I smashed my GoPro while filming a bike video

It’s been a while since I had been out shooting any bike videos, so I woke up on the morning of July 16th with a spring in my step and full of motivation to get out there and document a ride. I didn’t have any specific plans for the video – I was just feeling a bit creative that’s all, so I set out with two GoPro cameras (my Hero 3 and Hero 4) to capture whatever footage I could. I knew I could make some sort of video from whatever footage I got, so I wasn’t too worried about trying to put a script together or anything. The purpose was just to go for a ride, and capture footage along the way. Simple as that. Here’s the video:

The ride that morning was one of my usuals, starting out in south UTC here in San Diego and then riding up to UCSD to cruise around for a bit. It’s about a 12 mile ride with a decent amount of climbing (500 vertical feet). Not a hard-core ride by any means, but definitely a fun workout with lots of good scenery along the way.

san diego bike ride map
Map showing my 12.3 mile ride in and around UCSD that morning

It was about 7 miles into the ride, cruising north on Gilman Drive through the UCSD campus near the hospital when I hit some bumps in the road and my trusty GoPro Hero 3 that was mounted to my bike (with adhesive) went flying. Normally I wouldn’t have cringed so hard when it happened, because most of the time I keep in it in it’s hard plastic case when mounted to my bike which is very protective and strong. But that wasn’t the case this time. I decided against using the case so I could capture better sound, and I paid dearly for that decision. The camera went flying off my bike, and I imagined the worst as I heard it tumbling down the road behind me.

scratched up GoPro Hero 3
Close up of my GoPro Hero 3, with all the fresh cuts and scrapes. The lens doesn’t look so bad in this pic, but…
scratched GoPro lens
…here you can see the scuffs on the front of the lens that cannot be buffed out. The camera still works, but it’s basically unusable with those scratches right in the middle of the lens!

The good news was that the camera still works. The bad news was that the lens was scratched up pretty badly from tumbling unprotected on the concrete. Ugh! I don’t care about scratches on the body, but the lens is the most important piece and that was the last thing I wanted to see messed up.

The lesson here is this: always (and I mean always) keep your GoPro in the hard clear plastic protective case when filming action sports. Either that or use a tether!

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