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05-10-2009, 11:01 AM   #31
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Wow, a fall is bad enough, but fall on a DSLR strapped to your chest and you'll definitely crack a rib, or worse...

Chris

05-10-2009, 02:25 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Wow, a fall is bad enough, but fall on a DSLR strapped to your chest and you'll definitely crack a rib, or worse...

Chris
Have to wonder how likely *that* really is, though, I don't think I've ever *had* a fall like that. (Though I suppose, thinking of my few crashes, I seem to have had an uncanny way of landing on my feet, sans bicycle... occasionally on top of offending motor vehicles... I presume more off-road inclined people crash more, possibly, differently, but I wouldn't count that a huge risk, compared to some other ways of carry.
05-10-2009, 08:38 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Have to wonder how likely *that* really is, though, I don't think I've ever *had* a fall like that.
Right, seems extremely unlikely that you'd fall forward onto your camera. Still, a sternum bag might smack on the bike's stem if you lean way over...

I've been carrying a K20D with a small or medium lens in a small fanny/sternum pack recently, for mt bike riding and some pretty hairy hiking in dunes. The bag is a 5-liter SealLine dry bag that REI sells for 30 bucks:
SealLine Seal Pack at REI.com
with a roll and clip closure which is totally water- and sand-proof, extremely light (5 ounces) but unfortunately has no padding at all. SealLine sells a bunch of waterproof bags in all sizes.

I threw away the waist belt and have the bag hooked to the shoulder straps of a daypack by small carabiners; the bag functions as a sternum strap to keep your shoulder straps from slipping off your shoulders.

It works well. Very handy and quiet, with the camera available in a couple seconds, without having to stop to remove your day pack, or even having to unzip anything.

Alternatively, if you're hiking on level terrain and know you're not going to trip or fall into a lake, you can walk around with the bag wide open. The camera is literally instantly available that way.

Strapped over your sternum, the small bag stays in place nicely. Its closure makes a comfortable and secure handle when you remove the bag from your shoulder straps. But the bag does look weird sticking out there in front of your belly, so if appearance is important to you, this is not the solution for you.
05-10-2009, 10:40 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by rpriedhorsky Quote
I've tried:

1. TLZ Mini on the chest harness -- too dangly, bumps my legs, drifts.
I have a TLZ, and have the chest harness, but I've only used it off road a few times on my mountain bike. I didn't have a problem with the bag hitting my legs, although I am quite tall, which probably helped.

Now every crash is different, but I was surprised at how well it turned out to have the camera in front. Back in September, I wasn't paying attention on a trail as I was climbing (slowly), got my tire wedged between some rocks, and went down hard on top of the bike. I remember thinking "protect the camera", but I'm not sure if I actually did anything, as it happened so fast. At first, I was seriously concerned that I had hit my shin so hard that I had fractured it, but all I ended up with was a flesh wound, which is now a scar that is about 1mm deep, 1.5cm wide, and 5cm long.

I was a little bit further upstream on this trail, where it leaves the old irrigation flume and drops down to follow the creek, getting considerably rougher. I took this photo on the ride in, near dusk. I still stopped to take a few pictures on the way out, as I wasn't bleeding all that badly.

The camera was fine - it didn't hit anything. I used it to take a picture of the wound before I cleaned it up. For accessibility, I really like having the camera on the front, especially when I want to take pictures of the kids. With the front load, it takes 5-10 seconds to have the camera in action, and it would be double that if it were in a belt bag. Kids can move a long ways in 5 seconds, and so can wildlife. Even if I'm just taking a picture of a flower along the trail, or a landscape shot, the kids complain about how long I'm taking.


05-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #35
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OK, the morbid in me is asking --- Where is the picture of the flesh wound?
05-11-2009, 11:37 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capt22 Quote
OK, the morbid in me is asking --- Where is the picture of the flesh wound?
On my hard drive at home. It's nothing all that exciting, just my leg, with a gash across it. I thought I went offtopic enough with my story.
05-11-2009, 12:38 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I suppose, thinking of my few crashes, I seem to have had an uncanny way of landing on my feet, sans bicycle... occasionally on top of offending motor vehicles...
Wow... I'm deeply impressed. I've had 3 run-ins with cars, and in all cases I ended up on the ground somewhere.

