Something My Bike Computer Doesn’t Do

Yesterday I went out for a ride from my cousin’s house in Laie, which is on the northeast corner of the island near Turtle Bay Resort. The area has a combination of North Shore swells and Windward Side wind, meaning the ocean by their house this time of year is filled with white water as far out as you can see. It’s really windy, though I’ve heard from some people in San Francisco that the winds there have been brutal lately too. And Chris Tremonte claims that when he did the 200w 0% grade test in Austin over the weekend that he only managed 10.5mph, which is pretty much the same as I’ve been getting here.

2009_02_HawaiiTraining 100 Yesterday I went for a ride toward Haleiwa, and was amazed that I made it there in about 40 minutes without really trying. What I should have realized is that if i was going nearly 30mph without effort, I really should be turning around well before half way through my ride. It took about 50% longer to get back, and there was no “easy” riding involved in it. Just crouching over and taking a windy beating. So what I started thinking was, what if my Garmin Edge 705 (along with the Quarq Cinqo powermeter – pictured above on my Beyond Fabrications Radius Road bike) gave me some clue as to how much assistance I was getting from the wind. It could tell me my Coefficient Of Environmental Assistance, which I would like to name the ‘Collins Coefficient’, and it would basically take my power output, my speed, the % grade and some estimate of aerodynamics (or lack thereof) for a big shouldered swimmer type like myself. Basically, when I’m flying down the road with a tail wind, or drafting off a school bus it would be large positive coefficient and the screen would read something like, “don’t be too proud”, or “going the other way is not going to be fun”. Whereas when I’m fighting a 20mph headwind uphill the coefficient would be negative and the screen could read, “I told you this wasn’t going to be fun.”

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. May the wind always be at your back however, not so for your competitors. It is almost St.Pat’s Day so I guess it is OK to paraphrase the Irish saying.

  2. HA, thanks Dad. Mooloolaba is an out and back course, so it’s entirely possible for the luck of the Irish to be on my side. It just has to be gusty, and I would have to be half a lap ahead (or behind) the rest of the pack.

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