Angie Across America: Cycling Safety

Critically acclaimed 20th century American author Ernest Hemingway says it best:

It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of the country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”

I rode my bicycle across America from June to July this year, fell deeper in love with the sport, and now I ride every weekday to work and home.

Blog 4 Pic- Angie cycling

During my hour-long commute on my bicycle in rush hour traffic, I get this nagging thought – it’s probably safer to run than to cycle. At least when I run, I do so on the pavement, and not on the road shoulder, neck-to-neck with bigger, faster, meaner cars.

Here’s a short 1-min video on the sights I encounter on my daily commute along a heavily trafficked road:

Yet this article in BikeRadar, a reputed and respected online cycling resource, contradicts my perception:

Per mile, more people get killed walking than cycling according to the UK’s National Travel Survey and you’re more likely to suffer an injury requiring medical care while gardening than on your bike. Cycling is statistically safe. “Per year, there are 10 to 15 fatalities due to people falling off bikes with no other vehicle involved,” says safety expert and co-author of Health on the Move, Malcolm Wardlaw (here’s his commentary to the New York Times in 2001 explaining his belief on the over-rated risks of cycling compared to driving).

Two and half weeks after I returned from my cross country cycling race across America, I cycled in the treacherously hilly and heavily trafficked city of San Francisco. But I wasn’t alone to maneuver the narrow streets amidst impatient drivers who show little tolerance or respect for cyclists. I tailed my friend closely – he has lived in San Francisco for over 14 years and has ridden his bike in the city for 12 years. His advice for riding in the city? Be confident and be aggressive; cycle like you’re a car, because if you are meek, cars will not give way to you.

I noted his words and etched them to my mind, so that every time I cycle, I drew from his words like a well-sharpened sword, ready for the battlefield.

Still, I can’t help but think about my safety as I commute to work five days a week, an hour each way.

And so I decided to investigate. My research let me to a few fascinating finds:

Why are UK cyclists and would be cyclists so paranoid about safety? “Minority status generates fear,” says John Franklin, cycling skills expert and author of Cyclecraft. John agrees that the perception of cycling risk doesn’t match the reality.

“It’s about the management of risk, not simply the fear of risk.” As a cycle commuter, managing risk means being assertive, and behaving like traffic so that others will treat you as traffic.

“Cyclists need to learn how to influence others on the road,” says Franklin. “What you try to do is ride in a way that deters other people from starting to put you at risk. If you’re coming up to a side road where quite a lot of traffic turns left and there’s someone driving harshly behind you, there’s a good chance he’ll try to overtake and cut across you to turn left. So you ride in a way and place that if he does do that, he’s forced to make a much wider movement to give you more space. And it makes the manoeuvre more difficult for him, so he’s less likely to do it.”

“Good positioning is key. Position yourself as a driver with the rest of the traffic, not hugging the kerb. The ‘primary position’ is in the centre of the moving traffic lane. You’re obliging others to acknowledge you as another user of the road and not someone they can ignore. You’re causing them to think.” (source: BikeRadar)

Also, mix up your routes. Choose several routes to your workplace and rotate them. Riding the same stretch of congested road every day will make you complacent at junctions and possible hazards. Being aware that you’re going to encounter dangerous areas such as merging lanes and busy bus stops will help keep you aware of your surroundings. (source: Men’s Fitness)

In Portland, Oregon, a quiet cycling revolution is under way. There are now more transport journeys by bicycle per capita in Portland than in any other large American city. A journalist there told me that a turning point in the safety of cyclists on the roads comes when everyone who drives knows someone who cycles: it could be your neighbour’s daughter or a work colleague on that bike, which influences how you drive. The more people that cycle, the closer we get, and the more legitimate the campaign for safer cycling becomes. (source: The Guardian)

According to safety expert and co-author of Health on the Move, Malcolm Wardlaw, “the most effective means to improve cyclist casualty rates is to increase the number of cyclists on the roads.” (source: Commentary)

I agree. In California, pedestrians are king. Without raising an eye or hand, cars would come to a halt, or if extended too far out into a pedestrian’s path, would backtrack, as a sign of utmost respect for the pedestrian.

Californian drivers treat pedestrians as king – this is because everyone of us is a pedestrian ourselves at any given time. Now if Californian drivers treat pedestrians as king, why not offer the same courtesy to cyclists?

I believe the only way for drivers to look out for cyclists is when there are more of us on the road. There is safety in numbers, and safety in normality. When the sight of increasing cyclists on the road becomes a norm, drivers will be careful and watchful for cyclists.

