# 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…

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).