I recently started riding my bike in busy traffic areas. While I do attempt to ride in the bike lane, typically about 20% of my journey is on city roads. I chose the ‘biking in the city’ theme to brush up on my riding skills and also in celebration of Calgary finally losing our snow, and soon, our gravel.
These videos were chosen because of their number of views, video length (less than 5 minutes), sound quality and safety-focused content.
1. How to bike in the city (tips for the bicycle curious)
This 4.05 minute video by Rosalie Miller is super easy to watch and enjoy. Rosalie is an engaging young woman who produced a video for cyclists who may not have experience riding on city roads.
The video was shot in Seattle and published June 18, 2013. The then Seattle mayor, Mike McGinn, also a cyclist, makes two guest appearances. The video cast is mainly young adults, but this video has wide appeal for all ages.
The audio consists of street noise and youthful up-beat music. Throughout the video, all how-to-cycle-in-the-city instructional information and descriptions are provided in text. The video pace is relaxing. Even the ‘cautionary’ instructions such as ‘watch the door-zone’ are not so jarring as to take you away from easy viewing.
This video has good visual and sound quality. The content addresses helmet use, arm signals and safe riding procedures. The video content is appropriate for people just starting to ride their bike in busy areas.
I enjoyed this video and so did more than 70,000 other viewers.
2. Life in the Bike Lane – Getting Around the City by Bike
This video was produced by Amy Pearl and has much less ‘how to’ content than Rosalie’s video. I picked this video to review because it was filmed in New York in the summer of 2010 and it at first glance it was appealing.
Amy’s 1.59 minute video is more of a documentary than an instructional video. There is quite a bit of movement in this video. Cyclists provide live comments on why they enjoy riding in New York and how to maintain safety (walkers don’t walk in the bike lane, cyclists won’t bike in the walk lane).
The interviewer is not seen or heard. The visual quality is good. It appears the sound is recorded with a microphone as there is background street noise but it doesn’t interfere with sound from the interviewees.
The video was viewed by over 2520 viewers.
3. Bike riding in traffic:
‘Bike riding in traffic’ was produced by Steve with Howdini.com. This video is about riding safely in traffic. Steve’s delivery is good and I appreciate his entire focus is on safety.
Steve is the sole cast member, and the video is shot in one indoor location. There is no physical movement during the 2.28 minute video, but the camera angle changes 10 times every 6 to 30 seconds in attempt to retain the viewer’s interest.
This video was released on July 16, 2009 and viewed by over 113,000 viewers.
The three videos were very different from the perspective of engaging the viewer. Shama Kabani author of “the zen of social media marketing”, suggests to retain viewer’s interest, the video length should be less than 2 minutes. While the length of the video ‘how to bike in the city’ was much longer than the other two videos, it was also the most engaging. Again, Shama Kabani’s recommended video components to holding the viewer’s interest is to keep things moving by changing camera angle, image or scene, and also keep the video content real and transparent.
Rosalie was successful in keeping her video content real with her inclusion of friends and the Seattle mayor. Movement was kept to a steady pace, her key messages were clear, and her use of repetition helped the viewer retained the information.
As a cyclist looking for safe-riding information to increase my safety, all three video’s had slightly different content which I will incorporate into my produced video.