Archive for May, 2013

Read on, online, dear reader

29/05/2013

Cycling Science by Max GlaskinWith your shelves now groaning under the burden of all the editions of Cycling Science (in at least five languages if you count US English and UK English as different flavors), then you will be pushed for space to store any more books. So here’s the first round-up of websites that you might find useful to further your interest in science related to cycling.

For aerodynamic drag force formulas (formulae?) there’s Rainer Pivit’s explanation – try not be put off by the symbols. They only want to be your friend.

The dynamics of the peloton aren’t as clear as they might appear in those sweeping shots from the helicopter during the Grand Tours. In fact, it’s a dynamic of transient mathematical beauty and it is being explained in all it’s glory by Hugh Trenchard.

Hugh Trenchard's peloton modelIf you want to cut to the chase, Hugh has built a great model online that you can actually play with – choosing rider numbers, speed, drafting distance etc. It mimics the real thing convincingly and is just as entrancing. (Personally I like the way the whole page looks. Somehow it reminds me of the early online scientific animations of the mid-’90s, although it is far more sophisticated and driven by powerful algorithms.)

What else? Ah yes, how about a short diversion into physiology. How on earth do your bulging leg muscles work? Don’t ask me, ask the experts. There is everything you need to know and more at the ExRx site for exercise professionals.

Me and my muscles before I put on my Lycra

Me and my muscles before I put on my Lycra

And just how much extraordinary power are your muscles producing? Well, you could buy some power cranks or one of the many other devices you can fit to a bike or you could simply enter some data into the site created by Walter Zorn and watch it calculate the answer in a jiffy. Walter Zorn died in 2009 but his family and friends maintain it in his memory.

That’s it for now. More soon.

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