip with Your Bike

cape breton canada, hiking with your bike

Need an expert’s advice on what to pack for a hiking trip with your bike? Well, you’re on the right page. Apart from the bike and the helmet which you can’t leave home without, there are quite a few items that should be on your list too.

Gear storage

You’ll need quite a few bags to ensure that all the weight you’re carrying is evenly distributed and that it doesn’t destabilize your bike. The first thing you should consider is a hydration pack because you need to stay hydrated on the trail, so you can add to your miles without getting a headache.

Besides this, you’ll also need a very light backpack, with padded straps that can be worn for prolonged periods of time. Make sure you get a water-resistant item that can also withstand possible scratches from all the tree branches on your way.

You can also get other types of bags, like a saddle bag for bigger equipment, and a handlebar bag for the gear you really need to have at hand. A trunk bag can also be of use if you’re carrying a tent with you. And if you’re cycling across paved forested paths, a trailer can become your best friend, though it might slow you down a bit.

The actual gear

Now that you’re prepared with the optimal gear storage, you need the actual equipment too. Since you’ll be on your bike most of the time, you need ultra-light hiking gear, even if you’re dealing with a tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad. And yes, there are such items which, despite their low weight, they’re still insulating, waterproof and scratch-resistant.

Make sure you get compact items too, not just light ones. You need to make sure you can set them up and take them down pretty fast since you’ll mostly be on the move.

Clothes

Apart from that, you should consider the right clothes for both hiking and biking. Even if you’ll be cycling, you might also like to take some short hikes around the camp. The first thing to start with is a moisture-wicking first layer, consisting of a top and underwear that don’t absorb moisture.

You can think of merino wool for that because it’s a bacteria-killing, odor-proofing and insulating material, which keeps your body temperature constant, unlike cotton. You should also look at padded tights that offer insulation combined with breathability.

Make sure you get water-resistant and padded gloves, so your hands don’t have to absorb the shock of the rugged terrain. A pair of bike shoes is essential, but you should take some ankle-supporting sports shoes too for those side-hikes. Don’t forget moisture-wicking cycling shoes as well as a skullcap to protect your head from the sun.

Personal protection

If it’s raining, you’ll need rainwear that’s also windproof, and an insulating second layer possibly made from fleece or wool, depending on the temperature. If it’s really cold and windy, you’ll need both arm and leg warmers, and a visibility vest is a real life-saver for foggy weather, especially if you’re cycling somewhere near a hunting ground.

Sunglasses are great for keeping your eyes safe from the strong sun, but they can also be great for rocky terrain, where small pebbles can get in your eyes. Don’t forget sunscreen against the dangerous UV rays and lip balm to keep your lips from cracking because of the wind.

Of course, a First Aid Kit is a must, but make sure you have it complete and up to date. Stash your medical info card inside it, in case of an actual accident. Add some insect repellant to make sure you’re safe from bugs too.

Accessories

In terms of accessories, the first things you need are the lights. So make sure your headlight and taillight are working well, but you can likewise get a helmet light with strobe mode in case you get lost. Don’t forget your mirrors and taillights, so there are some cool-looking cycling gloves with included turn lights on the market.

You’ll need a resistant lock too, even if the camping spot seems safe. You can even get a smart lock that lets you know when someone tries to steal your bike, while it emits a deafening alarm too.

But your bike isn’t the only thing you need to secure. The water bottles you carry should also be kept safe, or otherwise, you might end up with no potable water for the road. That’s why water bottle cages are essential for rugged terrain. Don’t forget some paracord or straps – you never know when you’re going to need these for a rough ascent or descent.

Repair tools

The essential repair tools start with a patch kit that’s compact and lightweight enough to carry. This should include a spare tube or several of those, a pump to inflate your wheels and tire levers so you don’t have to improvise a support while you’re working on your bike.

