Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
As a recent embracer of the bike camera (Go Pro), I have entered a new world of darkness and anxiety (I'm ok really!! I was just getting dramatic).
Before the camera, I was a happy daily commuter who rode defensively and simply enjoyed being out on the road in the fresh air. Now that I am able to record and post my school-boy edits on the interweb, I have found myself the subject of pure hatred, unwarranted abuse, generalisations and being branded as a lycra-wearing cnut. I actually don't wear lycra!!?!
On reflection, the want to share some of the the real life trials of a cyclist probably incited a large degree of the abuse, but I couldn't see how I was in the wrong. All motorists could see was a cyclist and they were all fcuked as far as they were concerned. I took the video down as it stirred angered debate amongst people I didn't know and I was left justifying irrelevant actions to the actual incident.
With dash-cams and multiple cameras recording the countless cyclist and motorist interactions each day, are we feeding the anger between these two groups? Is the wider demographic reach fueling the hatred?
I just want to go back to riding my bike..... what do you guys think?
Bike: 2014 Merida Cyclocross 5
Find me on youtube and FB page; Merida Test Rider-Commuter Bikes.
People doing the wrong thing hate being "outed"....
Who hates the cops most? ..... Crims.
Who hates speed cameras most? ...... Habitual speedsters
Who hates red light cameras most? .... Habitual red light runners
Who hates bike cameras most? ..... Drivers most likeley to hurt cyclists.
Keep the camera rolling, post here or give footage to the cops. Maybe not so much put it up where the haters congregate the most
If you post it to youtube or similar can't you disable comments? That would just leave the video to speak for itself.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Don't post videos where there is the least opening for people to criticise you. It won't stop the trolls, but then you'll know they are trolling and can simply ignore their stupidity.
Thats the thing about the interwebz. Critical justice issues like human trafficking get largely ignored, but funny videos about kittens get 51 million hits.
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Haters will hate. And video will attract them like flies to manure. I frequent a completely unrelated forum and when a cycling topic comes up you get the hater and the cyclists. The other 95% aren't interested, and certainly aren't after they see the mess that results.
Where are you posting these videos to get such horrible reactions?
(Well apart a video post in BNA which elicited strong but well meant 'advice' by myself and others. )
If it is causing you axiety when you had none previously then I'd think its best to stop posting. But keep rolling the camera if you enjoy it.
Yep this. Some people, and in particular there's some English cyclists who post their stuff on youtube, and don't seem to mind the rough and tumble of dealing with unpleasant individuals in the comments. Not everyone wants that in their life though. If that's the OP, then either post the videos in a way that doesn't allow comments, or don't post it at all (run the gopro just as evidence in the event of a collision or incident).
I started getting a couple of trolls commenting on my videos. Interesting to check their accounts and note that they don't even have any videos posted of their own to offer, so simply an account set up to randomly troll the tube I guess. Anyway, videos for here are generally unlisted now, or if I want a publicly viewable video, figure out the trolling potential and cripple comments if necessary.
It does create an ongoing reminder of the worst that our roads have to offer... I personally don't spend much time in the Moron Motorists or Dumb Cyclist/Peds threads because it ust reminds me of the failures that occasionally happen. The malicious crap doesn't get dealt with by the police, and the accidental crap isn't something you learn to deal with via a youtube video. We end up with a tsunami of negativity...
Keep the camera rolling. It has value for some incidents, and that could pay for itself one day.
amen to that.
After all is said and done; a lot more is usually said than done.
I was thinking about this exact question today, and there are a couple of things people should maybe think about.
The GoPro is highly visible. For most people that won't be a problem. They won't care. For the haters out there, something so visible will almost certainly make you a target. Something like the Fly6, a camera hidden in a rear light, is a good solution to this particular issue.
Second, I really think people should stop posting their videos all over the internet. I've spent a great deal of the last couple of weeks in forums and the comments sections of newspapers and all kinds of places trying to calm down the haters. We know there is a problem between some elements of the motoring public and cyclists. Message received. The whole idea of filming your ride, I thought, was to have evidence available to show the police if anything happened. Posting the vids to YouTube and other sites is achieving very, very little beyond inflaming a problem that is big enough already. The videos are also being used by an unscrupulous media to write even more inflammatory stories so they can get a few thousand more clicks on their sites. They don't care one bit about solving the problem - no problem, no story! Stop feeding the idiot machine and it'll move on to greener pastures.
