Videoing my ride

September 17, 2013 at 21:03 | Posted in bicycles | 2 Comments
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I’d been toying with the question camerafor a while – it’s something that is a growing trend amongst cyclists, as evidenced by the endless youtube footage if cars carving up cyclists. Should I get a camera for my bike? The main motivation for attaching a camera to one’s bike seems to be in order to capture bad driver behaviour and, if the worst comes to the worst, to use as evidence. I don’t suffer much from bad drivers, but I was vaguely curious try out a camera.

So I bought one on eBay – a very very cheap one. $20 from China, complete with handlebar clamp and integrated headlight. What’s not to like? Well, the video quality, obviously, but I thought I give it a go before splashing out on something expensive.

So here, ladies and gentlemen, is an entirely uninteresting ten minutes of my commute – it’s the section through Sydney’s CBD on the green bike lanes. Probably the only interesting thing is the cycle cops on duty at Pyrmont Bridge (I spot them and push my bike through that section – it’s about three mins in), merrily giving out tickets to riders without helmets or those who ride through the red bicycle light at that spot (a bicycle light which, due to a wholly inadequate sensor, rarely turns green) whilst ignoring all those scofflaw pedestrians doing exactly the same thing.

copvideo

Oh, you’ll also see me ignoring a whole load of similarly useless bicycle traffic signals that give cars priority (any signal that only gives cyclists four seconds of green per phase is just asking to be ignored, IMO), whilst paying closer attention to those where pedestrians might be crossing. The other strange thing is the camera perspective – it seems to be quite a narrow angle, which gives the impression I am much closer to things than is really the case. At 7.15, for example, you’d think the guy on my right was seriously invading my personal space – it looks like his elbow is right in my face. But actually he was probably two metres in front of me.

I would probably use the camera more, but the battery is pretty hopeless (it only just lasts out for my thirty minute commute), and, more to the point, after I’d had it about a week I dropped it onto my concrete garage floor. It now rattles a lot, and whilst the pretty lights all flash away merrily it no longer appears to actually record any video. Oh well. It was an interesting experiment, but not interesting enough to make me want to splash out on a more expensive camera. Or not until I’ve carpeted the garage, at least.

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Brakeless fixie scofflaw!

April 27, 2011 at 23:12 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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Either I am going soft, or having the Radish is metamorphosing me into a full on European-style utility cyclist, as when I left work tonight it was a bit chilly in my cycling shorts and jersey, and for the first few minutes I thought longingly of how much more comfortable I would be all rugged up and riding the Radish.

However after a few minutes I warmed up and started to enjoy myself. However that enjoyment was curtailed by a slight wobbling, loose sensation on the right side of the handlebars. Immediately my mind jumped to this incident, also on a fixie.

I cautiously experimented with where it might be coming from, and was able to ascertain it was not the actual bars, but the brake lever seemed to be coming loose. I continued to ride, putting less pressure on the hoods, but it continued to loosen further. I started to get worried that if I needed to brake hard the whole thing might come off with unpleasant consequences. I therefore switched to riding on the tops, and refrained from using the front brake at all whilst generally riding more sedately.

I reached the first set of lights on the cycleway after the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and as I rode up to them I saw the opposing car traffic signals go red. Excellent; I was about to get a green. I therefore continued into the intersection before realising my error; the light phasing was not what I was expected and I was suddenly in the path of oncoming traffic. Ooops. I quickly got across and out of the way, thankfully clearing the junction in good time and not even getting honked. Not at all clever though, and definitely not a good look.

I did smile wryly to myself afterwards, though – blasting through a red light on a fixie with defective brakes. I managed to tick a few boxes on the stereotype tonight.

Anyway, I have to stop there, as I need to go out and sort out the bike for tomorrow. Not to tighten the brake lever. But to fit some spoke cards…

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