Colorado School of Mines: Senior Project on Cycling Safety Needs Your Help

Team Cruise Control with Kevin & Lois Young

Team Cruise Control, a senior project team at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, has partnered with the Chad William Young Foundation. Chad Young was on the Mines cycling team and tragically passed away after crashing at Tour of the Gila race last April. (full article here) We are now working with Chad’s parents to try to help prevent accidents like his.

Briefly, we have spent the last year developing an algorithm that uses Strava data and coding wizardry to help identify hazards on routes. We hope to identify some “perfect storms” of cycling danger and communicate them to riders so that they can prepare appropriately.




Team Cruise Control

At this point, our algorithm considers several parameters on multiple segments in a route (grade, curvature, terrain, etc), these are run through a calculation, and assigned a numerical value from 1 to 5 (1 being ‘safest’, 5 being ‘most dangerous’). The segments are color coded to make the route more visually intuitive.

The end result is to develop a real time feedback mechanism that is both effective and non-distracting ultimately resulting in its own app. For our part as seniors, we first want to get the algorithm running and use it to produce a ‘race packet’ that event directors can upload route information to that is far more comprehensive, detailed, and specific than what is currently available.


We’ve made the algorithm, and now we need to test it.  That’s where actual cyclists come in.


What we need help with: 

Attached is a word document containing route maps and pictures of lookout mountain. Figure 2 is the route map that our algorithm produced of the downhill route.


1) Ride the route downhill (please be safe!) and stop at each indicated point on the colorized map (there are 13 of them).

2) Take a look at the map and see if you find any glaring discrepancies with the hazard level produced in the section you just rode. BLUE means ‘less hazardous’ and RED means ‘very hazardous’.  Does the map say that a  segment is blue (safer) and you think it was red (dangerous)? or vice versa?

3) Respond to me with any feedback.  Canaan


Maps and check point images can be found here

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  1. Ed Carlstead

    Can’t find any Word Document.


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