108mph on my bike?!?

For the past 2 months I’ve been using Runkeeper to track my biking activities.  It’s really come in handy in my goal to ride my bike to work pretty much every day this summer (I only live ~1.5 miles away from work, so I don’t have an excuse not to).  For the most part it’s been a wonderful tool in tracking my riding activities, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the progress I’ve made.

This morning’s ride however, showed some interesting results. My 1.5 mile ride turned into a nearly 16 mile ride.  With the 2-3 traffic lights my average speed is about 10-12mph on the ride to work – but this morning’s ride gave me an average of 108.37mph.  I love that I rode my bike faster than I’ve ever driven.

Originally I thought RunKeeper screwed up in bringing a decimal point too far.  However when I went to the site and looked at the map, it became all too clear to me what happened.

RunKeeperMap

If you look at my route, I started in Greeley and did a bird’s eye cross over to my neighborhood in Fort Collins. RunKeeper uses the GPS to track your route (and calculates your speed, etc).  I was in Greeley yesterday and ran FourSquare to try to check in at my jazz band gig last night, which was the last time I used the GPS on my phone.  When I activated my Runkeeper activity this morning, I pressed “Start” before the GPS had time to re-calibrate and figure out I wasn’t in Greeley anymore.

Luckily RunKeeper makes it super easy to go in and modify the map, and I’ve already corrected my route – but it’s pretty cool to think that I went 108mph on my bike…

Cyclists & Rolling Stops

This came across my radar today and proved to be something I found interesting.  It appears that there is a movement in Idaho to make rolling stops legal for cyclists.  This well-put-together video making a compelling case for this to be allowed.

I am probably what I would consider is an aspiring cyclist.  I could definitely ride my bike a lot more, but during the summer I made an effort to commute to work at least 1-2 times per week on my bike.

I think they make a really compelling argument and I can’t disagree with it.  However, it does make a very dangerous assumption: that all cyclists are alert, law-abiding commuters.  My experience has been significantly opposite.  While many cyclists do obey the laws, on every drive/ride I encounter at least 2 cyclists that are riding the wrong way on the road, using sidewalks when there are perfectly good bike lanes, and riding across major intersections during red lights.  I think the spirit of the law is sound, and it sounds like they’ve tried to address is by proposing a larger fine for cyclists who don’t yield.  At the same time, I think this is a pretty grey area.  Stop signs draw a concrete line in the sand as to how you maintain safety, and once you remove that it can become really subjective.

Secondly, can’t this same argument be made for cars?  Bikes are definitely efficient in terms of expunging energy, but when a car comes to a complete stop and starts moving again, more energy is expunged than if it was able to roll through.  I realize that a car is much more dangerous than a bike, but I wonder if the same principles would apply for the times I come up against a 2-way stop on a deserted intersection at 11pm.