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With the advent of the many affordable HD helmet camera options on the market (especially the GoPro), the number of point of view (POV) mountain bike videos on the internet has exploded! To be brutally honest, the vast majority of the POV videos uploaded every day aren’t worth the time that it takes to watch them.

PS You only have 3 more chances, including today, to vote up Greg Rides Trails in the Crank World Cycling Blog Honors. Head on over and cast your daily vote now!
Here are 10 fast steps to help you take your mountain bike from nasty to beautiful in 15 minutes! Click here to read all about it in my latest post on!

PS Please be sure to head on over to and vote for Greg Rides Trails in the mountain bike category! You can vote once per day... so bookmark this page!
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Finally, I'm taking a class and reading a book that I think will help me with my writing. I have been digging into this text book, and it contains a real wealth of information to take into account when writing.

OK, I have the book, I'm reading it, I write blog posts regularly... yet when I sat down to write my place description essay, it felt like that's the last thing on earth that I wanted to (or could) do.

The words aren't flowing, no beautiful images leap from my finger tips as they bounce along the keyboard, no subtle metaphors spontaneously appear on the screen....

Maybe I'm just not creative....

05/17/11, 8:34 a.m.

Over the course of the last day I have slowly filled up 3 pages of images loosely tied together around the central place of my dorm at Big Sky Bible Institute. Technically, I have my rough draft done, but I'm not really happy with it at all. It really is "mental vomit," as the text book put it. I don't know if I have the patience and motivation to edit it before class today. Hopefully we don't have to read them out loud or anything...

05/18/11, 3:53 p.m.

Yes, we did have to read our essays aloud yesterday. We all gave feedback on each others' essays... but for some reason when it came to me, I felt like I had the most that I needed to fix. I'm sure that no matter how good or bad my essay had been, I would have felt like that, though.

I've just finished with my most recent run-through, and I have striven to follow my professor's advice and remove my commentary and place it with description. It is a "place description essay," after all. I think I may have finally achieved an essay that I can be happy with, although I am sure it is still not perfect.

05/18/11, 10:28 p.m.

I just finished another long revision session. I think I can finally say that it is almost done. As I reached the end, I was feeling very emotional about my time in Montana, and I was definitely feeling what I want to convey to the reader. Hopefully other people will get the same feeling when they read this piece!

05/19/11, 12:30 p.m.

I've turned in my final draft! Look for the essay here on Greg Heil .com sometime in the near future.

Click here to view the rough draft.
Click here to read the final draft.
This essay was written on the 10th of September, 2009, for my 1101 composition course. It was the first essay we had to write for the class,  and our assignment was to describe an object in great detail that held meaning for us.

I don't see my grade written anywhere on the essay, and since it has been a while I don't remember the exact number. However, I am pretty confident that it was a mid-range "A."

My prof's final comment reads: "An excellent, insightful essay--lots of wonderful, specific details."

I've got a new blog post live on!

From the post:
Trying to pick the 5 “best” mountain bike trails in Western North Carolina (WNC) is kind of like trying to pick the 5 best $5,000 mountain bikes. They’re all amazing, but they’re all just a little bit different. So while I’m picking these trails because I think they’re really great and may in fact be the best, I’m also choosing these specific trails in an effort to portray the incredible diversity of the mountain biking opportunities available in WNC.
 Be sure to check out the full article to see which trails I chose for the top 5!
I am having a hard time coalescing my thoughts into a useful form. Writing isn’t always something that you can just force… sometimes the perfect article or story needs to be coaxed out and nurtured over time. You (or at least, I) can’t always just sit down at the computer and bang out what I need to write. Well, and then there are other times I can.

It’s all about the inspiration, the timing, and the mood.

I wonder what it’s like to write as a full time profession? Do you have to just write no matter how you’re feeling, no matter how inspired you are? What happens when the infamous “writer’s block” rears its head?

I think exercises such as this—free writing and thought association—can be great ways to remedy that issue. It helps me at least to expel other thoughts in my head that are getting in the way of me writing the post that I want to write. 
I have been riding this pair of tires from WTB for the past several months, and I finally feel comfortable enough to have written a review of them.  Be sure to check out the main post on for my thoughts on these tires!