Thursday, April 29, 2010

Helmet Cam - Circuit Francis J Clarke

The last of the 2010 Bethel Spring Series. A real nail-biter for me - in third place, behind two guys tied for first, and I absolutely had to beat the guy in the lead Bryan AND score at least a point (i.e. finish top 7) to win the Series.

97 starters meant a huge field, but 8 of them were teammates. This meant I had huge support. I had some friendly allies in the field, a few vocal ones ("let me know if you need help"), a few silent ones (they helped without saying a word to me, and I didn't expect the help). I never asked for help from any of them - one (Homebrew) seemed to hang around near me, waiting for the word, but I never uttered it. So HB, thanks for the offer. Just knowing it was was a help in itself.

A lot of people in the race didn't know what happened on the backstretch. Neither did a lot of my friends watching at the finish. That makes it all the more interesting to see what did happen. Compare it to the finish line view. The finish line clip is more detailed as far as the result (for example, wait for Cliff to cross the line), but that vantage point, that of the spectators (and friends and family) unfortunately does not capture the "behind the scenes" action. This is part of the original reason for the helmet cam.

The very long race report is just below, here. And that backdrop makes the actual helmet cam clip all that much more special.


The finish from the finish line, courtesy Mrs SOC.


Anonymous said...


I found myself counting pedal strokes at the end - Cliff's leadout was 35, more than 10 of them were after his "Ahh!" ... Your sprint was about 28 (guessing based on headbobs). It felt like a long sprint.

No wonder you were so gassed - it looked like the kind of race where people are constantly racing (though, yeah, I only get to see 10mins of the race). From SOC's finish line clip it looked like Bryan just couldn't sprint all the way to the finish line. It meant that y'all made it hard for him, too.

Congrats on an excellent series win.

I also like your new video editing. Great quality and the edits are a little bit slicker.

Also - I assume you've seen some of the helmet cam videos that have popped up on bikeforums here and there, with speed, power, and heartrate displays?

Aki said...

I didn't count pedal strokes - good catch. 35 is long, 28 is long too. I prefer a 15 pedal rev sprint.

Edits - Just Wed alone I spent about 4-5 hours editing, re-publishing. Uploading is about 4 hours now, and it maxes out our broadband connection so I can't do anything else.

macs are better. iMovie much better than Windows Movie Maker. Also .mov files work with mac, and new cam records in .mov.

Dashware - I'm looking into that. I really like the clips with that data.

Anonymous said...

Great video--it got my heart rate up to about 160, I think. That really was a tough race with the head winds and the constant attacks. I couldn't finish the sprint, which hasn't happened to me at Bethel in a long time. That you were able to monitor the front the way you did and still pull out that awesome surge at the end says a lot about your team but also a lot about your reserves. Great series, great win. I can't wait til next year.

Anonymous said...

I was in the race with you, but as I was watching this video it seemed as though it was taken from an entirely different race. I mostly stayed in the body of the pack throughout the race, but I was never that far back from you (often you were visible to me). Yet I saw almost none of what you had in this video, so thanks for posting the great clip!

Suitcase of Courage said...

Ditto nooneline re the editing and stuff. Your skills are really coming through and the videos are looking even better. Amazing to raise the bar even higher.

Glad you were able to use the finishline clip - Mrs. SOC obsesses over those (and has gotten pretty good considering the camera she has to use). It made a nice complement to your helmet cam.

What a great day!

Aki said...

hob - I was definitely working hard since I felt pretty nauseous after the race, so much so that I didn't start the P123s. Normally I don't feel nauseous at all so it was very unusual for me. I think the motivation countered the suffering. I put myself under immense pressure due to the team's unflagging efforts, even in very dismal conditions (the first two weeks, when I simply wasn't good enough).

Dennis - I like that you're new to racing but mature enough to communicate the wonders you perceive. I love your description - "taken from an entirely different race". It's how I feel in P123 races.

SoC - I wish I had more time to use other clips, like the finishline clip, the one from the finishline camera (not that it would have been too interesting since no one else was in the frame).

The editing was especially polished since I had 5 (?) evenings/mornings in Vegas to review, change, and review again (couldn't upload but I immersed myself in the clips).

Even when I got back I had to "republish" the clip probably half a dozen times for various reasons, each time taking 45 minutes or so. I ultimately uploaded three different versions of the clip (overwriting) before I was happy with the result.

I wish I could do this as a job :)

I don't know how others relate to me, i.e. how they relate to my first-person point of view. I haven't found any other clips like this, except maybe Robbie Ventura's Race Day DVD, but I found some elements of that distracting. So maybe people find things distracting in my clips, but since I lived it, experienced it, I have a lot of other triggers to help me enjoy the footage. My mind goes a million miles a minute in a race and I find myself remembering "Oh, I thought this. Oh, I was focusing on that." But that doesn't help anyone else relate to it.

Ultimately though, yeah, it was a great day. The team worked so hard, they were so confident in me. I couldn't let them down.

Mark said...

Just wanted to pipe in: thanks for the videos and the write-ups. I've kinda been living vicariously through you & your teammates/friends blogs (Hob & Soc). Although also a cat 3, I'll probably remain pack-fodder out here, racing retired pros and olympians in the masters races and young power studs in the 3's (I'm 42). Originally from upstate NY, I have a cousin living in CT. Maybe I'll come out some year LOL!

Aki said...

Mark - I avoid Masters races because they're harder than the 3s! Coincidentally you're exactly my age (although my race age is +1); SOC is a little younger but not that much, same with Hob. I think anyway. We just act like kids. Heh.

If you're ever around, we cover much of the state in our rounds. Give a shout out.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Aki, I'm a few months older than you--we do, though, have the same racing age!