After a year and a half, I finally found out whether flipping the AS-30V camera upside-down would protect its lens:
Yes. Yes, it does, at least from a grass-like ground cover.
I’d leaned the bike against a Blue Loo, turned my back, took four steps, and wham down it went.
The upper front rim of the skeleton case ended up firmly pressed against the ground, with the lens safe. A slight smear from the greenery wiped off easily, with dirt embedded between the fake fur and the case, exactly where the lens would stick out in its normal orientation.
I love it when a plan works out …