Monday, February 13, 2017

Gimbal Test

I recently bought an EVO SS Gimbal to try producing more stabilized videos. I had my doubts after pulling the rather heavy contraption from its box. That suspicion persisted when I mounted it to the GoPro Chesty and felt its mass shifting as I moved around on the bike. Surprisingly, though, the footage came out smooth and stable. There were a couple of instances with some shake, but that was only during the quick spurts out of the saddle to jump or pump transitions. I may try to alter my chest mount in order to keep it from bouncing around, but for now I'm pleased with the outcome.

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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Snowshoe (West Virginia)

My buddies Tony and Tobje joined me for a day trip to Snowshoe on Saturday. We shoved off from Richmond around 6am, made great time on the drive and were in the parking lot by 10am. We were met with blue bird conditions and decent snow. Making our way across the basin side, we eventually hopped aboard the shuttle bus to Silver Creek, where we grabbed lunch and continued riding. Two of the three terrain parks were open at Silver Creek, so we explored the features for a moment before settling in on a series of slopes with excellent snow near the border of trees. We could hear the other riders scraping their way down the bare slopes, all the while hooting and hollering as we carved through the snow they'd pushed to the edges.

Silver Creek offers night skiing, so we were already in the perfect spot when the sun went down. Our riding wrapped up around 7pm and we were on the road home about an hour after that. I needed two energy drinks to make the haul home after such an eventful day of riding and the next morning I was absolutely drained, staying in bed as long as I could before groggily emerging.

Tobje and I bought the 3-For-All passes, so we'll most likely try to get back on the snow ASAP. Next time perhaps I'll bother bringing along the goPro to capture some shots.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Transmission Time

After my transmission failed last weekend, I was left with the task of swapping it. I, of course, headed to my local junkyard to find a donor. Although I couldn't determine the vehicle's mileage, I did choose to remove the transmission from a 2004 (mine's a 2002) WJ - one that had been wrecked instead of showing up in the yard due to some mechanical failure. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be a reliable replacement.

The Fiesta did rather well lugging around the transmission, floor jack, jack stands, and tools!

The extended control arms of the Rough Country kit made dropping the crossmember a bit more involved, but eventually I had it, the transfer case & driveshafts, and transmission sitting on the floor. Installing the replacement went rather well, especially after I discovered the alignment dowel which had stayed in the donor transmission - interfering with the existing dowel still inserted in my engine bellhousing ;-)

This weekend I'll be snowboarding at Snowshoe, so the rest of the install will have to wait until next week. Once the transmission is installed, I'll also be touching up the bondo and applying paint to a couple areas, as well as pressing a new bushing into the upper control arm above the rear axle. Once those are complete, I'll test the Jeep and list it for sale.

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