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Tag Archive: video

Commuting with a video cam?

It’s not uncommon to see videos posted of bike rides. Most digital cameras have a video feature and now the mounting hardware for handlebars and/or a helmet is easier than ever to find. Any videos I’ve taken over the years have been while I’m holding a camera in my hand (not safe and not recommended) but I have sometimes pondered the need and desire to record my daily bike commute.

The need to record my commute would be to serve as proof of the hazards I encounter regularly –
* the motorist parked in the bike lane
* the numerous potholes that force me to take the lane of motor vehicle traffic
* the cabby that cuts me off to pick up or drop off a fare

But at another level, I sometimes just want to record my daily commute for the exact opposite reasons –
* to show everyone just how convenient bike commuting is
* to prove that I can navigate so easily through otherwise clogged streets of traffic
* to replay a fun commute over and over (not just in my head)

Our friends at our sister site MtnBikeRiders.com have reviewed video cameras in the past of their mountain biking adventures. But lately the trend seems to be in recording more daily and routine bike activities.

Not too long ago, my friend Dottie from LGRAB posted video she captured of our shared bike ride down Chicago’s lakefront path on a mild New Years Eve.

And Chicago’s very own online biking social network The Chainlink has also been buzzing over the news about how more cyclists are wearing minicams to catch offending road users.

At the moment I have a headlight strapped to the top of my helmet but so many people ask me if it’s a camera. Sometimes I really wish it was!

Lights on my helmet

I wouldn’t mind testing a minicam out some time. I could replace that helmet bike light with a helmet-mounted minicam (sadly not enough space on my already crowded narrow handlebars).

crowded handlebars

A local Chicago bicycle attorney – Brendan Kevenides – posted about how such minicams can provide evidence in the case of a bicycle crash. As he states in his blog post called the Chicago Bicycle Advocate:

One of the biggest challenges in representing bicyclists in litigation against motorists is finding a witness. The motorist and the bicyclist rarely seem to agree on how a crash occurred. Since the victim has the burden of proof in personal injury litigation, if a witness cannot be found to support the bicyclist’s version of events the case may be a lost cause. A handlebar mounted camera could, in many circumstances, tip the scales in the bicyclist’s favor by revealing exactly what happened. Dooring incidents and intersection crashes could be documented by a front facing camera.

The lawyers at Illinois Bike Attorneys told me, “Biking with minicams is a great idea, especially for a daily commuter.” The following reasons were outlined in support of minicams:

Studies show jurors retain 15% of what they hear and 85% of what they see and hear.

Plus, in terms of admissability, minicam video usually is both material and relevant in a case. And it can corroborate witness testimony and act as probative evidence.

What are your thoughts about using minicams for recording daily bike activities (not just mountain bike adventures and such)? Do you find a need or a want to record your bike commute?

Winter Biking Primer from Chicago

Streetfilms recently did some filming in Chicago and I love the resulting video about the joys and ease of winter riding that they put together:

I particularly agree with the comment about bike commuting helping to ease the “winter blahs” (at minute-mark 2:08).

Final note about riding in single digits vs. snow (minute 4:01). Last Friday at 7-degrees on the bone-dry roads I felt warmer than I did yesterday when it hovered close to 30 but stayed damp all day.

How-To Enjoy Winter Biking

The local news recently reported about winter biking in Chicago.

They even featured video of the fun of “snow” cycling.

As reported by Ben Bradley:

January 8, 2010 (WLS) — A half-foot of snow can be daunting for drivers, a headache for walkers and make a calamity of the commute. But for some cyclists it makes a great ride.

Sure, anyone can do it when the sun is shining and the thermometer reads 80-degrees. But, it takes a special breed to break out the bike during a winter snowstorm.

“Winter in Chicago doesn’t conqueror cyclists, cyclists in Chicago conqueror winter!” said one man while grabbing his bike.

Whenever more than two inches of snow fall in the city, these cycling enthusiasts gather at the appropriately named “Handlebar” tavern. They swap stories from recent rides, some down a bit of liquid courage and then they don their winter wear and hit the streets.

“It’s 50-percent guts and zest and just sheer will and the other 50 percent is gear, knowledge and knowing what you’re doing out here,” said Kevin Monahan, winter biker.

They pass drivers scraping their windshield, try to avoid plows like the plague, and- for the most part- try to stick to the side streets for their three-plus mile winter rides.

“It would be easy to live in a warm climate and bike all winter long,” said one rider.

“One of the great things about biking in the winter is it gets you out of the house and you can avoid cabin fever,” said Dave Glowacz, winter biker.

Some of the winter riders are the same folks you’ll find filling downtown streets during monthly bike rallies called Critical Mass. Their numbers fall with the temperature- but so does the disdain from those who prefer four wheels to two.

“We don’t get heckled as much in the winter. We get more respect. I think they appreciate us for our guts!” said Monahan.

The driving force behind snow cycling is a simple belief: If kids can play in the snow, so should adults.

The Need For Speed

Hot from the KONAWORLD comes this press release announcing the 7th video in a series providing consumers some insight into the people behind the bikes at Kona.  These are actually some pretty interesting videos that are more than just commercials for Kona.  Watch out for an upcoming review on the Kona Sutra!

Take A Step Into The World Of Kona’s Product Manager Pat White In The 7th Episode Of Kona’s Dr Dew Files: Fast Pat

KONAWORLD (July 30, 2009) – There can’t be too many bike companies that have a product manager as speed addicted as Pat White, the guy in charge of making sure Kona’s bikes rip, and rip real good.

In the 7th episode of The Dr. Dew Files: Fast Pat, the good doctor catches up with Pat on his home turf, and let’s his riding do most of the talking. Produced by the talented folks at Freeride Entertainment, you check out the Fast Pat vid at Konaworld.tv, as well as HERE.

Based at the Kona USA headquarters in Ferndale, Washington, Pat rides it all, all the time. Whether it’s commuting to work on his custom 29er Unit, blazing road on his Haole, or shredding sweet Pacific Northwest trails on his CoilAir, Pat’s riding skills speak for themselves. And if you don’t believe us, go check out the guy’s trophy case – mega.

If that isn’t enough street cred for you, Pat takes it to the next level as an accomplished motocross rider (he’s raced the Baja 1000) and a track motorcycle instructor, where he teaches other speed addicts how to go 180 MPH.

It’s a personal addiction that carries big knowledge and experience into every Kona bike. Cornering, jumping, pumping and accelerating, Pat knows what’s required to make a speedy ride-across cycling’s entire spectrum.

For the complete collection of Dr. Dew Files episodes hit: www.konaworld.tv and browse all our rigs at www.konaworld.com.

How to mount a tube and tire…Rivendell style!

Rivendell is now making videos on YouTube! (surely this is one of the signs of the apocalypse). It’s a simple and funny video and in true Riv fashion they manage to somehow make an online video tutorial on Youtube seem low-tech and personal. Gotta love it!

The talc step is actually really nice. I do this with all new tires as well. It makes mounting them a bit easier (talc on a teeny weeny level looks like flat plates, making them smooth and slippery). Check out their channel for other fun vids!