Never thought I'd be working on software for bicycles! When we started working with some really talented open-source people we decided we would change from another (very secret) domain to something we could all relate to somewhat and I woke up thinking "Bicycles!" about 8 months ago. Now things are far enough along that I'm test firing scripts to test the compatibility of bicycle components as they are virtually assembled into a drag and drop "assembly / or build box".
Well, I posted a question on ceramic ball bearings and learned a bunch from and some about this forum. About testing, about the industry, about some personalities here, and even a few things about ceramic bearings There have been something like 35 responses already and many have been useful/most, constructive, interesting, and insightful.
What a great and active watering hole this is!
We're up in NE Wisconsin in Door County and this is one beautiful spot for biking: http://www.doorcounty.com/
water all around us. Folks from other states will often now know about our secret "cape cod of the mid-west" or that our limestone bluffs are part of the Niagara Escarpment... mostly flat is good... no coincidence that Holland is a bicycle haven.
Conceptually the software project is a "Builder" project but over my 30 years of programming I've picked up some tricks so I think we are going to be able to take it further in several particular directions. If you don't know what a "builder site" is and are interested here is one for assault rifles, sorry but it is the best one I have seen yet: http://www.ar15builder.com/
And indeed we have something several times more elaborate working for bicycles in Beta now.
The reason I bring this up is I am not a bicycle expert and don't think I will live long enough to know what some of the folks on the Mechanics Forum here have forgotten. I'm a lifelong casual rider with a bend toward touring. I worked at the ceramic innovation center attached to Alfred University for awhile and got to know Peter the BicycleMan. What a great shop he has! He / his shop rather rekindled my interest in bikes and I leased a Linear from him but settled on an adult Trek 7300 when it came to the final decision. My back had a few more years on it but one of the few things I can think of about aging I'm looking forward to is an excuse to try recumbents again! Some of those trikes look like real fun and I have a "pin up" now of a ICE 'T' model on my computer - the first piece of English Machinery that has lit my fire for long while.
Is there a chance anybody else is interested in software and bikes?
Ja, the "mechanics" group jumped all over my ceramic bearing question with 40 responses in 1.5 days or so but my attempts to explain this project seems to be "making them surly" now. Could be my imagination? Makes me think of the sign over the tool crib at Palmer Johnson (Yacht builder here) that says "don't feed them". Never knew what that meant but it seemed ominous
Now that I think about it the FrameBuilder guys have to deal with at least (?) half of all the mating params on a bicycle Total. Maybe more?
Met with Richard Schwinn of Waterford Precision Frames and I sure learned a bunch, he was just great, and he programs too. Hmmmm.