Oh hi there, Commute by Bike readers. As you are probably aware, the prolific and entertaining Ted has started a new job, justifiably gloated about his new bike commute, and stepped away from regular posting here at Commute by Bike.
Not that anyone can take Ted’s place, nor do I intend to, but I’ll be stepping in here at Commute by Bike on a somewhat more regular basis. I’ve posted the occasional review and/ or rant here, and I’ve been working on our sister site Utility Cycling for a number of years now. But now, you’ll have to deal with me here more often.
I’m pretty excited to mix it up a bit and do some writing here, but the funny thing is, I don’t commute by bike. Ok, ok, don’t get me wrong. I do commute by bike. But I’m currently working from home, so my bike commuting is currently limited to running errands and getting around town. My daily commute, on the other hand, basically involves walking up and down the stairs for a fresh cup of coffee. And unfortunately, that’s not as exciting as it sounds…
So. What does that mean for you as readers? Or maybe, what does that mean for me as a writer? I guess it means that I’ll have to be a bit more clever to generate good bike commuting related content.
Well, here goes. My “first” post is dedicated to coincidence and the general interconnectedness of the cycling community.
Only very recently, I’ve been reading some of the emails sent to Commute by Bike. As I was perusing said emails, one popped out. No, not for the content, I must admit, though the content is worthy, and I’m going to share it with you in a minute. But it stuck out because it was from someone I know. Yeah, yeah, it’s all about who you know, right? Right.
So anyhow, I read back through the email and learned that a guy I’d gone to school with at the University of Arizona and a fellow UA Cycling Club member, Cedric Bosch, was launching a Kickstarter Campaign for a product called Rideye: The Black Box Camera For Your Bike.
According to Cedric, “I started Rideye after my friend Will was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident last year. I wanted to find a way to make cycling safer for everyone.” Rideye was inspired by the black box on airplanes that records information about crashes. The Rideye camera is that exact concept applied to cycling accidents.
Rideye is designed to keep cyclists safe on public roads by continuously recording HD video of your ride. It has crash detection sensors to save critical video files, and a battery that will last a full month given an hour-long daily commute. Rideye features one-touch operation and records in a never-ending loop, saving the last hour of video, so you never have to worry about the memory being full.
The Rideye is currently a prototype, and the hope is that they will be able to move into production if the Kickstarter Campaign is successful. And after only just a few days, it looks like they are well on track to funding.
There’s definitely a growing interest in this type of thing, especially for bike versus car accidents, where cyclists are often marginalized by the legal (and media) system. If this little black box can successfully capture an incident with enough information for the authorities to get the most accurate and objective data possible, then it might even be possible to start turning the tide away from favoring motorists in bike vs. car accidents.
On the other hand, there’s a small part of me that wonders if the thought of always having a camera recording that possible altercation might be a bit of a hard pill to swallow for some? Then again, I’m just commuting to my kitchen and back these days, so maybe I’ve grown soft. But there’s definitely an interesting psychological component to this product.
All that aside, I think the Rideye has a lot of potential to be an important piece of equipment for many cyclists, and I do hope the Kickstarter campaign is successful. Check it out here. And good luck to you, Cedric!
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to writing here again soon.