Bike Life. Testing out the new Insta360 with a tour through Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington.

Cruising along with Insta360 X3 in hand.

At some point I’ve got to just put a whole post together with the over under on the Insta360 X3 and the GoPro 11s I’ve recently purchased and been using to film this and recent VLOGs. Altogether massive improvements in the tech. The ability to get amazing shots, and absurdly cool shots, angles, and whatever odd views of video have gotten really good.

On this first quick experimental video from the Insta360 X3 I rode through Marymoor Park. while on this ride through the park I provide some introduction to and narrative of the various sections of the park. To complement the video, here are some key links to information about the park and the Insta360 X3 Camera.

The First Insta360 X3 Experience!

I went to Marymoor Park to test out the Insta360 X3 the first time for a few reasons.

  1. I knew it would be spacious and I could bike around without any concern for being in any narrow corridors or difficult to bike areas. I just wanted to be able to focus on getting footage and seeing how the camera performed.
  2. There is plenty of ride time, i.e. uninterrupted path, to travel down and record on. Easy to setup a route and get into a diatribe about whatever feature of the camera.
  3. Finally, I was planning to just hold the selfie stick with the camera on it, and wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to inadvertently hit somebody or something with it!


Beyond the topics I talked about in the video (scroll to the end of the post for the full video plus time points), there were a number of other post-video observations I made.

1st thing I noticed was, in spite of my effort to have the camera face a particular direction, I really didn’t need to have it face any direction in particular. The mics, which there are several, picked up my voice just fine even while moving. The video worked out regardless of which way the camera was pointing, it literally just needed to be on and out there a few feet away from me to capture everything.

2nd interesting observation, in conflict with my previous observation. After time spent reviewing the videos and moving the camera angle around during edits, it became obvious that there is indeed a very slender area of the 360 degree view that gets blurry where it is stitched together. Basically the very sides, top, and bottom – where the selfie stick attaches – go blurry. Which, this is the physical mechanism that they use to make the selfie stick disappear. A little bit of software to stitch it, and mostly it isn’t immediately visible. However, upon closer observation, you do indeed see that stitch line. Which means, you should at least keep either the front or back camera generally facing in some way toward what you intend to shoot.

3rd observation. The camera, albeit light in a general sense, sits heavy on the selfie stick. It tends to make it bend ever so slightly and in some rare situations, become visible again. More on these selfie stick situations in the more extensive write up on this and the GoPro cameras in the future. But suffice it to say, the selfie stick needs held at particular angles to get good shots. Letting it lean and bend too much can be problematic if you’re expecting it to properly disappear.

Beyond those, more in the near future, I’ve collected a number of observations, tips, tricks, and all that since I’ve been using the camera for a while now. So be sure to subscribe here to the blog, or the VLOG.

Insta360 X3

Marymoor Park

Video Time Points

  • 0:21 – Introduction and equipping the Insta360.
  • 0:47 – The route through Marymoor Park & start of the ride.
  • 6:10 – Wrap up of the ride and plans for the next Marymoor Park exploration.
Episode 30 of the VLOG.

That’s it for this episode. Catch some of the earlier episodes and be sure to subscribe the channel on YouTube. Albeit, if you’re subscribed to this blog, I’ll be posting them here too.

An Eastside Bakfiet (Cargo Bike) Meet?

UPDATE April 19th, 2023 – Latest on future meetups can be found here!

A discussion has begun on Bikey Discord about a cargo bike meet up on the east side. Bellevue was mentioned, since it’s somewhat central on the east side. Above I’ve numbered some prospective locations that might be good for a meet up of Cargo Crew.

If you’re interested in joining, leave a comment, or join the Discord and join #eastside-cyclists and we’ll get a location sorted out.

Looking forward to meetup #1, maybe we’ll carry some cargo around! (yeah yeah, such a dad pun)

Anyway, the suggested…

Meetup Spots?

  1. Bellevue Downtown Park.
  2. Hidden Valley Park.
  3. This is the intersection of the cross-Kirkland corridor trail and, whatever the one is that is called in Bellevue, where all the light rail vehicles are stored for the new extensions to Link.
  4. The Spring Blvd west end bike landes @ 120th. It’s where several PBLs come together.
  5. I’m not sure what exactly this area is, Spring Corridor or something, but there’s a brewing company and there seems to be some cool areas to meetup here.

and of course, whatever you might propose, I’m game.

After we finalize a spot, it’s just a matter of picking a time.

