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Old 07-21-11, 11:10 PM   #1
Vaio_s
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An unfortunately stupid question about timing

I'm interested in improving my flying 200 time. Is there a way I can time my own 200, without the help of a training buddy? Currently, I can only think of two options, but none of them seem to be very accurate and/or streamlined.

One option is a wristwatch with a timer function, but that requires you to reach over to your other wrist and press a rather small button. Doesn't seem very accurate, either.

The other option is to have a cyclocomputer with a timer function, but I'm having a hard time finding a good one. Plus, I already spent money on a cyclocomputer so I'd really rather not buy another one.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-21-11, 11:28 PM   #2
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Two arduinos, an RF Tx/Rx pair, and a couple of tapeswitches. All together should cost a bit more than a nice stopwatch. You can charge your friends for times to recoup the cost.

And if you're in Cupertino you can't swing a chainwhip without hitting someone who can make that work for you if you can't do it yourself...
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Old 07-21-11, 11:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Vaio_s View Post
I'm interested in improving my flying 200 time. Is there a way I can time my own 200, without the help of a training buddy? Currently, I can only think of two options, but none of them seem to be very accurate and/or streamlined.

One option is a wristwatch with a timer function, but that requires you to reach over to your other wrist and press a rather small button. Doesn't seem very accurate, either.

The other option is to have a cyclocomputer with a timer function, but I'm having a hard time finding a good one. Plus, I already spent money on a cyclocomputer so I'd really rather not buy another one.

Any thoughts?
Top speed is directly related to flying 200M time. So much so that I've created mathematical models (read: Excel spreadsheets) that make some decent attempts to define the relationships for specific tracks. I can guess my flying 200M time to within 0.1 - 0.2" based on the top speed that my computer records.

To track your progress, track your top speed during Flying 200M practices using a basic $35 computer. Record it then reset it before new efforts. If your top speed is faster than your F200M time will be faster and vice-versa.

The next step is to compare those top speeds to the top speeds you reached when you had someone timing you.

You will come to conclusions like:
- To ride 12.0" Flying 200M I have to reach a max speed of 39mph on this particular track.

Then you start looking for 39mph or faster in practice.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

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Old 07-21-11, 11:36 PM   #4
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Two arduinos, an RF Tx/Rx pair, and a couple of tapeswitches. All together should cost a bit more than a nice stopwatch. You can charge your friends for times to recoup the cost.

And if you're in Cupertino you can't swing a chainwhip without hitting someone who can make that work for you if you can't do it yourself...
Ha! Looks like I have a new project.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 07-22-11, 12:15 AM   #5
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Hmmmm... so at this point, you're saying I should just try improving my top speed, and worry about my times later?
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Old 07-22-11, 01:03 AM   #6
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Hmmmm... so at this point, you're saying I should just try improving my top speed, and worry about my times later?
Both, because the line matters a lot in a flying 200. You don't want to develop high speed and a habit of taking a bad line at the same time. Improve them both together.
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Old 07-22-11, 01:07 AM   #7
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Ha! Looks like I have a new project.
It's easier to do with one arduino and a lot of wire, but I suspect the wire might cost more than the second arduino+rf set. I also picked up a temperature compensated clock, but it doesn't read milliseconds-- It has a 32kHz oscillator that you have to count and reset every second to get milliseconds, and I haven't had time to play with that yet.
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Old 07-22-11, 11:01 AM   #8
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It's easier to do with one arduino and a lot of wire, but I suspect the wire might cost more than the second arduino+rf set. I also picked up a temperature compensated clock, but it doesn't read milliseconds-- It has a 32kHz oscillator that you have to count and reset every second to get milliseconds, and I haven't had time to play with that yet.
Man, that's so over my head. I'm not an electronics geek, but I'm open to learning. I have a good friend that's an EE that maybe can help me.
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Old 07-22-11, 11:46 AM   #9
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Man, that's so over my head. I'm not an electronics geek, but I'm open to learning. I have a good friend that's an EE that maybe can help me.
Start with http://www.arduino.cc/ and read a little bit. An EE should be able to make it work in a few minutes (for real).

The development environment is easy to install and use, and a single arduino plus a pair of tapeswitches should be easy to do by modifying examples from the web, even with no prior experience. There are also a couple systems available (designed for motorcyclists) that use IR beams for ~$300-$400, but the beams don't work well with bicycles-- too much empty space.
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