Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Surrender to monkey km!

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Surrender to monkey km!

Reply

Old 01-27-12, 08:26 PM
  #1  
azesty
Hot in China
Thread Starter
 
azesty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: China
Posts: 961

Bikes: Giant Lava

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Surrender to monkey km!

I have been seeing this in the commuting milage thread, and it got me to wondering how many of you set your commuter to miles, and how many to km?

I use km. For many things it doesnt really matter which units are used, but there are some advantages to metric that the old way doesnt have.

Ease of learning for kids (how many feet in a mile?)

The relationship between different sets of units makes it easier to work with.

Millimetres are easier to work with than fractions of an inch.

Your thoughts?

z
azesty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-12, 08:43 PM
  #2  
enigmaT120
Senior Member
 
enigmaT120's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Falls City, OR
Posts: 1,958

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Fargo 2, Rocky Mountain Fusion, circa '93

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
I thought that the "km" in your thread title stood for Karate Monkey.

If I were in China I would use the metric system. Here I don't feel like translating my distances back to miles when people ask how far I rode.
enigmaT120 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-12, 08:43 PM
  #3  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 8,467

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 54 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2079 Post(s)
Also percent grade calculations.
I can talk and work with metric just fine... but can't bring myself to change my computer.
DiabloScott is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-12, 10:34 PM
  #4  
SurlyLaika
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
I thought that the "km" in your thread title stood for Karate Monkey.
.
Me too.

And I use miles because I live in the US. Metric probably is better tho.
SurlyLaika is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-12, 11:20 PM
  #5  
clawhammer72
Senior Member
 
clawhammer72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Fullerton, CA.
Posts: 201

Bikes: 2015 Bianchi Volpe

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Metric is by far the easier system. But....I have logged 700 miles since I started commuting. That's 1126.540km. Now, part of me thinks that the higher number is awesome, and my brain knows that the number doesn't matter. But inside...you know, the part that gets me up the final stretch of that steep section of hill when my lungs and legs are on fire, that part respects mileage, not kilometers. That part looks at the kilometers and sees the higher number and knows that they're not as real as miles. It's not rational, but it's ingrained in my system, so I won't be changing any time soon, even though I preach the wonders of the metric system to my students every year.
clawhammer72 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-12, 11:48 PM
  #6  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 11,913

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 264 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1673 Post(s)
The metric system also makes centuries easier to ride.

And while we're at it, we should switch to the decabet.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-12, 11:58 PM
  #7  
jeffpoulin 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
When I lived in the U.S., my computers were set to miles. Now that I'm in Europe, they're set to kilometers. One doesn't seem more "real" to me than the other, though. Once you start using it, it's easy to get used to.

What I don't understand is what "surrender monkey" has to do with it. I realize it's a reference to "cheese eating surrender monkeys" coined by the writers of the Simpsons to make fun of the French, but what that has to do with the metric system (used by every developed country in the world, except 1) is beyond me.
jeffpoulin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 01:26 AM
  #8  
The Chemist
Senior Member
 
The Chemist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 526

Bikes: 2011 Giant FCR3500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jeffpoulin View Post
When I lived in the U.S., my computers were set to miles. Now that I'm in Europe, they're set to kilometers. One doesn't seem more "real" to me than the other, though. Once you start using it, it's easy to get used to.

What I don't understand is what "surrender monkey" has to do with it. I realize it's a reference to "cheese eating surrender monkeys" coined by the writers of the Simpsons to make fun of the French, but what that has to do with the metric system (used by every developed country in the world, except 1) is beyond me.
The Metric system (and thus, the kilometre) has its origins in the French Revolution.

And, of course, being non-American, I use kilometres. Only change to miles so my American friends can understand what I'm talking about.
The Chemist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 02:29 AM
  #9  
azesty
Hot in China
Thread Starter
 
azesty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: China
Posts: 961

Bikes: Giant Lava

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I was 6 Australia started the change from Imperial to Metric.

All school kids were given a ruler with metric on one side and inches on the other.

When a road speed sign was replaced, the new one had two numbers on it, miles per hour in black on the bottom, km per hour on the top, also in black, but with a red circle around it.

Clear stickers were available for most makes of car, they were put over the speedo panel, so you could see both mph and kmph.

All goods were sold with both the old weight system and the new weight system for a few years.

Later the old system was phased out.

