Ride the Lobster: GPS info survey

Read this thread for lots of basic info. There is also a detailed article in the latest issue of Uni Magazine which I highly recommend.

We are working with one of the largest GIS/mapping companies in the world and a couple of their partners on the real-time display of all teams position and performance data during the race. The question for all of you is:

What information would you like to see on the web, before during and after the race? Don’t hold back - suggest anything you think a unicyclist, other athlete, media person or spectator would be interested in.


current team standing and how far ahead people are

Who’s in what place, relative times, locations, who’s riding at the moment, what they’re eating, and how many squares of toilet paper they’re using.

Oh and information for each team as to what they’re riding, little bios, etc. It might be fun to make the site a little more interactive with the ability for people to post comments, or align themselves with their favorite teams to post words of support on the site. Meanwhile, team members might be encouraged to write a bit at the end of each day to help with the updates and to keep their fan clubs going strong.

I would like a motion based style link showing each riders location, heartrate, speed, the elevation/gradient and mapped on to google earth.

Best layout would I think to have data tags like air trafic controllers. Different colours or symbols for each team and stats below with links to full data. Then a live data comparison graph including postion in the race.

Hmm, could be fun.


Do we lose points if we use more than one square of TP?

I follow the Tour de France online, and I think the most interesting part of the coverage is the “Newsflashes”:
http://www.letour.fr/2006/TDF/LIVE/us/2000/depeches.html for example. A blow-by-blow of the action on the road with a little bit of commentary. I rarely look at the reported positions, the text is much more interesting. (But in the context of Ride the Lobster, perhaps hard to keep up with; the TdF has a huge press corps).

Other than that, standings for the various jerseys, and interviews/quotes from the riders.

i want live bets

200$ on ken’s team.
no joke.
any takers

You might not lose points for using only one square, but you’ll certainly lose friends! :slight_smile:

Geotagged photos would be nice too. Especially if they could be uploaded in real-time.

Also, rider profiles would be neat, perhaps with average speeds at various gradients or some similar measure so you could see how riders compared across the different terrain, like who was fastest on the flat, on the uphill or the downhill.


Real-time motion alerts, a la the “house arrest” ankle bracelets. I’d like to get an e-mail anytime my favorite riders are back in motion…maybe once they get above 10 kph so as to not get “walking false alarms”. And as long as riders are wearing their GPS 24/7 to make my above wish come true, I’d also like live earth links to the restaurants they stop at along the way, so I can check online menus, ensure they’re getting enough carbs, etc. :smiley:

And since I’ll be in the race, I’d like it all sent to my smartphone, so I can keep tabs on the teams ahead of me.

I think most of what I’d like to see has been mentioned by others at some point, but here’s my wish list;

Map with real-time markers showing the position of the riders. Googlemaps are great, but if there’s something that gives an idea of terrain too then that would be better.

Riders stats with things like max speed, average speed, time ridden, distance ridden, position within race, etc.

A biog page for each of the riders with some background and stats about them.

A daily blog page for the riders or teams.

A unicycle spec page for each rider so we can see what they’re riding, their choice of cranks and tyres etc. Maybe there’ll be a Formula 1 style tyre battle between Coker and TA?


This is super, it uses google maps, but also has height field data from somewhere, I dunno if it just uses free DEM files from somewhere, but it does it quite nicely anyway.


I’d also like to see comparisons on specific stretches… So like, if there is a 22k hill on day 3, I’d like to see team A’s time/speed for that section compared with Team B and C… etc…

I’d like to see a way to break down who is strongest uphill, downhill, and flat (say roughly 5% grade or less? I dunno)

I’d like to see some weather conditons… wind, temp, and whatever is falling out of the sky maybe…


I take it live helmet-cams are too much to ask?

Nothing is too much to ask. Keep asking. FYI here is what my initial suggestion was to them before I posted:

Race distance, time until start (dd:hh:mm:ss), temp at race start, tod (time of day) at start

Current Lat/lon/elevation,
Current speed,
today’s distance, total distance,
today’s time since start, total time,
today’s moving time, total moving time,
today’s climb, total climb,
today’s max speed, event max speed,
today’s ave moving speed, event ave moving speed
today’s ave speed, event ave speed
today’s rank, event rank
local tod, current temp, windspeed (can be from nearby town)

distance, total time, moving time, climb, max speed, average speed, rank (all data for each day as well as for the whole event).

I sent them an email seeing if they needed an official videographer…no reply yet…

remember what i said about not making a 3rd movie?


see you guys in september :slight_smile:

does a person have to be on a team or can they run it solo

I think we would at least entertain the proposal of someone wanting to solo this race. But I’m not aware of anyone who could actually do it. I would expect that person to be able to complete each day’s stage in the time limit alloted. I don’t think it would be interesting for the race to have a soloist who completes 80% of each days ride. So it would be a pretty tall order, to pull off 160km/day for 5 consecutive days, in only 12 hours riding per day, on hard terrain, in bad weather, etc etc.

With the typical 24 hour races, it’s fine to have soloists as they can just do less distance than the teams. This race is different. Each day is A to B and you must make it to B. And 24 hours is a LOT shorter than this race!


so each team member does a stage?