Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The invisible bike

On a sleepy weekday last week I brought the helmet cam and a fixed-gear bike to work so I could shoot video while I rode delicately around the tight course on the sales floor. I'd ridden the rollers a couple of days, but it's more fun to ride where you can maneuver.

Because my netbook and the shop computers are too feeble to handle high definition video files I couldn't view my clips until I got home to the Macbook. The results surprised me.

Helmet cam videos shot in the outside world convey the movement of the bicyclist through familiar or plausible environments, on road or off. Depending on where the camera is mounted you might even see a bit of something to suggest the actual presence of the bicycle. But often it's really just a camera flying through space. We know it's on a cyclist because we've been told that. The movement matches what we know from our own cycling.

In my indoor videos I might as well be walking. On second and subsequent viewings I can start to pick up a bit of the fluidity of being on wheels, but for the slow bits where I'm tiptoeing through a narrow space nothing really indicates I'm riding a fixed gear dextrously down that alley except for my claim that this is the case.

video
As you may hear on the video, we're always trying to come up with revenue-generating ideas. I proposed a time trial around this indoor course. Riders could win discounts based on their times, but they have to pay full price for anything they break.

This next video is titled "Trouble in the Far Turn." That 180 down by the bikes has taken out many a rider. Okay, it's only taken me out, but it's done it many times. When the ski waxing station is set up you can easily nip the end of one of the waxing profiles and get thrown off your line.
video
Maybe next week I'll try a handlebar mount for the camera to try to get more of the bike perspective. I'm sure y'all can't wait.

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