Black Rapid Camera Strap

Like texting and driving, I do not recommend shooting while cycling!

I’ve been traveling in France the past few weeks scouting locations and activities for future workshops I’m planning. I’ve discovered a cycling camera strap in the process. As an avid cyclist, some of my research is done riding the local backroads for scenes that are off the beaten track. Of course I go with my camera, but it usually stows in my bicycle trunk or pannier since neck straps are not conducive to cycling.

Long ago I’d given up on finding a cycling camera strap that wouldn’t slide off my back and bounce off the side of my leg or bang into the top rail of my bike. It was very frustrating and time consuming to shoot anything. I’d have to stop, get off my bike, take the camera out, turn it on, shoot, put the camera back, get back on my bike and ride until the next time I see something – which was usually a few feet down the road (or meters in this case, since it’s France). This gave way to my “cycle or shoot” mentality of choosing to ride or to shoot, simply because stopping often meant not getting to the day’s destination before dark.

I found a solution this year with the purchase of a BlackRapid R Update 08/24/2020 – now BlackRapid Sport Breathe camera strap. Not sold as a cycling camera strap, but nonetheless, it changed my shooting behavior. That sounds radical and it is. Once adjusted, the Black Rapid R (now known as the BlackRapid Sport Breathe) was so comfortable that I wore it around Paris all day, everyday, for 5 days without the fatigue of a traditional camera strap.  More photos were taken simply because of the comfort quotient.

Abandoned Garage

Abandoned Garage, L’Isle sur la Sorgue, France (©2015 D.A.Wagner)


With the BlackRapid my camera stays pretty much out of the way when I’m riding.

When I got to Provence and started cycling, instead of packing the camera away, I decided to try wearing the BlackRapid. I was more than surprised. After a few minor adjustments with the under arm support tether, the camera strap did something I’ve never been able to do: cycle and shoot!

It may seem odd at first that the camera hangs upside down but it makes all the sense in the world. The camera and lens rest comfortably against my back and stay put as I pedal. When I stop to shoot, I just unlock the front bumper and slide the camera up to shoot. The perfect cycling camera strap.

Many of my students have gone out and purchased a BlackRapid on my recommendation. If they weren’t happy, I would hear about it.

The BlackRapid comes with a screw-in connector (they call it FASTNR), but I prefer to use the Fusion Photo Gear base plate because it has an Arca-Swiss style quick release plate which means I can just unhook the camera and get it on to my tripod in seconds.

Detail of Black Rapid connected to Photo Fusion Quick Release adapter

Detail of BlackRapid connected to Photo Fusion Quick Release adapter

The Fusion Photo Gear ring flips up and down for easy attachment to camera or tripod

The Fusion Photo Gear ring flips up and down for easy attachment to camera or tripod with an Arca-Swiss release plate.