Jun 15, 2012

RAAM 2012: Friday 15-June-2012

Around April this year I heard of the opportunity to crew for a RAAM team. I jumped at it and after a few mail exchanges with the team got the confirmation that I am in. Last couple months have been a nervous preparation for the event. On the morning of Wed, 13th June 2012, I left for the US and two connections and 30 hours later landed in Los Angeles. Picked up the rental car and drove down to San Diego to catch up with a college mate. After breakfast on 14th morning, took a train up to Oceanside... almost there. 

Got into Oceanside early afternoon and met up with my team - The 4 Beefeaters from UK. We then proceeded to the pier for inspections. The scene at the pier was amazing - feverish preparations of the vehicles, bikes and kits to get ready for the inspections, the actual inspections, riders taking small rides, meeting with other teams, people at the beach - in all an invigorating and happy environment. We got our inspections done and headed back to the hotel. 

Evening brought with it what turned out to be a long 3 hour crew meeting. The crew chief, Jim Rankin went over the work assignments. I will be in the RV with Jim - working the schedule. We then went over the entire route with details of what to look out for between each set of time stations. The level of detail in the RAAM routing is just plain amazing. Check out the official 2012 directions here

Hit the bed at around 10.00 PM watching Crocodile Dundee on the TV. Woke up at 5.30 AM and writing this post. Hopefully the sleep cycle is now adjusted to the US times. 

Stay tuned for more updates once we start the race tomorrow at 12.00 PM pacific time. 
The support & follow vans with their bears
The RV

May 18, 2012

My "Better know a Cloudspoker" interview on YouTube

Cloudspokes' Jeff Douglas interviewed me some time ago as part of the Better know a Cloudspoker series. Check out the interview on YouTube. 

May 12, 2012

Lego Mindstorms Nxt Strider

It's been close to two years since I had purchased the Lego Mindstorms Nxt robotics set. Being alone at home yesterday evening, thought of putting together one of the robots. Decided to build the walking robot - or strider as named in the book. Stayed up till 3.00 AM this morning putting together the robot. Did the programming in the morning and am quite satisfied with the results. Interestingly, modified the mechanical design slightly to allow a better click of the touch sensors. Need to rubberize the leg tips so that the walking is non-slippery. 
The Strider
For those unfamiliar with Mindstorms robotics kit, it is one cool robotics set by Lego. Not only can you build cool robots, you can actually program it to do things. It includes 3 motors, 2 touch sensors, an ultrasonic sensor and a light sensor. Programming is done visually using the included software. The programs can be transferred to the robot either via a USB cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth. 

Highly recommended for kids 12 and above and of course the inner kid in every adult :-). Enjoy!

Jan 2, 2012

2011 Car / Bike Usages Statistics

It's been 2 years since I purchased my bike - Cannondale Quick 5. I have been keeping track of my car fuel usage since 2009 and bike usage since I got my bike. 

It's interesting to see the car statistics over the last 3 years. Average fuel price went up by over 25%, fuel consumption went down by 15%. Overall my fuel expenses went up by 7%. Let's see if I can reduce my fuel expenses this year. 

My total Kms on the bike went down by over 25% but cost reduction Kms went up by close to 13%. The aim for this year would be to increase both by around 15-20%.