I'd also like to add that if you do experience a problem with a motorist while on your bike, try and handle it calmly. The woman who was doored in Melbourne could, I believe, have achieved a much better outcome than she did. When she hit the door the taxi passenger immediately asked if she was okay, and she responded by demanding his details and telling him he'd committed an offence. If she'd come at it a little better they probably could have had a one minute discussion, she could have accepted his apology and they could have parted amicably. I may be wrong, I'm sure people will tell me I am, but this is just my opinion. I realise he technically did break the law, but this incident did not, in my view, warrant the national attention and media circus that followed it. Good manners and common sense would save everyone on both 'sides' of this issue a lot of heartache.
I find banning works well ... It really isn't that hard to either choose to respond constructively, ban or simply ignore or if you wish turn-off the comments. I copped a bit when a few videos got used in the paper. It really wasn't hard to make it clear that road safety was about everyone including them selves. Seemed to kill the discussion pretty quickly.
Summernight (the girl that was doored) was probably more than a little irritated at being knocked off her bike and showed great restraint with her conversation I thought. In a perfect world she may of been super polite and super well mannered but then if it was a perfect world she wouldn't of been doored in the first place. The guy that doored her wasn't too sypathetic except for a token "are you all right?" He (or his companions) didn't care enough about her welfare to spend a few short minutes exchanging details, he just walked off leaving a bruised and battered cyclist wondering how a fellow human being can be so rude and uncaring.
I do tend to agree with the rest of what you have written though.
As I understand, the person who asked summer night was she ok, was not the taxi passenger, but the cyclist behind her.....
Listen to the voices in the video, then watch the video of his "public apology", totally not him asking are you ok....
Yes, very good point mick243, I think you are correct. The passenger's first comments seem to be a lazily drawled "Well if you come up the inside I guess you...."; rationalising his lack of care.
These suits had absolutely no intention of owning up to any responsibility for their actions, no matter what response came from Summernight. She was remarkably restrained in a situation where someone has directly broken a road rule to wipe her off her bike. Her first response is not a profanity, nor shouting, but simply "Can I have your details". Sensible, reasonable and what is normally legally required in a traffic collision.
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
If only the rider stayed calm, had a one minute chat with the driver and avoided national attention, he could have had a much better outcome. NOT.
Supercycles. Do you by any chance live in Brighton and own a children's toy importing business?
First thing is, make your camera small and inconspicuous. This means no helmet cam and no ridiculous mounts that stick up. People actually play up for cameras - despite what most people think - as they don't like the idea that they are being recorded.
Secondly, no cyclist should ever shout or bother to communicate with a motorist unless it is to try and get attention to avoid a collision. There is no point at all in talking to people while they are on the road. No good will come of it, only bad.
Mick is correct. The only people who asked me whether I was okay were the cyclists. The only people who helped me were the cyclists (trying to get the passengers to wait for the police or give contact details so I could pass them to the police). This confusion is some of the reason why people think the passenger did nothing wrong. The passengers' behaviour may also have been influenced by the actions of the other cyclists who were trying to help (and who were talking to them as I was speaking to the taxi driver, getting my bike off the ground and getting off the road). I have no control over other peoples' behaviour, just my own.
I am not sweetness and light and rainbows when I have just been hit. I am not sweetness and light and rainbows when I see someone doing something that will endanger my life. If you can come across as sweetness and light in a collision or when someone has injured you/about to potentially injure you, then you are a better person than me. Especially when the person who caused the collision starts blaming me for riding in a lane designated for me to ride in and then starts walking away, seeming to absolve himself of any responsibility or blame.
I try to put 'please' before most of my sentences but I am not a pushover when the situation requires it. The situation in question would not have been resolved any better if I had been 'nicer' unless nicer means not asking for contact details and letting him just walk away. I am not going to say "It is okay, don't worry about it" or another societal nicety because I wasn't okay and it wasn't alright. And even if I had he would have still walked away and refused to give his details and been all "what a stupid cyclist". You know why? Because he believed he had done nothing wrong (even though he had just hit someone).
