Kangasala in Finland in the end of August 2006: tens of mountain bikers biking through the forest for a solid 24 hours. What on earth was going on? Kangasala 24h is an annual mountain biking competition where the winner is defined by the amount of laps – whoever bikes the most in 24 hours, wins the competition. Lap times and numbers were counted with the help of RFId, which is an identification technology based on radio frequencies.
Olli Mylläri, one of the organisers of Kangasala 24h, tells that there are three different series in the competition: Bikers compete alone in Solo-series, in groups of 2-6 bikers in Competition-series and groups of 2-24 in 'Keep fit'-series. In the end of every seven kilometre long lap the bikers pass through an RFId gate built on the track, which registers the RFId tag glued on bikers' competition number.
- When we first organised this competition we counted laps and lap times by hand. Two of us had to register numbers for the whole of 24 hours, and in addition we had to videotape each passing bike. This year we had RFId gates counting laps instead of people. RFId technology enabled us to have a result service updated in real-time which added significantly to competitors' excitement, laughs Mylläri.
ToP Tunniste provided the RFId technology to Kangasala 24h -competition. According to Pauli Tossavainen, Managing Director of ToP Tunniste, RFId can be used to achieve simple and cost beneficial solutions to different identification and follow-up purposes. At Kangasala, the tags situated in competition numbers were read with one RFId gate where two antennas for signal reading were attached.
- Using RFId at the competition has been a positive experience in every aspect. That is the reason why the solution has been used also in the competition in 2007-2008.