And so I continue to ride frequently, marrying cycling with daily life, which in Californian terms, involves lots of roads, traffic, the redwoods and cafe chillin’.

P/S: Both videos are easily and beautifully edited using Action Studio.

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Video Editing Software for Real Estate Agents and Leasing Professionals

If you’ve ever looked at a listing for a property online or attempted to find more information, typically you get a few images in a slideshow without the facts you really need.

muvee has been helping Real Estate Agents create compelling videos for their clients and potential buyers for years.

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How? 1. With muvee you can include 360 degree views and bird’s eye views of the property and surrounding neighborhood. All you need is a drone and our software!

2. Agents can easily include their information at the bottom of the video so there is no need to search for email or phone numbers.

3. muvee allows you to add in captions and intertitles so you can include important information like square feet, number of bedrooms, cost and much more.

Find out more about muvee’s video editing software for real estate agents here!

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AngieAcrossAmerica: The Anatomy of an Idea

Ideas are birthed from the heart, conceived in the mind, and accomplished through hands and legs:

(1) First, passion strikes the heart
(2) Next, an idea forms in the mind
(3) Then, the brain strategizes the plan
(4) Finally, the hands and legs carry out the plan
(5) Over the course of time, the heart, mind, brain, hands and legs work continually to refine, reform and actualize the idea to achievement

For my ride across America, it didn’t just turn up in my brain one fine day. It was an idea that took root in my life since I was little.

Blog 1 Pic 1- AAA multi stateline crosses (1)I remembered being awestruck by Michael Jordan and his incredible talent in basketball. I remembered watching the English film Billy Elliot about a working-class Irish miner’s son who loved ballet and escaped the severity of his father and society’s expectations of him to become a world famous ballet dancer. I remembered watching, hearing and reading of so many great men and women who were nobodies when they first started out. I caught that message and dreamed of transforming myself from a nobody to a somebody someday.

So I began putting hands and legs to my dream.

As mentioned in my previous post, I was not good at being cooped indoors, so I found myself expanding my energy outdoors.

It first began with a daily 6-mile run in 2008, which progressed into a marathon in 2010, a half Ironman triathlon in 2011, an Ironman in 2013, after which I wondered… can I push myself further? I wasn’t a strong cyclist, and wanted to challenge myself to cross an entire country via a sport I wasn’t particularly strong in.

It was just that – a dream that turned into a challenge of pushing myself out of my comfort zone – doing what was uncomfortable, because in doing so, I find myself growing stronger and hardier on the inside, so that whatever life throws at me in future, I can always look back at those times I pushed myself to the far edges of my limits and grew as a result, and I can likewise, overcome and triumph over any difficult situations that I face.

In hindsight, my dream to ride across the country was an idea that took over 20 years to accomplish. I had to learn and grow into the woman that I am today to fulfill a dream of such magnitude.

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My challenge for you is, in any endeavor you undertake, be it a project in school, a new role at work, a new language you’re learning, a piece of music you’re creating or a film you are attempting to bring to life, keep chipping at your dream despite obstacles, hardships or time drags, and trust that though it takes a long time, your dream will surely come to fruition.

Angeline Tan

www.angieacrossamerica.com

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AngieAcrossAmerica: Shine Your Light

From paralegal to endurance sports; Angeline tells us what inspired her to let her light shine in her latest post!

For 10 years, I stuck on to a seemingly important-sounding job. I was a paralegal, living life in the fast lane, working in distinguished law firms alongside quick-minded, glib-tongued brilliant lawyers representing high-net-worth clients, sitting in on client meetings, perusing and organizing client files, studying thick law books, researching ancient old law cases in dusty, woody-smelling court libraries, attending court hearings, taking verbatim (word for word) notes as the lawyers eloquently debate their cases before a judge, enjoying expensive lunches paid for by the law firm, preparing numerous sets of  court documents for trial hearings late into the night, losing any trace of a decent social life with weekends buried in work.

I enjoyed what I did because it made me feel intelligent – that I was working in a high-strung environment, and it made me feel important – I felt like I was contributing positively to society. Besides, whenever my friends or family had any matter concerning the law which they were unsure of, they’d ask me, and whenever I offered my little two cents’ worth of advice, it’d always make me feel like my knowledge of the law had been of help and service to others.

I stayed on in the legal industry for a decade because it was the only thing I knew to do to give me a steady income. I had just graduated from college in 1999 and needed to fend for myself in a foreign country, away from my family.