I guess my incredulity at his actions and behaviour may come across as something different on film. Whatever.
* * * * *
As for my set-up, the GoPro is fairly unobtrusive underneath my handlebars. The only reason people might notice it was there would be the flashing light that says it is recording (which I can switch off). The helmet camera is the size of a car remote and if I took the battery pack off or moved it somewhere else people would think it was some form of bluetooth headset as it rests against my ear.
The rear camera is placed underneath the saddle bag and would not be noticed unless you were really looking as it is also the size of a small car remote. People might notice the GoPro (other cyclists have commented on it when waiting at the lights), but they get quite surprised when I tell them I have three cameras running.
I will move one of the cameras to my car dashboard when I get the Fly6 (and then I'll start posting on Dash Cam Owners Australia's FB page. )
I do not believe that people have played up more because I have cameras running. They don't notice unless they really look (or I tell them).
They certainly don't notice them from behind.
So no, I don't believe that running cameras is perpetuating the hatred. I don't hate motorists.
I believe having cameras is making the greater public more aware of what is actually going on and making people accountable for their actions. Hopefully from that can stem tolerance, acceptance and a realisation that we are all the same and deserve the same respect as anyone else.
And this is the reason I want to fit one or 2 to my bike. If it avoids a 'he said, she said' debate in a court where 1 person can lie, then isn't it better to be fore armed so there is no disputes what so ever? I also don't think it enrages hatred either, but makes people realize that as above, you are forced to be made accountable for your poor actions on both sides of the spectrum.
Summernight - I think under the circumstances, you handled it as best you could. You could have thrown profanities at this person for not watching as they were exiting a vehicle as well as them not realizing that the lane you were in is ACTUALLY a lane for cyclists to ride on. I am not sure I would have been in the same frame of mind if I were in your shoes.
That said, I am all for using video material to report to police as evidence, but not to post on the web. But that is me.
2011 Kona Dew Plus (commuter)
2012 Focus Cayo 2.0 (road)
I doubt the vast majority of road users would even be aware that there's a growing % of cyclists and motorists recording things.
of those that are, I feel a hater will just add a go-pro/helmet cam to the list of reasons why they hate cyclists, nothing will ever change their mind (unless they one day take up cycling).
a normal person would think "well I guess that gives me one more reason to be on the look out for them".
If a video is posted on line you would most likely get comments from the vocal minority which will, whatever the content of the video - however mild or outrageous the footage, match up with their pre-conceived bias, either cyclists or cyclist hating motorist.
Same with articles posted on line with comments sections, doesn't matter what the topic is, could be "old lady cyclist on her way to donate a kidney to a starving child plowed down by a semi trailer going the wrong way down a one way street being driven by a drunk, escaped convict" - the comments section will still be full of:
rego, 2 abreast, roads are for cars, won't don't you stick to bike paths, cyclists go through red lights, don't pay road tax etc etc.
I think there's value in bringing awareness to dangerous situations which cyclists have found themselves in, I believe the silent majority of sensible road users will take it on board.
inflammatory statement or idea
Read the article yesterday and thought it was a most ridiculous point of view that's not even worth thinking about. Damn, I wasted a line of text on it!
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
Summernight, very well said. It's easy for us to nitpick your tone or language from behind the keyboard; the view from the pavement is a little different and I think you handled the situation very well.
I also thought/assumed that the 'are you alright' was the passenger - that the first words from his mouth were a dismissive "you come up the inside, I guess you went through" (what - a red light?) casts your measured manner in an even better light. I also didn't pick up your "not that I want that" before watching the captioned video on The Age story.
Supercycles, the media coverage hay have been a bit unfortunate depending on your perspective - but the blame for that lies squarely on the shoulders of one Mr Jeff Hunter. To avoid it, he didn't have to accept responsibility, apologise or even be pleasant - all he had to do was exchange details at the scene of the traffic accident he was involved in, as required by the road rules.
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