The Chainlink

Surly Long Haul Trucker Transformed into a Traveling Weather Station

Professor Nicholas Rajkovich of University at Buffalo created a traveling weather station using his Surly LHT.

Photo of the Weather Station Bicycle from University at Buffalo

We've already seen bikes that double as a talk show setcoffee shop and pizza-serving bar, but a full-size weather-monitoring station? That's a new one. It's also exactly what University at Buffalo architect Nicholas Rajkovich created, however, to collect fine-scale weather data around Cleveland and area. Over 50 lb (23 kg) of gear was added to an existing touring bike, which Prof. Rajkovisch rode throughout the city over the course of a summer.

Photo of Bike's "Sky View" Camera by University at Buffalo

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has installed a research-grade weather station on a bicycle to gather this much data for analysis," he says. "Although airport weather stations and satellite data help to estimate temperatures in a city, finer-scale data is needed to support planning at the neighborhood level."

Gear used to create the touring weather station:

Amongst the gear added to his bike was a thermocouple unit, hygrometer unit, GPS device, camera, a four-component net radiometer and an infrared radiometer. The first three of those items were attached to a 6.5-foot (2-m) aluminum tower mounted on the back of the bicycle, in order to avoid ground interference.

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