Commute Cam Vault

Last fall Rob and I played around with mounting a camcorder to our handle bars to document our routes.  The goal was to create an archive of sorts of local bike commutes linking them to our google map of bike routes. This project sat on the backburner until awoken by our friend over at King & Ottawa who likely isn’t familar with life as a bike commuter.

Nightmare Routes

Some of us have dream routes while other commuters ride a daily nightmare. In particular Rob’s route is a grind. I’ve told him many times that I would have never cycled his route in the winter on a regular basis.

Councillors take note

If you’re a city  councillor or planner take note. Segrageated bike infrastructure is desperately needed for crossing the Conestoga Parkway. It’s a death trap for cyclists. These aren’t sexy, we do incriminate ourselves breaking a law or two, but it represents the start and end of our work days using a bike.

If you’ve read this far

And watched the videos, you probably have issues like us.  Give us a shout and pass along your daily grind (aka bike route via video or url). If you need a camera, let us know as we can probably help.

7 thoughts on “Commute Cam Vault

  1. That’s hilarious. Most people who encouraged me to go 4 seasons said the same thing about my commute, but waited until January to do so.

    Thanks to those guys!

  2. Thanks for posting those!
    Honestly, K-W doesn’t seem as “evil” of a place to ride as I perhaps had in my mind.

    I noticed some trail crossings seemed difficult, but we tend to have the same issue here. Only difference is traffic isn’t as bad, and on occasion you’ll have a motorist stop and let you go.

    The two things I found scariest sort of go hand-in-hand.
    Cycling on the sidewalk appeared to be when you had the closest calls with motorists, but at the same time I wouldn’t feel comfortable cycling on a road without so much as a paved shoulder or bike lane, when the speed limits are 60km/h.

    I know to some a 10k difference may not mean much, but speed limits are pretty well capped at 50km/h within the city of St. Catharines, and I never really feel that unsafe (not saying I wouldn’t like to see them lowered on some streets though).

    When I was in Welland a few years ago, one of their roads went from 50 to 60 by crossing an intersection…Probably the most nervous I’ve been on a bike & it was the closest I was ever passed by a vehicle (probably within an inch at best).

    1. I felt the same way about my proximity to cars when watching the videos. It seemed worst when on the sidewalk.

      At least in my case, when approaching an intersection on the sidewalk, I always made eye contact with the motorist. They would always be stopped before I would proceed. That doesn’t come out well in the videos especially sped up videos.

      I also only get on the sidewalk when it’s a better option than the roads. So, the points where I’m actually on the road aren’t so bad.

    2. Ryan you’re totally correct, K-W is really a great place to ride and live. Waterloo Region in general is a bunch of smaller towns that have grown together so it doesn’t have a metropolis feeling to it. Inside the city I feel pretty safe and usually pick routes that minimize car traffic while taking advantage of being outdoors. Cars don’t tend to make me nervous, my scariest spots are the regional rodes that I use while spandex riding. Last summer I had my freakiest moment while riding to Sauble Beach. Between Elmira and Listowel, the road was pretty bad, narrow with soft shoulders. A dump truck was coming ahead of me, one behind me and the perfect storm happened … three abreast — two dump trucks and one scared cyclist. I held my ground on the edge of the road, worried about hitting the shoulder with my skinny tires and it felt like I had centimeters between me and a dump truck traveling at over 80km/hr. Next time I’ll probably take my chances with the soft shoulder. During that trip my faith in motorists was renewed … for the most part many, many drivers slowed and passed with ample room. I was impressed.

  3. I think this region has a good foundation to make a real cycling network… I’ve ranted on Bill Bean’s blog about this before, esp. WRT to defunding the cycling master plan in Kitchener. I try and stick to side streets and bike paths as much as possible now and do end up taking some “long cuts” but the calm rides are worth it… a lot of the trails follow streams so they are nice and flat too.

    I commuted all winter on these routes and I think I liked the green way despite having to face lexington… I’ve long since accustomed myself to riding in traffic, and in the winter I dork it up bigtime with a safety construction coat… I get dirty looks when I merge into the left turn lane but I haven’t been afraid for my safety on the roads… I’m not a big proponent of vehicular cycling but making left turns in the car lane with the lights seems to keep me safe. I should try it out some morning and see what it’s like…

    I’m still firmly of the belief that safety for cyclists lies with more segregated infrastructure… slowing down and going around dogs and joggers is much nicer than having cars buzz ya 80km/h.

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