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9.6 Ride Indexing Explained




Description

This article is from the Misc Bicycles FAQs, by various authors.

9.6 Ride Indexing Explained

by Bill Bushnell (bushnell@lmsc.lockheed.com)
and Chris Hull

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Introduction
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Bicyclists often wish to compare the relative difficulty of rides of varying
lengths and of varying amounts of climbing. Today, one can buy inexpensive
instruments that can accurately record gross climbing and distance traveled,
two data values important for comparing different rides. The Avocet model 50
cyclecomputer is one such instrument.

The aim of this article is to develop a system of comparing rides with differen
t
amounts of climbing and distance by determining a single parameter, an index.
The index of a ride is the equivalent "flat-land" miles or kilometers in terms
of Calories burned by the human body.

A formula to determine the index of a ride will be constructed that is accurate
enough to be useful yet does not require complicated calculations. That this
formula can be modified to accommodate riders of different weights (masses) and
of different riding speeds will be shown. An iterative means of checking and
adjusting the formula will also be shown. Of course, the formula must be used
consistently in either the English or SI system of units.

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Assumptions
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1) There is no wind throughout the entire ride.
2) Downhill grade is 6%.
3) Given accurate input, Ken Robert's computer program "bike_power" is assumed
to produce accurate output.

 

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