City Cyclist at it again: Bike lanes on Bloor and on-street parking
dandyhorse readers who want a little insight into how contributor City Cyclist does what he does will enjoy this review: he describes his his GoPro, and why he likes to ride around Toronto with it. This follows on the heels of our Lights, Camera, Action dandySWAG feature in our new issue.
Here's what the City Cyclist had to say about his GoPro:
My name is City Cyclist and I'm a GoPro addict. I first heard of GoPro about two years ago. My friend was raving about them and I bought a Hero 3+. I got a helmet mount, attached the camera, and rode to work. I was amazed at how clear the pictures were! GoPro does a great job of putting viewers in the picture - for cycling, sports in general and even underwater! After my first test video on a snowy day in April, I started shooting clips of my pet peeve at the time: cars and trucks blocking the bike lane! Fortunately, this never happens anymore, but a couple of years ago it was commonplace. Cyclists were given the odd scrap of pavement here and there, lines were drawn, and bike lanes were created in Toronto. The trouble was this: bike lanes were so complicated (painted lines, bike symbols, bright green paint at intersections, white sticks to block off the lane and cyclists riding in them) that drivers didn't realize what their purpose was, and hence they blocked them all of the time. This issue led to my first GoPro video 'Bike Lanes by CityCyclist' . It seems the issue resonated and within a few days my video had flown around social media (thanks to dandyhorse!) and even made it to the CBC news.
I find the camera very easy to use. I turn it on, leave it in video mode on standby, and simply push the button on top if I want to start recording, and again to stop it. There is a remote too, but I never use it. Some people record constantly as a safeguard in case something bad happens, but I just record short segments as I ride. The settings allow you to record videos or pictures in varying quality, up to 4k resolution. I usually shoot in 1080. I find deleting stuff a bit of a pain- for some reason the combination of which button in what order boggles my mind. It is easy to download footage onto my PC and then I use GoPro Studio (free) for editing. I'm sure you can use other editing software- I just use what GoPro had, got used to it and continue to use it. After you figure it out, it is easy to edit, add text to videos, and add audio.
I've put together videos now on various cycling issues: Winter Cycling, Cars Driving in Bike Lanes, Beautiful Toronto Biking, Bike Parking, City Cyclist Beats Toronto Traffic Jam (which exposes the absurdity of driving a car in city rush hour traffic as I fly by hundreds of stopped cars).
I never ride without my GoPro now. If I see something of interest, I start recording. I end up throwing most footage away, but still come away with some great stuff. GoPro records a wide angle view, so you if you are filming something small—like fish underwater—you need to be really close to the subject. Attachments are available at many stores, but tend to come in bulk, so to get the one mount you want, they sell you a bunch of other crap you don't really want. I've burned through several mounts- they are made of plastic, I remove them daily, so I understand the wear and tear. I've also purchased a floaty back door for water sports, a 'stick' mainly for underwater use, a better SD card and a few other minor things.
GoPro's aren't cheap, but they are versatile, easy to use and a great way to record sports action, including cycling!
City Cyclist's Hero 3+ on his helmet.
Our new issue of dandyhorse has arrived! dandyhorse is available for FREE at Urbane Cyclist, Bikes on Wheels, Cycle Couture, Sweet Pete's, Hoopdriver, Batemans, Velofix, and Steamwhistle. Our new issue of dandyhorse includes cover art by Kent Monkman, interviews with Catherine McKenna and the women behind Toronto's first feminist bike zine, lots of news and views on Bloor, Under Gardiner and the West Toronto Railpath and much, much more! Get dandy at your door or at better bike and book shops in Toronto.
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