Lights, Camera, Ride!
I have to face it, I’m a gear junky. Whether it’s bikes or another expensive hobby I like gear. I particularly like well designed and well built gear. In some instances gear can be life saving equipment such as a helmet. In other instances gear can may your journey just that much more pleasant.
We recently acquired via Ebay a GoPro video camera to mount on the bike. Initially it was because of Gadget Girl, but once I figured out how useful it was going to be I am hooked. It’s amazing how small it is considering the quality of the video it shoots.
It’s pretty fun to be able to video bits of your ride, and then go back later and watch it all over again just for giggle factor.
Where the camera really shines however is providing documentation of any issues between automobiles and us. The video is clear enough that we are able to identify the make and model of most vehicles as well as a license plate. We are already building a file folder of video clips of some of McKinney’s less than stellar drivers. Vicky has already taken a video of two separate drivers into the local police. Unfortunately she was told that unless it had been witnessed by law enforcement official there was nothing they could do. This is something we will be working on changing by working with a local bicycle advocacy group and the city of McKinney’s safe cycling plan. However, in the meantime we are placing video files on YouTube to document these drivers. That way, if something should happen to a cyclist, the information is readily available via internet search.
I tend to use the camera during my commutes back and forth to work as that seems to be where I most encounter problem drivers. I mount the camera low on the seat stay with it facing backwards to cover the most likely threat axis while I am on the bike. It also makes the camera slightly more inconspicuous.
During my wife’s rides or my training/fitness rides we mount the camera on the front of the bike. Mainly this is just to provide a different viewpoint for the ride than my commute.
We are currently discussing a 2nd camera for more complete coverage.
Overall my wife and I are extremely pleased with the GoPro Hero HD. It provides good quality video footage in a nice small camera for a reasonable price. And most importantly, should something bad ever happen between me and a car, it gives my wife evidence to go after the driver with.