During a recent Bluetooth SIG event in Seattle, I learned how easy it is to keep track of your biking habits using Bluetooth technology. The demo bicycle wheel was spinning at about five miles per hour, even though it wasn’t really going anywhere. It was being measured by the little piece of plastic attached to the spokes, which is about the size of a thumb drive. The Velo Computer by Sound of Motion measures wheel rotation with a 1-degree precision.
So why is one degree important? What you can do with that information is important. You can calculate your acceleration, torque and watts. People who are training for biking marathons rely on information such as this to help them. “This unique sensing technology is at least 360 times more accurate than traditional sensors. It accurately measures distance, cadence, spot speed and acceleration within 1 second comparing up to 7 seconds delay in traditional cycling computers.”
When you finish your ride, you can post your information to the site. It will publish to Google Maps and Twitter for you so that you can share your ride with everyone. Sadly, the device won’t be available until later this summer. If you are a bike enthusiast, you’ll want to keep your eyes open for its launch.
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Today is National Bike to Work Day, capping off an entire week of pushing Amercians to be healthier while saving the environment from harmful gasses AND helping cut down on fuel consumption. Sounds like a pretty tall order, doesn’t it? It’s not such a stretch, though. Riding a bike for only thirty minutes per day can have a large impact on your health: the aerobic exercise strengthens the heart muscle at the same time that it helps keep weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure at healthy levels. It may also reduce arterial inflammation, which increases heart-attack risk, and slow the progression of heart disease.
You already know that riding a bike instead of driving a car (or taking public transportation) will save on your gasoline cost and reduce your carbon footprint. Did you know, though, that biking could keep your heart healthy? It can also help keep arthritis at bay. A recent study suggests that women with stronger thigh muscles are less likely to develop arthritis in their knees.
Leave the car in the garage today. Dust off your bike, throw on your tennis shoes, and enjoy the scenery on the way to the office on this beautiful day.
Once again, San Francisco will be home to the annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel race on Sunday. Several dozen participants will risk humiliation (and serious bodily injury!) racing their big wheels down the streets of the hilly city.
Begun in 2000 by John Brumit, the event was originally held on SF’s famous Lombard Street until its increased popularity necessitated the move to Vermont Street. This year, the race is being held down Potrero Hill and promises to be one of the most exciting events yet.
Over the years, LaughingSquid has captured some awesome photos of this event. Many of the participants show up in costumes, which brings even more hilarity and fun to the day. Throngs of people line the streets to cheer for friends, family members and their favorite costumed character.
If I were in San Fran this weekend, this is something I could totally get involved with. Can’t you just see me speeding down that hill at breakneck speed on a flimsy plastic “bike” made for little kids? Yeah, I can’t see it either. I think I’d do better watching from the sidelines.
This is definitely one time when I won’t be telling anyone to break a leg.
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