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Cyclists do it on two wheels
July 30, 2007 10:09 AM   Subscribe

A MeFi bicycling challenge was mentioned here and if it was mentioned in other places as well, I apologize-- I couldn't find it. So, who is up for a bicycling challenge similar to what those wacky runners have going on? I am pretty sure we can use a website such as We Endure or similar to start a group and track our progress. Any takers?
posted by sneakin to MetaFilter Gatherings at 10:09 AM (111 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

If it's anywhere near Philadelphia, I'm interested.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:45 AM on July 30, 2007


Sorry, I should've clarified. It would be an on-your-own thing but you would track your mileage online. On a site such as We Endure, I think we can start a MeFi group and enter our progress as we ride. Then we can all see each other's mileage and progress.
posted by sneakin at 10:47 AM on July 30, 2007


Got it, my fault.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:03 AM on July 30, 2007


I would have to put a computer back on my bike for the first time in years.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:07 AM on July 30, 2007


I'd be up for it. I bike to and from work everyday but still need 400 miles to reach my goal for the year.
posted by drezdn at 11:09 AM on July 30, 2007


Wolfdog, you can also use Gmaps Pedometer if you don't feel like dealing with your computer. If you're biking on the road somewhere that Google Maps knows about, you can track your whole ride and it will tell you mileage and elevation. I think calories, too.
posted by sneakin at 11:11 AM on July 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'd be in (last place here we come!). And seconding Gmaps Pedometer.
posted by hangashore at 11:18 AM on July 30, 2007


I'd be up for that. I JUST started biking about 2 weeks ago, so it would be great for me to be held a little more accountable for improving!
posted by odi.et.amo at 11:33 AM on July 30, 2007


I think calories, too.

Looks like it's calories for running the route.

I'm in, even if I don't plan on riding more than my normal commute and errands.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:34 AM on July 30, 2007


I'm sort of interested, but at the same time I'm trying to train myself not to be so crazy about keeping track of my mileage, and this would undermine all of that work. Hmm.
posted by COBRA! at 11:38 AM on July 30, 2007


I'm in. Like others, I likely won't be doing much more than my weekday commute and occasional shopping.
posted by thinman at 11:45 AM on July 30, 2007


I hear you, COBRA!. I hate getting too intense about mileage because then it's all I think about. But this looks like it could shape up to be relatively casual, especially if we have people who are simply riding their commute. I think it will be more a way to get motivated by seeing what others do and having them see what you do, rather than an all-out mileage war. On We Endure you can keep blogs and make comments, which can be fun, too. I am not married to We Endure, it's just all I am familiar with at the moment. If people have other ideas, please let me know.
posted by sneakin at 11:55 AM on July 30, 2007


i'm interested as well - i need to do a better job of tracking my mileage and maybe this will give me the excuse to do it.
posted by the painkiller at 12:14 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm interested, but how much are you guys riding? I'm not sure if it's more motivating for me to lag the curve or cling to the yellow jersey, but give me an idea of the level you're at.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:17 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm totally in!
posted by hindmost at 12:23 PM on July 30, 2007


Ambrosia Voyeur, When I am really on my game, I am riding 3 times per week, about 15-20 miles per ride. When I am bogged down with other stuff, I am riding once a week for 20-30 miles. This last week I was training for a 45-mile ride so I did 3 rides beforehand, one was 15, one was 26 and one was 10. One of the reasons I really want to do a MeFi challenge is because I really want to do 20-30 miles 3-4 times per week and I feel like this will motivate me. I really don't consider myself a hardcore cyclist by any means. I just started riding in May and got a road bike a month later. It's all very new to me.
posted by sneakin at 12:24 PM on July 30, 2007


I would totally be up for this! I like weendure. I usually track my mileage and avg speed for each ride. I've been trying to get myself back into riding 80-100 miles a week and this would be a great motivator to get my ass out onto the roads every morning.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:31 PM on July 30, 2007


OMG, we wouldn't be required to have any Apple or Nike products, what is the world coming to?
Translation, I'm totally in.


!!Spoiler alert!!

I'm averaging somewhere around 20km per day (10-15 miles).
posted by Chuckles at 12:38 PM on July 30, 2007


'tis a pity. I was hoping this was about the mefi conquest of Mont Ventoux.
posted by jouke at 12:38 PM on July 30, 2007


My daily commute is 9 miles each way. (Thanks for suggesting Gmaps Pedometer--my ride's a mile longer than I thought it was.) But this might motivate me to join my dad on the Apple Cider Century in September.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:45 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm averaging...0 miles per day. And totally regretting having put this idea out there. Fuckers. Who's with me in a race to the bottom?
posted by hindmost at 12:45 PM on July 30, 2007


Chuckles, you are required to have both Apple and Nike products. But not for the challenge itself-- just to fit in with the cool kids.

