Award at XXI Spin-Off UMA for: Bicinetica

Award at XXI Spin-Off UMA for BICINETICA
Award at XXI Spin-Off UMA for BICINETICA

About a year ago I designed a mathematical model for cycling that relates velocity and power dynamically, considering multiple parameters that determine the forces involved such as the weight of the rider and the bicycle, the grade of the road, the rolling resistance of the tyres or air density based on altitude and temperature.

Sure, there are multiple online calculators which estimate speed from power and viceversa, but these are based on terminal velocity and cannot be used for estimating one from the other dynamically.

Designed just for fun, soon I started to realise its multiple applications. Among them:

  1. Detecting failures in power-meter units during climbs
  2. Accurately predict duration of routs, based on the physiology of the cyclist (see Critical Power and W’)
  3. Use it as an Opposing Force Power Meter
  4. Estimate CdA (Drag coefficient * frontal Area) without the need of a velodrome, or having to maintain the same power

And a bonus (corollary of 2.): Can I beat that Strava segment? Check it from your sofa. You’re welcome!

I presented this idea named Bicinetica (bicycle and kinetics in Spanish) as a project for the XXI Spin-Off of the University of Málaga. The project was selected by Sprita Startups, a local company part of TOPdigital group, which will provide advise and seek funding opportunities.

Calculating the distance to the horizon

 

adri
Adri, trying to pose very focused

Last weekend my friend Adri came by to Fuengirola, a nice area of Málaga by the sea where I am currently living. It was Sunday morning and we were chatting on the terrace after breakfast when we noticed a big ship that seemed to be suspended on the horizon. I said “I wonder how far away that ship is. It doens’t look very hard to calculate….” That was the trigger! Adri and I studied Mathematics together at Málaga University and since then we haven’t had the chance to discuss anything related to mathematics whilst having a piece of paper in front of us. This looked like a good opportunity to reconcile that.

 

First the obvious: Due to the curvature of the Earth Continue reading