Talking Tacoma on The Train

Ever been to Tacoma, Washington? Ever ridden the Coast Starlight, or Amtrak in general? How about with a bike. A little bit about all those things in this video. Join me for a trip south out of Seattle past Tacoma with a few key pointers, that soon, you will never get to see by train again! I’ll show ya the Tacoma narrows, plus a few other suggestions. Give this video a watch to learn how wrong I can be about what is or isn’t an island, learn about whether the Tacoma Narrows bridges have fallen down recently, and also whether they do or do not connect to an island!

So many things to know, all fascinating, give a viewing for a ride along the Tacoma waterline. Until next time, may your transiting be a most excellent experience.

Washington Passes $8.4 Billion Transportation Bill

Here’s a quick blurb on this transportation package in Washington. It looks like, sounds like, reads like the Washington Democrats have voted in to throw down $450 million match for the I5 Columbia River Crossing in spite of heavy local contention on the Portland and Vancouver sides of the bridge. It appears that the politicians in both Oregon and Washington give no care to those residents in these cities.

The CRC wreck continues to move forward. It’s starting to get to the point of, who’s going to pay for the massive overruns that are starting to take shape. Remember the bridge needs redesigned to meet Coast Guard height restrictions, it’s going to limit overall height which will close down businesses along the Columbia up river. Beyond those two immediate things Oregon has not established an actual funding source for the bridge or setup actual bonds or other mechanisms. In other words, the politicians in Oregon have spent money they don’t have in any budget, the politicians in Washington have completely disregarded Vancovuerites and of course have no vested interest in Portland form this perspective.

None of them seem to be paying attention to the future, nor the fact that traffic hasn’t increased on this stretch of interstate or the fact that 70% of traffic congestion is caused by local traffic. In other words, EVERY logical solution to this is to build an arterial bridge and let local traffic travel on it instead of being forced to funnel into the I-5 corridor.

Why is this simple solution such an insanely hard thing for these politicians to wrap their head around? It seems someone with some deep pockets and serious intent to build the bridge – broke as it is – keeps pulling the strings of the politician puppets. Just sad.  😦

My Two Cents of What’s Happening

The Republicans are in favor of just paving a massive bridge across the Columbia River. A few of them have even suggested BRT, albeit they know how BRT works out (i.e. it usually doesn’t get funded and when it does it’s shoved into traffic anyway).

What this is starting to shape up like, in a twist of irony, is Oregon is supporting the bridge to get light rail and Washington is supporting it to get light rail, in spite of and against the will of the sprawling areas’ Vancouver citizens. The irony is that Vancouver’s state – Washington – is in favor of light rail, the biggest sticking point for Vancouverites.

In Oregon, we’ve actually got a number of the features we demanded were must haves; safer and better pedestrian and bike access, light rail into downtown Vancouver and on to the College, reduced overall lanes and slowly decreased scope to fix all these other ingress points on the Interstate.

Overall, Portland and Oregon as a whole have gained a lot of things we wanted. However the biggest problem is that it is still unwanted by the overall communities it affects the most, it doesn’t actually provide real traffic congestion relief (and even if it did, induced demand would fix that in short order). The bridge is largely unfinanced which will fall on the backs of our children. The trend is also AGAINST increased car ownership, it’s actually dropping, and Portland is a leader in that dropping demand. Building this thing is against the trend that is occurring.

Overall, it seems like Oregon and Washington politicians are blinded by the desire to get light rail built and find it acceptable to sink us into massive debt by building an Interstate that is entirely unfunded, even with the tolls for Washington Commuters coming into Portland.

Overall, things are whack for the CRC.

Seattle Loses 17% of Transit Service

Ok, so it hasn’t happened yet. But as one would expect, more cuts are on the table. The Feds haven’t fixed the transit situation with funding options & the local cities & states just keep sucking money out into other solutions. It’s kind of par for the course. Seattle is threatened with a 17% loss in service. Most bus lines would lose one out of every bus. The only lines that would likely remain untouched would be a few of the Rapid Ride lines and high capacity runs during rush hour. But everything else is up for cutting.

What can you do about it as a citizen of Washington and Seattle? Go and message your elected leaders.

The US is seriously losing it’s ground right now, it’s happening fast. This is seriously getting interesting in some scary kinds of ways. Weigh in with your opinion, it may be the difference between standing in the cold, sitting in MORE traffic in Seattle or worse.