/bad joke
posted by sneakin at 12:46 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm interested, but how much are you guys riding?

Me: 15 km round trip commute for work, plus weekend rides, so I'd be in the neighbourhood of 100-150 km per week.

Is there a feature which keeps track of total miles/km ridden by all group members? After a few months where we get an idea of everyone's levels, we could set a group goal (at the very least, beat last month's total).
posted by hangashore at 12:47 PM on July 30, 2007


Awesome idea, hangashore. I think We Endure in fact can do that. When I am done taking this exam (later tonight) I will do some investigating and report back in this thread.
posted by sneakin at 12:49 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm definitely interested. Also, I might suggest MapMyRide as a bike-centric alternative to GMaps Pedometer.
posted by JohnFredra at 1:08 PM on July 30, 2007


In.
posted by contraption at 1:19 PM on July 30, 2007


Okay, if contraption's in, I might as well be. Competition motivates me; watching my butt on a bike seems to motivate him.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:30 PM on July 30, 2007


Should we use We Endure? Here's a group of Oregon cyclists on the site. Click on the "Cycling" tab of the box in the middle and you can see everyone in the group's top mileage.

That might be enough for us, no?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:40 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm in.
posted by everichon at 2:10 PM on July 30, 2007


I generally do about 300 miles a week, give or take 50, but I'm dealing with a hip injury at the moment, and my mileage has been cut drastically, and I'll probably not join you guys this month as a result. (In fact, it has been suggested that, until I am recovered, I need to find ways to motivate myself to ride less, not more. Alas.)

But I would like to suggest that it would be much more interesting if we all used a site like veloroutes and could see where everybody is riding, rather than just how many miles they are riding. Maybe it is impractical for people to do this for every single ride, but maybe people who participate could at least share routes and stories about interesting or particularly epic rides/races/etc?
posted by dseaton at 2:32 PM on July 30, 2007


FWIW, I'm only doing about 50 miles a week, plus or minus.
posted by everichon at 2:38 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm in! I've only been doing 25-40 miles each week, but I really want to spend more time on my bike. I like the idea of using MapMyRide or veloroutes or something similar. WeEndure allows you to store routes, too, if we're looking at using that.
posted by bassjump at 3:03 PM on July 30, 2007


Veloroutes has elevation data for Toronto (if you can call it elevation :P). Awesome!

I didn't notice a group tool though, am I just being obtuse? MapMyRide (who used to have Toronto elevation data..) has tracking, but no obvious groups. Seems like Endure is the best bet so far. I don't particularly like the design - for one, it is a little cluttered - but, anything that is functional is fine..
posted by Chuckles at 3:18 PM on July 30, 2007


I'd lean towards using something like WeEndure instead of anything with mapping or routes.

After I take a ride, I'm usually wiped out, and the less work, the better. With WeEndure, you just remember your mileage and ride time, put your bike away, walk to a computer, and enter it. With other sites, I'd kind of dread the idea of having to sit down and draw all over google maps for several minutes after each ride.

The less finger lifting I need to do, the better (for me, there is not a single nearby record in veloroutes and I'd have to enter all my rides myself).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:27 PM on July 30, 2007


Sure, why not? If I can find the time to not run, I can also find the time to not ride.
posted by box at 3:31 PM on July 30, 2007


If I can find the time to not run, I can also find the time to not ride.

Nonsense. There's never no time to not neglect riding.
posted by hangashore at 3:40 PM on July 30, 2007


I'm for WeEndure. Mainly because I went and set up an account.
posted by everichon at 3:43 PM on July 30, 2007


Ok, here's the MeFi group for WeEndure:
http://www.weendure.com/group/metafilter

Join the group and start tracking rides on August 1st?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:48 PM on July 30, 2007


Does it count if the miles are done on an exercise bike, rather than out in the open with bugs and cars and all that?
posted by Lucinda at 4:18 PM on July 30, 2007


I want to log my rollerskating too. I need to get my endurance up for Derby tryouts. Maybe I'll claim it's running.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:23 PM on July 30, 2007


Lucinda has a good point. It's 97 degrees outside where I am. Do exercycles at the gym count?
posted by misha at 4:39 PM on July 30, 2007


Yeah, I think exercise bike miles are fine.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:00 PM on July 30, 2007


Do I get a mileage bonus for riding a fixed gear?
posted by ardgedee at 5:16 PM on July 30, 2007


Oy. Some keeners are logging on WeEndure already.

