Thursday, December 31, 2009

AZ Trail: Three Bridges to Colossal Cave

I've heard a lot of praise for the Pistol Hill segment of the Arizona Trail, and it looks like a good ride to combine with errands in Tucson. Amy could drop me at the trailhead and go shopping, then we'd rendezvous later somewhere on Houghton or Old Spanish Trail.

I combined today's recon of the trail with a test run of my new Vivitar wireless shutter release. This gizmo can fire my Olympus SP-550UZ camera from as far as 100 meters away, making it an excellent alternative to the self-timer for putting myself in pictures. Example from today's ride:

Remote-controlled autophotography turns out to be a little more difficult than I imagined. For one thing, a full-sized tripod is a necessity. Using the tiny tabletop 'pod, I had trouble getting the compositions I wanted. Another wrinkle is that it's very difficult to do the kind of dramatic mountain biking that makes a good picture and press the release button at just the right moment. The camera has a rapid multishot mode for this purpose, but it applies an awful lot of unlovely compression in order to buffer all those shots.

I'll get the hang, eventually. And I'll continue to take the occasional picture without me in it.

Ride stats: 14 miles roundtrip with a total of about 2000' climbing. Trail is fun, as advertised, with plenty of swoopy, flowy sections; some rocky climbs; a few wash crossings; and a working water faucet at the La Sevilla picnic area.

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