The Chainlink

Bedno.com/bike : "Social Cycling System". Mobile tools for bicyclist masses.

Bedno.com/bike facilitates large bicycling events by broadcasting route, map, chatter, weather and more, for smartphones and text messaging.  It also serves personal features such as ride recording, directions and points of interest.

Bedno.com/bike (formerly Chi.Bike and MassUp.us) began years ago (now in its sixth major version) to address shortage of Critical Mass printed maps by making them available online for iPhone and similar users, and as a communications supplement to the World Naked Bike ride. The system provides quick flyer views, turn-by-turn cues, and monitors text chatter broadcasting location en-route.  It also gives weather, archives, etc all optimized from many years experience developing for mobile devices.


Since this thread was started (June 2009) it's now served well in literally hundreds of rides including years of Critical Masses and Chicago Naked Rides. Hope you like it, feedback encouraged.
Bookmark Bedno.com/bike now on your phone.
Sample screenshots below, but best to simply visit the site.

 

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Congrats Andrew on getting the project this far!

 

Unfortunately, I find this message all the way from back in June 2009 has a threat. If its a joke, I find it odd it starts with "yeah seriously".

I will volunteer to use an iphone two handed during a critical mass so that we can adequately measure the frequency of "kick"s I might or might not receive from this person.


o0_dan_0o said:

yeah seriously, if youre using a phone on a bike to talk into, you've only got one hand on the bars, which isnt so bad, but if youre using two hands to fiddle with your i phone, i might kick you, and then where will you be?

I don't see the problem other than ignorance of how things work.

 

I've got one of these and use it for my GPS app as well as various bike speedometer and other bike-specific apps.  It's right there next to my speedometer so I can see it without moving my hands so I know if someone calls me who it is so I can pull over, or if someone texts me.   Most of the time I don't bother to put my phone in it -but there are times when it is a big help.  It makes navigating an unfamiliar area MUCH safer than being lost/confused in traffic in an area where you have never/rarely been to -or trying to find a specific place for the first time.

 

Not only is it handy to read while riding but at mass it is a simple matter to pull over for 4 seconds to work the buttons and use this site and then pull back in.  Really, is that more dangerous than all the people drinking alcohol and/or swerving all over the place and playing grab-ass?


Though the posting you mention was particularly acute (threatens texting riders), feedback in that category (use requires hands) is probably the most reported drawback. That lead to some of the improvements last year.  As a skater in this idea's formative years, I had both hands free, so didn't notice the problem as much.

In particular, the voice transcription, which can be used to broadcast no hands from a bluetooth headset, but the accuracy is poor.  Still, an interesting technical demo.

And the automatic mode, which can run hands-free in a lanyard, arm band or bike mount.

We also benefit from the fact that some phones preview new messages without any keypress, so one can monitor chatter hands-free.

Finally, a basic point is there's expected to be mostly listeners, just a few broadcasters.  Unlike Twitter for example.  A single person running massup.us in period automatic location posting mode, serves any number of people using it to find the ride (which requires only very short messages).  More info: http://massup.us/p

 

James is right on suggesting a handlebar mount.  Jera got me one and by year end I was using massup instead of a speedometer/odometer. But the mount was lost on the Santa Rampage :(

Really getting a GPS map overview on one's dashboard while riding (as cars have had for years) is just amazing.  At first I worried about risk to my phone in a fall, but eventually came to think it would be among the least of my worries in such a case (and my iPhone has withstood an amazing 2yrs of abuse).

Jera sent me this, sorry I couldn't figure out the author.  Wonder if it allows touchscreening.

Here's a sampling of others from Amazon (I have the first two):

I presume the same state exists for Droids?

A bigger problem than hands, is people listening to headphones while riding ;)

I have the one third from the left by RAM.  I can attest that it is a darn good mount.  In fact when I bought I ordered 2 because it was cheaper with the shipping.  My wife isn't interested in it and in two months I'm going to switch to Verizon as my AT$T contract is FINALLY up and get a real phone hopefully.  This is my first, last, and only Apple/mac product I will EVER own -phooey! This was the worst consumer mistake I have EVER made in my life. But enough of the Jobs-hating.

 

So I have an extra one sitting NIB that I might trade for something small-fry.  Works for the iPlop 3G and 3GS.

 

Andrew Bedno said:

Jera sent me this, sorry I couldn't figure out the author.  Wonder if it allows touchscreening.