I'm in, because hindmost has obviously forgotten about the deep sense of pride you get from finishing last. I'm up for that.
posted by maudlin at 5:37 PM on July 30, 2007


Thanks for setting it up, mathowie! I kind of wanted to call the group "Why Don't We Do It In the Road?" but MetaFilter seems more functional.

If folks want to be able to enter their routes so that people can see 'em, you can use Gmaps Pedometer or MapMyRide and enter it as a new route in We Endure, and then simply link to it.
posted by sneakin at 5:56 PM on July 30, 2007


I think this will be the excuse that gets me out on my bike more. I'm totally in.
posted by mindless progress at 6:29 PM on July 30, 2007


Some keeners..

Err.. I just wanted to see how it worked. Yep, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Hmm, I guess I better not add the latest 10km.

Hopefully it will be able to count by calendar month, or something..
posted by Chuckles at 6:49 PM on July 30, 2007


Count me in. Glad my WeEndure account I made last year b/c Mathowie had one is getting put to use more than showing off to my co-workers.
posted by fijiwriter at 7:35 PM on July 30, 2007


Hmm, I guess I better not add the latest 10km.

Do it! The more the better.

Hopefully it will be able to count by calendar month, or something..

Yup - check "Activities" in your profile. It breaks down into this week, then this month and last month (by calendar month).
posted by hangashore at 8:05 PM on July 30, 2007


By the way, bassjump on We Endure = tribaby. (First triathlon this coming Sunday.... yikes!)
posted by bassjump at 8:17 PM on July 30, 2007


I signed up. I've been meaning to start tracking my rides on some sort of website, so I might as well use WeEndure.

I'm plannning a short (four day) tour in August, so I should get some decent miles in for the month.
posted by JeffL at 7:54 AM on July 31, 2007


This is great! I'm in. I'll be one of those racing to last place, too.
posted by bristolcat at 8:37 AM on July 31, 2007


This is really cool. I hope I get over my cold soon, so the pack doesn't get too far ahead.
posted by popechunk at 10:30 AM on July 31, 2007


Awesome! This is just what I have been looking for!
posted by Asbestos McPinto at 10:36 AM on July 31, 2007


As someone whose cyclometer has logged a staggering 240 miles in the past 3 years, count me in! (I promise to be better)
posted by mumkin at 10:46 AM on July 31, 2007


I'm in. Definitely in the running for last place, as I am a casual cyclist at best. But I have a new Brooks saddle that needs to be broken in, so maybe this will be a bit of an incentive.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:04 AM on July 31, 2007


I, too, am chasing the Lantern Rouge.
posted by everichon at 11:55 AM on July 31, 2007


According to Wim Vansevenant, 2006 and 2007 lanterne rouge, "Lanterne rouge is not a position you go for. It comes for you."
posted by needled at 12:50 PM on July 31, 2007


If I can get my bike up and running soon enough, I'm in.

Can anyone recommend a good way/device to log my miles?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:14 PM on July 31, 2007


Also "lanterne rouge" would make an excellent username/sockpuppet.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:15 PM on July 31, 2007


Excellent idea. I'm in, in the hopes that the competition will inspire me to do more riding than my daily commute.
posted by penguinliz at 1:54 PM on July 31, 2007


CitrusFreak12, If you get a bike computer, it will measure your distance and speed. Then you can input your info into We Endure. If you don't want to shell out ~$30 for a computer you can use Gmaps Pedomoter or MapMyRide (look upthread for links). These sites allow you to draw your route on a map and it will tell you your mileage.
posted by sneakin at 2:13 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


32 members! Woot! Any other Chicagoans?

Is there a way to see miles for everyone in the group? How the heck are we supposed to see who's in last place?
posted by hydrophonic at 2:51 PM on July 31, 2007


Woot! I'm number one! (for the next few hours until someone goes out onto a longer ride)
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:51 AM on August 1, 2007


CitrusFreak12, you can get a great simple bike computer for less than $20 and most shops will install them for free if you ask nicely.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:52 AM on August 1, 2007


If you use a bike computer instead of Pedometer or MapMyRide, you can get two digit accuracy, allowing you to bump hydrophonic off the group top 5 with a 9.04 miles to his 9.00. Hah! Eat it!
posted by hindmost at 1:22 PM on August 1, 2007


Sorry, the top five is scored by time, not distance. I'll just ride slower. I got a granny gear and flexible hours. I can take all day if I have to.

