The inverted Bike Shop


[vimeo http://vimeo.com/36258512 w=600&h=338]

Amongst the multitude of bike shops across Manhattan and Brooklyn, 718 Cyclery (718c.com) stands out for their unique approach to the business. This is the “inverted bike shop”.

The Geek in me like this: Social Running Geekiness


It’s one thing to look at your own personal-fitness data and identify trends and tendencies. But what about crunching the numbers of 1,000 New Yorkers over a nearly four-month period? That’s the kind of project that requires some serious know-how.

Graphic designer Nicholas Felton enlisted 14 of his students at Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts to analyze the metadata aggregated by 1,000 Nike+ runs conducted from Sept. 7 to Dec. 21 of last year. The result is an incredibly detailed representation of New Yorkers’ running habits, where the most popular routes are, what time of day Nike+ runners are more likely to be outside, and more.

The above graphic (done by Cooper Smith) shows where the most popular running paths are in Central Park. The red lines indicate the highest trafficked areas, and as Smith notes on his blog, the lighter green and blue entrails extending from the east side of the park show that more people tend to enter the park from the Upper East Side. The same lines don’t show up nearly as often along the Upper West Side entrance points.

Felton’s team did more than just static graphical overlays. The video below (also done by Smith) puts the Nike+ into motion, illustrating where people are running during what time of day. (The actual date of the run is irrelevant in this analysis.)

Teammate Erin Moore opted for a more traditional day-by-day analysis of New Yorkers’ running habits.

In all, there were more than 500,000 data points to wade through, and you can see the rest of Felton’s students’ work at their SVA page. And although the visualizations end up highlighting shortcomings in the data collection, this effort and new fitness-tracking features being developed by the likes of Boston-based startup RunKeeper prove that the future of personal data tracking has never been more rife with potential.

 

—– even more info

check out his site here 

where you can find his London Nike+ stuff … was apparently in Wired UK

London pretty

RIDE JOURNAL story – My Bike is dead


Only discovered The Ride Journal at christmas when i got no 5 as a gift ….. fantastic – buy it and order older issues here

Loved this one – when the bike dies …

My bike died yesterday. Or maybe not.

A few days ago I noticed a creaking sound when I pedalled, but it wasn’t coming from the pedals. It seemed to be caused by some motion when I was on the saddle, so I assumed the seat post had become dry and crusty – that makes bikes creak. So when I got home, I relubed the post. I also took apart and reassembled the bottom bracket cartridge, just for good measure.

But riding to work yesterday, the creaking sound was still there, perhaps even worse. At Lex and 60th, I stopped at a red light and examined the frame. There, like a chasm in front of me, I saw a crack. The ragged line girdled the bottom lug of the downtube on my beloved Bianchi Alfana. I carried on to work but decided it would be stupid to ride home. I caught the N Train at 57th and 7th and took the subway back to Astoria. I went to the last car because it’s normally the emptiest. In the back, I stared at my frame, feeling melancholy. Here I was, with my beloved bike, knowing I may never ride it again.

I had half an hour to ponder. I’d never had a bike die of use and old age before. I was sad, but not angry. What if the bike had been stolen one day earlier? Then I’d have been pissed off. But really, what’s the difference? Either way, the bike had been taken from me.

Maybe it can be fixed – after all, it’s only steel. Tomorrow I’ll take it to my man at the Bicycle Repairman Corp and see what he says. With boats, they say the only defining characteristic is the line: from profile, the curve on the top of the hull. Everything else can be fixed, welded, repaired and replaced. But you can never change the line.

The frame is the line of the bike. Everything else can be replaced, mended, modified or changed. The frame is the bike. This frame has been with me for 12 years, through bumps and speed and curbs, plus a few spills.

I’m a heavy guy who rides a skinny-tired road bike to commute to work in New York City. Maybe the bike is just the victim of my return commute on 58th Street, one of the worst in Manhattan. It’s one I often take because, well, it’s not 57th or 59th Streets. Or maybe the crack started back in 2005 when I wiped out on the Triborough Bridge.

The frame crack is natural in a way. Organic. A fatal flaw, but also just a wrinkle of old age. It’s hard to be angry, the bike has been good to me, probably better than I’ve been to it. That’s the beauty of bikes: a bike is there for you no matter what, like a loyal dog. But I’m allergic to dogs; all I’ve got is bikes.

Do I want a new bike? No. But I still can’t help but think maybe things could be better. I mean, my shifters don’t really work well any more in temperatures under 40ºF; the chain ring is no longer perfectly true; 650B wheels would let me put full fenders on the wheels… But these are bad thoughts I don’t want to think – it feels somehow unfaithful.

Along with the real loss, what is so horrible is the anticipation of dealing with the life afterwards. Shock replaced with feelings of loneliness, soldiering on, the future, and replacement.

Guilt is a factor when one contemplates loss that hasn’t even happened.

After any great loss, life will almost assuredly be filled with joy eventually. Thinking of that too early seems to trivialise things. A couple of years ago I had to deal with the idea that my wife might die.

The thought crossed my mind. To cut a long story very short, she didn’t. My wife, hell, any person is more important than a bike. I don’t like personifying machines. You can’t buy love. But I can buy a new bike because I live a rich life in a rich country. Yet the feelings I have for the loss of my beloved bicycle remind me of the sadness of human loss. It doesn’t even come close in terms of magnitude or degree, of course, but in spirit, in the nature of loss, sadness cares not for the source.

My bike is dead. I love my bike. I am sad.

Peter Moskos. NYC, USA. Peter rides a bike in New York because it’s fun, really.
www.astoriabike.com / www.marklazenby.co.uk