Next Big Project

I own an exercise bike. It’s a pretty good one and I’ve had it for about 7 years. Trouble is I’ve not been on it since we discovered we were going to have a baby. Too much to do. Now we have a beautiful five year old boy, so it looks like I’ve not been on it for a while.

Said nipper is getting concerned about “Daddy’s big fat tummy”. It is true. I look like Daddy Pig from Peppa Pig. So I’m going to get a sticker reward chart like he nippers. Instead of getting a sticker for teeth-brushing or auto-dressing I’ll get one for 15 mins on the bike each night. A line of stickers gets me a coin and enough coins gets me … A CBeebies magazine? Perhaps not. Something though.

Anyway, the damn this has lain unused for so long the battery in the monitor has died. Corroded I seem to remember. I removed it a while ago as the piezo alarm kept beeping. New batteries didn’t help and I was going to junk it – until tonight. I’m a Maker and a Fixer now. So I stripped it down. Some loose hot-glue-gun glue was rattling around inside. That wasn’t it. The display seemed low contrast. No connectors looked loose nor were here any damaged components. The batteries were new. Eventually I scraped the battery connectors and some oxide came off. Good as new!

On he bike for 15mins full tilt. Sweating like Daddy Pig. I’ll build it up and try a bit of interval training soon.

Whilst pedalling I began to think: it has an exposed heart pulse sensor (contacts on the handle bars) and a rev speed counter. These are used to calculate a pile,of metrics on the unlit simple LCD display. If I were to instead [or in addition] attach them to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi then I can build my own monitor. The Pi could not only display it on a screen but also keep a log and present the results on a web page. It seems like a groovy project. So groovy that I think I’ll do it. A nice little marquee on my OLED display too.

Watch this space.


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