Here's a sampling of others from Amazon (I have the first two):

I presume the same state exists for Droids?

A bigger problem than hands, is people listening to headphones while riding ;)

I have my phone in an Otterbox case, which came with a belt holster.  I've been thinking about converting the holster into a handlebar mount with some zip ties and maybe some modeling clay or innertubes.

 

I'll have to do this soon and report on it's effectiveness.

They make zip-ties that are reversible and re-usable.  Hard to find but they are really nice for this kind of thing.  You could convert anything belt-mounted to handlebar mount with zip ties and the removable ones would be ideal.

jamimaria said:

I have my phone in an Otterbox case, which came with a belt holster.  I've been thinking about converting the holster into a handlebar mount with some zip ties and maybe some modeling clay or innertubes.

 

I'll have to do this soon and report on it's effectiveness.

James, I have little to trade, but would love that mount.  I lost mine.  But seems like yours directly couples vibration to the phone.  The armband was great in summer, but I felt it looked douchey.  Planning to buy a lanyard.

Otterbox that jamimaria mentioned produces from simple silicon skins (and screen protector sheet), to a weatherproof enclosure ($50, +$20 for belt clip).

Andrew-  My otterbox actually came with the belt clip.  I got it for like $30 at REI.  Also, they have fantastic customer service.

 

I have the Defender Series case for my Iphone 4. It makes the phone much bulkier, but since i"m kind of tough on my devices, it's a good thing for me.  I made a half-hearted effort to mount the holster last night, but since i have kind of a weird stem, it didn't work there.  I'll let you know if I can get that to work.

Andrew Bedno said:

James, I have little to trade, but would love that mount.  I lost mine.  But seems like yours directly couples vibration to the phone.  The armband was great in summer, but I felt it looked douchey.  Planning to buy a lanyard.

Otterbox that jamimaria mentioned produces from simple silicon skins (and screen protector sheet), to a weatherproof enclosure ($50, +$20 for belt clip).

I'll trade you the mount in exchange for programming a really cool webpage that tracks the mass and allows people to chat in realtime and keep in touch during it.  That sounds fair.  Tell me when you make such a thing...

 

...oh, you already have!

 

Andrew Bedno said:

James, I have little to trade, but would love that mount.  I lost mine.  But seems like yours directly couples vibration to the phone.  The armband was great in summer, but I felt it looked douchey.  Planning to buy a lanyard.

Otterbox that jamimaria mentioned produces from simple silicon skins (and screen protector sheet), to a weatherproof enclosure ($50, +$20 for belt clip).

Low-key preliminary new feature announcement:
You can now login to MassUp.us using Facebook Connect
http://MassUp.us/fb

MassUp.us was originally designed for "zero threshold for participation"
To foster widest use and greatest ease of contribution, there was intentionally no need to ever create a user id/login/etc. Admin capabilities such as block and promote are handled by source phone#, email, IP and such.

But lately I've seen strong demand for personal capabilities, such as recording your own route and using speed/distance features in an individual fitness context, the ability to delete your own postings, and integration of feeds under a user.

Though the system has membership features already for admins, for simplicity to general users I've implemented Facebook Connect. This required creating a MassUp.us Facebook APP:
http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=149742838414538
That's a technicality just used for handling data transfers.
This is in addition to the existing MassUp.us Facebook FAN page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/MassUpus/105071929561920

The Facebook button (already present at lower right of every MassUp.us page) now leads to several Facebook features (such as Like and Post). Formerly this was only a share this page link.
SmartPhone users can now login by simply clicking the Connect to Facebook button.
Your postings (such as MassUp.us GPS traces) will then be automatically associated with you, and will show your name in the chat feed. You can also access a user menu which allows you to see your postings to all masses, and see plots of just your rides (and even download KMLs). Later, I'll add Places cross-feeds, comment scrapers, etc. But for now, at least the basics seem to work.

Facebook Connect will request sharing fairly broad information (such as your email and location). Don't fret, I think everyone knows I'm no spammer. Full disclosure here.

Try it yourself now: http://MassUp.us/fb

I've added an illustrated introduction and tutorial to MassUp.us

Big stuff, runs 30-60 slides depending on path.

http://MassUp.us/intro

 

Also the online help has been overhauled: http://MassUp.us/help

 

Also, I internationalized the whole system.  Postings can now use any character set (and show metric units).

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