I suspect that in any of my crashes, involving cars or not (I raced, things happen...), a camera on my chest wouldn't have caused any further injury as I instinctively curled into a ball every time, but a projecting lens would have probably been wrecked. I, too, generally parted company with my bicycle at some point, except for one memorable occasion when I remember floating through the air upside down looking up (so wrong!) at my feet firmly strapped onto the pedals (back in the day before clipless pedals) and thinking to myself, "This is going to be awkward..."

Boy, remembering those crashes is going to make me extra-careful next time I'm on the bike. I really don't want to repeat any of those experiences!
05-11-2009, 12:44 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by dschlamp Quote
I have a TLZ, and have the chest harness, but I've only used it off road a few times on my mountain bike. I didn't have a problem with the bag hitting my legs, although I am quite tall, which probably helped.

...

For accessibility, I really like having the camera on the front, especially when I want to take pictures of the kids. With the front load, it takes 5-10 seconds to have the camera in action, and it would be double that if it were in a belt bag.
Could you clarify here, please? It sounds like you don't generally use the TLZ, but do carry the camera "on the front" (of the bike?), so are you using some other setup? Thanks!

Julie

05-11-2009, 01:05 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by foxglove Quote
Could you clarify here, please? It sounds like you don't generally use the TLZ, but do carry the camera "on the front" (of the bike?), so are you using some other setup?
Sorry if I was unclear, but the TLZ is clipped to the chest harness, and my camera rides on my chest inside the TLZ. When riding, I only have to stop, zip the TLZ open, yank out the camera, pop off the lens cap, hit the power, and start shooting.

I wouldn't really want to carry the camera attached to the bike apart from possibly road riding. My knees absorb the bumps that would jostle any camera stored in a handlebar bag, and so far, my body has taken the beating, not the camera (not that I ever want to crash like that again).
05-11-2009, 01:16 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by dschlamp Quote
...the TLZ is clipped to the chest harness, and my camera rides on my chest inside the TLZ. When riding, I only have to stop, zip the TLZ open, yank out the camera, pop off the lens cap, hit the power, and start shooting.
Thanks - obviously you are a good bit bigger than I am, if I tried to carry my camera like that it would interfere with my knees and handlbars! Although maybe I should try it out, I'm just judging by how the camera alone on the optech harness behaves while hiking. Carrying the tlz on my chest might also be more convenient xc skiing.

Did I miss another of your posts describing the harness? I'm assuming something like the optech, let me know if I'm totally wrong!

QuoteQuote:
I wouldn't really want to carry the camera attached to the bike apart from possibly road riding. My knees absorb the bumps that would jostle any camera stored in a handlebar bag, and so far, my body has taken the beating, not the camera (not that I ever want to crash like that again).
That's why I carry mine in a backpack - I act as shock-absorber. Mind you, the way I tuck when things go awry means that I'd more than likely land squarely on the camera in a crash.
05-11-2009, 01:38 PM   #41
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At over 6'3", I'm probably quite a bit bigger than you. I wouldn't ride a road bike in the drops with a camera on my chest, but a mountain bike is fine.

I don't like backpacks when riding. The weight is too high, and I end up really sweaty underneath. The harness I use is from Lowepro, and isn't the most comfortable thing I've ever worn, but it was cheap and it worked. The picture on the Lowepro site appears to show a TLZ as well; the BH Photo picture shows the chest harness on its own.

If I rode with the camera all of the time, I'd drop the $70-100 on a nicer padded harness, but it isn't worth it for me. I've seen some mention of cyclists clipping their TLZ to the front straps of their Camelback bag. I haven't tried that yet.
05-13-2009, 04:15 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by dschlamp Quote
At over 6'3", I'm probably quite a bit bigger than you. I wouldn't ride a road bike in the drops with a camera on my chest, but a mountain bike is fine.
Um, yeah... I'm 5"4'. I was riding to school this morning on my mountain bike (we have terrible potholes!), trying to imagine the tlz hanging against my chest, and I suppose it might work... it's worth a try, anyway.

QuoteQuote:
I don't like backpacks when riding. The weight is too high, and I end up really sweaty underneath. The harness I use is from Lowepro
I agree on the backpack, although I wonder if carrying the bag on my chest would simply move the sweat problem from back to font! Thanks for the link to the photo, that really helps. Much different from what I'd imagined.

