Mountain Bike Bill, Get the Dirt on the Dirt

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question that you do not see answered here please feel free to email me with it.

Q. What is best viewing setup for the site?
A. The site is cross-browser compatible and is tested to the both older and new versions of Firefox, Netscape Navigator, and Internet Explorer. I do use Javascript features on the site you will need to have that enabled for things to look there best. The preferred browser from viewing is Firefox. In the past I recommended Internet Explorer, but once I started designing to standards I found the Internet Explorer has a lot of quirks and bugs that are pretty much a pain in the butt. I have made plenty of effort to have a consistent look across all platforms, but you may see a quirk or to when using Internet Explorer.

Q. When I print a trail review I do not see any images. What is wrong?
A. Nothing is wrong. Printer unfriendly pages where a compliant with the old site, so I have the current site setup to scrub out pretty much everything but the text. I may provide multiple print options in future versions of the site.

Q. What do you use to create the site?
A. I used to use Microsoft Frontpage , but I have migrated to combination of Dreamweaver, and JEdit (Text Editor), and Adobe Photoshop. I mostly use Dreamweaver to manage site-wide changes through the use of a custom template. I program my pages to XHTML 1.0 Standards with the use of Cascading Style Sheets and Javascript. The blog portion of the site runs off of the Wordpress engine, with a highly modified version of the “Hope” theme.

Q. Who do you use for a web host and what should I be looking for?
A. As the website has grown, so has my hosting requirements and as such I have changed host no less than four times. The three biggest things you need to look for, particularly if you are going to host videos, are storage space, bandwidth, and connection speed or throughput. Bandwidth is measured in GB and it is the amount of data that is transferred from your site. Most Web hosting services give you a monthly allocation as part of your service package. Go over your allocation and you can pay some nasty overages. A bunch of storage and bandwidth will do you know good if the data connection from the server to the Internet is tiny. There is only so much water you can get through a garden hose compared to fire hose. Storage and Bandwidth have gotten so cheap now you can get some great deals if you pay for web hosting a year at a pop. I currently have my content spread over two servers but I will eventually move everything to my server which I have been extremely happy with. I have 300GB of storage and a monthly allocation of 1,500GB of bandwidth. If you would like to see what see what their current offers are click the icon to the right.

Q. Why not use You-Tube or Vimeo for videos?
A.  Well I am now using YouTube, but for a long time YouTube's  video quality pretty much blew.    YouTube was not even a thing until 2005 and my earliest videos were around 2002. It was not even until 2008 when they would allow 480P videos and the compression they performed was horrible.   In late 2008 they started allowing 1080p videos a full year after I already moved to HD.   YouTube has certainly has good stuff now and I am working on migrating my catalog of videos to thier platform.    It is not a small undertaking to reencode my older videos to the newer standards, but it will get done a little at a time.

Q. What kind of Helmet Camera do you use?
A. This has changed a whole bunch of times as technology has changed. Currrently I use several GoPro Hero 8s, and a gimbal for the chest mounted camera.   I have had GoPro Hero 2s, Hero3 and Hero3+. I never even published a video with those GoPro's as they were just inferior in image quality to the helmet mounted camcorder.  The Hero 4 was the first one of that line to start producing quality footage.  I did get a couple of Hero 5s and I did publish some videos using those cameras.    Check out my Video How-To Guide for some more historical information on the progression of the gear.

Q. What type of GPS do you use?
A. I started out with a Garmin eTrex (The basic yellow one), then an eTrex Vista Cx, then a Garmin Oregon 450.  In 2019, I need to replace my Oregon 450 and I considered the cycling specific Garmin Edge series but decided against it. The main reason is that I do more than cycling and I like the idea of being able to swap out batteries on the trail which you can't do with the  Edge series.  I'm pretty sure I would have been happy with the top-end Edge series but it was over 3 times the cost of the Oregon 700 that I went with. Check out my   GPS and TOPOs page for more information.

Q. Why have you added advertising to your site after not having ads for years?
A. Short answer, I like good beer, great bikes and killer road trips. Not Much Longer Answer – I have had some mixed emotions about putting ads on the site, but the reality is all the stuff involved with getting the stuff on the site cost and I would like to defray some of those costs. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing regardless, but covering some of the cost of the gear with leave more cash for trips.

Q. Do you offer prints of the pictures for sale?
A. Sort of. I have licensed photos in the past for commercial use as well as high-grade commercial prints. If you want to use one of my photos contact me and we can work something out. At some point I will offer high resolution prints directly from the site but I’m not there yet.

Q. What digital camera do you use?
A. I currently use a Canon 7D MkII Digital SLR camera. For lenses, I have the standard 18-55mm, a Canon 70-300mm, Tamron 10-24 and a Tamron 16-300mm lens. The 16-300mm lens is my standard trail lens as it is extremely versatile and I do not like changing lens on the trail.  Depending on the ride, I will also you my Samsung Galaxy S9+ which takes surpising good photos.  I used to carry the camera in an old single camera bag that I have cut the top out of and then placed inside of a Camelbak Havoc. I now use a camera specific sports pack that I find a must better setup. Its a LowePro 200AW. While the camera is bulky and a bit heavy, I love that features, speed and quality enough to make it worth it to carry it along. According to the age of the page you are looking at, you will find pictures from a Nikon 2300 and a Fujiflm 1200 as well.

Q. I saw a video of some guy riding his bike on the edge of a cliff and then falling way down into a canyon. Was that for real, and if so, did he ?
A. Yes it was for real. His name is Miles Todd and he is by far the luckiest person I know. Here is the story.

Also make sure to check out my BLOG entries tagged with the FAQ flag.