Besides, Pedometer absurdly gives you four-digit accuracy.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:39 PM on August 1, 2007


Nah, we're counting miles baby, you're on the wrong tab! Although i did realize that you ride 9 miles twice a day so my crowing was premature...
posted by hindmost at 3:02 PM on August 1, 2007


hindmost, check out my new route.
posted by hydrophonic at 3:28 PM on August 1, 2007


I had been using GMap Pedometer for a while, but recently I found out about Toporoute. It has an automatic road-following feature that lets you map routes more quickly and the elevation profile is whole lot more readable and informative.
posted by turbodog at 4:31 PM on August 1, 2007


I fully support this, since I have been using We Endure for a while now :)

I have to go back in and enter my rides for most of July; then I have to find my computer so I can have times again.
posted by mikepop at 8:00 AM on August 2, 2007


I'm in. Looking over the usernames here and the new usernames there they must be wondering where this weird influx of new folks on bikes came from...
posted by togdon at 8:23 AM on August 2, 2007


I'm in - bringing up the rear. I bike to work (8 blocks away) when I don't need to move one of my passle of kids from one place to another at some point during the day. I do about 20 Mi. in trail rides a week. and another Chicagoan.
posted by readery at 11:05 AM on August 2, 2007


I'm in, as pluckymisha. I'm nowhere near the level you all are, though!
posted by misha at 4:35 PM on August 2, 2007


mathowie: gift defeated a MetaFilter account so we can harass him into building features for us.

I also wish the ranking showed more than just the top five, since I will never be in the top five.
posted by popechunk at 11:24 AM on August 3, 2007


I'll try to script a full listing that we can run a couple of times a week. I'll get started today, but I'm notoriously slow about this kind of thing, because there is always another approach I need to try :P
posted by Chuckles at 11:56 AM on August 3, 2007


Cool, Chuckles. Wish I could even begin to understand how to help. But I do have a feature suggestion already: incorporate Cycling Trainer miles, since excercise bike miles are valid.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:47 PM on August 3, 2007


And good luck on your triathlon, bassjump!
posted by hydrophonic at 12:59 PM on August 3, 2007


Okay, the script only tabulates current results at the moment, but those results are in. Unfortunately there seems to be a bug, see the note over there for details.

I'll try to add some more processing, like delta's, and position changes, but that will come later.
posted by Chuckles at 9:54 PM on August 3, 2007


yeah, I only have something like 8 miles so far, just started yesterday, but I'm down for zip. I think you forgot the Cycling Trainer miles.
posted by misha at 10:38 PM on August 3, 2007


Ya, I left out the trainer miles without thinking, but that isn't causing the bug I noticed.

All I do is record the Cycling part of the This Month field on user profile pages. If the Cycling Trainer in the This Month area has a compatible data format, it will be easy to include, but going through every recorded activity will be a bit of a pain.

I'll work on it..
posted by Chuckles at 10:59 PM on August 3, 2007


Hi again mefi. Thanks for using We Endure for this, it makes me happy. This is exactly the kind of stuff I had in mind for the site when I first created it.

Just to restate what I said over in the group at the site, in case anyone missed it. I apologize up front for the stuff you'll most likely run into that's not 100% solid. My day-job workload has kept me from being able to devote enough time to the site as it needs. But feel free to let me know if you find things that don't work, or could work better.

I know the main thing you guys need right now is an extended chart so you can see beyond the top 5. I'll try and whip something up this weekend to take care of that. It's been a pretty popular request since the site first came online.
posted by defeated at 1:08 PM on August 4, 2007


Hi, I just took my last cycling trainer and switched it over to cycling to make it easier to track. I think that's probably the simplest thing to do.
posted by misha at 12:43 PM on August 5, 2007


It can't hurt :P   Really though, it depends on how defeated wants to handle things. I hate to make work for him, but coding an offline solution isn't really helping weendure, so..
posted by Chuckles at 1:05 PM on August 5, 2007


I'm in and just logged the 5.42 miles that I biked yesterday. However I used some of my gold to purchase the Helm of Huffy which multiplies all late afternoon rides by 10, so that should really count as 54 miles.
posted by ND¢ at 8:09 AM on August 6, 2007


Well, sheesh, how come I just saw this? Oh well, I've been off the bike for a week or so with some back issues, but I'll be back in the saddle Wednesday or Thursday, so I'm in. Just for shiggles.
posted by The Deej at 9:42 PM on August 7, 2007


I'm in for shiggles too; I haven't taken any long bike rides in quite awhile.
posted by Tuwa at 10:13 PM on August 7, 2007