Lots of interesting solutions and experiences in this thread. I had sort of resigned myself to the hot and inconvenient backpack for the odd time I carry the camera on the bike, but I may find an alternative yet.
05-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by foxglove Quote
Wow... I'm deeply impressed. I've had 3 run-ins with cars, and in all cases I ended up on the ground somewhere.

I suspect that in any of my crashes, involving cars or not (I raced, things happen...), a camera on my chest wouldn't have caused any further injury as I instinctively curled into a ball every time, but a projecting lens would have probably been wrecked. I, too, generally parted company with my bicycle at some point, except for one memorable occasion when I remember floating through the air upside down looking up (so wrong!) at my feet firmly strapped onto the pedals (back in the day before clipless pedals) and thinking to myself, "This is going to be awkward..."

Boy, remembering those crashes is going to make me extra-careful next time I'm on the bike. I really don't want to repeat any of those experiences!
Admittedly, I was pretty crazy-fast and agile, (this is no longer the case, but my adrenal glands had a good run before they conked out ) ...doubtless why I found being a bike courier a good fit until the body just gave out. Before I could afford clipless pedals, I always could wear the old style such that I could slip out of them and still get most of the benefit. (I sure wasn't about to ride without clips at *all*) I only even got stuck in them once, got kind of wedged against a high curb on the Longfellow, really nowhere to go. (ow. Also, uncharitable things about out-of-state drivers were thought. Possibly said. )

I think the useful thing about it is, regardless of what you're carrying, you want to leave room in your performance envelope for emergencies. You could be going faster than someone else and really on top of things, or slower and not really in control at all.

Stuff that used to be well within my envelope, would now be taking unnecessary chances, which means if I ride at all, I adjust accordingly. Especially if I'm carrying something I can't afford to break.
05-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
...I found being a bike courier a good fit until the body just gave out.
Oh, you were one of those! Even in my mad racing days I couldn't see myself as a courier. Hats off to you, you're braver than I am!

QuoteQuote:
Before I could afford clipless pedals, I always could wear the old style such that I could slip out of them and still get most of the benefit. (I sure wasn't about to ride without clips at *all*)
It feels so wrong not being clipped on! I raced wearing cleated shoes, so I could easily get seriously stuck - no just pulling out of the straps. Discovering clipless pedals was wonderful, I can be firmly attached yet get out of them easily.

QuoteQuote:
I think the useful thing about it is, regardless of what you're carrying, you want to leave room in your performance envelope for emergencies.
Good point, that's a useful way of thinking about it. Even a small backpack can be a problem if it slides around a lot.
05-14-2009, 01:54 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by foxglove Quote
Oh, you were one of those! Even in my mad racing days I couldn't see myself as a courier. Hats off to you, you're braver than I am!



It feels so wrong not being clipped on! I raced wearing cleated shoes, so I could easily get seriously stuck - no just pulling out of the straps. Discovering clipless pedals was wonderful, I can be firmly attached yet get out of them easily.



Good point, that's a useful way of thinking about it. Even a small backpack can be a problem if it slides around a lot.
Yep riding courier was another one of those great ways I found to become a creaky old relic of an analog age. Suited me, though, as much as it became a losing battle. You'd end up carrying bigger things longer distances all alone...for practically nothing to take home, that you used to be able to get paid for as part of a full bag by the envelope. Felt like you were doing something real, though. And how those suits you knew had three thousand dollar bikes and no time to ride would envy you.

I've actually got better shoes now than I had when I was doing that: they turned up on clearance somewhere: I'm just afraid I won't be able to twist out of em while I'm so often out of shape. It's also kind of a slog to get anywhere from where I live. (uphill in parts both ways to get into town....and in the sun, on speed-is-life kinds of un-divided highway. I'm just not up to it, for the most part. )

I mentioned earlier in the thread where I got my bag, though: I don't have one of their camera inserts, but they can custom make stuff, and now that I thought to look them up online, (they at least used to have a shop on Mass Ave, thus, all this time I'd been thinking, 'If only I could go there' ) ...I'll be getting another shoulder pad like I rode with for my big travel bag, which came with a somewhat not-so-good pad. (I just don't want to take the one off my courier bag since it's all broken in just right for that.)

It's not what off-road riders seem to choose, these bags, but it just works. No screwing around.
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