The Science of Sustainability

The Science of Riding a Bicycle

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We don’t often think of it this way, but the everyday work of scientists frequently comes down to sewing, welding or hammering together simple materials like elastic, metal tubes and plastic to create the devices that will allow them to conduct their experiments.

Mechanical engineer Jason Moore knows this all too well. To conduct an experiment on the mechanics of bicycle-riding, he even used a sewing machine.

Moore’s doctoral dissertation on the complex mechanisms by which a rider balances atop a bike required him to build a research bicycle at the University of California, Davis. We filmed Moore for our story about the science of riding a bicycle. In this slideshow you can explore some of the bike’s components and the work that went into creating them:

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Category: Engineering, Physics, Television, Video

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About the Author ()

Gabriela Quirós is a TV Producer for KQED Science & Environment. She started her journalism career in 1993 as a newspaper reporter in Costa Rica, where she grew up. She won two national reporting awards there for series on C-sections and organic agriculture, and developed a life-long interest in health reporting. She moved to the Bay Area in 1996 to study documentary filmmaking at the University of California-Berkeley, where she received master’s degrees in journalism and Latin American studies. She joined KQED as a TV producer when QUEST started in 2006 and has covered everything from Alzheimer’s to bee die-offs to dark energy. She has shared two regional Emmys, and four of her stories have been nominated for the award as well. Independent from her work on QUEST, she produced and directed the hour-long documentary Beautiful Sin for PBS, about the surprising story of how Costa Rica became the only country in the world to outlaw in-vitro fertilization.
  • charanga

    Great video. I've never thought of self-driving, autonomous bicycles before. What would a city look like, if most of their traffic was this kind of bicycle?

  • CHIPS2244

    An intelligent culture has caught on here – in Davis. Great story ! ! !

  • Gabriel Roybal

    the crossroads of science and engineering – i love it

  • Lance

    Transcript? Anywhere?