I’ve done some pretty stupid things in my never ending quest to get the perfect cycling pic, but riding with a selfie stick ranks right up there with the worst of them. You see, I ride alone 99% of the time, and I love to take photos – that’s a pretty dangerous combination, I know, but I’m usually the kind of guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the shot. A selfie stick seemed like the perfect tool to up my biking photography game.
I ended up purchasing a Revo ACP-1137 from BH Photo, which is a simple and lightweight selfie stick designed to work with GoPro cameras. And when I say it’s simple, I really mean it; there’s no bluetooth connectivity, and the twist-to-lock telescoping handle is a bit stiff at times. But this simplicity makes it the perfect selfe stick for cycling because I can drop it, bang it up, run over it, or…whatever…and I don’t have to worry about it. And it’s reach is far enough that I don’t have to lean way over the ends of my bike to get a decent overview pic.
Anyway, I rustled up enough courage the other morning to actually go outside with my GoPro firmly mounted to the ends of that selfie stick, and here are some of the photos I was able to get from the ride that morning on my 2007 Specialized Allez Comp:
Not bad, eh? Some of the shots are far enough away that they look like they were shot by another person, which is exactly the effect I was trying to achieve. And even though I was pretty happy with the photos I came home with, this was a learning experience in several regards, and I have some advice for any rider who would like to try it:
- If you ride with a selfie stick on a bike, you’re gonna look like a dork and people are going to look at you funny. Get over it.
- Watch the spokes. Yeah, things could get real messy if you get the selfie stick caught in your spokes at 20mph. I shudder just thinking about it.
- Watch for passing cars! It’s easy to get caught up in the moment (especially if you are a bit narcissistic) and not realize that your selfie stick is hanging well out into traffic lanes. It would suck to get clipped by a passing car, wouldn’t it?
- The weather / location doesn’t matter all that much. The angles you can get with a selfie stick are pretty extreme, which is enough to make the photos very unique and fun (even in gloomy weather). So don’t worry if you don’t have a place to shoot – just get out there and do it!
- Finally, pay attention! Don’t focus so much on getting the perfect shot because out on the open road, distractions can kill. Focus on the riding first, and just hang the selfie stick off the bike as an afterthought.
Getting out there on my bike with my selfie stick and a GoPro was stupid, I’ll will admit. It led me to take bigger risks than I should have probably been taking, but I’m happy enough with the results that I’m intrigued to do it again with one of my other bikes. Stupid, stupid, stupid…