Friday, June 11, 2010


Bicyclists often seem to define pecking order by comparing the number of units of distance ridden per unit of time. And yeah, as much as I'd like to say that I prefer quality over quantity (don't know why I'd like to say that exactly, I guess I just like the apparent cleverness and conciness of the sentence), I think that quantity makes quality in this case. The quality improves when you ride more. When I was a beginner bicyclist, way back in 2004, I remember the pain when returning from 20 km rides, on climbs, with my belly flapping on my knees. The pain made sense though, and now, after riding a lot more, I can wear myself out on much longer rides, and still feel and even enjoy the pain. And now, I can also enjoy all the results of the hard work I've done over the years. I can fly up hills that used to nearly kill me several years ago.

This year I've been having some trouble measuring my kilometres with the scientific exactitude I'd like to have. Usually people count the kilometres they ride in a single calendar year. For the first couple of months this year, I didn't have a bike computer installed. It was in the other bike, couldn't be bothered get a new one, and the winter of 2010 was a dark, cold time in the distant past I don't want to reminisce about anyway. So, I'd estimate that in that time, I rode about 750 km. About 15 km a working day for some two and a half months.

Then I got around to installing the bike computer on the commuting bike, even though it was too f**king cold to do that. The odometer shows some 850 km now.

Then there's the Garmin Forerunner to be used with the road bike. But I forgot to reset it at 1.1.2010 00:00. So, the actual device doesn't know what I've done this year. Luckily, can give me reports on my activities in a specified interval of dates. Unfortunately, to distinguish the running from the bicycling, I need to set my activity types first per each exercise. This will require some work.

Anyway, I'd estimate the distance I've ridden on the road bike this year must be some 150 - 200 km. What? So little? That's pathetic. In fact, I should be out riding, right now, instead of drinking beer and reporting, in way too much detail, my probably insignificant and mostly uninteresting thoughts to a probably imaginary readership. But the beer contains carbohydrates, which I need for bicycling, so I'll valiantly continue.

So, I'd estimate might have ridden some 1700-1800 km this year. On the other hand, I'd like to know the exact number. On the other hand, this is good, because I can exaggerate somewhat, without feeling too much guilt. I just don't know exactly.

And then there's the problem with measuring the statistics of a single ride. Before, I had a simple bike computer, that measured time and distance when the bike was in motion. Stopping in traffic lights didn't add up to the total time and average speed. Now, I have a bike computer that does that, but in addition, I also have the Garmin with the GPS that measures time and distance even when the bike is not moving. Ok, Garmin Connect can show me both average speed and average moving speed, which is actually excellent. But, in order to compare my results with old ones from years ago, I have to fork them out somehow. Well, as long as the trend curve is curving upwards, everything is good...

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