I struggled to keep awake during client meetings and especially during long-drawn court hearings. For years I battled with, and still do, a special condition where I fall asleep in a flash, anywhere and anytime I am not actively engaging in something – in a meeting of any form and manner, while standing in a moving train, and sometimes, while driving. It is dangerous, and I often wish I have more control of my consciousness.

In school as a student, I’d fall asleep and when asked a question in say, history class, I’d stand up and rattle off an answer that seemed to please my teachers. When I was 10 and qualified to be on the school netball team, I happily escaped the monotony of attending classes and heading to the field for netball practices. Still, I fared well in school, scoring over 90% in all my test papers.

While I could pull off my mild case of narcolepsy in the safe, structured environment of a school and a routine 9-to-5 office job, I struggle to do so now in the non-structured world of entrepreneurship.

I am my own master, the captain of my ship.

I recognized my calling as a writer from a young age. Words and stories come effortlessly to me.

I love writing, but I can’t sit still to write.

I feel suffocated sitting down; I come alive when I’m on my feet – running or cycling, gaining distances, moving from one point to another.

Which is why AngieAcrossAmerica suited me well. It married my life’s greatest passions – sports, photo-videography and stories.

 

Picture: Snake River bordering Oregon and Idaho

I got to ride over 100 miles each day for 39 consecutive days, witnessed breathtaking views and captured them on film, met some incredible and hardy people and documented their personal stories and life lessons for posterity’s sake.

We each carry within us, a little light in which we shine and impact our world. For some, it may be their work ethics, tenacious attitude, resilience; for others it might be their laughter, joy, positivity, faith, encouragement; for another it might be their love for their family, care for the neglected elderly, compassion for society’s rejects; yet for someone else, it may be their athletic performance, financial savviness, technical brilliance or creative streaks.

For me, I discovered my light to be endurance sports. Coop me indoors or in a desk bound situation, and you’ll stifle me. Let me out to cycle, run, swim, etc – and I shine a light so bright it dazzles.

Uncover your light, my friend – let it shine and dazzle the world with who you truly are.

Picture: Manhattan skyline taken from Long Island City, Queens, New York

Angeline Tan

www.angieacrossamerica.com

 

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Angeline Tan: One woman, One Bike, 4,000 miles Across America

As part of a new series, we are turning over our blog to Angeline Tan. An avid muvee user, we’ve decided to support her trek across America. Follow our blog for more from Angie and we are currently compiling her photo and video memories to share them with you all!

I’m a minimalist, favoring space and few possessions over clutter and material items.

Things frustrate me. By things, I mean material possessions. Items in the house, in our bags, cars and storage areas. Clutter zaps my energy, simply looking at them. Everytime I take over a new space, however temporary, be it a couch at Starbucks, a table in the library, a seat in the train, a friend’s car, a coworking space – I’d first clear the area of obvious litter and clean up the spot before settling in for the next few minutes or hours.

Naturally, I hate shopping. When I have to buy essential items or household appliances, I’d drag my feet to the store and fight to disperse a depressing cloud of dread as I visualize a home cluttered with more items – however essential they may be for daily use.

From June to July this year, over the course of 39 days, I rode 4,000 miles across America.

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I wore the same set of cycling apparel, washed them every night when I showered, dried them when I slept and re-wore them each morning.

 

I carried all the gear I needed with me for 39 days – toiletries, slippers, repair kits, extra inner tubes, rain jacket, arm and leg warmers, sun block, apples, energy bars, packets of gummy bears.

Those were the only items I needed to live on each day, and they were sufficient.

I’d ride over 100 miles each day, stopping to eat whenever I’m hungry. Life was simple, and truly satisfying.

More importantly, it made me realize that I could with even lesser stuff than I already have so little of.

We don’t need much in life to survive. More possessions don’t equate to more joy. More possessions mean distractions from the truly necessary. More possessions mean more time wasted in caring and protecting them from wear, tear and damage. Lesser possessions mean more time spent on truly important things. Building relationships with people, for instance. Spending time with people that matters. Being present in the moment and taking in each experience, instead of worrying about this and that item.

We don’t need more stuff. What we need are experiences.

I got out there and crossed an entire country on my bicycle. I witnessed the most gorgeous sights, beheld breathtaking natural wonders, soaked in the beauty of nature, encountered incredible folks in small towns and big American cities, chatted with strangers about life, their hopes and dreams, savored some of the best food America has to offer – and captured all of these on film.

Blog 1 Pic 2- AAA savoring experiences

These, to me, are far more valuable than being a proud owner of material things. I feel extremely privileged for the opportunity to ride, am changed by the experience and humbled by the tenacious spirit that many of the folks I met displayed.