I'm hoping it will keep me from being lazy. I've been riding to work and on errands faithfully, so a minimum of 10 miles a day. I hope to get back into that routine if my back will handle it.
posted by The Deej at 10:16 PM on August 7, 2007


Any specific suggestions on those cheap bike computers?
posted by inigo2 at 7:19 AM on August 8, 2007


I have an inexpensive Sigma I am happy with. Looks like the basic one comes in fairly cheap here at $15. (Mine is a few years old, so not sure which current Sigma it actually corresponds to).
posted by mikepop at 8:18 AM on August 8, 2007


Thanks, mikepop! Also, for those not in both threads, I posted a link to a cheap bike computer.
posted by inigo2 at 9:32 AM on August 8, 2007


is it too late to join?

and/or, is this gonna be an ongoing thing?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:34 PM on August 8, 2007


I hope not. I just joined a couple of days ago and put in a few of the trips from earlier.
posted by Tuwa at 7:55 AM on August 9, 2007


No, it's not too late to join, and, while I can't say for sure, I would kinda expect it to become an ongoing thing (after all, the running challenges are in, what, their fifth or sixth month now?)

The Sigma 506 is around fifteen or twenty bucks. I looked at it at the bike shop the other day, and it looks pretty nice. And, based on my experience with one of its big brothers, I can confidently say that installation will be very easy (like, no-tools easy). My local bike shop thinks very highly of Sigma computers, and installs the 506 as part of their build kit on new bikes. (On the other hand, the next Sigma model up is just five bucks more, and what's five bucks? Thanks to this kind of solid reasoning, I just bought a 1606L.) Anyway, here's Sigma's feature comparison chart.

If you want to compare features across brands, Performance is a decent resource, even if you don't buy the computer from them.
posted by box at 2:56 PM on August 9, 2007


If it isn't too late to join, do stationary bikes count? I like bicycles for getting where I need to be, and stationary bikes for exercise because I can stop or sprint whenever I feel like it and not get hit by a bus.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:25 AM on August 12, 2007


It's never too late and yes they do.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:56 PM on August 13, 2007


Oh and I also bought a cheap Sigma. $20 I think. Works very well and I am quite happy with it.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 6:57 PM on August 13, 2007


That Sigma looks interesting; thanks for mentioning it (I'd love to quit estimating times).
posted by Tuwa at 7:03 PM on August 13, 2007


Week 2 results can be seen here.
posted by Chuckles at 11:32 PM on August 14, 2007


I'm pretty late to this parade, but I just signed up, and I'll add some recent August rides later on this weekend!
posted by altcountryman at 8:14 AM on August 18, 2007


I've just bought a new bike, been cycling everyday and will join for sure. Looking forward to September rides, and seeing how many people keep it up through Winter...
posted by takeyourmedicine at 3:02 PM on August 18, 2007


Is anyone else having trouble getting to WeEndure today? I've been trying, in vain, all morning, from multiple sites even...

Looks like they're hosted with DreamHost.
posted by togdon at 12:42 PM on August 20, 2007


togdon: I am, now that you mention it (but response times from weEndure have been spotty for me the last few days).
posted by Tuwa at 1:54 PM on August 20, 2007


I haven't been able to access the site all day.
posted by JeffL at 4:40 PM on August 20, 2007


You've got another 300 miles to log, don't you? ^_^
posted by Tuwa at 5:42 PM on August 20, 2007


Probably just 100 :P



A day off helped my endurance enormously, maybe it will do the same for Weendure :P
posted by Chuckles at 5:51 PM on August 20, 2007


Dang. Remind me to back up my activities to a spreadsheet once they get back online (since of course I've been only logging them at WeEndure). What's that they always tell us about backing up your data? Aaargh aargh aargh I'm an idiot.
posted by hangashore at 6:51 PM on August 20, 2007


You've got another 300 miles to log, don't you? ^_^

Nope, too windy to ride Monday

Nothing to do with the fact I was a little tired ;)
posted by JeffL at 4:17 AM on August 21, 2007


I've been unable to get in for a few days, too. I found that blog.weendure.com is up, a few weeks out of date.
posted by john m at 9:05 AM on August 21, 2007


Weendure is back up. Just in time for the weekly standings!
posted by Chuckles at 7:06 PM on August 21, 2007


for future reference:

"If you notice anything not working, let me know by either posting a message to We Endure Suggestions, or just dropping me an email."

Hoping to move up >30 places this week...
posted by takeyourmedicine at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2007


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