21 mph

I was pacing 21 mph


I’ve been riding my bicycle back and forth to work on the nicer days.  It is roughly nine miles one way.  It usually takes me about a half an hour.  I had been guessing that it was about nine miles but had never actually measured it with the odometer in my car.


In my younger days when I lost my driver’s license, I rode back and forth to work from Whitehall to Muskegon.  Because I didn’t want to ride on the main busy road, I took the back way which wound up being a little over 19 miles.  Once or twice, I made the ride in one hour flat.  Since I round up for the mileage and round down for time, I rounded up to 20 miles for the ride and deluded myself into believing that I could ride at a 20 mile per hour pace for 20 miles.


So all these years later I have been wondering how fast I can ride for an extended period of time.  A nine mile ride is no marathon, but it’s a bit of a workout.  Imagine my surprise when I made the ride in 26 minutes, and that’s an honest 26 minutes with no rounding down.  It made me curious to know how long the ride actually is, so I could calculate how fast I was riding.  So I measured the distance with my odometer and it winds up being 9.1 miles.  I did a little math in my head and here is what I came up with.


9.1 miles for fraction’s sake will be


91 miles



26 minutes for fraction and hourly computation will be


26 hours   which is also



13 hours



So miles per hour, with the distance being on the top and time being on the bottom, we have a complex fraction that looks like


  91 miles




  13 hours



To calculate this fraction, we invert the denominator and multiply.


91 x 30   which can be simplified to    91 x 3

10 x13                                               1 x 13


Then we have


273   which equals    21



I was pacing exactly 21 miles per hour on that day, and that’s with a 15 second dead stop at a red light.  About two weeks after that, I made the ride home in 26.5 minutes, which surprised me because the ride home is after work, so I’m usually a bit more exhausted.   It’s also slightly more downhill on the way to work, and slightly more uphill on the way home.


It’s amazing that my knee still bothers me from my surgery a little over a year ago.  I’m riding quite well, but there is irritation.  It’s great therapy though.  My knee is getting stronger all the time.  Now there is a route that I ride whereby I pick up the bike trail which is 22 miles round trip.  If I can ride that in one hour flat, I’ll be doing reeeeeeal gooooood.


Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13


-The Orange Mailman

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