A multi-tool doesn’t hurt either, but make sure it’s specifically designed for cycling and that it has an Allen wrench included there too. If you want to be more prepared than that, you might also need a couple of wrenches and a general multi-tool.

You should also consider a pressure gauge if you have the room, and duct tape is a definite must. You can think of a spare brake cable too, that can be pretty important for rough terrain, but there are plenty of other spare items to take if you have the room, like spokes, tire, cleats and other components.

Miscellaneous

Don’t forget cleaning supplies and toiletries like soap, toilet paper, a quick-dry towel, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Some of these might be accessible at different camping spots though.

Of course, you’ll also need a camera to capture the beautiful landscapes, your phone, and GPS with the maps of your trail. Don’t forget to get enough money and an ID.

All that gear is bound to make your trip more fun and also safer, so we hope we helped with a comprehensive checklist. So now, it’s your turn: where are you going? What will you be taking? Leave a comment below.

 

How to Document Your Cycling Stunts With a Drone

How to Document Your Cycling Stunts With a Drone

So, you love cycling and all that is related to bicycles, stunts, downhill maybe? Do you love those jaw dropping stunts in the half pipe, or the trick course? Would you like to get a chance to make awesome videos of your stunts and downhill rides? You can actually do that quite easily if you have the right drone with the right camera.

Of course, finding the right drone/camera combo can be quite difficult, especially since there are literally thousands of different camera drones on the market. Not to mention that you need to know how to set up the camera to get the best possible footage, and to really know how to fly the drone to get that perfect shot angle. But, that’s why we decided to create this article to help you out and so that you can have Pro Cycling Stunts Videos to create Buzz on your social media profiles.

In this article, we will first talk about how to find the right drone model, then offer you a few pointers on how to find the perfect angles and how to fly your bird to get the best out of your stunt videos.

Choosing the Right Drone Model and the Camera if Necessary

As we mentioned above, you need to choose the drone that will be able to keep up with your action, but also have a camera that can record high-quality resolution videos. Unfortunately, there are too many models available on the market and most of them come with low res cameras, even though the advertisement tells you FULL HD video.

But, not all is lost, especially since you have us as advisors. The brand you should keep an eye on is definitely DJI, but other brands such as Yuneec, Autel Robotics, AirDog, and a few more. The models that would be ideal for your videos are Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic, Spark (all DJI), Typhoon (from Yuneec, all series), Xstar Premium (Autel Robotics), and AirDog from AirDog, but this model comes without a camera so you will definitely need to buy one additionally.

All of the mentioned models come with advanced features that you will need for your stunt recording, such as follow me, circle around, point of interest, and are unbelievably stable thanks to their high-tech systems and gimbals. And, they come with cameras that can record minimum 1080p and up to 4K resolution videos. You can find out much more about each model and many more if you visit MyDroneLab, a site specialized in drone reviews and everything related to this interesting hobby.

And speaking of cameras, if you get the AirDog, or some other model that doesn’t include a camera, the obvious choice would be the GoPro Hero 4,5, or the latest 6th generation, but they cost a small fortune. Therefore, if you want to save some $200 of your budget but still have pretty much the same 4K resolution, we recommend checking out the Xiaomi 4K, or the 4K Mini. They both offer on pair video quality as the Hero cameras, but cost less, way less.

How to Start With a Drone

You didn’t expect to start making awesome videos the same day you buy the drone, didn’t you? You need to keep in mind that flying a drone, and we mean safely flying and being able to create high-quality videos, takes plenty of practice and airtime.

Okay, you could start recording right away on your first day, but then you wouldn’t be able to get the most out of your drone and the camera, plus, you would risk crashing the drone and wasting a serious amount of cash. Therefore, practice, practice, practice, and after a week or two, when you really know all the tricks with your drone and its features, you can start recording your or your friends bicycle tricks.

Once You Get Familiar With the Drone

After you have some decent airtime under your props, and after you are completely comfortable with all the settings and your flying skills, it‘s time to start making those awesome videos that got you into this topic in the first place.

