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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-22-13, 09:05 AM   #1
tjspiel
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Hammerhead navigation, - think it will work?

Saw it on slashdot.

http://www.hammerhead.io

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Old 11-22-13, 11:33 AM   #2
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It'll probably work, at least as a navigation tool. However I'm old school, and still prefer having a sense of the lay of the land, and like to explore and tune in to what's around me.
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Old 11-22-13, 11:47 AM   #3
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Seems like a great idea when you're going somewhere different.
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Old 11-22-13, 12:00 PM   #4
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Seems like a great idea when you're going somewhere different.
That's the job of maps, advance planning and the onboard navigation system between the ears.

The debate about proper balance between human skill, and technology is timely right now after a jet freighter landed at the wrong airport. This incident and others similar, has the FAA looking at more training and reduced dependence on instruments as key to safety.

While bike navigation isn't a safety issue, my experience is that over reliance on technology causes attrition of our skill sets, including analysis and decision making skills. I'm not a luddite, but prefer to keep my most important tools safely tucked between the ears (as long as age and nature make that possible).
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Old 11-22-13, 12:12 PM   #5
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As a geek, I really like the idea, but as a cyclist I think it's another one of those "a solution to a non-existent problem" type of situations, but with added potential danger of distracting you, especially in an urban environment.
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Old 11-22-13, 12:33 PM   #6
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Kind of neat, but for those of us without Android or iPhone (I'm a Windows Phone guy), it's useless.

this (https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into...rod143677.html) is $300 and gives you all of that and more, and doesn't require cell coverage.

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Old 11-22-13, 12:55 PM   #7
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The less time you are distracted by gadgets the better. My senses are better, faster, and best of all, already paid for.
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Old 11-22-13, 05:01 PM   #8
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I think this is one of the cleverest ideas I've seen in at least a few months. I watched the video and thought, I bet it works great but is unaffordable. But it's only $85. This is incredible.

I've used google maps on my iphone to lead me the way. I've used cyclemeter to record my travel. They both drain the battery. Having the iphone on my dashboard or on my ears (with headphones) is too distracting. You can look at Hammerhead with your peripheral vision. You don't have to look at it directly. This is so brilliant, I can hardly wait.

I don't think I'll pre-order, but I'll keep an eye and an ear out. Thank you for notifying us of this.
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Old 11-22-13, 05:07 PM   #9
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I thought this thread was going to be about something different.

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Old 11-22-13, 05:52 PM   #10
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I thought ****** crushed Slashdot
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Old 11-25-13, 02:08 PM   #11
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It's clever, definitely more usable than trying to read a map on your phone screen while riding. If many of my rides occurred in unfamiliar areas I'd be all over it. But most of my riding takes place in my home city where I don't need an external nav device, and it wouldn't be worth it for the one time every year or so that I ride in an unfamiliar city.
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Old 11-25-13, 02:12 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Did you read the comments about commuting on slashdot? Very entertaining. As for the product itself, I think I'd personally prefer an audio system (bluetooth speaker clipped to handlebar maybe?). When I use the GPS in my car I never look at the directions, but rely on the audio turn by turn notification. But it looks neat nevertheless.

Last edited by treadtread; 11-25-13 at 02:13 PM. Reason: to add the section in bold
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Old 11-25-13, 02:30 PM   #13
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I'm with Telly, it's a nifty device, but I rarely bike somewhere I'm not already at least familiar with. Also, I would bet that most cyclists are more familiar with the map of where they are riding than drivers. You get to know your area a lot better on a bike. Might be great for bike touring or rides where you're exploring, but not commuting.

Love the use of "Keep Your Eyes Open" by Needtobreathe as the background music for the video. Clever!
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Old 11-25-13, 02:46 PM   #14
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It's got a lot of nifty features, but for just the navigation function I think that a couple of unobtrusive LED's on the helmet would work better. Just a flash in your peripheral vision when a turn is coming up, solid on when it's close. The hammerhead cool as it is, seems like overkill for what's basically a way-points display.
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Old 11-25-13, 02:58 PM   #15
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Im not at all a gadget guy on the bike But I think this is really cool.

I could definielty see using it as an automatic cue sheet for long road rides on new courses. I'd love to be able to download a local route from a bike club or touring organization load it up and go. I really like to find and ride new routes but I don't always have the time to research them and do the prep. This (if it works) could be really be helpful.
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Old 11-25-13, 04:02 PM   #16
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Again, it all depends on how well it works but probably every month or two I want to go someplace on my bike I haven't been to before and I'm looking for a good route. Sometimes I'll consult a local cycling forum and other times I'll just rely on Google Maps or equivalent. Just recently I blew by a turn I was supposed to take because it came sooner than I expected and the sign was hard to see.

