7906km so far ...with some interesting findings in numbers

7906km so far …with some interesting findings in numbers

Sometimes downtime is a useful thing. I am trying to make the most of my time off in Germany and have managed to transfer all the GPS data from the trip onto my computer and put it all together. If you are interested in the GPX files, they are available to view and download on my GPSIES site here.

Looking at the numbers, there are some interesting findings about my trip so far. One thing which is almost consistent across the four stages is the average speed. It ranges from 16.9 km/h in the US to 17.8 km/h in the United Kingdom, an average of 17.25 km/h across the length of the distance cycled so far. This also mirrors my daily readings before my computer died, and the average on my GPS as well. In terms of fitness this shows that my fitness on the bike must have been more than OK when I started, the UK has been so far the hardest cycle in terms of climing per km. The slight lack of speed in the US might be down to the days in the plains with heavy winds, in the rest of the countries the wind didn’t have that much of an effect. In terms of distances and climbing, the UK trumps Iceland and the leg through France and Spain, the gradients in those countries in the main were more gentle. From the outset you would think that crossing the Pyrenees would add a lot to the overall climbing, but my subjective impression is that Devon and Dorset have been the killer parts for riding singlespeed so far. The South Coast in England has contributed a lot to the climbing in the UK, the 32-18 ratio was right on the edge down there. In the US the high altitude had an impact on my performance, and although the cycling in numbers look comparatively easy, the reality is a much different one. Add headwinds, dogs, lack of provisions etc to that, and soon the last stage will become the hardest one.

With those numbers in the bag I am confident about the rest of the tour, my body has worked exceptionally well across the distance so far. No quibbles, not a single problem with knees or arms, something that I would have expected to happen occasionally. I have forgotten the fact that I am on one gear, I simply ride the bike across whatever is there. The biking has become secondary, enjoying the trip and dealing with the other challenges has taken centre stage. The cycling, you might recognise once you will be in a similar position, is the easiest bit if you are fit and healthy. It’s the mind set that will make or break you trip, but you will read more about that in the next post.

Leg Distance km Climb m Descent m Highest Point m Average in km/h
UK 1170 15717 15733 436 17.8
Spain/France 1683 14628 14607 1990 17
Iceland 977 9054 8963 414 17.3
USA 4076 13196 11186 2209 16.9
Overall 7906 52595 50509 2209 17.25