Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cycling with Metric Measurements

Having watched a few weeks of Le Tour, you can't help but notice that the race is (obviously, it's held in Europe!) using the metric system - 10 km to the finish line, the peloton is averaging 40 kph etc. Of course, Versus will do the conversions for the U.S., but I'm starting to think that I'd like to get to know the measurement system used by most of the world a bit better. (I doubt the U.S. would ever switch though - reminds me I'll have to move to Europe one day!)

So I changed the settings on my cyclo-computer to use metric, and now instead of cruising at a cool 20-22 mph, I'm looking at speeds of 32-35 kph! Obviously the same speed, but all of a sudden the numbers look so much bigger, it throws off my perception of how fast I'm going. Which can be a good thing if you find yourself checking your cyclo-computer more than the road ahead of you, as I sometimes do!

So the hilly lake washington loop is now a whopping 81 km!! Makes it sound much more enticing, doesn't it? The Seattle-to-Portland ride is 321 km - doesn't that sound crazy! (As if 200 miles doesn't sound crazy enough). I'm gonna do the lake wa loop today - let's see if I can keep up a speed of 31 kilometers an hour! (My site has a tool to do the conversions)

Anyone else out there using metric?

Update: I only achieved 26 km/h


Anonymous said...

Hey the conversion is pretty simple:
1 mile is approximately 8/5 times (exactly 1.609 times) a kilometer. Hence 20 miles would be 32 kms, and 20mph is ob 32kmph. Have fun with the metric system.

Dave Brown said...

Incidentally, the correct, internationally recognised symbol for km per hour is km/h, not kph. Just for future reference.

matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Good luck with the change. I've had the same though with every new cycling computer I've had but never been able to stick with it.

matt said...

so far so good - i hit 73 km/h going down a huge hill in west seattle!! (45 mph)

it's way fun to go downhill and be doing 70 of anything!