The GoPro toy digicam is finally working reliably and recording ~50 minutes of video to the 2GB SD card.
None of the problems I experienced were really the responsibility of the manufacturer. This little gadget is just very sensitive to the type of battaries being used, and a warning to that effect is stated more than once in the instructions.
I bought the GoPro handlebar clamp from REI (they sell GoPro products), and it mounts the camera inconspicuously on my bicycle.
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