/ Cameras, in the context of Operation Close Pass

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Martin W on 10 Aug 2017
Anyone got any views on cameras for cyclists? I'm thinking of the equivalent of dashcams for cars, rather than GoProing a run down through Spooky Wood (again).

A fair bit of footage of poor/dangerous road behaviour gets posted on YouTube, and the police in Edinburgh have recently been running an Operation Close Pass which involves an officer in plain clothes on a bike fitted with a camera riding around the town, and pulling up motorists who pass too close. There has also been an online portal for ordinary cyclists to report close passes with accompanying video footage - although apparently one cyclist who reported a close pass that way was told that the police would not pursue it because there was no rearward-facing footage.

So, if it's the case that the police regard it as reasonable for cyclists to ride with both front and rear facing cameras for evidence-gathering purposes, what cameras might be good for this?

I find footage from helmet mounted cameras pretty dreadful as a rule, due to the almost constant movement of the camera. Handlebar mounting is almost as bad, if not worse because you are almost always making small steering adjustments. I have tried mounting a GoPro clone to my head tube and that did give a more stable picture, but the viewpoint is obviously quite low - and the mounting bracket is bulky and ugly.

Right now, I haven't any idea about options for a rearward facing camera.

A downside of GoPros and the like IMO is that you have to remember to put them on and take them off the bike, switch them on, keep them charged and so forth. In comparison, the dashcam in my car is a permanent fitment, secure inside the car, and comes on automatically when the ignition is live - nothing to lose, nothing to forget. Anything you put on a bike seems to be much less straightforward.

Having scanned Google for commercial products in this area, it looks like I could end up spending as much on the cameras - with all the above drawbacks - I did for the bike! (Though of course it's not just the bike that you're hoping to avoid getting squished.)

So: does anyone have any pertinent thoughts, useful ideas or helpful recommendations?
krikoman - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Martin W:

> So: does anyone have any pertinent thoughts, useful ideas or helpful recommendations?

No
Martin W on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to krikoman:

Looks like you're right. Thanks for the bump anyway, though.
andy - on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to Martin W: i use k-edge for both front and rear - the front is a combined Edge and go pro mount, the rear fits on the saddle rails.

I don't use them for catching motorists, just to capture the amazing places we ride (front) and my mate gurning (rear).

Though having been hit by a motorhome's wing mirror at the weekend, and had a bloke in Brum try to start a scrap with me for indicating he'd passed too close (in a chicane/island) I'm thinking of running them continuously. I did wish I'd been one of West Midland's plain clothes blokes when the fighty man had a go...

Jim C - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to andy:
> i use k-edge for both front and rear - the front is a combined Edge and go pro mount, the rear fits on the saddle rails.
> I don't use them for catching motorists, just to capture the amazing places we ride (front) and my mate gurning (rear).

> Though having been hit by a motorhome's wing mirror at the weekend, and had a bloke in Brum try to start a scrap with me for indicating he'd passed too close (in a chicane/island) I'm thinking of running them continuously. I did wish I'd been one of West Midland's plain clothes blokes when the fighty man had a go.

Does that set up save to one central memory ( on two folders)?or is it two separate cards/ drives?

On the other subject , you have got to wonder at these ' fighty men' why they would consider to take on a complete stranger,particularly a fit cyclist who may very well , for all they know , also have other skills.(i e a martial arts background, boxing etc. )

I am 58 with a now very grey beard making me look much older- so my wife tells me,- so I may look a pushover, but I'm not.
However, if find that I have overweight slob that is in my face, I too need to consider that he may, for example , have been , say in the services, and so he. may not be quite as fat and useless as he appears, and so I would always try and diffuse such a situation. Having a camera/s may help in that regard.
Post edited at 03:31
nniff - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Martin W:

Fly6 is a decent rear view camera built into a light. Works well and overwrites when the card is full. Stops 30 minutes after being laid on its side they do a front version, fly12, is overspecced and priced in comparison. Fly6 battery life is downside (i.e. Time before it won't hold a decent charge any more) and it's a sealed unit. Mine was essentially dead after a year of two hours commuting a day
andy - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jim C:
Two separate cards - Garmin's editing software has a clever thing whereby you can have a frame from one camera in he corner of the frame from the other - but yes, two cameras, two cards. You can set them up so that whatever you do on the front one also happens on the rear (so start/stop recording, take a still photo etc).

What was bizarre about fighty man is he genuinely seemed to think that by riding along in a straight line, about 75cm from the edge of the road I was doing something wrong - "Yow wonta lurnta roide yow boike proplay!!". I just laughed at that, which caused another screech to a halt to ask me "Wot yow thinks fooonnaaaay???" and whether I wanted to "make something of it", which led to more uncontrolled chuckling. I probably didn't help his mood...
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Jim C - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to andy:

> Two separate cards - Garmin's editing software has a clever thing whereby you can have a frame from one camera in he corner of the frame from the other - but yes, two cameras, two cards. You can set them up so that whatever you do on the front one also happens on the rear (so start/stop recording, take a still photo etc).
Thanks for the clarification.

> What was bizarre about fighty man is he genuinely seemed to think that by riding along in a straight line, about 75cm from the edge of the road I was doing something wrong - "Yow wonta lurnta roide yow boike proplay!!". I just laughed at that...
I guess that as you laughed at Fighty man's offer to fight ( or maybe he thought it was at his accent) that you were confident that he was not any real threat?

andy - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Jim C:

> Thanks for the clarification.

> I guess that as you laughed at Fighty man's offer to fight ( or maybe he thought it was at his accent) that you were confident that he was not any real threat?

I dunno, to be fair - it just seemed so ludicrous at the time!

People do get so angry about nothing, you wonder how they survive past 40 without having a heart attack. I had a bonkers bit of road rage on the motorway yesterday - I was driving my daughter's weird little green car in the overtaking lane, doing about 75mph. Overtaking a line of traffic in the middle lane and suddenly I have flashing lights about 6' off my bumper. Finished my overtake, pulled back in the see this bloke slow down parallel with me and wind his window down and start gesticulating wildly across his long-suffering partner's face. Then pulled in just in front of me and slammed his brakes on. Strange. What pisses me off about that is that he didn't know who was driving the car (I'm stereotyping I know, but little minty-green city cars are perhaps more often driven by young women) - so what makes him think it's ok for to behave like that (with anyone, really, but with what could be an inexperienced young driver)?

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