Zimride’s Top 10 Road Trip Movies

Happy Memorial Day weekend, Zimriders! With summer around the corner and a holiday on Monday, this weekend is perfect for a road trip. San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles are just a few of the awesome driving destinations this weekend on Zimride.

To toast Memorial Day weekend we bring you our Top 10 Road Trip Movies* of all time. Enjoy and safe (+shared) travels!

  1. Planes, Trains & Automobiles – John Candy and Steve Martin in a John Hughes film…enough said.
  2. Rain Man – On a Zimride with Charlie Babbitt, pit stops to catch Judge Wapner on People’s Court are a must.
  3. Little Miss Sunshine – This family flick is just as funny as it is heartfelt.
  4. Thelma & Louise – Female bonding at its finest.
  5. Sideways – After Miles famously refused to drink merlot, U.S. sales of the varietal actually dropped.
  6. Easy Rider – Don’t miss the soundtrack in this classic biker movie. R.I.P. Dennis Hopper.
  7. Dumb & Dumber – “We got no food, no jobs…our pets’ heads are falling off!”
  8. The Motorcycle DiariesA young Che Guevara hits the road on his motocicleta.
  9. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson’s psychedelic desert trek to find the American Dream.
  10. Cars – We love a good Pixar film…especially one with talking Cars!

Rain Man Road Trip

Happy Road Trippin!

The Zimride Crew

*Top 10 Road Trip movies not titled “Road Trip.” (Although we love that one, it’s a little too easy.)

All photos courtesy of MGM. They make awesome movies!

Tips from Zimriders: Picture Perfect

Everyone loves to Zimride in style, which is why it’s important to show off your car on your profile.  We asked an amazingly talented Zimride driver, Matt L, to share his pro advice so you can get that perfect shot.

Matt L Photo Tips

Matt L offers up his photo tips for showcasing your car on Zimride.

I Zimride in a 1996 Subaru Legacy Outback that I’ve customized heavily, so I like to show off my hard work when I get a chance. Here are some tips on how to take fantastic photos of your car with minimal gear.

Tools of the Trade

  • Any camera (one that can do manual settings is best)
  • A tripod or something like a bag of rice to keep a camera steady
  • A nice, interesting background
  • Good light

Location, Location, Location

First park your car in a nice location and make sure the environment fits the car. For example, park an outdoorsy car in the wilderness or a sports car in a city environment.

The Golden Hour

The “Golden Hour” is the hour right after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. Try to take your photos at this time—it makes everything look magical.

Photo Tip: Subaru at night

Get Down Low

You can emphasize the awesomeness of your car by eliminating any distractions in the background. The easiest way to accomplish this is dropping down on a knee or lying on the ground.

Position yourself and your camera at about a 45 degree angle to the car or 90 degrees depending on the look that you want to achieve.

Manual Mode

Check if your camera has a manual mode “M”. When your camera is on manual mode, set the aperture (f/”something”) to around f/8. This will give you an in focus image from foreground to background. If you’re using a DSLR, then you’ll want to switch to f/11.

Adjust the shutter speed so that the part of the car facing you is properly exposed. You’ll also want to keep your ISO as low as possible to get the best image quality.

If you are using a simpler camera without manual features such as a phone, put the box (or tap the screen) on the part of the car closest to you until it is the proper brightness. You may want to use exposure compensation (+2 to -2) to adjust this if your camera offers this feature.

After you have your settings dialed in, hold steady and blast away!

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

Try different angles and position the car differently in the light. I like to place the car diagonal with the wheels pointing out towards the camera to make the car more engaging.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to experiment with some different techniques, take your car somewhere totally dark, leave your camera on a tripod, set your aperture to f/8 and your shutter speed to 30 seconds or as long as it will allow. After you snap your photo, but before the shutter closes, take a flashlight and “paint with light” on the car and around it. You’ll be surprised at the results.

Ask for Feedback

Share your awesome car photos with your friends and family and get their feedback. It’s important to practice!

Thanks for all the fantastic tips Matt! If you’re interested in checking out more of his work, please visit his Web site.

Got any shots of your car?  You can share them with us by emailing community@zimride.com or Share with us on our Facebook page!

Happy Travels!

