About this project

I started this project in 2018 after getting hit by a car from behind in 2017. This was a very lightly traveled, but high speed limit (55mph) county road. I have ridden the road many times and know that I usually will only get passed by a handful of cars for the entire stretch of road (nearly 10 miles long). So this got me thinking how "busy" roads aren't necessarily more dangerous than nearly traffic-free roads. I wanted to start collecting data to support this hypothesis. Plus, I was just interested in knowing exactly how many cars had passed me on that road before I got hit. I also wanted to know the historical average of how many cars pass me on that road. Thus, the idea for this project was hatched.

What you need to participate

In order to upload rides to this site, at a minimum you need the ConnectIQ app I wrote (see setup instructions below), a Garmin Varia Radar (either model works great), and a newer Garmin Edge device (1030, 820, or 520plus). The reason why you need a newer Garmin Edge is only the latest edge devices have v3.0+ of the ConnectIQ SDK, which is the version of the SDK that my app needs in order to extract the radar data. Even though you can install IQ apps on older Garmins, the version of the SDK embedded in the Garmin won't allow an IQ app to read the radar data. If they ever update the older devices with a new firmware update that can run ConnectIQ v3 apps, then it should work on those Garmins as well.

Setup instructions

  1. Visit the Garmin Connect store (note this app is FREE and will always be FREE)
  2. Search for MyBikeTraffic or go directly there by clicking this link.
  3. Connect your Garmin to your computer and make sure it syncs across the new IQ app per the instructions on the Garmin Connect store (typically using Garmin Express)
  4. Properly disconnect your garmin from the computer (or at least wait a few seconds for the transfer to complete)
  5. When your garmin boots up, it won't look like anything has happened. But on any of the data screens click and hold a field until it brings up the "change field" menu. You should see the ConnectIQ my bike traffic app VehicleCount field as an option. Select that one.
  6. Once you have done that, all your .FIT files will have the radar data which you can upload to mybiketraffic.com (this website)
  7. NOTE: it's important that the VehicleCount is selected as data field on one of your screens. If you switch profiles (on Garmin Edge devices), please double check that VehicleCount is enabled as a data field on your new profile.

More about getting hit by a car

I haven't written a blog post about it yet for legal reasons, but now that the dust has settled I feel safe in adding a more detailed write-up on my blog. I haven't done that yet, so in the meantime here is a quick summary - the driver said he was blinded by the sun (at 3pm, although it was uphill) and never saw me. So he hadn't slowed down and told the police officer he was going 45mph (speed limit was 55). I was going 13mph up a hill according to my Garmin data at the time of impact. I was thrown up in the air and landed directly in the car windshield which saved my life. In fact, I may have escaped with relatively light injuries (bad concussion - my memory cuts out at a gas station about 10 miles before the accident, broken tooth, bad road rash) except for how I was ejected from the windshield when he slammed on his brakes. Apparently, I landed on the road sliding at probably close to 45mph with my foot dangling exactly at the edge of the road. This sliced open my foot, removing part of the tendon connected to my big toe, and requiring multiple very frustrating surgeries. It has been more than a year now and I still walk with a slight limp from being unable to bend my big toe, and will never be able to run again. Also, as I write this post I am having to have another tooth removed on Monday (1/21/2019) possibly from the initial trauma although it isn't clear if that is the source or just from natural aging.

By uploading a ride and/or using data/visualizations from this site to make or guide any route decisions, you are agreeing to release mybiketraffic.com and its developers/owners from all damage claims, injury claims, or claims of any kind related to your usage or other people's usage of the site or any data/visualizations from the site. DO NOT UPLOAD OR USE THIS SITE AT ALL IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE TERMS. LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. This message is prominently displayed because this site makes no claims that using this site will keep you safe or safer. Also, you should have no expectation of privacy when uploading rides to this site.