Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bike Commuting in Omaha: A Video Perspective

I've been commuting to and from work by bicycle for almost a year now. In my experience, it's always been a safe activity. I've not encountered many aggressive drivers. In fact, more often than not, I am passed with caution and occasionally waved through intersections by motorists who have the right of way. I've even received random words of encouragement.

Now I have proof that bike commuting in Omaha is a relatively safe mode of transportation. Using a home-made camera mount for my handlebars, I used a low-end digital camera to record a video of my ride home yesterday. In this video you will see many safe overtakes by automobiles, and general respect at traffic signs and signals.

The video runs about 10 minutes. I have edited it for time by speeding up the video to double-time. I also removed a little bit of some long stretches to help get it under the 10 minute limit imposed by YouTube. I added some annotations to provide some extra information and to try to keep it interesting. The distance is five miles, and the ride was about 25 minutes.

Over time, I may add some more videos showing early morning or night commutes, showcase area trails, and commuting in a variety of weather conditions. Feel free to leave comments, either here at the blog or on the YouTube video (direct link).


King Vernon said...

extra http:// in the direct link.

Vernon Davis

brady said...

Very cool.

I found myself thinking many of the same comments, such as, "Another safe pass" while watching it. Fun.

What video editing tool did you use?

Also, is there an instructable in the works on how to build the camera mount?

Scott Redd said...

Thanks, Vernon. I fixed the hyperlink.

Brady: Do I need to pay you royalties whenever Old Yeller is used in a video?

I used AVS Video Converter to convert the MOV file from the camera to an AVI file that I could import into Windows Movie Maker. The Movie Maker is pretty simple, but it gets the job done and the price is right.

I used YouTube's Audioswap to get the royalty-free, legal music.

I can't claim the idea on the camera mount. I've seen many similar ones on the Internets, and the topic of using conduit hanger as a handlebar mount has come up with other cyclists. Total cost for the mount was probably less than three or four dollars.

Here's one that comes pretty close to what I did.

I'd love to see your commute, so let me know if you want to borrow the mount, or if you make your own. I bet your commute already looks like double-speed without any video editing. :)

The Douglas said...

Good stuff Scott! Good quality video for a point and shoot camera. It's nice to see routes of other Omaha area cyclists. I've thought about doing this myself, but more as a safety measure. A fair portion of the vehicles I deal with aren't as cautious and I'd like video evidence of my impending death.
And congrats on your first full year of commuting! Bravo!

RD said...

is it a 80's video? i think things should be all done to tune of 80's tunes you know where you can do anything in span of 3-4 minutes

sue said...