The No-Longer-Impossible Bike

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

The No-Longer-Impossible Bike

December 4, 2014

A bicycle gives you a smart, easy way to go places. It weighs a lot less than a car — can you imagine carrying an SUV on your shoulder? But a bike is still pretty heavy and crazy-shaped to pick up with your hands. So a team of guys built a bike that can fold up really, really small and fit in your backpack. They named it Impossible, since you’d never think a bike could shrink down to that shape. The wheels are tiny, the pieces of frame slide inside each other, and the handlebars pop off. It even has a motor, which can run for 45 minutes or more on 10 fresh batteries. The inventors posted the bike on Kickstarter, a site where people can give money to help inventors build their inventions. The bike needed only $55,000, but already it has raised almost $300,000 since so many people want one!

Wee ones: How many big circle shapes can you count on that bike? Remember to include the seat!

Little kids: If you walk carrying your little Impossible bike for 10 minutes, then ride it for 10 minutes, how many minutes have you traveled?  Bonus: The Impossible guys started work on this bike 3 years ago. What year was that? (We’re in 2014 right now.)

Big kids: If you start folding up your Impossible bike around 1 pm – at 1:02:20 to be exact – and you finish folding it at 1:02:45, how many seconds did you take to fold it?  Bonus: The bike will sell next year for $430 for a white one and $460 for black (is black paint really more expensive?) How much more will the black one cost?

The sky’s the limit: If your Impossible bike starts slowing down and after the 1st hour you replace the first 3 batteries in the stack, then after an hour you replace the next 3, and you keep circling around (so you change the 10th, 1st and 2nd after the 3rd hour)…after how many hours do you replace the battery in the 7th slot for the 3rd time?

 

 

 

Answers:
Wee ones: 5 circles.

Little kids: 20 minutes.  Bonus: In 2011.

Big kids: 25 seconds.  Bonus: $30 more.

The sky’s the limit: Since you keep circling back to the 1st battery, the 3rd replacement of that 7th battery makes it the 27th battery in the line-up. So you’ll change it after the 9th hour.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking while still in diapers, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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