The Zimride Crew

Stories from the Road: True Love Travels

Deyanira and Lauren

During the UC Santa Cruz fall quarter of 2010 my drives home to Southern California were ridiculous. Deyanira (in the left of the picture), the other half of my serious relationship, lived in the heart of Orange County. $45 bucks on gas each way literally sliced my wallet in half – but I had to do it. The love of my life lived almost seven hours away – and I was determined to do anything to make it work. All I can remember from those two and half months was racing out of my last class of the week, buying two Redbulls, and hitting the road. The gas killed me, but the look on her face right after midnight was soooo worth all the leg cramps and twitching eye-sockets. It was worth the drive every time and I couldn’t complain.

Then sometime later, a billowing, gorgeous blue flyer on campus stole my attention – “Sell the seats in your car, save gas, share the ride.” Could this be real? I signed up on Zimride within five minutes. I posted a ride offer to Orange County for that next Thursday. Three seats in my car had been sold less than twenty-four hours after posting – 30 bucks each way for four passengers varying between one way and round trips. I quickly did the math and thought to myself “$180 total! Holy crap! How did I not know about this before?”

I loved my first Zimride. Three other UCSC students and I were all headed to SoCal – they kept expressing their gratitude for the ride. Little did they know, I was way more thrilled than they to be making so much dinero. My gas was covered completely, and I even had some left over to take my lady out on a moon-kissed date. This same excitement continues on every single Zimride. With all the cash and smiles, how could it not?!

To make a long story short – Deyanira moved up a month after that first Zimride. I’d like to think it was all the energy I put into seeing her so often and making so many trips to SoCal. After all, long-distance relationships are more than geographically “long-distanced” – you really have to find a way to remain as close together as those first few months of puppy love. Since the move, we have driven down to SoCal to visit her and my family (February 2011 to March 2012) at least THIRTY-TWO times!

Thanks for the story Lauren! Any guesses on how much Lauren has made? Check out her Driver Tips to learn her secrets of being an awesome Zimrider. If you have a story that you want to share, please send your Zimride Story from the Road to community@zimride.com!

-Your Zimride Crew

Earth Day: Going the Extra Green Mile

St. Helena, CA - Photo courtesy of Curtis Rogers

Zimriders save money, meet new friends, and help the environment by ridesharing. As a community, we’re all responsible in doing our part to keep our planet rocking for future generations. Here’s a list of green habits that we embrace at Zimride HQ:

Turn off your computer monitor and lights when you leave your office
– Nick, Director of Business Development

Bring your own shopping bags instead of using non-degradable plastic bags
– Curtis, Account Manager

Sign documents electronically. Sharing files online also help reduce paper usage and toner waste 
– John, Co-founder

Utilize natural lighting to help brighten up the mood and decrease power consumption
– Jay, Community Manager

Ditch plastic utensils and non-degradable plates and cups for reusable tableware. A little bit of dish soap goes a long way in reducing waste 
– Nasim, Executive Assistant

Use a reusable coffee tumbler when you go out for coffee to reduce the use of disposable cups
– Jane, Account Manager

Have a green tip you’d like to share? Please share with us at community@zimride.com!

Happy Earth Day and make sure you enjoy the view outside today,

Your Zimride Crew

Stories from the Road: Birds of a Feather Zimride Together

Today’s Story from the Road by Shad shows how his Zimrides to Tahoe have helped him save on gas and make new friends.

I work for a large company with tens of thousands of employees, so Zimride and Facebook actually helped me find rideshare buddies I would not have thought of. Also, use of the Zimride referral link breaks the ice and turns us onto the idea of sharing our resources rather than clogging the roads with more cars. It also keeps us from draining our wallets of money we would rather spend on skiing and boarding equipment like new boots and helmets.

One of my riders was a repeat from a previous Zimride who as it turns out skis pretty much at my level (i.e. gnarly stuff). I arranged to pick him up at the Larkspur Landing Ferry for our Zimride to Lake Tahoe, and it turned out someone else found me on Zimride that wanted to ride with me using the very same ferry. What are the odds! While waiting for the ferry to arrive with my passengers, a third passenger contacted me to ride from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe, which was perfect because we had just enough room for one more person. The Zimride communication features were perfect for coordinating rides because each of them could see what they were getting into. They had time to lookup my profile and my vehicle to decide whether it was appropriate for them. And there was zero tension about when we would arrive and who would pay for gas, food, etc. That right there made the ride an absolute blast. One of my passengers turned out to be an experienced back-country snowboarder with amazing stories about ski areas all over the United States. I’d pay to hear the things he shared with us. Great stuff!!!

Our 4-1/2 hour drive seemed like it flew by in half that time. 🙂

Thanks to Shad for sharing his story! If you have a story that you want to share, please send your Zimride Story from the Road to community@zimride.com!

-Your Zimride Crew