The VIRB

What is a VIRB?  It is a new video camera from Garmin to try and rival the Go Pro.  Having never used a Go Pro, but wanting to get a video camera for action videos I dived in for the VIRB.

Why did I go for it over the market leader?

For me it is due to the connectivity it has with other Garmin products I have.  I was not concerned with being able to do 4k videos, but wanted to be able to co-ordinate my video with my training data, which you can leave off the video if you wanted.

So, after a week of not even trying to get out and test it I gave up today and headed out.  It had been a nice morning, but I did an indoor workout, and decided to head out mid afternoon.  Sods law though as I was just leaving it started to rain!  I decided to go for it still as I was only planning a short ride.  The initial intention was to try and have a crack at a Strava KOM record on a short stretch,  but as I approached it I realised that was not going to be possible as there was still water running down the road which is not good for a fast time, which you will be able to see from the video.

This was however putting the camera through it paces, very low level light, wet and miserable.  Apologies for some of the splashes on the lens.

By no means is this is masterpiece, but you can see how the video looks along with some overlay information from my Garmin GPS device.  You can have some overly information direct from the camera but you can add more from the GPS, or leave off altogether.  I will have RPM next time as I just need to sort out my cadence meter

Anna in the woods

Other than eating and drinking I also do photography as a hobby.  This has been on and off over the last few years, sadly more off than on due to work, but I have had lots of fun doing various types of modelling shoots.

Brighton on Xmas Day

After the storm and lots of food it was time to venture out, fresh air and exercise required.  Mother ‘Smith’ was down and had said she wanted to go to the sea if possible, so looking at the weather forecast we took a chance and headed out towards Brighton.

The first route option, via Pease Pottage, was flooded, so a quick turn round an alternate route was found.  Did think it may have been tricky and after seeing the amount of trees down on Forest Road it was a surprise that we got through at all, but apart from the flood at Pease Pottage there were no issues.

We arrived in Brighton nice and early, not long after first light, and had a nice stroll along the front.  In to the wind was a bit brisk!

It was a lovely walk, very few people out when we were there, but a few joggers.  They were the really dedicated ones!

It was sad to see the old pier as it would have been stunning in it’s hey day.  We did see something that we both agreed was stupid, which was a surfer out in the water.  Not just stupid because it was cold but he was doing it very close to the old pier and you can see some very jagged parts sticking out and he was asking for trouble if he got swept in to it.

I was experimenting with a few shots of the front, including some panoramas and for once I am quite impressed, I managed to get both piers in one shot and for one of them I was pretty close to the old pier so I am very impressed.  Still work to do on the style, but going to practice more.

St Leonards – After the storm

I am lucky enough to live close to St Leonards Forest, which is a lovely & well managed forest.  I have always used this as my play ground on the mountain bike, getting out there as much as possible and doing the various tracks and bridle paths.

With the storm this Christmas I decided to get up there to see what damage had been done.  On first inspection it seemed to have survived OK, but as I walked up the main drag in the forest I could see a few trees down, but then nearing the top it looked like a tornado had ripped through part of it with about 10 trees down in a small space, about 50 yards wide and no they had not fallen on each other as they were offset.

Continued the walk round the forest and found many paths blocked with fallen trees and it looked like the devastation had been fairly contained to that narrow gap but it had extended deeper in to the forest.

I tried to grab a few pics on the iPhone but they did not really do justice to it.  So I headed back with the big camera and the bike.  On the ride up to the forest it was obvious that there had been a lot of trees down across the road, I think the council (or whoever did it) had cleared about 8 trees that would have been completely blocking the road, so hats off to them for doing that.

My big concern is that the forecast is for another storm tomorrow and looking at the trees there are a lot that have been weakened and it will not take much for them to come down.   It could be a lot worse this weekend if the storm is anything like the last one.  Sadly given the size of the forest the pictures do not really do it justice, but I have thrown in a couple of experimental panoramic shots as well

Glorious morning for a ride
I love this stretch on the bike
Trying a panorama
The tree are down
Fallen trees and trees at the wrong angle
More downed trees
Panorama to show the fallen trees

Foggy Morning

Leaving the house at 6.30 it was a beautiful clear moonlit morning, cold and icy, but lovely to walk to the station.

By the time I got to London Bridge it was all change, and not just on the train.  To the point where stepping off the train I could not see The Shard, the fog had descended.
For once I had my camera in hand so took a for shots on my way to work.
I think a lot of people would have needed the espresso bar at the Shoreditch Grind