Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Biking in my home town of Porto Alegre, Brazil

Ever since I watched and blogged about a video from this year's Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge, I've been intrigued by the idea of shooting video of bike rides. The bike, after all, offers such a unique perspective not available from within a car.

I've even been thinking of getting a dedicated helmet-mounted camera myself or improvising a handle-bar mount for my existing camera (which can shoot video). In the meantime, I've been exploring videos shot by other cyclists. Some of them are crazy, shooting through traffic while violating every traffic law in the book. Others are a demonstration of how, no matter how much a cyclist obeys the law, drivers can be inattentive, malicious and downright murderous.

But today I saw a series of videos posted on YouTube by Diego Hernando Szczesny Mancilha, a cyclist living in my home town of Porto Alegre, Brazil. He has improvised a helmet mount for a regular camera and has shot videos riding around the city. Having lived in Porto Alegre and faced the terrible driving manners of its citizens as a pedestrian, I think cycling is the last thing I would do there. If American drivers are disrespectful of cyclists, Brazilians are downright hostile. This guy is brave. Here's one of the videos, this one of Diego hurtling down some of the steepest drops in the city. Porto Alegre is well known in Brazil for its hills:

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