Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lights, camera, action!

I forgot to post this photo this morning. It seems that pigeons have made the old Lane building their home. A large crack in the facade (not visible) makes for a great nesting place.

Brent Hugh (Director, MO Bicycle Federation) and I met up with a reporter and camera crew from NBC Action News (KSHB 41 in Kansas City) after work. The last time they covered bicycle commuting, it was more of a "Whoa, people actually do this?" kind of thing.

This time, they wanted street-level video. A camera man tapes a pinhole camera to Brent's helmet light.

They also set my bike up with a camera on the handlebars:

Their goal this time around is to cover bicycle commuting safety, what kinds of challenges bike commuters face, and what bike commuters can do to make things easier on themselves. We'll see how many of our answers they use.

I was running almost a full hour behind schedule today because of the setup, which means a lot more traffic. On the ride out of downtown, Brent and I experienced traffic that's pretty typical of Kansas City's evening rush hour. This was complete with a few motorists taking wide right turns a little too close for comfort across our path, lane crowding, and a few honks. Both of us were diligent with hand signals and traffic laws, and I think the video that was gathered should turn out well. the reporter doing this piece is a recreational cyclist, but those are the very same people who seem to be adopting bike commuting right now.

I don't know exactly when the piece will air, but it sounds like it's part of a bigger story that will hit the local news early-to-mid September. Having Brent there was a big help. He's got a lot more experience than I do. He's also an LCI whereas I have learned most of what I know from making mistakes and learning from them without having ever taken any classes. The rest of what I know comes from other cyclists both local and in online communities. I'm sure plenty more learning opportunities exist in my future. Hopefully not too many of them result in things like a stolen bike, missing teeth and a broken face. I can do without those learning experiences, but sometimes that's what it takes.

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