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Looking for a Bike Cam, Advice

May 7th, 2015 at 09:02 am

I bought my bike last July, so I have been cycling for almost a year. For all of last year I can remember only one close call with an automobile. It was a car that passed me and then cut in front of me to make a sudden right turn while approaching a stop sign. He did not bother to stop. Luckily I had already been slowing down for the stop sign, so I did not get hit.

But so far this cycling season, I have already had 3 or 4 close calls. These close calls have been like the above example of getting cut off, and of passing too close. My state has the 3 foot law that is supposed to be followed for safely passing bicycles. Most people here are courteous and follow that 3 foot law, but a few like to see just how close they can get to the cyclist while passing. One aggressive driver even yelled out of the passenger window of his truck, Get on the sidewalk!.

So for the purposes of documenting potential accidents and for insurance claims many cyclists across this and other countries have been buying these small high resolution cameras. They can also be used to just document scenic rides and as a journal.

Recently they have become really popular, and can get quite expensive. I would like to get a decent one that does not cost a fortune (under $300), but with a high enough resolution to read license plates, be able to mount either on the handle bar and/or the bike helmet. My rides usually last from 1 to 3 hours, so I need a battery charge to last that long. I looked at the Hero models, but I do not want to look like Wall-E or the Johnny 5 robot from the Short Circuit movies. They also are a little too pricey.

So my question to our fellow SavingAdvice bloggers is what cams do you use or recommend? Thanks in advance.

4 Responses to “Looking for a Bike Cam, Advice”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    My brother in law rides bikes and is definitely working with his states legislature to get bike friendly laws in place. I think their definitely needs to be some more education to drivers on how to deal with bike situations. I wish I had a recommendation, but I'm sure a blog or forum about biking would be one place to start, as well as you local bike store.

  2. Dental Floss Tycoon Says:

    @creditcardfree, Bike Lanes and Complete Streets are the best and safest way yo go. And it's generally more cost effective for local governments if this can be done before major construction. Going back and retro-fitting is generally more expensive which is why many locales are slow to embrace them. Bike Lanes and Complete streets not provide better safety for cyclists, but for pedestrians too. But, a lot of times it unfortunately takes a serious accident or death to bring about these changes.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    A camera is a very good idea. Bike lanes won't solve all the problems, though. Our town is riddled with them and about 25% of the bicycle riders like to go down the line delineating the bike lane from the car lane instead of staying in the middle of the bike lane, even though it is plenty wide enough to comfortably ride down the center. Then the motorists get ticked off and cut things too close when passing them. Neither biker or driver are obeying the laws. I see this almost on a daily basis near the high school and it scares me. Or they will cut across three lanes of traffic without signaling to get into the bike lane or to get into a left hand turn lane from the bike lane. Motorists get fed up with the bikers who don't follow the traffic laws and take it out on the ones who do by breaking the laws themselves. At least with a camera you can see who was at fault and protect yourself from a hit and run or almost hit and run type of situation.

  4. Dental Floss Tycoon Says:

    @LuckyRobin, Yes, it is a no win situation when both drivers and riders are breaking laws. I have a few issues with using some bike lanes in my area, which are mainly the ones on some residential streets. There are many obstacles to deal with like parked cars in the bike lanes. On weekends many home owners throw their tree limbs and big bags of leaves and other refuse right in the bike lanes. And on the day after trash pickup we have to deal with the garbage buggies left in the lanes. We also have to avoid all the loose gravel that accumulates near curbs, broken glass and other wind blown trash in the bike lanes. All of these obstacles cause riders to constantly swerve in and out of the bike lanes. Sometimes it is just easier and maybe safer to just ride on that line you talked about. I have read that it may be safer to get in one lane and stay there as long as possible, because the constant lane changing can be more dangerous. I am still really leery of riding in traffic, and try to avoid certain areas during certain times when the traffic is heavy. And I always try to use hand signals, but on some extremely windy days, I prefer keeping both hands on the handle bars as much as possible. That means just a really quick hand signal.

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