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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hellbender Road Race, hd bike racing video using split screen

This is my debut split screen race video using forward and aft simultaneous running HD Hero cameras.
I absolutely love it.  I've never seen a better way to show the action of a bike race.  In fact I think it gives the viewer a real immersion into my world from a bicycle.

This new leap for me has set my mind busy at work for new and amazing applications.  For example I was considering the fact that the video has dead spots in it, in-between cameras.  I could potentially mount the cameras back to back, and place them on top of my helmet.  This would eliminate most of the dead spot and would be fantastic for mountain biking or video touring.  (I would never want to race with lots of gear riding on top of my helmet).  Another idea is setting up a rig with three cameras.  My HD Hero camera shoots a 120 degree perspective.  So with three cameras I could literally produce a video that has full 360 degree viewing band of my entire moving environment.  Another idea is so mind blowing that it will make you crap your diaper!  I'm not kidding.  It's sooo good that I going to save it for later and reveal it in future video posts.

It has been brought to my attention that my video's audio could benefit from some good music.  I more than agree.  It has been suggested that I use copyrighted music, tons of people do it and Vimeo seems to allow it.  I do not agree on this topic.  I am strongly against breaking copyright laws for many reasons.  Besides the fact that it is an actual law with actual potential consequences, I have found that it doesn't fly on YouTube.  Early on I innocently used a 20 second audio clip without lyrics from The Beastie Boys and YouTube identified my video as potentially having copyrighted material that wasn't mine.  YouTube disabled my video.  I want good music, but I don't want my videos to be disabled or even worse litigation because I somehow made a couple of bucks using someone else's stuff without permission.

There is a musical audio solution.  I thought I would make my own basic music.  Using Music Creator software I have produced 6-7 tunes and they are ok.  The down side is that they are not fabulous and they take a bit more time than I can manage.  I think if I could tap the musical scene here in Columbia I could find lots of good music that could use.  For example, my teammate, Justin Craig, is in a band called FDR's Revenge.  We talked about this briefly, but I need to keep pursuing him.  I literally need to hear the music so I can judge it.  I really don't want to put up just anything.  The music must add to the video's view-ability, and not make it worse.

I have been told that there are free site's for music download which also allow public use for video embedding?, and (supposedly?) public domain music where copyright issues are not in effect.  If anyone can provide me with specific good music that I could use,  I would be happy to  compensate you for your services.  Additionally, HEY GARAGE BANDS!: If you have any music that you think would add to my biking videos, please contact me and I will promote your band with all of my ability.  I will give credit in the videos and provide links in my blog for people to purchase your awesome music.

Finally let me get to the race itself.  This road race was May 16, 2010 in Newburg, Missouri.  This was probably one of the smallest turnouts for a road race that I will end up doing.  But don't let this mislead you.  The riders who did toe the line are some of the best in the region.  Several are highly ranked category one riders.  If you don't believe me, just check USA Cycling's Results and rankings. (2009 looks better than 2010, but it's still early).

This was a hilly course and roughly the last hour of a 70 mile road race was in the rain.  Both the rain and the hills brought our average speed to just under 25mph. 

The most interesting aspect of this was the solo break-a-way by Zack Reed of team Dogfish.  With about 25 miles to go Zack left our 6 man group which held his team mate Justin Maciekowicz.  Initially I thought this was great.  Zack was clearly the best sprinter, and I was hoping that our group would let Zack dangle of the front, burn himself up, and then reel him in somewhat close to the finish.  I figured he would be toast for the sprint, and Justin's sprint is manageable.  I was sure that my group of riders would pull Zack back in.  Based on repeat timetrials, I was evenly matched with Zack by myself, and I had 3 other riders to help me pull in one guy.  Justin, of course, would not chase his own team-mate, and was given a free ride.

Well, I was shocked to see Zack slowly disappear out of our sight.  I'm still shocked.  We were going pretty hard, I thought.  For sure the rain did not help or paceline.  Also it probably hurt us mentally that Zack had a teammate getting a free ride.  I even told my group not to catch Zack too quickly because Justin will simply counter attack and we'll be in a worse position.  Zack's the sprinter and Justin's the time trialist.  For sure I was trying the hardest to pull Zack back, but I don't know if the others were holding back a little or a lot.  (I'm guessing a little).

I should also point out that Zack soloed away after counter-attacking his team-mates attacks.  So on the graph below, the "Zack Attack" came immediately after the spike in wattage which was from me chasing his team mate Justin. 

After Zack was gone from our sight for several miles before we let off the chase. Eventually Justin tried several attacks during the last few miles, but we all stayed together.  The final sprint was unremarkable.  Justin lead it out and just managed to cross 1st of our group, followed by me for a 3rd overall.  Turns out that Zack put nearly 5 minutes on my group during that last hour of racing.  Dude was racing hard, and the rain didn't help us with the chase.

Good job to Zack!

[Update:  I have purchased music liscenses for use in my videos from several different artists and I have also added a music player gadget to my blog.  It is the 4th gadget down on the right.  It allows additional audio choices for viewing videos and/or reading text on this blogsite]


  1. For music try Jamendo.Com Go to the bottom, click on "tags" and download away. Royalty free - great for YouTube videos. Yeah, some of it sux, but there are some real gems in there as well.

  2. John, thanks! I found a couple of songs that I really liked fairly quickly. The downloads are free, but still require licensing of the music to use it in a YouTube video. The good news is that the price is somewhat agreeable. I have licensed 2 songs. Video pending! Thanks again! I'm loading the Hellbender video with music right now. (I have official permission to do so thru licensing).

  3. "I love racing thats why i m here to appreciate you!
    You have done a great job keep it up."

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