Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Measuring the Don Tyson
Donald is only simulating here for the photo. I took the actual measurements with 60 psi in the tires and my fat butt on the seat. My tape was long enough to measure a full two turns of the front tire which came to 146 inches, which astonished me considering that my bike has what are called 24-inch wheels. Turns out the wheels themselves are nowhere near 24 inches in diameter. Who knew! This is my starting line for the next few months, the expansion joint closest to the traffic light pole at the southeast corner of Don Tyson and Johnson Road. This is my turn-around line, immediately before the entrance to the used car lot for Kent Dobbs Hyundai. To make the counting more manageable, I measured from the starting line to the crosswalk at Cambridge several times and then measured from the crosswalk to the turn-around line at Kent Dobbs. From the starting line to the crosswalk, my counts were 200, 201, 191, and 201.6. I disregarded the third result as a counting error and settled on 201. My counts were 387 and 388 from the crosswalk to Kent Dobbs so I settled on 387, not wanting to overestimate the distance. Crunching it out, I decided to call the whole out-and-back as 1.355 miles. My math professor sister is no doubt cringing that I would be so confident of my measuring system as to express the distance with four-significant-digit precision, but I don't care. That's what I'm going with. Conveniently, I measured from the crosswalk down Cambridge to the bottom of the steps to my apartment and found it was within a few feet of 201 turns, meaning that bathroom breaks will not require any special calculation or recordkeeping. How handy! Also handy is the distance itself. However accurate my measurements are, I'm confident that 10 laps is longer than a half marathon and 20 laps is longer than a marathon. I'm also confident that 11.5 laps is closer to 25km and 23 laps closer to 50km than trail races of those nominal distances typically are. The accuracy of my measurement is adequate for my training purposes.