An empirical basis for route choice in cycling

Scarf, PA ORCID: and Grehan, P 2005, 'An empirical basis for route choice in cycling' , Journal of Sports Sciences, 23 (9) , pp. 919-925.

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We used data from international cycle stage races to examine a rule for cyclists that is similar to Naismith’s rule. Naismith’s rule is used by walkers to estimate travel times for routes involving climb (i.e. the vertical distance component of a route). The rule is also used in route choice decision-making to compare differing, competing routes. We developed such a rule for use in cycling events, and also considered an extension of the climb-distance rule to take account of the effect of type of terrain or rideability. A simple analysis of the data suggests that 1 m of vertical travel on a bicycle can be considered to be equivalent to approximately 8 m of horizontal travel. Thus the equivalent distance of a route may be calculated by taking its horizontal distance component and adding eight times its vertical distance component. The result obtained was shown to be in accord with mathematical models that relate cycling power to speed and gradient. An index that considers the effect of terrain is also reported, and incorporated into an equivalent distance model. Tentative values for the terrain or rideability index are suggested, and we argue that a distance of 1 km over good off-road terrain is equivalent to a distance of 2 km onroad, and that a distance of 1 km over poor off-road terrain is equivalent to a distance of 4 km on-road.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sports Sciences
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0264-0414
Depositing User: Dr Philip Scarf
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 15:37
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 12:47

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