It does relate to commuting because my commute isn't always straight home. Quite frequently I'm running to some school, park, or community center to see my son or daughter play baseball, football, volleyball, or whatever. Other times I'm going to meet somebody at a restaurant I've never been to. Especially this time of year, I'm going to be riding in the dark. Other times it will be in bright daylight.

I could see audio cues working but I don't like to wear earbuds or headphones and traffic noise can drown out a speaker.

$300 for a cycling GPS unit is more than I'd like to pay nor do I always want something that expensive mounted to my handlebars. Once in awhile I do go through some areas that I'd rather not have to stop and consult a map or smart phone.

It would be very cool if there were repositories of tested routes that you could just download. Would be perfect for group rides as modernjess has said. Last year one ride broke up into about 4 groups after the first few miles. I was with a group of 3 and started a long climb. I was quite proud of myself for pulling for a respectable distance... until I noticed that the other 2 were no longer with me. I waited for awhile but after looking at the cue sheet I realized that I wasn't where I was supposed to be and that they probably had turned off. I asked a local pedestrian to help me get back on track. They turned out to be very chatty but ultimately not very helpful. At that point I realized I'd never catch anybody and just headed home.

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Old 11-26-13, 05:05 PM   #17
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The other thing that occurred to me, it seems it would be pretty simple to integrate it with a couple of turn signal blinkies on the rear of your bike. Automated turn signals that you don't even have to think about (as long as you don't deviate from the programmed route).
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Old 11-26-13, 06:01 PM   #18
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The other thing that occurred to me, it seems it would be pretty simple to integrate it with a couple of turn signal blinkies on the rear of your bike. Automated turn signals that you don't even have to think about (as long as you don't deviate from the programmed route).
That's a good, albeit offbeat, idea. Thank you for coming up with that.

If I may add something to that, though it's off topic. The question is how to implement it. The problem with turn signals on the rear is separation. Unless you have really wide panniers you almost have to put them on a beam 18" or so to be recognizable as turn signals. So one off-beat idea I've had is so what, just use a single blinky for both turns. If you can't tell one from the other, why have two? But it's ambiguous that it's even a turn so I don't think it would catch on. A second solution I've seen was an Ipad app with arrow graphics, and also large LED graphics with arrows. Either with obvious problems. So my own off-beat idea: what about bright LED elbow patches? If I'm riding on the hoods or drops either one, just stick that elbow out without even having to move my hands, plenty obvious which side is signaled! Even better with your auto-signal. What do you think, would it be visible enough from behind? Clear enough as a turn signal?
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Old 11-26-13, 06:12 PM   #19
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I can find my way to work about 97.3% of the time without instructor assist. I think this thing is too big or I might be a little interested
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Old 11-26-13, 06:30 PM   #20
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Doesn't seem practical for commuting, as I know my route while commuting. This would be great for touring, running errands to unfamiliar places, or even trying a new road ride in an area you are not familiar with. I tried to use my phone mounted on my handle bars to guide me on a ride in Sonoma, Having the screen on burns to much battery, and the sound prompts were hard to hear.

I will wait to see how the reviews are for this but might consider one in the future.
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Old 11-27-13, 11:45 AM   #21
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That's a good, albeit offbeat, idea. Thank you for coming up with that.

If I may add something to that, though it's off topic. The question is how to implement it. The problem with turn signals on the rear is separation. Unless you have really wide panniers you almost have to put them on a beam 18" or so to be recognizable as turn signals. So one off-beat idea I've had is so what, just use a single blinky for both turns. If you can't tell one from the other, why have two? But it's ambiguous that it's even a turn so I don't think it would catch on. A second solution I've seen was an Ipad app with arrow graphics, and also large LED graphics with arrows. Either with obvious problems. So my own off-beat idea: what about bright LED elbow patches? If I'm riding on the hoods or drops either one, just stick that elbow out without even having to move my hands, plenty obvious which side is signaled! Even better with your auto-signal. What do you think, would it be visible enough from behind? Clear enough as a turn signal?
There are several bicycle turn signal units on the market today. A search of amazon will turn up multiple pages of them, like this.
I have to admit I've never seen one in action so I can't speak to how well they work. But the basic idea is that you have a center, always-on light flanked by left and right signal lights. The center light provides the visual reference to let the viewer know which direction is being indicated. Arrow shaped lights would also help. This allows the package to be only a few inches in width. But yeah, more separation would be better. The elbow-attachment is a novel idea. They could be on elastic armbands, so could even slip over a jacket. They should be easily visible, but clear enough that your signalling a turn and not just trying to be more visible generally? I don't know.
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