Not “Optional” Equipment for ANY Road Cyclist
Don’t believe for a second that CycleCams are “optional” cycling equipment.
I was in a situation where a motorist failed to yield right-of-way and struck me. As we waited for the Police, his wife was trying to rewrite the story to stitch me up for liability. But I took a picture of the accident scene with my phone before we moved the mess to the side of the road. That incident really impressed upon me the importance of wearing a CycleCam while riding my Penny-Farthing. In the event of a collision, without video evidence it may be difficult to prove the motorist’s liability when they strike you. And faced with an enquiry by Police, the odds are pretty good the motorist will lie to escape sanction. And riding a Victorian High Wheel the Police will probably jump to the conclusion the Penny-Farthing was somehow operative in the collision which in my case it was clearly not.
And of course there are a lot of aggressive drivers- many tend to be uninsured- who will knock a cyclist down and just drive off. At least you have a chance of recording their plate number with a CycleCam.
Also, people behave better when they know that they’re being recorded. The mere presence of a camera can prevent an irate motorist from escalating to violence. But if they do, CycleCam video can evidence that any injuries suffered by the motorist were consequential from the cyclist defending themselves.
Finally, a CycleCam might capture a useful learning point to share with other Penny-Farthing riders or fellow cyclists in general.
Buy a cycle camera for safety purposes, not to capture close-pass videos to bung on YouTube for the exclusive purpose of public shaming. If something is that dangerous, the video should be passed to the Police’s attention.
Positioning of CycleCams:
I’ve tried chest-mounting, but this will not capture an approaching vehicle striking from the side. Best mount is on the helmet as this has a better chance of capturing evidence in any direction that you point your head.
CycleCams could be positioned on the handlebars, but as a practical matter if you stop and nip into a shop or pub, you have to keep taking it off and putting it back on again. Forget to do so even once and there goes a £300-£400 video camera. If it’s on your helmet, you can easily take it with you.
Also, if you’re in a situation with an irate motorist, if the camera is on the handlebars and the bike on it’s side, it will not capture any offensive action the motorist takes against you. And if you take your helmet off when somebody is offering you violence, you are mad 😉