Introduction In my last post I looked at the practicality of a human powered cargo bike. The short of it is that it’ll work okay if you live where its flat, and you don’t mind going slow. If you want to feel the wind in your hair and climb hills with ease, you’ll want to…

# Category: Bicycling

## Electric Cargo Bikes & Their Undeniable Allure

Introduction While biking in the city, I am frequently passed by electric and non-electric bicyclists. I glare at the offending passers-by for confirmation of tell-tale signs of an e-bike. Any large dark barnacles protruding from the frame will set me at ease. A motor hanging from the bottom bracket, a battery bolted to a downtube…

## Physical Simulation Optimization

In my last post, I applied a reinforcement learning algorithm called Q-Learning to maximize velocity in simulations attempting a human powered land speed record. This algorithm was limited by: An incomplete physics model. A sub-optimal reward function. A single driver limit. Improving the algorithm and simulation in these three ways is the focus of this…

## Reinforcement Learning for Speed

I have recently written a paper on applying Q-Learning – a reinforcement learning algorithm – to the acceleration problem brought up in my Going Fast on Your Own Power series. The paper’s abstract, the paper itself, and a corresponding presentation are below. Abstract In this report, Q-Learning is used to maximize velocity and minimize driver…

## Going Fast on Your Own Power – Design

In the last two posts I went over what it takes to go fast on your own power. I found that its possible to maintain world-record breaking speeds for a fit cyclist in the right vehicle, but accelerating to those speeds is nearly impossible in current vehicles unless you are a top level cyclist. In…

## Going Fast on Your Own Power – Accelerating

I previously looked at the amount of instantaneous power it would take to go 100 mph in the worlds best faired-recumbent bicycle (velomobile). It takes approximately 1,000 watts, an achievable power output for a fit cyclist. So why hasn’t anyone gone 100 mph yet? The answer appears to be acceleration. Power Again Previously I noted…

## Going Fast on Your Own Power

The fastest anyone has ever gone on their own power on land is 89 miles per hour and change, in a vehicle called the Aerovelo Eta. The first thing I noticed is the lack of apparent windscreen. If you’re also curious about that, the vehicle pilot sees with a display connected to a camera sticking…