Sunday, 3 April 2011

Maybe I like the misery

I've now got the ability to measure the power I generate on my road bikes, thanks to some shiny metal, carbon fibre and lots and lots of electronics. I've done three rides with this ability and can happily report that having another number to watch on my bike computer reduces boredom by 8%.

Is it, however, not enough. I need more things to measure. Training Peaks has a concept of Training Stress Score, calculated from the time and intensity of a ride. TSS is interesting but there is something better I've just invented. I'll start with the basics of what I want to record.
  • The hurt. Either I'm dishing out the hurt, or someone is dishing it out to me. This will work by monitoring the vital signs of riders around to see how hard they are working compared to me. It'll also monitor people going out of range behind me (i.e. I've dropped them) or in front (they've dropped me). Hurt is measured in Voigts.
  • Food in versus energy out. I want to press a button to tell my computer I've just had a bar, a gel or a bottle of energy drink. I also want it to work out how much energy I've burnt, split into fat and carbs. And obviously I want it to tell me when I'm about to run out so I can stop for cake and king size Snickers.
  • Weather. Not just temperature but wind (strength and direction), rain, hail, snow and sun. This will be important later. Weather is measured on a scale from Southern France in July, to Belgium in March.
  • Vibration. Not only will this allow me to complete my classification of the worst roads in Berkshire but it will give me the ability to boast about how hard I am (no, not that kind of hard...)
  • Annoying squeeks. Chain, pedals, knees. Any kind of disconcerting noise really.
  • My outfit. It's important to be coordinated.
Pretty good huh? But that's not the best bit. The best bit is that I want to measure the misery. The misery is a combination of hurt, energy loss, weather, vibration, noise and whether I've got mismatched gloves on.

Misery = Hurt x (energy loss + weather + vibration + noise), with a minor multiplier for bad clothing and a major modifier for bonking (running out of carbs completely).

Forget about coming back from rides saying "I did a TSS of 135". What we all really want to boast about is our Misery Stress Scores.
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