About this project
I started this project after getting hit by a car from behind in November, 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 - hence, the origin of this project.
I work at Samford University as an assistant professor because I can't stop riding my bike long enough to publish all my research and get promoted (it's been almost 20 years now!). No funding has been secured for this project, so it would be great if you would make a donation to support this research or help collaborate with me to either find funding sources or write/co-author papers. Here is a PowerPoint presentation (PDF version) describing the overall architecture.
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 Watch or Edge device (1030, 820, or 520plus). The reason why you need a newer Garmin device 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 and the Varia itself works on older Garmins, the version of the SDK embedded in those older Garmins 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.
Garmin Connect sync instructions
Please NOTE you must install the connect IQ app onto your Garmin FIRST (see "Setup instructions" below). To automatically sync your Garmin Connect account with your mybiketraffic account, first visit this link and follow the instructions on that page to authorize the connection to mybiketraffic. Well, that's pretty much it. Afterwards your new rides should automatically sync with mybiketraffic shortly after they appear on Garmin Connect. If you are not seeing them on mybiketraffic, double check that they have been synched to Garmin Connect.
Strava ride description integration
Please NOTE you must install the connect IQ app onto your Garmin FIRST (see "Setup instructions" below). To automatically have a summary of your ride data added to your ride descriptions on Strava, you must authorize mybiketraffic by visiting this link. I highly recommend also enabling Garmin Sync per the previous paragraph, but if you do not have a Garmin device then you must make sure to upload your rides to this website first, before uploading them to Strava!
Please NOTE you must install the connect IQ app onto your Garmin FIRST (see "Setup instructions" below). But after you have followed those instructions and are able to successfully see your Vehicle Count data field on your Garmin, then you should be able to upload the original FIT file to see additional data here on the website. You can either directly connect your Garmin to your computer and then look in the Garmin/Activities folder for the FIT file ... or alternatively if you have synced your ride automatically to Garmin Connect, then you can export the original FIT file from Garmin connect per the screenshot linked here: Garmin Connect Export Original Screenshot Once you have "exported original", a FIT file should show up in your Downloads folder. That FIT file is the file you must upload to mybiketraffic. I'm working to automate the entire process to make it much easier.
Shane Miller, GPLama, posted a nice review and gave a run-through of the features of the app. Check it out here, and be sure to like and subscribe to his page!
- Install the Garmin ConnectIQ Store app onto your phone. This is the easiest way to obtain my app as well as change the settings. Use the app store (or play store) for your phone to search for Garmin ConnectIQ Store and it should be one of the first hits.
- As part of the Garmin ConnectIQ Store app setup for your phone, it should prompt you to connect/pair your Garmin device ... be sure to do that before the next step.
- Using the Garmin ConnectIQ Store app, search for and install the mybiketraffic app (it is free).
- After it is installed, you may want to change the settings so that it displays not only the vehicle count but also speed data.
- Make sure the Garmin ConnectIQ app syncs across the new app to your device.
- Note: you are NOT finished yet.
- On your Garmin, you must add the MyBikeTraffic data field to one of the data screens. On edge devices, long press on one of the fields and then tap it again and then scroll wayyyy down to the bottom of the list where it will say ConnectIQ. Click on that and then click on MyBikeTraffic to add the data field. You MUST do this. It's not enough to just "install the app". You also have to add the data field to a data screen to trigger recording of the data into the .FIT file.
- NOTE: If you switch profiles (on Garmin Edge devices), please double check that the MyBikeTraffic data field is enabled on one of your data screens on your new profile as well.
- Once you have done all that INCLUDING THE PREVIOUS STEP WHICH SOME PEOPLE FORGET TO DO, all your .FIT files will have the radar data which you can upload to mybiketraffic.com (this website)
Setup screenshotsInstall ConnectIQ Store app on your phone ... note that this is different than the normal Garmin Connect app
Search for mybiketraffic and install and sync to your Garmin.
Change settings step 1 open connectiq and click your Garmin device to see which apps are installed. Mybiketraffic is a data field app.
Change settings step 2 click settings.
Be sure to click Save!
Not pictured, but then make sure you "sync" the settings across to your device.
More about getting hit by a car
I have gone into more detail about getting hit by a car, but the quick summary is that the driver said he didn't see me and must have ran into me without hitting his brakes. The driver told the police officer he was going 45mph, but it would be nice to have the radar data to know if that was true. It would also be nice to know how many other cars safely passed me on that road. Both of these statistics are now available because of this project.
By uploading and/or syncing rides and/or using data/visualizations from this site to make or guide any route decisions, including whether or not to ride your bike at all, you are agreeing to release mybiketraffic.com and its developers/owners/employers 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, SYNC, 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.