Helmet cams are cool

Lots of people talking about this video of cyclist Luke Rae in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He uses a helmet cam to show his encounters with scofflaw, law breaking motorists. When motorists can learn to obey the rules of the road, I’ll recognize their privilege to use those roads.



So yeah, there are the occasional idiots who fail to recognize my right of way. The same things happen while I drive, but when I’m on bike I tend to remember it because I’m just a little more vulnerable. I watched a motorist run a red light Wednesday evening in Palo Alto and come that close to hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk. She slammed her brakes on just in time — the pedestrian was sweating bullets, while the driver smiled apologetically and waved at the pedestrian.

To the motorist, these close calls are nothing — just part of the driving experience, and nothing to think about, nothing to remember, and it’s certainly not an opportunity to learn. Maybe helmet cam videos like this will help remind all of us to be a little more watchful while we drive.

In other news, perhaps Citizen Rider should carry a camera with him.

8 Comments

  • May 28, 2010 - 7:12 am | Permalink

    I'm all for cyclist rights and not dying, but that guy was cruising through the parking lot across the parking spaces around 0:55. It's no wonder the car didn't see him.

  • ChrisM
    May 28, 2010 - 7:13 am | Permalink

    That is a very cool camera. Anyone know who makes it?

  • May 28, 2010 - 7:24 am | Permalink

    There's some pretty obvious product placement at the end of the video. http://www.tachyoninc.com/

  • May 28, 2010 - 7:24 am | Permalink

    I'd with Ed. Most of those videos seemed to exhibit him showing really aggressive behavior.

    He looks young. He wears a fully enclosed helmet. it makes me wonder if he thinks he's invincible, and that whatever happens, he'll stick it to the motorist with his video.

    This video didn't give me any sympathy for cyclists. And I'm a daily commuter.

  • Andy
    May 28, 2010 - 7:26 am | Permalink

    You can tell he's not the most predictable rider though. Cutting through parking lots is a good way to get cut off by cars not expecting you. I'm also not surprised that he has cars passing closely when he rides on the edge of the roadway. Even with the red car that tries to turn, it looks like he was coming up the side of the traffic lane where visibility is reduced. Of course the car should not cut him off, but it's harder to see a cyclist if they are sneaking up along the cars. If you want to stay safe, than take your space and ride predictably. I used to have far more close calls until I realized this.

    @ChrisM, it says Tacheon XC on the side, looks like they make a few models starting at $120 for 1hr recording time

  • May 28, 2010 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    I agree with the commenters so far. The one time he got hit is pretty bad, but I can't believe the guy even shared his footage cruising through a parking lot. Like Andy said, he is definitely not a predictable or experienced rider.

    Unfortunately, the media loves to portray cycling as much more dangerous than it really is. This guy, with his full face helmet, just helps to perpetuate the myth that it is a war out there between cyclists and drivers. He seems to like the attention too.

  • May 28, 2010 - 11:29 am | Permalink

    This is a great example of how NOT to ride a bicycle in traffic… this guy is way too close to the edge, riding exactly where motorists are LEAST likely to be looking, and where he is MOST likely to be overlooked.

    Based on how he rides, it's no wonder unpleasant stuff happens to him so often he felt the need to get a helmet cam. It's sad that he and so many other cyclists have no idea how much their choice of lane positioning (way too far right) has to do with how poorly they are treated.

    It's a self-fulfilling prophecy… “I might get hit so I better ride as much out of their way as I can… WHOA… I was almost hit! Didn't he see me???… what do I have to do, ride on the sidewalk?” It's not intuitive so it doesn't occur to them to do the opposite… ride further out in the lane where it's not guaranteed you'll be noticed, but it's much less likely that you'll be overlooked, and from where you can easily determine whether you've been noticed or not, with plenty of time and space to take uneventful and safe evasive action in the rare cases where you're overlooked despite your conspicuous lane positioning.

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