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Field Recording

by Tyler

During yesterday's ride, we enjoyed the Amalfi scenery on our second trip through it's unforgettable coastline. Though it provided spectacular views once more, we'd forgotten how mountainous the area is. Today, we were hoping for something a little less strenuous. With a bit of searching, I was able to find an inland route heading back to Salerno. In addition to appearing flat (read: not clearly an endless series of switchbacks), it seemed to be many kilometers shorter!

Pointing out the mountains that surrounded our immediate vicinity, Tara was highly doubtful the roads would prove to be any easier. We are both normally consummate optimists, so I teasingly bestowed the title of "Mrs. Doomsday" upon her as we left. Though she disputed her newly given name, she still insisted we had a difficult ride before us. Thankfully, she was wrong. The route featured only two climbs (vs. six yesterday) and the rest was, for the most part, flat. I made sure to jokingly rub this in for most of the day, frequently moaning about how tired I was from all of our easy pedaling.

Early on, we stopped at a coffee shop called "Cafe Fashion" for our daily dose of tasty Italian cappuccinos. While we sat on contemporary stools, sipping our warm beverages, we had a good laugh at the array of fashion magazines available to read. They were full of malnourished runway models dressed in outfits that made them look like mental ward patients, extras from the Matrix, or aliens. The latest trends in haute couture seem to be large spherical hats that look like Pac Man trying to eat the model's head.

Later on in our ride, we encountered a long tunnel, very much like the closed one I'd hope to record yesterday! As usual, we disregarded the nearby signs forbidding pedestrians and cyclists. These admonishments would be a lot more effective if they ever indicated an alternative route. Where are we supposed to go, if we should not use what is often the only road leading in our direction? If we cared, this would be frustrating, but we don't. We opted, as always, to simply ride on through.

I was really excited as I heard a powerful humming the distance. When we found an emergency turn-off near a roaring exhaust fan, we pulled over. Tara stayed to take photos while I went to capture the audio equivalent of her snapshots with my new field recorder.

Tyler's Bike in Tunnel Tunnel Paint Chips

I don't really know what I'm doing. Yet. Basically, I plugged my headphones in to monitor the sound, affixed the wind screen over the mics, set the recording level as high as I could without the audio clipping, and then hit 'record'.

Unfortunately, the tunnel was much smaller than the one we'd ridden all the way out here to capture. The cars were driving very slowly by comparison and much of the chaos I remember (howling tires, a lot more fans, etc) isn't reflected in this, my first recording. It was a good learning experience though!

Tyler Recording w/ Zoom H4n

Back on the road, we cycled the remaining kilometers home to Salerno uneventfully save for a final bone-chilling descent.

Salerno Buildings Salerno Buildings

Back in town, we took up residence at Caffe Love Story one last time to say goodbye to the friendly waitstaff. Over another cappuccino we sorted our photos, listened to our recordings, and uploaded some of both. Feeling accomplished, we hit the road a little later to head back to our camp just outside of town. We haven't reused a stealth camp since Cremona; it is really nice to have a reliable, free place to stay!

While I set up, Tara made pancakes which we ate with lots of butter and real Vermont maple syrup, sent to us by her parents. They were delicious! So Tara would be able to eat them while they were hot, I fed her bite sized pieces while she poured and flipped the batter. We had fun shouting "incoming!" when a bite was ready, and "PANCAKE PANCAKE PANCAKE!" when a new batch of flapjacks was ready to be placed in my bowl.

Tara Cooking

Before we went to sleep, I took another recording; this time of the ocean crashing just a few feet beneath our tent.

Recording the Waves
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I've always been amazed at what's considered "high fashion". Glad someone else shares the sentiment!

When I get back home I'm definately going to have to check out all the sounds you've put up.

Also your beachside tent resort is awesome! :)
Posted by Mike on January 24th, 2010 at 8:26 PM
awesome! now you are just going to have to get one of those little flip camcorders to record video too...
Posted by lian on January 24th, 2010 at 11:31 PM
Wow, the field recordings really add a wonderful new dimension to your trip! More please!
Posted by Okir on January 25th, 2010 at 12:52 AM
No bicycle tour would be complete without a Mr. or Mrs. Doomsday! :)
Posted by Sarah on January 25th, 2010 at 9:33 AM
Nice addition to the blog. Now all we need is 3D ;-)
Posted by Jodi on January 25th, 2010 at 8:43 PM
The field recordings are awesome. Listening to the tunnel recording while viewing the photos of the tunnel gave me a sensation similar to vertigo for some reason. So cool. More!
Posted by Dostoy320 on January 26th, 2010 at 10:29 AM
i'm playing nick the sounds of the waves as he's falling asleep...so very cool! please post more recordings!! :)
Posted by Jesse on January 26th, 2010 at 9:08 PM