Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass

Last week I joined 2203 riders and 552 roadies on a 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

This year was my second time to participate in the Aids LifeCycle ride, and I was lucky enough to get a Google Glass Explorer Edition just in time before I left for San Francisco.

Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass

My goal was to document as much of the ride as possible with Google Glass. Especially the candid and (almost) mundane moments along the scenic route that make up so much of the seven-day experience.

You can view the full album with over 100 images on my Google+ profile.

All photos in the album were shot entirely with Google Glass. None of the photos have been cropped or retouched beyond the auto-enhance-feature of Google+.

If you are interested in the raw un-enhanced pictures, check out the set on Flickr which also includes 40 raw videos.

Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass

The Camera Is the Killer Feature

The built-in camera was clearly the killer feature for me on this ride. The quality is pretty decent for such a small device. It took some time to get used to the wide angle, but it’s rather magic to capture hands-free photos/videos with instant visual feedback in the projected display.

Something that would be nearly impossible with a GoPro or any other camera while cycling. The voice commands worked reasonably well even at high downhill speeds with wind noise.

Besides the camera, I didn’t use any of the other Google Glass features during this ride. Mainly because of the limited Internet and power access.

Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass

Hardware & Power Issues

All photos in the album are from Day One, Five, Six and Seven. Unfortunately, I missed Day Two, Three and Four due to hardware/power issues.

On day one I drained the battery while shooting videos. After that, Google Glass would not turn off properly any longer, which prevented me from having a fully charged (functional) device in the morning of day 2, 3 and 4. The charging situation in camp was very limited with over 2000 riders circling the power outlets like sharks.

Later in the week, I decided to charge the device in the morning instead of the evening before. While that required me to get up an hour early, it allowed me to continue to use the device. I will follow-up with a separate blog post on the hardware and usability issues.

Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass

In Summary

Hardware issues aside, I am very happy with the outcome. There are a lot of ”in the moment” shots that I would have missed otherwise, especially with two hands on the handle bar.

I love the shots of my friend Greg riding along the Pacific Ocean, fellow riders passing me, people along the route showing their support, or even the roadside emergency of me fixing a flat tire. Those might appear like random shots to you, but they are very personal and meaningful moments to me.

Here are a few more selected shots from the album:

Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass Cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Google Glass

Thanks to everybody who supported me during the ride, donated to my fundraising goal and cheered me on along the way.

More Google Glass adventures soon :)

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