Beware the Focus!

Ok, so you’re approaching a roundabout on a dual carriage way, the road markings require you to be in the outer lane for your exit, it’s rush hour, but unusually you appear to have the road to yourself on this occasion. As you near the roundabout, about a foot over the white line to deter drivers from trying to overtake you this close to a major junction….. Suddenly, out of the blue a Focus ST screams past you, in a gap that isn’t Focus ST sized and somehow manages to narrowly miss you…… What do you do??

The Focus sped off round the roundabout taking the same exit you planned to take yourself, keep in mind you are about to pick up your one year old daughter AND that you have narrowly avoided being hit by a car.

As you arrive at the next set of lights in the middle of the village, who is sat waiting to turn right? What do you do? Really!? You raise your concerns over the incident at the roundabout, don’t you? Aren’t we obligated to raise awareness for cyclists amongst drivers? The next cyclist he treats this way may not be so lucky…. To have been close to being knocked off your bike is one thing, but for that driver to then verbally abuse you is another! The world we live in today…… Life as a cycle commuter!

So this got me to thinking, is there any grounds for video recording your time on the bike as a commuter? Say… for evidence when involved in an accident, or worst case scenario, being attacked by an angry motorist, both of which I have been victim to over the years.

I have a head cam setup that I built myself many years ago for videoing our antics riding mountain bikes at the weekend, both cross country and downhill. A couple of the vids I made are embeded here on the blog. But it is far too cumbersome a set up for the commute to work, when you are trying to carry as little weight as possible, keeping you nimble through the traffic. My setup uses a small cctv camera, a condenser mic and a homemade wiring loom to connect them to a rather cumbersome late 90’s digital tape camcorder! I also had to manufacture a method for securing the camera to my lid!

These days, there are far lighter, more compact and even robust solutions available, you can pick one up off eBay for under £30. A straight forward Bullet camera, with one touch record to a Micro SD card, also available on eBay for next to nothing. No moving parts, totally waterproof, and with a simple elastic strap to put round your lid……

Question is, would the footage be submissible in court!? I wonder, I’m sure though, in the case of an accident, it would be enough evidence for an insurance company. Anyway, for less than £30, I reckon I’m getting on eBay and hitting “buy it now”, it couldn’t hurt, could it!?

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