Waterproof Video Camera

This is the Sony GW55VE and it's currently my favourite video camera.

Almost all my professional work is shot on my Canon XF305 which I wrote about last year.

I'll be using it tomorrow on yet another shoot for BBC-2 Scotland's The Adventure Show.

However, this tiny waterproof Sony 'flip' camera will also be in my pocket because the results it produces are superb.

I've used small waterproof cameras before, and their results have never been as good as regular cameras in waterproof housings.

This time it's different, and we've used it extensively in Volume 3 - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown.  It records AVCHD onto micro SD card, and imports directly (as ProRes) into Final Cut Pro.

But if you're tempted to buy one, keep a very close watch on the waterproof seal, because after six months of weekly use, mine failed.  I sent to camera to Sony's repair department who recognised it as a fault and sent me a brand new replacement.

If you'd like to see how it looks on screen, then take a look below.  Or click here and scroll down.  All the cycling videos I've posted on this blog were shot on this wee camera, with only a few (obvious) GoPro shots thrown in.


Junking the Junk Training Miles Continued - 2nd Fitness Test

It is enormously satisfying to achieve a goal.  

Last week I discovered that I was on track with, not one, but three of my cycle training goals. 

Of course, the real goals come this summer when I try to ride the Raid Pyrenean and La Marmotte sportive. 

Back in November, I wrote at length about my testing session with Dr Garry Palmer of Sportstest which had happened a few weeks earlier.  

The fundamental point of the session was to give me precise heart rate training zones, and a training plan to follow.  

I was a slightly unusual case due to the geography of Scotland where I live. My body had become accustomed to riding junk miles.  It was either going uphill, working hard, or freewheeling down, not working. So right from the start it just burned carbohydrate. Endurance riding is all about using fat more efficiently as fuel, so that's what my winter training has been designed to encourage.

It worked.

I have dropped a lot of weight, including 3kg of fat.  Most importantly, the graphs show I am burning fat right up to close to my aerobic threshold.  That is exactly what the training has been designed to achieve.  But there's a downside...

I appear to have also lost 0.8kg of lean mass.  Was this muscle?  Possibly, because my peak power has also dropped.  Now, there are many possible explanations, so these are just early warnings.  

I haven't been training for power and was last tested after a strong summer of riding.  But it might also indicate a nutrition issue.  Perhaps I have been over-doing the fasted riding?  Or not recovering well enough from my shorter sessions?

I now have a, slightly daunting, new training programme to follow right up to the Raid Pyrenean and a taper to La Marmotte.  This programme keeps some endurance work, but adds a lot of threshold work and the long rides get a lot longer.  

A three hour Saturday ride is followed by up to eight hours on Sunday.  When I questioned this Garry pointed out, "er, you're doing the Raid?"  Ah.  Good point.  Time to get pedalling.

Launch Date of DVD Volume 3 Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown

It's still six months away but we plan to launch the  DVD of Volume 3, Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown on 1st October 2013.

We will give details of its content nearer the time, but it will be a series of films rather than a journey mixed with coaching.

But it won't be a normal launch.  It won't be... right, here's the DVD for sale.  Oh no.

Instead, we plan to initially offer some exciting content from Volume 3 to download, absolutely free for charge.  There may be some time-limited material too.

The Premier of the film will be at the Scottish Canoe Association show in Perth 26-27th October where the DVD will also be on sale.

At least that's the plan six months out!  And plans change...

Video - Seals

A cheerful way to start the week.

24 Hour MTB Race on The Adventure Show, Sunday

When I did the first edit of this programme I was struck by how it felt more like a documentary than a sports show, as we follow a series of competitors through the gruelling 24 mountain bike race, The Strathpuffer.  I spent four days on this event, pre-filming with competitors and organisers, and the results look good.  

There are also two features with Cameron McNeish.  One is about budget walking kit while the other is a fantastically evocative Wild Walk above Kinlochleven.  I thought I knew the area well, but this turned into quite a surprise.  

The Adventure Show is on BBC-2 Scotland at 8pm Sunday 17th March.  If you have Sky or Freesat you can easily find the BBC2 Scotland channel. Or catch it on iPlayer for 7 days.  It's worth it!

Video - Pine Marten. Not SiS Fuelled

The GO Energy bottle makes a good feeder for the Pine Martens who regularly visit our garden. Peanut butter and jam around the rim, crisps and an egg inside. Caught by our infra-red camera trap.

Another Video from Stornoway Shoot

One of our kayaking cameramen Graham revealed an unexpected talent.

Video From Our Stornoway Filming

There is no truth to suggestion their names are Gordon or Simon!  (Or anyone else.) These two Kunekune pigs were brought to the islands as family pets but then... grew. They are now on farm next to the excellent, good value, and highly recommended Macaulay Sporting Lodge where six of us stayed for the week.  

Feeding this pair came to be a morning ritual. They loved our leftovers.