Tradesmen liked using mm, much easier to work with, and 1 mm is smaller than 1/16 of an inch.

For me, the last two things I changed were peoples weight, and their height. Nowadays I use only metric.

z
azesty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 03:16 AM
  #10  
The Chemist
Senior Member
 
The Chemist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 526

Bikes: 2011 Giant FCR3500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
^ I used to use feet/inches for height and pounds for weight (as do most Canadians, as the changeover in Canada wasn't as thorough as in other countries) but living in China for a few years has cured me of that affliction.
The Chemist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 03:47 AM
  #11  
contango 
2 Fat 2 Furious
 
contango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: England
Posts: 3,996

Bikes: 2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport RIP

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by azesty View Post
I have been seeing this in the commuting milage thread, and it got me to wondering how many of you set your commuter to miles, and how many to km?

I use km. For many things it doesnt really matter which units are used, but there are some advantages to metric that the old way doesnt have.

Ease of learning for kids (how many feet in a mile?)

The relationship between different sets of units makes it easier to work with.

Millimetres are easier to work with than fractions of an inch.

Your thoughts?

z

I muse miles, I think in mostly imperial. If someone gives me a metric measurement the first thing I usually do is mentally convert it to English.

Ease of learning isn't really an issue. Once you know there are 5280 feet in a mile, so what? My GPS doesn't tell me I rode 24 miles, 374 yards and 2 feet - it tells me I rode 24.21 miles. It's just as easy to know if today's ride broke my personal best because if my previous best was 24.08 miles then today's number is bigger.

Whether working in mm is easier than working in fractions of an inch is irrelevant to cycling. For precision work I find metric easier, simply because if I'm working to 0.2mm it's easier to mentally see on a caliper whether I'm within tolerance than if I'm working to 0.008". 3mm +/- 0.2 means I've got to be between 2.8 and 3.2mm - 0.125" +.- 0.008 means somewhere between 0.133 and 0.117 which just takes longer to consider when I see the display.

When describing someone I expect to hear a height in feet and inches and a weight in either pounds or stones. If someone tells me they are 180cm my first thought it to approximate it in feet so I know what to expect. Likewise if someone is 75kg... means nothing to me until I've figured it's 165lb.
__________________
"For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"
contango is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 05:15 AM
  #12  
azesty
Hot in China
Thread Starter
 
azesty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: China
Posts: 961

Bikes: Giant Lava

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by The Chemist View Post
^ I used to use feet/inches for height and pounds for weight (as do most Canadians, as the changeover in Canada wasn't as thorough as in other countries) but living in China for a few years has cured me of that affliction.
So you think in jin now? I still have to double everything to get to jin.

z
azesty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 06:50 AM
  #13  
Monster Pete
Senior Member
 
Monster Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Warwick, UK
Posts: 1,049

Bikes: 2000-something 3 speed commuter, 1990-something Raleigh Scorpion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I work in metric. Being an engineering student, most of what I have to deal with is in metric units. The only time I tend to use the old units is when I'm driving, since we insist in this country of sticking to miles and yards (how many Brits under 30 know how many yards make a mile) despite the roads being built in metric and damn near everything else being in metric units. Even then, I tend to look at the smaller km/h numbers on the speedometer quite a bit. If I fit a cycle computer to one of my bikes, it will most likely read km/h and km.

Last edited by Monster Pete; 01-28-12 at 06:54 AM.
Monster Pete is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 10:00 AM
  #14  
MNBikeCommuter
Senior Member
 
MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 668

Bikes: Cannondale '92 T600 '95 H600 '01 RT1000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
I'd be comfortable in metric, but as everything around here is mileage (and Fahrenheit) based, that's what I use. My woodworking projects start out in feet and inches, but if you take measurements of some finished pieces, you'd scratch your head trying to figure out what fractions of inches I used for certain dimensions. If you measure in millimeters, the lengths would then become obvious. :-)
MNBikeCommuter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 10:13 AM
  #15  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,288

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 441 Post(s)
Good argument in the OP for going metric but that hasn't happened here, yet.
We're slowly headed that way, but miles may be the last to go.
Struggling to completely standardize to use of kg and celsius in hospitals in the US. Example: Fixing body weight scales so that display of pounds cannot be selected. But there are still problems such as entering a verbalized pound weight as a kg weight; that can make a weight-based drug dose calculation be way off.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 10:16 AM
  #16  
AlmostTrick
Yabba-Dabba-Doo!
 
AlmostTrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bedrock, IL
Posts: 6,322

Bikes: Wabi Special FG, Raleigh Roper, Nashbar AL-1, Miyata One Hundred, '68 Schwinn Orange Krate, and More!!

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 942 Post(s)
Monkey see, monkey do.

I just do what all the other monkeys around me do. In the US that means still using miles for distances, feet/inches for height, and pounds for weight. Compared to metric it is really quite a goofy system. I do wish we could convert over completely already.
AlmostTrick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 11:03 AM
  #17  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 11,913

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 264 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1673 Post(s)
Bikes are cutting edge in this respect in the U.S. Nearly every part on most bike uses metric wrenches and at least for road bikes geometry is given in metric. It's every bit as revolutionary as the idea that a bike could be used for transportation. That is, most of the world noticed it about 100 years ago, and we're just now catching on a very little bit.

I was quite surprised when I was in Germany a couple of years ago and looking for a 700c tire that the local shop mechanics referred to them as 28 inch. What's up with that?
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 11:10 AM
  #18  
Mark Stone
Tractorlegs
 
Mark Stone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,066

Bikes: New Balance 880v7 Kicks

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
I use miles just because that's what I've always used, and that's what's used where I live. Also, I have my allergies to consider. I'm allergic to Cats, Work and Change.
__________________
********************************
Car Light since Nineteen Something
Mark Stone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 11:11 AM
  #19  
Mark Stone
Tractorlegs
 
Mark Stone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 3,066

Bikes: New Balance 880v7 Kicks

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 82 Post(s)
Of course, metric centuries seem easier for some reason . . .
__________________
********************************
Car Light since Nineteen Something
Mark Stone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 11:53 AM
  #20  
jeffpoulin 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,288
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I was quite surprised when I was in Germany a couple of years ago and looking for a 700c tire that the local shop mechanics referred to them as 28 inch. What's up with that?
That's Germany for you. Everyone else uses ISO sizes, e.g. 28-622.
jeffpoulin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 05:07 PM
  #21  
JanMM
rebmeM roineS
 
JanMM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Metro Indy, IN
Posts: 15,288

Bikes: RANS V3 ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 441 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
Of course, metric centuries seem easier for some reason . . .
Hmmmm................I should start stating my average speed for metric centuries in kilometers per hour. In the spirit of the metric system, of course.
__________________
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
JanMM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 05:39 PM
  #22  
locolobo13 
Senior Member
 
locolobo13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Phx, AZ
Posts: 1,631

Bikes: Trek Mtn Bike

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
Use both as needed.

Mostly here in the US things are already laid out in miles. That's why it is going to be hard to switch over. If you've ever flown over the midwest look at all those squares laid out in miles, 640 acres to the square mile, 160 to the square 1/2 mile (or is that 1/2 mile square?). Thing is I can estimate acres roughly by fractions of a mile from estimated yards. A lot of people here can.

Now convert the 640 acres to ~259 hectares (258.985), the 1/2 by 1/2 square mile is ~0.8km by 0.8km for ~65 hectares. Break it down into a lot 1/4 mi (~0.4km) by 1/8 mi (~0.2km), 20 acres (~8 1/8 hectares). Just can't do that in my head. Sure, eventually we'll switch. After all we have spreadsheets nowadays. Don't have to do simple math in our heads no more.
locolobo13 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 07:40 PM
  #23  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
Well, it's Rule 24, right?

Rule #24: Speeds and distances shall be referred to and measured in kilometers.

This includes while discussing cycling in the workplace with your non-cycling coworkers, serving to further mystify our sport in the web of their Neanderthalic cognitive capabilities. As the confused expression spreads across their unibrowed faces, casually mention your shaved legs. All of cycling’s monuments are measured in the metric system and as such the English system is forbidden.--The Rules
tsl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 07:56 PM
  #24  
scroca
commuter and barbarian
 
scroca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Potomac, MT, USA
Posts: 2,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Maybe I could get used to it if I practice. How's this: I rode 25 km. Bonjour ye cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
scroca is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-12, 08:00 PM
  #25  
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
 
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,646

Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Originally Posted by scroca View Post
Maybe I could get used to it if I practice. How's this: I rode 25 km. Bonjour ye cheese-eating surrender monkeys.
Great except the last sentence.
Sirrus Rider is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service