Most of these
videos have been moved to YouTube for a variety of
reasons but may also be viewed from here (given
27th annual Nevada County Food
and Toy Run (12/08/18)
turnout this year, thanks in part to
a cloudless December day. C&E
Auburn V-Twin again loaned Thom a
fully-loaded Indian motorcycle for
the day (as they have for many years
past), and it was all hands on deck
for another outstanding Toy Run.
5 min. 46 sec.
cameras (not counting the
iPhone), my helmet cam was the
only non-functional camera this
year. Seems some bonehead forgot
its SD card - d'oh! Got more
than enough video without it,
tho. Also decided to forgo using
the drone as I'm not experienced
enough to be flying between
trees at the fairgrounds (I
believe County center is a
no-fly zone). Maybe next year...
26th annual Nevada County Food
and Toy Run (12/09/17)
Official count this
year: 1,812 motorcycles.
Unofficially, most estimates top
2,000 bikes. Run founder and head
honcho Thom Staser finall got some
richly deserved recognition this
year as NevCo Citizen of the Year.
Wouldn't be Christmas without the
Toy Run and all the great people who
make it happen. Thank you, one and
Tailcam decided to
quit working at the last moment,
but the others were up to the task
on this warm, bright and sunny
day. Couldn't ask for better
weather or nicer people. Saw lots
of happy kids leaving the
Fairgrounds loaded with stuffed
animals and bags full of toys.
25th annual Nevada County Food
and Toy Run (12/10/16)
Steady rain, gusty
wind, cold - not freezing cold, but
enough to reduce turnout to about
10% of normal. Only dedicated riders
on our Toy Run this year, and a
hardy few who braved the weather to
cheer us on. Didn't dampen our
spirits, but rain put an end to
No onboard cameras
this year, only a measly handheld
that somehow managed to stay dry
(probably because it wasn't used
but for a few seconds). Safe to
say, this year was a wash.
24th annual Nevada County Food
and Toy Run (12/12/15)
Day was plenty cold -
bracketed by rain the day before and
day after - but nothing can stop us!
Another spectacular NCFTR, thanks to
all involved who make it work every
year, including our local law
enforcement agencies, Search and
Rescue, plus all those countless
5 hours of video
from 5 cams whittled down to a
5-minute flick (such as it is). 4
of the 5 cams had junk in the
shot; tailcam has a corner of toy
bag flapping in the frame, barcam
caught a bit of my tool bag
up-front, visor intrudes in helmet
cam video and a zipper obscured
much of the bodycam footage.
Apologies for all that, we'll do
better next year.
23rd annual Nevada County Food
and Toy Run (12/13/14)
Impossible to stop
grinning at this event, no matter
who you are or where you're from. A
break in the weather during the week
helped produce another massive
turnout and another successful run.
Was a bit
unprepared for this year's event,
only had a single handheld cam
available and went without the
usual complement of mounted cams.
No video during the ride, only
what little was shot before and
after the run, so this is a short
22nd Annual Nevada County Food
and Toy Run (12/14/13)
Turned out to be a
bright, sunny and warm December day
in the northern Sierra Nevada
foothills, perfect for a gathering
of NorCal road warriors (and a quick
test of new cams with FCPX).
Two new cams with
new mounts and a new hand-held (all shooting at 720p
for reduced file size), plus
some new editing software - with
a stupendous learning curve -
adds up to much better video.
Gonna miss those little VGA
units tho; they were
lightweight, tiny and nearly
Nevada County Food and Toy Run
Betcha didn't know
Santa was a biker. Yup. Don't
believe that stuff about reindeer,
Santa rides a Harley and we
have proof right here. Special
thanks to our unknown conehead
friends who unwittingly graced this
year's video with style. We
wish Thom a speedy recovery, too,
and a big thank-you to all who make
it work every year.
Shot with 7
great little VGA cams producing almost
6 hours of video - 300GB o'stuff -
down to a 6.5-minute flick. Enjoy! Please donate to a worthy
http://www.toyrun.org/ supporting Big
Brothers/Big Sisters and Headstart
of Nevada County.
Nevada County Food and Toy Run (12/10/11)
thundering Christmas tradition is a
one-of-a-kind local event that
should not be missed. In fact, it's
inescapable if you're unlucky enough
to get stuck in traffic while it's
underway. Ride with us!
organized in 1991, Thom Staser
and company created an annual
event that is always a great
time and the very essence of
Christmas, drawing a procession
of 1500-2000 motorcycles on a
mission to deliver toys and food
for families finding hard times
here in Nevada County. Visit the
NCFTR web site for info and
Thanks to all of you who call and
visit the shop and express your
desire to deal locally with your
hometown businesses before running
down the hill. Thank you!
