From Coach Bob: Be Safe Out There…..
As an active triathlete and also now an Associate Coach with Drive Multisport, safety is something I’ve always been very passionate about since starting my triathlon journey over four years ago. Obviously, there are inherent dangers in triathlon, and I like to do everything possible to minimize them for myself, as well as for those I’m fortunate enough to help in this great sport. Given this passion, I have decided to share my experiences with the safety related equipment I use and am constantly trying out, in the hope that it might benefit others in the sport as they decide what’s best for them given the myriad of choices. First, a couple of disclaimers. I have no financial interest in any of the products I review, this is gear I’m trying for my own personal use, and I’ll share my findings. They are strictly my personal opinions and do not represent Drive Multisport or the USAT. Second, I am a naturally cautious person where my physical well-being is
concerned, and if there’s a product that will help me mitigate risk as I perceive it, then I’m inclined to use it. I won’t go as far as saying I wear a belt with suspenders, but I
definitely have a “risk mitigation” approach in this sport, and I tend to buy more expensive gear if it has better safety features. And my personal experience has shown me this sport can be unpredictable, after suffering a bike crash at Charleston 70.3 in 2013 which kept me out for several months. So, with that as the backdrop, let’s get on with my first review, the Cycliq Fly 6! https://cycliq.com/product/fly6
I recently purchased the Cycliq Fly6 Rear Light with integrated HD Camera. I was intrigued with the ability of capturing what was happening behind me during long training rides, where cyclists face the possibility of having either a close call with a vehicle, or something much worse. Although a rear facing camera isn’t going to prevent a careless driver from doing something dangerous, it can provide video and audio evidence of that behavior should something bad happen. In States such as Georgia where vehicles are not required to have license plates on the front, positively identifying a vehicle from the front is problematic, but this system does provide clear video of the vehicles behind you, and as they approach to pass. The audio is also very good. Cycliq also carries a front facing LED light with integrated HD Camera, the Fly12, which would provide the capability of capturing the rear license plate as vehicles pass.
My Fly 6 arrived on Friday, and I took it out for a 60 mile test ride on Saturday with some friends. It’s listed for $169 on the Cycliq web site, but I was able to find it on Amazon for $150. The unit performed as advertised, and was simple to install and operate. I am not the most technically gifted person, so if I can do it, so can you. I did have a problem where one of my home computers didn’t recognize the system via the USB connection, but another computer was able to recognize it without any issues. The Cycliq Support Page cited this as an issue possibly relating to Windows settings. The unit comes with an integrated Micro SD card which you can then use with your computer to download the video files. The unit is capable of recording for up to 6 hours, depending on the light setting selected.
To view your video, you need to download the VLC Media Player (www.videolan.org). However, if you want to edit your footage and create videos, you’ll need VideoLAN software (the Home version is $39.95) (www.nchsoftware.com/videopad/index.html). You can also convert your footage to other video formats using a free Smart Converter (www.shedworx.com/smartconverter).
Using the VideoPad software, I was able to easily create a short (less than 3 minute) video highlighting different segments of the ride, and if you view it you can get a sense of the video and audio quality. (Flash Player is required.) You can view my video here.
I hope you found this helpful as you consider your own triathlon safety strategies. Be safe out there on the road and happy cycling! Stay tuned for additional updates on other safety gear! — Coach Bob