One thing that I really missed while doing my recent Pennine Cycleway journey was an ability to accurately measure the distances travelled. As a result, I have just bought a “Cateye Micro Wireless” thing (the title of the gadget isn’t long enough – there should be at least another word after “wireless”!) to measure distances etc… It’s cool. The etcs…. are speed, maximum speed, average speed, odometer (overall distance travelled), the time (both absolute clock time and a timer) plus a few other bits and pieces that I’ll figure out eventually by pushing the buttons randomly (the enormous piece of paper that came with the gadget had some fiendishly complicated diagrams on it and, being a man, I gave up after a few minutes of studying them!).
This afternoon, having fitted the thing and having fed in my tyre sizes, I went out to test it. It’s great. There is a slight risk that you spend too much time watching it rather than watching the road (especially seeing how high you can get the maximum speed which inevitably involves cycling downhill and at, err… speed – not the best time to keep your eye off the road), but I’m sure the novelty will pass. A quality investment. And it appears to be accurate: I measured 0.58 kms riding back from the centre of town to home and then compared the distance with a calculation done on Google Earth (to the line in the road where I started and finished). The distances matched.
I will use it to measure how my time to work improves as I (hopefully) get fitter over the next few (ten!) months of pre–Francigena training. So far, I have only been able to measure the time fairly inaccurately using my wrist watch (and I frequently forget what time I actually set off). The trip usually takes me about 25 minutes, but this is very much dependant upon how much is in the panniers and also the day of the week: by Friday, my time is usually a couple of minutes slower. Expect a little table to appear somewhere on this page very soon….