Birkie Cam

After a few dry runs at Weston, I ended up gluing a cheap fisheye lens to my Flip Mino to drastically widen the field of view. This helped make the image a lot stabler, albeit at the cost of some blurriness around the edges. That's what you get when you buy $20 lenses, I guess. Big thanks to Dave Chiu for the idea.

I eventually got about 45 minutes of video from the race, but since long distance nordic skiing is a fundamentally boring sport to watch (unless it's the front of the Vasaloppet), I edited it down to 6 minutes with music and captions. Starring Cary Fridrich as "chatty guy."

Birkie Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.


Luke S said…
I think I spotted some 09-10 S-Labs on some dudes walking up that first hill there. So THATS how the ski industry survives.
Alex said…
Luke S said…
Also, agree with Alex.
Ari said…
@ Luke

and in the 50k at the Olympics the day after, Northug jumped on some 2002-3 vintage (I think) RCSes. Yeah, it's fun to see the guys in the Elite Wave on ten year old skis and falling-apart boots kicking my ass. Okay, not fun, but something.

Sweet video, though, Collin. The other guy taking video is going to have his in theaters this weekend in Hayward (okay, in a theater on Friday night). He takes it from his head, so a slightly different perspective. Now, do I make the drive for that? Apparently I made it in, though—he caught me on Mosquito Brook Hill and I said "wait I want to be on the teevee" and skied in front of him for a while (he beat me—damn). I might have to. Too bad it is going to be a rainy slushfest up there this weekend.

But, yes, awesome video. Especially sledder hill ("first real downhill") which I've never seen that late in the race but heard about—wow. And the 9th wavers clogging up the feeds. Timber Trail (second feed) was so fast earlier in the morning that I blew threw it going to fast to grab a cup. People need to learn how to take feeds at 15 mph (I was going faster than that, though). I'm looking forward to the video next year. Also, the pro thing to do with your gel wrappers is to throw them on the side of the trail. The pro thing to do with your water bottle is to not drop it in the tracks like I did.

Also, 710th should get you in the first wave, since the top 200 are Elite, and they have at least 500 per wave for the first few—this year there were 554 finishers out of the first wave, and if you assume a few DNFs and DNSs probably closer to 600 started. It seems last year the cutoff was ~725th. They do let people take their best time from the last three Birkies. So I guess we'll see where the cutoffs are this year. And the front of the first wave is the same as the back of the elite wave competition-wise. Start training.

(Also, any chance you have any of my Macalester skiers—gaudy blue and orange suits—in your video? I think I saw one ~1:15.)
G-ride said…
that was cool. and i am a biker. i wish i was that in control on skis. I may be a bit, err, squirrelly on the skate skis. I face planted going uphill on that bullet proof snow yesterday, while going "fast". Glad no bikers were around to see me.

I should try skiing on some trails that are not either UP or DOWN. Might be cool.
Kurt P. said…
you're fast.
Jess said…
Really fantastic quality video there. So here's the question: Was it worth it skiing out of wave 10?

Everyone says that's truly an experience you need to have. I'm not sure if I should do that next year or try to use my Craftsbury/Gold Rush placings to whine my way into a better wave.
Colin R said…
Jess: ditch wave 10 and ski with the elite women, for sure. If you're worried about placing well, wave 10 is a terrible idea.
Luke S said…
Ari-I've gotten in trouble here before for hating on old equipment. I was doing just the opposite. You can't fake fitness, and people who can ski can ski fast with their 10 year old skis on their feet, but you can't buy fitness or technique with expensive boots.
Colin R said…
Ari -- I was 791, not 711, so that's looking more like 2nd wave, wouldn't you say?

I might have some more Macalester skiers in the footage. I will check it out.

I hate people who throw their gel wrappers.
Ari said…

I was hating on the people who buy really expensive equipment / get really expensive wax jobs. I haven't bought a new pair of skis in years—buying used skis from fast skiers (who have a tech or know how to wax) is awesome; I got my fastest pair from a wax rep. And my boots: both pairs used. My classic boots once belonged to one Matt Liebsch. He's only won the Birkie since. A couple days before the Birkie I was in a ski shop which was working overtime to wax skis for the race talking about wax. One of the techs picks up a pair of uber-shuffling waxless skis and says "yup, this guy is getting a wax job worth way more than his skis." Fitness is, what, 90-95%? And equipment/wax/etc. is 5%.

@Collin you were 710th amongst men. There were 70 women elite finishers, and there are ~0 women in the first wave as if you qualify for it as a woman you pretty much qualify for the elite women's wave (we've got to get more girls skiing).
G-ride said…
colin is a giant amongst men.
rick is! said…
6 mins but still plenty entertaining.
Julia said…
Hey, Col, that was entertaining. My favorite was the two luge tracks. Oh, and Cary talking to Linnea!
Ari said…
So I did make the drive to Hayward (and back the next evening) to watch the Birkie movie. It was a bit heavy on training and waxing (although there were some hilarious bits) but his Birkie video was pretty sweet. Not luge track sweet, and no one talking to the camera, though. He might send you a copy if you Vimeo messaged him and promised not to distribute it (he doesn't have any rights to the songs he used in it).

There was discussion in the after party (attendees included only one Olympian) about having cameras in each wave next year. So, uh, work on that.
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