Our ability to keep
service and repair rates low is partly due to
obtaining materials as needed and
passing 'em along at cost. No
retail sales here, only service.
We offer quick turnaround and
local convenience at reasonable
rates, with personal attention to
our clients' needs. Your best
option for Mac services is right
here in Nevada County.
list of speed test
below; each link
opens in a new
three or more
and record your download
that test results
may be in Kilobits
(Kbps) or Megabits
date, time and
speed of each
the average of
test results: Add
all speeds, then
divide by number
of tests. More
tests = better
results may vary
depending on load;
avoid peak hours
(if given a
choice) and pick
weekday for tests.
provider and share
your test results
with them. They
should be happy to
hear from you. Or
Test results can
vary considerably depending on a
number of factors.
Factors include server traffic,
distance (closer = better), date and
time of test, computer specs, browser
and operating system, routers,
switches, condition of cable/wiring,
and more. For best results: Reset
modem/router, clear browser cache and
history, and quit all other programs
before running tests. Please make sure
your machine, software and network are
in order and up-to-date before blaming
your broadband provider for poor
If you have an iPod Touch, iPad or
iPhone, search the App Store for
"speed test" and you'll find a variety
of bandwidth test apps from Cisco,
Xtreme Labs and others. These may be
the quickest, easiest and most
accurate way to test any broadband
connection. Sites listed below are for
computer use, sorted (roughly, given
the constant flux) by accuracy and
ease of use.
Avoid any/all BIG
GREEN buttons on
these (and other) web sites,
they lead to garbage and
malware. DO NOT download.
Some ISPs have an initial speed
"boost" that may skew results for a
few seconds, and certain older
browser/OS combinations can also
distort speed tests. If you're not up
to running speed tests, watching the
fine print during a download in real
time can tell you a lot about your
The legal definition of broadband was
originally [anything over] "200Kbps in
one direction," which means this
dismal Comcast connection @ 173Kbps
cannot legally be called broadband
even by the _old_ definition. In 2010
the FCC redefined broadband as a
minimum of 3Mbps downstream (inbound)
and 1Mbps upstream. Are you getting
true broadband from your ISP (3Mbps+)?
maximum for analog data
landline, actual max is
Planning to use dialup?
(Really?!) You'll need a
per second = 1.5
Think of 1.5 as the new
dialup speed. 1.5Mbps is
too slow to stream video
(2.5 = min.) and takes
hours to download files of
per second = 3
Minimum bandwidth defined
as broadband, 2.5-3Mbps is
typical DSL (Digital
Subscriber Line) around
here, just enough to
stream video. ATT offers
tiered rates according to
services available at your
location, so it's good to
know your top speed before
subscribing. Ask 'em to
test your line.
per second (6Mbps).
for DSL is 6Mbps. ISPs happily
charge for speeds they
cannot deliver, which is
why speed tests are
providers have additional
factors impacting data transmission
(latency and weather), but at least
they're honest about it.
Fiber Optic =
speed of light.
The ultimate broadband
transmission method, Fiber
Optic lines carry light
pulses instead of
electronic signals for the
fastest possible data
Providers in Nevada County:
has a comprehensive list of the
major wired and wireless providers
with coverage info, price, customer
ratings and some interesting
statistics along the way. (Link
posted here leads to Grass Valley,
but you can enter any zip code).
Some smaller providers may be
missing tho - like Spiral (DSL).
DSL is a local, full service
ISP, and a much better choice than
dealing with ATT directly. (Why?
see their web site.)
Best to do an end-run thru Spiral,
above. Uverse includes data caps,
per-device charges and other
Waaay overpriced, dismal customer
service, Xfinity has same data and
device caps as ATT. Odd
satellite broadband covers much of
satellite services also covers
some of Nevada County as well as
Downeyville and outlying areas.
Broadband uses line-of-sight
(microwave) repeaters to "fixed
wireless" access points. Good
choice if DSL and satellite
options are unavailable.
offers unlimited fixed-wireless
service at speeds suitable for
streaming video (they claim). More
info is also available from Spiral.
covers Colfax, Auburn, and
provides south-county services.
Also uses repeaters for those who
cannot access other options.
Dish Network? See
Dish Network and
Actually, there's no such
thing as "FlexTV" - that was a
bait-and-switch mail scam from Dish
Network awhile back - one reason why
we don't recommend Dish for internet
service. But, if you must use Dish,
be sure you only deal with Gold
Satellite. Note: GCS web site
may be down temporarily...
coming to Nevada County?
Yes - and
no. Empty underground conduit was
installed all over Nevada County
by CalTrans awhile back, but it
may never be used. Meanwhile, Spiral
Internet obtained grant
funding for "last mile"
connections in Nevada County and
work is underway. Stay tuned.....