Gymnasium Exercise Bicycle bClockb


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Jeffrey Word

Guest
Hello.

I'm wondering what that thing is right in front of the exercise bike in the gymnasium. It looks like a huge clock, but I was watching the Olympic footage shown on the Titanic '43 DVD and it shows the "thing" turning quickly as the person peddles. I'm guessing this is some kind of distance or speed monitor to let you know how fast or far you would be going on an actual bike.(?)
Just thought I'd ask the experts!
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Shane Worthy

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Aug 12, 2004
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Jeffery,
By my research i believe you are correct. But hopefully another historian can give his opinion on that because I am not 100% on this one...more like 99%.
All Ahead Full!
Shane N. Worthy
 

Damon Hill

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Jun 13, 2004
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From what I've read, your assumption about it's purpose is correct. In the titanic cutaway painting that Ken did, you can see it in colour. From memory,correct me if I'm wrong, the "Clock" itself was white on a blue background and the arrows were red and yellow. Having squinted at photos of this apparatus in that photo of Lawrence Beesley riding one of the bikes, it looks like the "Clock" was measured in yards. there appears to be very faint markings at the 12,3, 6, and 9 0'clock positions that read 110, 220, 330, 440 . I may be seeing things though!
 
Sep 26, 2009
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In the "Olympic Close-Up" film put out by the White Star Line (available in the Kino's German Titanic DVD as a extra feature)we see two girls racing and the "clock" actually has two hands, one for each of the mechanical horses, showing their speed as if they were riding around a circular track. Robert H.Gibbons
 
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Jeffrey Word

Guest
Thank you Shane and Damon for your information!

>>the "Clock" itself was white on a blue background and the arrows were red and yellow<<

Bad combination of colors...but served the purpose I guess.
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Robert, that's the film I was referring to. Pretty neat huh? I think I enjoy that film more than I enjoy most Titanic movies. Just because you KNOW you're looking at what's almost identical to the real thing. I just can't tell if it's supposed to monitor speed or distance.
I'm guessing speed. But it could be distance. It depends on what the individual would have wanted to monitor. I don't know what the "demand" was then for bike monitors. Speed or distance. Both would be a decent assumption.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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As an old racing cyclist, I'm familiar with the device. It was more commonly used for roller racing, in which riders on track bikes race on rollers. This was hardly practical on ship in much of a seaway, though travelling cyclists used to do it in calm seas when they needed to train during a voyage to overseas events. Unskilled passengers used the stationary bikes seen on Titanic.

The dial showed distance covered and it was common for as many as four sets of rollers to be set up. Gears were restricted and fast pedalling was required. Events were usually short, perhaps half a mile or so, though I once saw a long distance race that went for several hours each day for a week.

I suspect roller races are still held in Britain, where cycling is very traditional.

The story goes that on a voyage to England a passenger saw Australia's Hubert Opperman pedalling for hours on rollers. The passenger asked an officer what he was doing and was told he was generating electricity for the ship!

You'll notice that the stationary bikes were for first class passengers. In 1912, cycling was generally a hobby for the rich. A basic bike cost two or three weeks wages for a working man.
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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“The story goes that on a voyage to England a passenger saw Australia's Hubert Opperman pedalling for hours on rollers. The passenger asked an officer what he was doing and was told he was generating electricity for the ship!”

Apparently in Australia — and no doubt elsewhere — bicycles were indeed rigged up to generate electricity for radio transmissions. During actual sending the load on the pedaller increases exponentially.

Hence the anecdote about an emergency message from an isolated sheep station to the Flying Doctor Service, powered presumably by some unfortunate ‘abo’ dragooned for the purpose. The FDS operator duly wrote it down on his pad verbatim and unpunctuated and handed it in for action. Embedded in a large slab of text reporting the condition of the patient were the words “…pedal faster you b***k b*****d…”

Not very ‘p.c.’ I’m afraid.

Noel
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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I see roller racing is alive. Here's a modern set. Looking up some history, I see that the device used in Titanic was the earlier invention.

http://www.stockport-clarion.org.uk/RollerRacing.jpg

The story of the Royal Flying Doctor's pedal wireless is at---

http://www.flyingdoctors.org/pictures/

The machine could be worked by one operator if required. There was even a keyboard that removed the need to learn Morse in the early days. This was soon replaced by radio telephone.
 
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Lajos Berínyi

Guest
Hi guys!

On the photo what I saw on the page www.titanicinbelfast.com /this is a very correct page/ I can believe the speed-clock with blue /or maybe black?/ background, and yellow circle with white and red arrows
 
Sep 1, 2004
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I would say, that the colours of the arrows were matching to the colours of the bicycles. On the photos you can recognise, that one of them is white (?), and the other looks black (?), and so are the arrows. So I think that that the colours of the bicycles and arrows were identical and the passengers could seen which arrow they are and if he/she goes quicker than the other passenger.
 
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Lajos Berínyi

Guest
I can't agree with this. On my photo, which was downloaded from the site of the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, don't show different coloured bikes. This photo is very high quality /997x750 pixels/ In this photo, the circle visible darker than the white "arrow", too.
I made one closer piece.
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Damon Hill

Member
Jun 13, 2004
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In my post above from Aug 2005, I think i got my colours wrong....I think it is a yellow clock on a blue background with red and white arrows, meaning one bike had a white wheel and the other a red one.
 

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