On the eve of the start of Stage 1 at the Tour Down Under we held a grand event: One solely focused on bike tech and beer. And by grand…I mean in the back outside section of a pub under the flight path of the international airport. But what we lacked in aeronautical silence, we made up for in sports tech chat.
The event was initially conceived by Murray from Wahoo Fitness. He had individually met with myself and a few others last year at the Tour Down Under, and realized that the hit-list of people to chat with this year was slowly growing. So why not burst it open to everyone? Thus began the first (annual?) Bikes, Beers & Tech night.
The ‘featured roster would include Shane (GPLama), Murray from Wahoo Fitness, Mike from FulGaz, David from The SufferFest, and even folks from 4iiii and a few others showed up as well. Oh, and I guess me.
But more importantly than all us were the boatloads of you that showed up. Perhaps it was the draw of sports tech chatter, or perhaps more likely just free beer. Either way, you came out!
It was awesome catching up with folks, and cool to hear all the different ways people were getting out and seeing the Tour Down Under. From riding hundreds of kilometers to get here, or riding 120KM to/from a stage start to see the riders go off for that day. Plus of course, all the discussions about the latest gadgets.
The ‘program’ wasn’t really too formal. Mostly, it was about beer and just an opportunity to chat. But Murray did kick things off with intros and we each told a few little stories. Like the backstory of Shane’s YouTube handle (GP Lama), or how Murray managed to get himself a job at Wahoo Fitness (when he basically told the CEO his software sucked).
We then had a bit of Q&A time for some questions from those attending.
Beyond that, everyone caught up on all the latest sports tech. Nobody from any of the companies had any of their products on hand, as the goal wasn’t some marketing push. Here’s a small gallery of pics:
Sorry, I only had my cell phone with me – so just some quick snaps. Plus, I didn’t think to take closer up photos till later in the evening – my bad! If you’ve got photos from the event, definitely post them in the comments below!
Oh, and one tech tidbit for folks that couldn’t make it that I thought was cool was a rig that Mike from Fulgaz is prototyping to film some of their videos. At first it may look like just another GoPro/bike computer mount:
But there’s some interesting logic there. First is that the camera mount is actually off slightly. Why, you ask? So that once the GoPro is installed, the lens itself is then re-centered onto the stem. This, in turn, helps to keep one side of the brakes or handlebars out of the frame.
In addition, they’re looking at adding an integrated battery pack in it, thus allowing them upwards of 6 hours of recording time. He noted that they’ve switched to using the GoPro Hero 6 for recording their videos (from the Hero 5, and previously the Sony Action Cams), because they’ve found the quality so much better on the Hero 6 for this use case (which is what I’ve seen as well). Note, this isn’t something for sale by them at this point, merely just a geek’s curiosity.
Oh – and lest I forget this funny tidbit: The cheeseboards that came out? They had chevrons on them, identical to the Wahoo KICKR. How hilariously ironic! No, this wasn’t something coordinated. Just pure randomness.
Thanks again for those that came out – it was great catching up with everyone! Oh, and again, if you’ve got photos from the night, feel free to post them below in the comments!
And hope to see more folks out and about over the next few days at the Tour Down Under.
WHAT! All those people got to meet Ray? How lucky they are 🙂
I like having the brake levers centered in the shot. We use GoPro footage in race efforts on my team to analyze performance in road races/crits objectively seeing the pull of levers etc gives insight into where we can improve w/regards to cornering and shifting.
Sorry I didn’t mean to post this as a reply ?
Well, being a Bolt owner I must say that Wahoo’s software still sucks IMHO. There’s still no way to display gearing info in the 39×12 format. The iOS app is still a drama. Every time I set my Wahoo to English, it puts itself back to Dutch as soon as a pair with the companion app. It’s still not possible change the language of the iOS app to English. Weird GPS bug still not fixed. I could go on for days….
There are options, prefab on eBay as well as print-to-order, for offset GoPro mounting to center the lens, such as this inexpensive option: link to shapeways.com
Or this: link to ebay.com
Ray was the only person listed with the stage name – or web name? How cool is that!
Haven’t checked out any Fulgaz videos but does anyone shoot rides with occasional pans left and right?
Getting pretty tired of HD videos that shoot straight ahead mile after mile especially when the route is scenic or there are interesting things you pass by.
Who the heck looks straight ahead for hours on end during a training ride?
Someone needs to make a gimbal mount that pans on demand (tap it) or through a random setting. Or a camera sensor that IDs surroundings like a smartphone detects faces. In this case the camera would sense a scenic view on the left or the castle on the right and send a signal to the gimbal mount to pan left/right then back ahead after you’re past the POI.
Anything of this nature would reduce the boredom on many video rides. Otherwise you end up with titles like “Grand Tour in the Alps” that never show one overlook the entire ride.
Scenic rides could include waypoints like you might train on a group climb. Climb to this overlook and wait for stragglers to regroup. In the meantime there are views in all directions at that waypoint. Or continue riding and the video skips the waypoint.
At some point 360 VR videos should be possible, but for now I’d settle for the occasional pan left/right.
Need a 360 camera with some AI to detect when the straight ahead shot isn’t changing much and virtually pan to something it detects as possibly interesting by post processing what is on the sides of the bike.
Nice summary Ray, Cheers. I think it was a really great night and will look at something again next year, I liked the casual, getto like feel, just need to find some good beer not under a flight path… i will post a link to some more photos later today
Great to catch up with you & an interesting night. I’m sure the flypasts were more frequent during your segments!