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12 July 2014
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photography while cycling quickly (sort of)

after asking if anyone knew how to take photos while cycling quickly, i went out saturday afternoon and tried it. unfortunately, while i could retrieve the camera from the back pocket and take photos while pedalling (not really fast - mostly around 25kph), due to the super efficiency of assos rear pocket elastic, i couldn't get the darned thing back in again without stopping.

i'm not clever enough or trusting enough on islay's roads to cycle no-hands.

anyway, below is a visual blog of the cycle from bowmore to ardbeg and back.


duich bridge

after the lights at duich bridge (yes, they're still there) comes islay international airport

islay international airport

five miles further and then it's the end of the eight straight miles of the low road and time to turn off left to port ellen. second pic is a marvellous view towards port ellen but with the architectural monstrosity that is diageo's maltings blotting the copybook.

low road

port ellen road

into distillery country, and in order of arrival, laphroaig (creatively blurred because i was pedalling a bit faster at this point), lagavulin and then home to velo club d'ardbeg, ardbeg distillery.


lagavulin road


ardbeg approach

ardbeg distillery

in true cycling world style, photos would not be complete without the obligatory colnago in front of the old kiln cafe photo. stood and talked to stuart thomson (manager) for five minutes, then did the whole thing in reverse (though did take the high road part of the way.


Posted on brian at 18:52


You should do a series and exhibit!

Sunny from Arran

i will need to try that when over in july!!

Iain from luing

Interesting paper round you've got.

Lance Armstrong from Ben Fogle Cottage Laxdale Lewis

First of all: Brilliant! What a lovely virtual tour to the distilleries. Please do the same for more routes on the beautiful Islay. Have you thought about fixing the camera to your helmet? Drill a hole on top of an old bicycklehelmet (remove helmet from the head prior to drilling..), fix a screw that fits the camera and with a remote control you're laughing. To aim the camera, use the same trick as uv-photographers do: Fix some sort of steelwire-frame in such way that what you see through the frame is what is captured on the film/chip. If this will work, I don't know. But with all this gear on your head, I guess cars will at least slow down while passing you on the road, so it should be good for something.. All the best from Velo Club d'Ardbeg Norway Office

Crane from Norway

There is a bicycle Film Festival in San Francisco advertised on Apparently an annual event. I wonder if they play bicycle clips before the main feature?

Hercules Brookes from Saddlebag Mews Lewis

in a move that will either dismay or enliven, i have every intention of carrying out the same photographic endeavour to other parts of the island, because it can only get better. not sure about the idea of bolting a camera to the helmet though. and strangely enough, two of us in vc d'ardbeg have already discussed the idea of a movie and submitting it to the bicycle filmfestival which is held in sf, new york, london and japan at various times throughout the year. next escapade will be to try cycling quickly holding on to a digital video camera - just as well the local sergeant is a cyclist too:-)

brian from islay

Cycling with a video camera sounds tricky, and at this time of year you could end up with an unreasonable amount of crud on the lens or camera. Back in the ‘80’s the rather excellent QED programme filmed the entire coastline of the Island of Britain from a jet plane. To get round the problem of crud on the lens the camera strapped to the bottom of a Red Arrow was pointing backwards. Once filmed they simply ran the film backwards… So, find yourself a bike with a pannier rack on the back, (I wouldn’t dare suggest you put one on the colnago) find a suitable clamp to secure the video camera and head off in the direction of Portnahaven or wherever. Once you have transferred the DV onto a computer I guess you should be able to run it backwards, but you may want to experiment with that before you record several hours of footage! They only problem QED had was that every so often the camera lost track of the coast and you got an interesting shot of a lot of sea! So how do keep track of what the camera is shooting. Well here’s a cunning technique I witnessed in Inverness a couple of years ago. Family of four in a car, Dad driving and missing out on the scenery, but no fear, Mum had a Camcorder to record the action out of the passenger window. But who wants to wait until you get home to watch the footage, not Dad, that’s for sure. No Dad had a PDA hanging from the rear-view mirror, which was connected to the Handicam (USB? Firewire??) enabling him towatch the action live!!!! So add a handle bar bag and put a PDA in the map pocket. Run a cable to the video camera on the back and you have the mother of all rear view mirrors. With the right software you should be able to control the camera from the PDA. If you don’t fancy this you could always get a tandem and do it the sensible way.

Chris from York

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