Bicycling Report

One of my Christmas presents was a small mileage/ speed calculator for my bike, because there are few activities that can’t be improved by making them nerdier. Thus, I am able to report on today’s ride:

Total Distance: 17.1 miles

Maximum Speed: 23.5 mph

Average speed: 13.4 mph

I’m actually a little surprised by the distance– the bike path route to Lock 8 is longer than I thought. I checked the calibration against the posted mile markers, though, and while the readout is a little high, it’s only off by about 6% (the above numbers are corrected figures).

Why am I posting this? Well, why not? Also, I think it might be amusing to keep a running total of how far I ride over the course of the year. And it will also make me more likely to keep riding on a regular basis, just from pointless machismo…

Comments

  1. #1 Abel Pharmboy
    April 21, 2007

    Gadgets are good motivators, especially for tracking improvements. I got a Polar RS200 running computer (heart monitor w/footpod for distance/pace calculations) and find it to be quite useful since a trainer recently told me I was working out too hard for my age and weight. So, I now have mathematical and physiological reasons for pacing myself. Have fun, Chad.

  2. #2 Ryan Vilim
    April 21, 2007

    I cycled quite a lot last summer, capping it off with a bike ride from Montreal to Quebec City over two days (beautiful, beautiful ride in late August).

    Anyways, yesterday I needed to get to school, so I decided cycle (actually I drove halfway to school, turned around and cycled instead).

    Last summer I worked at the university, and cycled every day (7km each way), so I had been essentially sprinting the entire way trying to break my record time for the ride.

    Yesterday I foolishly set off at the same pace, and got about 1/3 of the way before I felt like throwing up and had to stop for 10 minutes.

    A painful example of how far out of shape I have fallen since last summer …

    In any case, I love my bike computer, the realisation that my cadence was _way_ too low improved the distance I could travel significantly

  3. #3 kemibe
    April 21, 2007

    When I started running in 1984 at 14, there were two ways to measure routes. One was to have my mom drive them. The other — the “sophisticated” way, and the required one when dealing with off-road courses — was to take a piece of soldering wire and a USGS map, bend it along the path I had taken, straighten it out, and lay it against the scale of miles or kilometers.

    A few years later I got a mountain bike and by then wireless spedometer-odomoeter units were available. The transmitter went on the rim of the front wheel and the receiver/display element on the handlebars. High tech, high tech.

    Now, we’re in the personal GPS age, and it’s not just megageeks and heavily committed runners who have Garmin Forerunners and the like — it’s everyone with a pair of running shoes. I coach people on the Internet who send me .kml files which I open with Google Earth to see exactly where they ran, how much ground they covered and over what type of terriain, the associated elevation change, and more. It’s pleasantly creepy for a guy who once used a 100′ tape measure to “certify” a mile-long stretch of road in his neighborhood (without the help of anyone or anything else with the exception of a heavy rock, thank you very much).

  4. #4 Chad Orzel
    April 22, 2007

    A few years later I got a mountain bike and by then wireless spedometer-odomoeter units were available. The transmitter went on the rim of the front wheel and the receiver/display element on the handlebars. High tech, high tech.

    This isn’t even that high-tech– there’s a wire between the receiver on the frame and the computer on the handlebars…

    Every now and then, I toy with getting a GPS receiver, and I could almost justify it on the grounds that it would make a good lecture prop when I talk about atomic clocks. Since that’s only about once a year, though, I haven’t done it yet.