When GoPro asked if I wanted to collaborate to create a series of films to promote friendship through adventure. Their question was “If you could do anything in the UK and take anyone with you, what would you do and who would you take?"
It didn’t take me long to answer.
When I dream of cycling, I dream of days like these. Where it’s not all about doing crazy miles, and instead the emphasis is on the fun factor and the chance to explore the world with your friends.
Stop along the way to sample local ale, food and cake. Enjoy the views. Lie in the grass and look up at the sky. Chat to people you meet on the route. Hang out with the cows. Stay in B&B’s and eat eggs and bacon for breakfast. Have an objective to get from A to B but relinquish control of what happens in between. It’s these factors that make it a fun adventure, and they are amongst my favourite memories from my recent Coast to Coast cycle with Lorna North.
Filming Tips and a chance to win GoPro
In this blog there’s info on the route we took, the camera equipment we used, tips and tools to help you with filming and editing your own films. PLUS your chance to win an adventure kit from GoPro! Very cool! Details below...
Your Chance to Win:
PRIZE: HERO4 Silver, helmet and chesty mounts and some ace GoPro swag!!
To Enter: Share where you would love to go on a bike ride in the comments below OR by tagging a photo on (bonus points if you tag your bestie to join you) – this works on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Tag @challengesophie and @GoProUK to enter
Cameras and other equipment:
- We filmed the entire four part series using GoPro Hero4 Black at 2.7k and edited to 1080
- The Hero4Session was used to capture moments from the saddle with minimum effort
- We used a gamble to stabilise shots
- The battery life on my Hero4Session can last for a few days with me taking clips that are 1-2 minutes long each time. I use a 32GB memory card which also lasts forever
- On all my adventures I take a portable power pack like the PowerBank from OutdoorTech so I can keep my GoPro and phone charged on the move. It’s an exciting time to be able to record, edit and publish films from minimal pieces of tech whilst on the move
- Helmet Mount - It’s always good to see a little bit of the helmet peak in the shot, use the GoPro App to check the angle. Tighten up the straps as much as you can, a side at a time, to reduce any vibrations
- Chest Cam - Use the J mount and mount the camera upside-down in the Chesty, angle the camera upwards. This will give you the best angle when you are leaning over on the bike. Check the angle with the GoPro App
- Bar Mount - Put a little bit of double sided sticky tape under the Bar Mount to stop it from potentially spinning, especially on carbon bars. The 90degree mount will turn the camera to the correct angle when its mounted to your handle bars. Be cautious with carbon bars, don’t over tighten the mount. You can turn the camera backwards to get a selfie riding shot but also point it down to see the forks or forwards to capture where you are heading
- Seat Post Mount - Use the bar mount to mount to the seat post, underneath the saddle. Backwards gives a great perspective with the rear wheel in shot
- Fork Mount - Sticky patches are great to mount the GoPro camera in all sorts of places, use the removable instrument mounts if you want to be able to easily remove the sticky mount from your bike
Setting Up Cameras:
- 1080 @ 60 FPS is great for fast moving action that you want to turn into slow motion. 60FPS allows you to slow the footage down by 50%. Try experimenting also with 120FPS for super-slow motion, this works great in outdoors conditions! Shooting 1080 is great for pretty much everything and works perfect when sharing with your friends on social media
- Superview is the best way to capture as much action as possible when using a POV mount. Superview enables the GoPro to use the whole image sensor and then dynamically stretch the footage into a 1080 video. This is perfect for helmet mounts and when using the chesty
- If you want to capture great POV photos and never miss the action then use the time-lapse mode at 0.5sec. Start the time-lapse then review your photos using the App. Download and share right away!
- Burst mode is great for capturing high speed action. Setting burst mode to 30 seconds over 3 seconds makes sure you never miss the shot. Mount the wireless remote to your handle bar and trigger it whilst you ride. Experiment with different POV angles for dynamic and interesting photos!
The C2C Challenge
Coast to Coast has been on my bucket list for years. After watching the films, I hope it might make it’s way onto yours too.
The route starts in Whitehaven, an industrial town in the Lake District. Off-road cycle paths took us into the rolling hills with sharp climbs, long descents and stunning views. We covered 60 miles on day one and spent the night in Penrith.
Day two saw us take on the Pennines which felt like they went on forever. Lorna renamed them The Painines. These climbs were much longer than the previous day and no less punchy. We crossed county borders and took our arm warmers on and off, on and off.
We didn’t see any other women cycling the route but lots of men. The whole route is sign posted so you don’t need a Garmin or to plan a route. It’s really accessible and achievable by all, whether you opt for doing it in 1,2 or 3 days.
We faced our struggles on this ride. We were super tired off the back of the London Marathon and other challenges. But we stuck together and kept spinning those legs to crush the miles. We ate jelly babies, flapjacks and sandwiches. Anything to keep our energy high.
At 8pm on day two we reached the coast in Tynemouth. It was freezing, getting dark and we felt exhausted.
Yet our hearts, minds and the familiar ache in our legs told another story. We boarded the train back to London with that blissful feeling from another amazing ride and re-discovering what we already knew; that when you cycle with your friends it can test you but, friendship always come out on top.