Science of Cycling: Like Riding a Bike

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

Time to take off the training wheels: you can ride a bike, but do you know how? Or why? The science of cycling is surprisingly complicated for something that’s as easy as, well, you know.

What will we cover?

Using simple diagrams, convincing models, spectacular demonstrations and a smattering of graphs, we’ll look at:

  • Why bicycles are the most energy-efficient transportation
  • Gyroscopes and their counterintuitive physics, even though they’re not how you balance on a bike
  • The unexpected way you really balance on a bike
  • Steering, which works in an even more unexpected way
  • Braking, and whether to use the front or rear brakes
  • Safety measures: what works best, helmet laws, bike lanes, or something else?

Who will be teaching?

chris lassigChris Lassig is a former theoretical particle physicist and quantum field theorist who once wrote a paper called ‘Phenomenology of the two Higgs doublet sector of a quark-lepton symmetric model’ and has studied closed timelike curves in the vicinity of cosmic strings. Since then he’s learnt to speak normal English and understands that this stuff is actually awesome. He now shares the awe as a science communicator and presenter on the program Lost in Science, on 3CR Community Radio.