The inversion conversion

Miles versus kilometres.

Here in the UK the common measurement for distances is miles, however many cyclists prefer  to measure their rides in kilometres.  If quizzed about the adoption of the metric system, a cyclist is likely to romanticise about the continental home of cycling, the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia and maybe the Vuelta, and how kms are part of the cycling language.

I understand, and if cycling on a cold wet February morning in the Surrey Hills, perhaps its just that little bit easier to fantasise about a more exotic landscape, and warmer climes,  if the Garmin is clocking up the mileage in kilometres.

Let’s also admit that when talking distances, kilometres  do sound more impressive than miles, however when in conversation with non-kms users, i.e. non-cyclists, it sometimes sounds a little pretentious to talk about the kilometres completed.  Its better  to disguise any showing-off by communicating in miles, and this is where the  ‘inversion conversion’ has to be used…

If the distance cycled is not a round number it needs to be rounded  up(always up, never down), it makes the maths easier.

This is how a cyclist’s conversion works…

I cycled 57.5kms today, hmm, nearly 60kms, so let’s see 10kms is 6.2miles, so that means I did 6 x 6.2miles which equals 37.2 miles, yes I cycled 40miles.

Later when talking to cycling friends the 40 miles must be translated back to kms, so where were we, 40 miles, so what’s the calculation,  five miles equals eight kilometres, so five into forty goes eight, ah easy 8 x 8 = 68kms, Yes that’s it I cycled almost 70k today.


12 thoughts on “The inversion conversion

  1. I am surprised that the UK is still on the imperial system. The metric system was put in place in Canada decades ago – and I think we are the better for it. Metric is easy to learn, and as a former road racer, a 15 km or 40 km time trial just makes sense in my mind in terms of gaging ones effort over a given period of time. A 15 km TT requires a longer warm-up and pretty well is an all-out ride. The 40km TT requires less of a warm-up and one needs to be careful to not go out too hard in the first 5 minutes or so. A negative split, i.e. slower in the first half, faster in the second half, always worked for me regardless of wind conditions. A 100 km Century ride is so much more enjoyable than slugging through a 100 Mile Century (160 KM). Paradoxically, a 200 km ride is an epic ride for me 🙂 Happy riding! Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Having moved around a bit, I can’t go back to miles. It seems like un-learning some obvious truth. Add that to the fact that I now use my brakes on the queens chosen side and I have become quite perplexed.

    Liked by 2 people

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