In the past month since getting the "Green Bike" I've commuted by bicycle roughly 70% of the time to work. I rode the bus one time and carpooled home once and drove alone the remainder. A big change from as recent as early September when I used to drive to work practically 100% of the time except for the month of May where I rode a handful of times (but never really committed to do it beyond the contest period during the Bike to Work Challenge held each May).
Yesterday I bought a cycling computer at REI. It is a Sigma 906 and it was $25 plus tax. I wanted to know how far I've been riding and how long it takes me. Miles per hour and other stats are a bonus. This seemed to be the least expensive model which did what I wanted it to do, though in retrospect, it would be nice to have a cadence feature.
According to the computer, which was fairly easy to install and set-up, it recorded these stats from my round-trip commute to work:
total distance: 4.38 miles
total time: 32.59 minutes
average speed: 7.96 mph
maximum speed: 26.43 mph
Using my car's odometer, I get around 4 miles round-trip, however, I have a tenths digit but that's it. Also, since I ride through an area where cars cannot go through, I guesstimated the length of this stretch. So I think 4.38 miles is probably pretty accurate.
Since I ride all downhill to work and all uphill home, that's why I have a high maximum speed but the average speed is fairly low. Glancing at the speedometer as I was riding home I think a lot of the ride I plugged along at 5-7 miles per hour. Probably decent progress given the bike isn't a featherweight nor am I. I keep telling myself as I gain muscle and perhaps eventually get more of a road bike like the Trek Portland or a Jamis Coda Elite. The Jamis has flat bars with road bike type equipment but more of a mountain bike frame geometry for more relaxed (less hunched over) riding. I like the looks of the Trek better and I think the option of having disc brakes is appealing since the ride downhill to work I'm clenching the brake levers a lot and sure stopping power would be an improvement.
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