Adventures and experiences are not meant to be stashed away in sheer memory – they are meant to be shared because in sharing them, you and I are collectively connected by a common appreciation for the wondrous moments that life has to offer.

So get out there and explore life, capture precious moments and share them with those you love.

Angeline Tan, San Francisco

www.angieacrossamerica.com

 

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muvee Joins Top YouTube Stars in Seattle

This past weekend we had the pleasure of attending Chris Pirillo‘s 2nd annual VloggerFair. The power of YouTube vloggers was ever present with hundreds of teenagers waiting hours in line just to meet famous vloggers including ShayCarl, Tyler Oakley and Charles Trippy. Their over-the-top personalities really demonstrated how these people have gained such a successful following on YouTube and other social media channels. Do you vlog? If so, we’d love to hear how you think muvee Reveal could help you edit your videos. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of muvee Reveal 11!

muvee at VloggerFair Seattle 2014

Why vlog:

If you want to become an internet personality, stop waiting for your big break and create it yourself. Start a vlog. All you need for a successful vlog is a video camera, a video editing program, and some time and opinions to share. Many vloggers have gotten their start on YouTube and have built impressive followings of devoted fans. So, grab your camera and start shooting a vlog of your own. Your unique style and personality will shine through each video you make using your movie maker. Your life is more interesting than you know; show it off!

 

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3 Must-Use Features for Creating the Best Vacation Slideshows with muvee

Those summer vacation memories are priceless and you don’t want to forget the fun you had together. You also have a few friends and family members who would love to see your photos from the trip. muvee has made creating a video slideshow so easy, you’ll never look back. No more printing photobooks or storing images on a disk drive. And these 3 features will make your trip really shine!

1. Zoom in on the action! 

Pan in on vacation photos or zoom in on that perfect smile with magicSpot.

We automatically zoom in on faces but you can manually control that pan and zoom if your focus is elsewhere! Zoom in on the man jumping in the in Rome’s Trevi Fountain in the background.

Pan from the tip of the pyramid to the base! You choose the best part of the photo!

Watch our tutorial on magicSpot magic! 

2. Use Intertitles and Captions to Tell the Story

muvee Reveal offers Intertitles – blank title slides you can place in between your vacation photos and videos – to help define chapters within your movie-story.

Place an Intertitle before the highlights of each day of your 10 day trip, or highlight each city you visited on your European adventure.

Intertitles come with cool text animations with their own entry and exit sequences.

Using Captions, emphasize those moments even better. Includes support for two-line Headlines and Subtext!

Watch how we used Captions and Intertitles for our video of San Francisco here:

3. Highlight the Can’t-Be-Missed Moments!

Show off the perfect moment or even exclude that embarrassing scene with our magicMoments feature.

With our intuitive “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” buttons you can easily remove segments of your vacation videos and highlight others.

With hours of footage, we know you don’t want to include it all. We made it easy to edit! “Thumbs up” the clip of you getting off the plane in Spain and “thumbs down” the clip of you going through customs on the way home!

Learn more about magicMoments in this video tutorial: 

If you haven’t already be sure to download a free trial of muvee Reveal 11!

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15 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

If you’ve been to as many weddings as we have, you know how expensive they can be. From food to photographers to venue, those costs add up quick. We’ve put together some tips to help you brides and grooms to be save a few bucks.

Here are 15 ways you can cut costs while making your unique wedding vision happen just the way you want.

Cut wedding videography prices.

muvee Reveal offers you a simple and quick way to create a wedding video or slideshow without an expensive videographer.

Use an all inclusive wedding venue.

Book a multipurpose venue rather than a big empty room, so you don’t have to hire outside caterers, or rent tables and chairs. Just be sure to watch out for upgrades to “premium” chairs or place settings.

Avoid most popular wedding dates.

Avoid a Saturday in June and pick an off-peak day, like Friday night or Sunday afternoon, in an off-peak month, like September.

Make your own unique wedding invitations.

Make your own invitations. Do-it-yourself kits are easy to find at craft stores, or you can design your stationery online and have it printed for much less than traditional methods.

Limit +1’s.

Keep the guest list down by putting some limitations on “+1.” Limit guests to significant others and avoid the random dates of distant cousins.

Small bridal party.

Keep the bridal party small and you can avoid large rehearsal dinner costs and lots of “thank you” gifts.

Consider a wedding dress rental.

Save your money for the dress and rent or borrow accessories from friends, family, or even online.

No need for both wedding cake and dessert.

Don’t do double duty on dessert and skip straight to the cake. Most people will have eaten plenty, and will be looking forward to watching your cake shenanigans anyway.

