Calorie calculator for cycling

After complaining about it a little calorie calculators, I have some empirical evidence to back me up. I loaded this spreadsheet up in Google Spreadsheets and put in some approximate numbers. It confirms what I’m thinking: all those calculators assume you’re covering flat land. But add in a 9% grade and the energy used changes dramatically. Now, I realized I’m not going to be hitting a 9% grade consistently. I’d die. But at least I can see that I am going to be burning a lot more calories than what the calculators are telling me.


Yesterday, I didn’t ride. My excuse was I had a flat and was so into work that I didn’t get to the shop to get a new tube (I had already patched the tube). Today, instead of going for distance, I decided to try some hills. I didn’t have a lot of time (only 45min) and I wore myself out pretty quickly. Nevertheless, I managed to do 3 reps on a 9% grade (120ft climb/0.25miles). Plus another ~9% grade to get home. I may start alternating climbing days with distance days. Till now, I’ve only really focused on distance, but perhaps that is a throwback from living in the relatively flat southern Louisiana. So, tomorrow would be a distance day.

Feel the burn

References to Nathan have become a regular feature here. If I don’t post today’s ride he’ll nag me ceaselessly. So, there ya go, Nathan! I was a little slow today, I used to do this ride with an additional five miles tacked on the front in about an hour and fifteen minutes. My cyclometer told me I was going around 17 mph. Today, I’m told I rode the shorter ride at about 13 mph. When I ride by myself, it is hard to push myself to go faster without some external incentive. Last year, the cyclometer helped, but, in thinking about it, this might be a good reason to buy a heart rate monitor — just to see how long I could keep it up.

Today, I ride!

Nathan Powell is turning into a maverick. I should take up smoking so I can quit and become a maverick. As it is, even though likes running, I can’t stand it. I’m way too self-aware, for one thing and, for another, I hate it. Still, I’ve gotta drop another 10 or 20 pounds before the year is out. And I need to make sure I’m doing something about my blood pressure. I found some BP and weight readings from four years ago — before I gained about 40 pounds — and I had some very healthy readings. I hope to get back to that within the next year. My exercise of choice is cycling. Given my “large” frame, this NYT article really helps me understand why cycling is such a good fit for me: anybody can do it! Well, that and you don’t have to be a string-bean to be a good cyclist. And I’m past 32, so I’m not gonna even fantasize about being a professional.