Monday, June 4, 2012

The Data Suggests That We Need More Data …

New trail is being installed  on a rail line that runs to C Avenue in Cedar Rapids.  This is the Marion end, where an access down a hill side, shown at sunset, is having aggregate installed before the limestone finish.
I know I’m a slow biker—after all, I’m using a hybrid bike that’s not built for speed, and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it—but how slow is “slow?”

My computer is busted, so on a roughly 20-mile ride today, I was estimating my speed by timing my one-mile runs on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail north of Hiawatha.

I varied between 10 and 12 mph.  Maybe that’s not quite tortoise pace, but definitely nowhere near the hare.

So, I decided to run a different test.  The weather was nice, it was early evening (around 7) and there were lots of bikers on the trail.  Let’s just count how many I pass and compare that to the number who pass me.

Well, that wasn’t very helpful.  I passed two.  Two passed me.  Am I going the median speed?  Anyway, the data clearly is not adequate due to small sample size, and even that sample is pretty hinky.  I stopped to tie a shoe, a teen girl passed me, and after I was laced up, I passed her.  So of the two who passed me and two I passed, one person was in both categories.


Anyway, I had a shorter ride today after my RAGBRAI simulation Sunday.  I went north on the trail, then, on the way home, rode the short trail to Marion behind Walgreens on C Avenue, and then the Boyson Road trail in Marion.  I came home via Brentwood Drive, just to include that hill in the ride, and did fine.

It was a fairly relaxed, fairly slow ride.  But, to do 20 miles and feel no ill effects from yesterday’s long ride is, I think, a good sign.  And I have only 30 miles left this week to break 100, with a long ride already set Saturday in Des Moines.

It’s nice to see some changes to that Boyson Road trail.  The new sidewalk connecting it to Cedar Rapids and to the new walkways Marion has installed all along Boyson Road is open and pretty good.  What used to be a gravelly, slow and slightly treacherous trek to the trail is now slick cement, a concrete glide.

New sidewalk which links two Boyson Road trails in Marion to my neighborhood in Cedar Rapids.
 And a new trail is taking shape that will hook up with the old rail line behind Walgreens (see photo at top of this blog post).  Well, cool.  I’m afraid it won’t be done in time to do me any good for RAGBRAI training, but maybe this fall Audrey and I will be able to use it for biking or walks.

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