Unique wedding centerpiece ideas.

Create your own centerpieces using things like paper flowers instead of real ones, “upcycled” bottles, or even photographs of yourself. Your wedding favors can also contribute to the look of your centerpieces if you use candles or budvases.

Provide wedding cocktails.

Have a cocktail hour instead of a fully hosted bar. A cocktail hour keeps a sophisticated tone while keeping limits on the bar tab.

Your own wedding music mix.

You can hire a DJ to play all of your favorite music, but spending a few hours to make a wedding playlist for your iPod could save you a lot of money, without fearing an accidental Chicken Dance.

Hire college musicians.

If you want live music for the ceremony, consider hiring college music students for your string or jazz quartet. They will give you a great performance at a great deal.

Cash wedding registry.

Instead of just spending money, set up a cash registry in lieu of a traditional registry. Cash registries can be cute, personalized, and can get you what you need most without your having to return a toaster.

Arrive early.

If you can get ready at the venue, skip the fancy transportation and get a ride there a little early when no one will see you arriving.

Candid wedding photography.

Encourage guests to take lots of photographs so you can hire a professional photographer for fewer hours. You’ll get beautiful candid shots from many more perspectives than one photographer could get alone.

 

Posted in Make wedding videos, muvee Tips

The Best 4th of July Video Yet

What says the 4th of July better than barbeques, fun, and of course fireworks? Capture your holiday fun in all of its patriotic glory with these explosive tips. This year watching your 4th of July themed video slideshow might be more fun than the actual holiday itself.

Capture Stunning Fireworks Photos

Do you want to take your best fireworks photos this year? It can be done, although it will require a bit of pre-planning. Try this:

  • Choose Your Location Carefully- Breathtaking firework shots require careful planning when selecting a location. Scout out potential sites in advance and show up early. Although most fireworks viewers will be seated in big open spaces, you’ll want to choose a location with gorgeous background elements like trees, lakes, etc.
  • Use a Tripod- Long exposure times are needed to capture fireworks. Use a tripod to keep your shots steady.

Don’t Stop with Photos- Fireworks Video Tips

While photos of sparkling and shimmering fireworks are certainly delightful, videos play an important role in capturing the red, white, and blue festivities too. Don’t limit yourself to still shots, grab plenty of video clips as well. This will give you more material to use when it comes time to edit your video. Here are a couple of quick tips:

  • Keep it Steady- Just like photos, video shots of fireworks need a steady hand or better yet, a tripod. This will keep your video looking smooth so people can enjoy the fireworks, not feel like they are in the midst of an earthquake.
  • Grab Some Shots of Your Crowd- Fireworks are stunning, but a big part of the fun are the people you watch them with. Turn your video camera away from the sky for a bit and capture the open mouthed stare of a child or the hidden smile of a teen.

Bokeh from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

Happy 4th of July!

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Free muvee Reveal 11 for Mommy Bloggers

Are you a mommy blogger? We want you to give muvee Reveal 11 a try and help us spread the word about how easy it is to create custom videos with our video editing software. Make adorable videos of birthday parties and show off your kiddos with stunning photo slideshows. Get in touch with us and try muvee for free; we’re certain you’ll love it!

Why try muvee Reveal 11? Here are a few of the reasons mommies like you love our software:

  • Videos in Minutes- One mommy blogger that tried our software created her first video in just 10 minutes (check out her great video at the bottom of this post). Being a mom is a lot of work, but if you can find 10 minutes to spare, you can create videos of your children, even on your first try.
  • Share in Seconds- Show off your cute kids to family, friends, and blogging buddies around the world with easy uploading to Facebook and YouTube.
  • Music that Won’t Get Flagged- Have you ever experienced the dreaded copyright flagging and removal on Facebook and YouTube? We’ve teamed up with Rumblefish to offer a huge library of music for licensing on your various projects. You can be sure that your movies won’t be flagged or removed.
  • Styles for Every Style- Every mom is different and every video you create can be too. With muvee Reveal 11 you’ll find a variety of unique styles to suit every personality and mood. You can even customize photos with stickers, frames, and embellishments using muvee’s Graffiti feature.
  • So Easy Even a Kid Can Use it- Get your kids in on the video editing fun too. This blogger found that muvee Reveal 11 was fun for the whole family. Even her kids could make their own videos with very little adult help.

Contact Us to Give muvee Reveal a Try

If you’re a blogger and want to try muvee Reveal for yourself (for free), we’d love to hear from you. Email Lindsay for more details.

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