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Monday, January 5, 2009

Science Tattoo Emporium: The Bike Power Equation

Andy writes:
This is all your fault, you know: a bike-riding forum I hang out on had a “check out these science tattoos!” thread, and it got me to thinking: what bicycle science tats are there? I’d just celebrated my 25th year in the saddle and was jonesing for some ink.
For ages I struggled to find something that abstracted the kinetics of bikes down to a couple of lines - with no success.
Then I found the power equation in MIT’s _Bicycling Science_ (and Wikipedia). It describes the power needed to propel a bike against our everyday foes: gravity, weight, friction, wind resistance. And it describes beautifully the way that the linear components of the resistance give over to the fat slamming wall of wind resistance.
So, of course, I got it tattooed on my calf. :)
Thanks for the album. The passion of nerds is just as intense as the passion of everyday folks, and it’s great to see more of ‘em out there.
Carl: We have crossed a threshold here at the Science Tattoo Emporium. People used to get tattoos, then find out about the Emporium. Now the reverse is happening. So let me take this moment to say that I take no blame if this emporium (and perhaps a glass or two of Frangelico) prompts anyone to get a science-related tattoo they regret the next day. Of course, if you like the results–send them here.



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