Online-Monitoring of Multiple Track Cyclists during Training and Competition

T. Kuhn, T. Jaitner, R. Gotzhein

Proceedings of the 7th ISEA Conference, Biarritz, France, June 2-6, 2008; in: M. Estivalet, P. Brisson (Eds.), The Engineering of Sport, Vol. 1, Springer, 2008


In cycling, the regulation of the training load is of particular importance to improve performance and to prevent overtraining. Meanwhile, biomechanical and physiological parameters such as power, cadence and heart rate can be monitored online by commercial power meters, and experienced athletes can use these data to adapt the load accurately to the actual physical disposition during training or competition. However, young and less experienced athletes do not possess the appropriate ability and knowledge for such deliberate control, and therefore external feedback or advice by the trainer is needed. An Assisted Bicycle Trainer (ABT) has been developed as an ambient intelligence system for the training of a group of cyclists (Fliege et al. 2006). The objective of the ABT is to improve training such that each cyclist is as close to his individual target heart rate as possible. The focus of this paper is on the tailored communication system of the Assisted Bicycle Trainer and on its outdoor evaluation. A prototype cyclist system consists of an Ergomo™ power meter including a heart rate receiver and a MicaZ mote (Crossbow 2007). MicaZ motes are low power and low weight nodes, consisting of micro controller, serial communication, and wireless transceiver, supporting the dynamic creation of a wireless network. We have devised a new communication stack, supporting robust multi-hop communication in high-mobility environments. The ABT network consists of three types of nodes: mobile cyclists, stationary or mobile trainer nodes and stationary forwarders. Forwarders can be used to extend the network coverage, i.e. to cover a round track. Sensor data from all cyclists is propagated to all trainer nodes and is visualized immediately. The trainer system is installed on a laptop with a sophisticated graphical interface to monitor and direct the training. Trainers can send commands to specific, or to all cyclists, enabling quick reactions, i.e. to change pulse rate or power output. Sensor data is stored on the trainer notebook and locally on every bicycle for future evaluation.


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