Downhill Videos

This is a video category that demands having a drone that can follow you and keep you in the center of the frame at all times. Luckily, the models we recommended all have that mode, and you can even place the remote in your backpack and film yourself during the downhill run.

But, there are a few things you should know before taking off with the drone and going down that hill:

Make sure the battery will last the entire ride

This means that the full flight time of your drone has to be at least a minute or two longer than the ride lasts. So, make sure you know how long your drone can stay in the air, make sure you know how long it will take you to finish the ride, so that you have time to stop and get ready to wait for the drone to land or to grab it as it lands to avoid flipping on the landing (drones are not famous for knowing how to land safely on their own so catching it for its landing gear just before it lands is the safest way).

Make sure you have all the settings set properly

By this, we mean to check if on your path, there are some tall trees or any other tall obstacles, and that your flight height is set to fly over those obstacles. Also, if you plan on using the circle around mode, make sure that the radius isn’t too big so that the drone can hit something along the way.

The best way to make sure the path is clear or that you will cover all the possible obstacles and keep your drone safe, is to go down the path, check all the possible dangers, and make sure you set the parameters properly before taking off.

Best modes and angles for downhill videos

Most people make mistakes and when shooting such videos, they set the drone to follow them from behind and from high altitude. Two things are wrong in this situation, first, if you set the drone to follow you from behind, as it accelerates, the front props are bound to enter your frame and ruin your shot. Second, if the drone is too high, then you lose all the small details and mid track tricks you might do, thus the video looks too ordinary and not that interesting.

To avoid this and make your videos jaw dropping, set the Follow Me mode to be in frontal mode, meaning that the drone will fly backwards and film you frontal. This way, the props will go away from the camera, and you don’t have to worry about them ruining your video. Also, set the height of the flight to some 5 to 10 meters, so that the drone is close to the action. But, remember to check for obstacles before the flight.

Obstacle course or skate park

This is much easier as you won’t be moving at high speeds and you have time to try many different angles. If you plan on recording your friends tricks, we suggest using the course lock mode. This means that the drone will follow an imaginary line, while you can fly sideways, or turn in the yaw axis without changing the course. This gives you the freedom to focus on camera work and not so much on piloting.

Another useful thing is the Point of Interest mode. In this mode, the camera is pointed at the selected object or subject, no matter what you do with the drone. This can be useful if you want to record your own tricks, as the drone can simply hover in one place, but keep the camera on you. This looks especially effective when you are doing flips, or 360 spins, as you can set the drone just by the side of the jumping ramp, and literally fly just a few inches way from the drone as it shoots.

But, be careful to set the height right so that you don’t end up hitting it.

If you are doing a ride with multiple obstacles and ramps, then the Follow Me mode would be the best choice, but, in this case, set the mode to follow you sideways, for the maximum effect.

Have fun and fly and ride safe!

 

Author Bio:

Jack is a true drone passionate and he focused his education on this amazing field. Thus, he graduated the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and now he’s a member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. His main purpose right now is to find and develop new features and help others discover the wonderful experience of flying a drone. For this, he is the main editor and content creator at MyDroneLab Blog where you can find everything you want to know about drones.

Top 5 European Countries to do on a Bike This Fall

col du lautaret by bicycle, European Countries to do on a Bike This Fall

Biking is exciting regardless of where you’re doing it, but have you ever thought about going on a trip through Europe? Having a different venue to bike it offers a lot of challenge, new terrain and excitement of discovering trails. You can also enjoy the new scenery and vegetation! In this article, we are going to show you the top 5 European countries in which to bike!

Sweden

The Kinnekulle Trail System is a 5 star rated area that is known for Kinnekulle, which is one of the tallest hills in the western part of Sweden. Over 300 meters above sea level, you will have amazing views of the surrounding area and of the largest lake in the country, Lake Vanem.

Besides the views, the biking here is awesome and has the longest downhill trails in the area. While many of the tracks here are great, you will find some with flatter areas on this advanced single track.

Orange Trail in Gatene is also located within the Kinnekulle Trail System and is a 45 km intermediate single track with an elevation of 265 meters. This trail goes all around Kinnekulle, and will take you through farms and all the way up to the top of the mountain and down the opposite side.

Once you get farther along the track, you will see a double track, as well as dirt roads, some paved areas and more. There are a ton of terrains from one side to the other that you will experience.

Austria

Take along your best ultralight backpack because there is a lot of mountain biking to do here! Head to Hinterglemm for Bike Circus Saalbach Hinterglemm, which is the best place for mountain biking in all of Austria. There are hundreds of miles of trails, from cross country to downhill and freeride.

In the Austrian Alps, this is an entire valley with trails of all difficulty levels and many obstacles. If you prefer downhill biking, check out the famous Hacklberg Trail that has many jumps, single trails that will test your limits.

Visit Bikepark Leogang, located in Leogang, Austria. Great for bikers of all ages and skill levels, you can enjoy nature and hit the various trails. The trails are marked and tell you what the difficulty level will be. You can hit up the Flying Gangster Trail or either Hang Man Trails. Bikepark Leogang is home to Europe’s largest bike park for beginners called Riders Playground, which is 10,000 meters squared and has a free ride course.

France

If you want an assortment of terrain and trail types, then Peisey and Les Arcs in Bourg St. Maurice, France, has you covered! With fire roads, single tracks, downhill areas, you will have an adrenaline filled time here! Between trails, take the awesome lift system that gives you a full view of nature, as well as the various villages below.

Haute Route in Chamonix is another great place to bike. This expert trail is over 100 miles long and takes you from this region in France to Zermatt, Switzerland. This is an alpine trek and you will be on a single track. Experts say that you need to take your time and have good weather here, as well as the skills, to make it through Haute Route!

Spain

Morcat Trail is located in Ainsa, Spain, and starts out near an ancient village that has torn down buildings. This trail was used for centuries as a transportation road to go from the village to the valley and back. This is a technical single track that is very steep but tons of fun. It offers lots to see in terms of foliage and scenic views, and takes you downhill.

Camino De Santiago is a trail that is in Santiago De Compostela that is 966 km long and is great for beginners. You will find that most of this trail is a double track that has a lot of gravel, but, as you go along you’ll discover more terrain. The countryside is amazing and stunning, and there are lots of places where you can rest, get a drink or food, and take in the beauty around you.

While you will find this trail has a lot of hills at the start and finish, the middle section is a bit flat. Everything is marked, and easy to access.

Norway

Hafjell Bike Park boasts many trails and has quickly become a haven for all types of cycling enthusiasts. The MTB portion of the park is exhilarating and you can find many heart-pounding downhill trails. The Buldreloypa trail is a bit rocky and has jumps and wall rides and is located in a forest area. Moe’Town Trail is smooth and has many pump sections, rollers, berms and more! It is known as a fun trail that you won’t forget!

Trysil Bike Arena is the largest winter sports place in Norway. It has new biking facilities and already has over 100 km of single tracks that are in the mountain and forest. Great for families, you can experience a wide range of trails in this park.

 

There is a great Flow Trail here as well as a skills course an pump track. You can find items to balance on, jump off of, and many banked curves. The Mountain Circuit offers trails for all skill levels and has many high mountain trails and some harsh terrain, too. If you take the route around the mountain, you will find it family-friendly, and a good fit for all!

Conclusion

Now that you are aware of not only the best European countries in which to bike, you know specific areas in which you can do so. From beginner to advanced, your skill level can be accommodated with various trails and terrains. Not only are you getting a heart-pounding experience, but you can do so within the beautiful mountains and landscapes that Europe has to offer. Happy travels!