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Anybody else ever felt forced to starting using kilometres??

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Anybody else ever felt forced to starting using kilometres??

Old 10-08-12, 10:37 AM
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Anybody else ever felt forced to starting using kilometres??

I am about to give in and switch to km I think. When I'm watching grand tours, reading books on cycling, all speeds and distances are in km and I always have to get out the converter app on my phone and convert it, as km don't mean much to me - we use miles in this country.

Anybody else felt this way? To those living in countries that use miles, do you think in miles or km in terms of cycling??
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Old 10-08-12, 10:44 AM
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Metric is superior to the obsolete crap we still use.
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Old 10-08-12, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by ben4345
Metric is superior to the obsolete crap we still use.
So you "think" in km on the bike. If so, how long did it take to to get used to it?
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Old 10-08-12, 10:51 AM
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I agree metric is better and I already "think" in cm and mm for smaller distances rather than inches. Meters are ok too.

But I am an old guy and somehow thinking in Km is not intuitive to me.

Let us know how the project goes.
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Old 10-08-12, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ben4345
Metric is superior to the obsolete crap we still use.
Yes it is. But to me I'm always converting, or at least trying to in my head. I can use metric stuff all I want but I always end up at least thinking about it in terms of imperial units in my head. If I measure something as 10mm, I always end up thinking "okay that's about 3/8 of an inch". Even having owned nothing but Toyota and Honda vehicles with everything metric on them for the past 15 years, and the vast majority of my tools being metric, I still convert in my head when I'm thinking about it.

The converting itself is the easy part. It's when you have to visualize something that it gets difficult. I know and can visualize how big a square foot is, or a square yard, or a cubic yard, etc. But trying to visualize a square meter, cubic meter, square kilometer, etc, I just can't do it. I have to think of some kind of linear conversion and then think of that square meter as around 10 square feet. That's the only way I can do it.

I think it's kind of like learning a foreign language, where you always think to yourself in whatever your native language is, even if you become fluent in another language. You're always translating in your head, either what you want to say or what is being said to you, or what you read.

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Old 10-08-12, 10:57 AM
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Nah. I'm pretty comfortable in either.
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Old 10-08-12, 11:09 AM
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Being Canadian it's a non issue.
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Old 10-08-12, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by youcoming
Being Canadian it's a non issue.
don't you use miles in Canada?
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Old 10-08-12, 11:11 AM
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I love riding my bike. But it's really not a spectator sport, there isn't any fun or joy in watching someone else do ride a bike while I sit on the couch. Hasn't been an issue for me.
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Old 10-08-12, 11:11 AM
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Rule 24 - Speeds and distances shall be referred to and measured in kilometers.
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Old 10-08-12, 11:15 AM
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I do think of sizing in metric terms wrt bicycles, but distance to me will always be in feet, yards, furlongs, and miles. And having seen several failed attempts to sell the metric system in the US, I don't see it being accepted as a distance measure in my lifetime. Not that it isn't better, it's just that change is a glacially slow process.
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Old 10-08-12, 11:15 AM
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Randonneuring taught me the conversions pretty well.

Just learn some basics like 10 km = 6 mi (roughly), 20km = 12 mi (roughly), 50 km = 30 mi (roughly), etc and that should be enough to get you by.
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Old 10-08-12, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ntjp
don't you use miles in Canada?
No. We've been on the metric system for around 40 years now.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:14 PM
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It's odd because I see Mike Holmes on TV (Canadian home contractor/TV personality) referring to stuff in metric units sometimes, and imperial units other times.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
It's odd because I see Mike Holmes on TV (Canadian home contractor/TV personality) referring to stuff in metric units sometimes, and imperial units other times.
A nominal dimensional lumber 2 x 4 is really a 38 x 89.
In Canada we have lots of metric and a residual amount of imperial to go around.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:31 PM
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I don't feel like it's really metric to say kilometers per hour - you still have that base-60 thing going on. Switching to meters per second, then I'll be happy.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ntjp
Anybody else felt this way? To those living in country that use miles, do you think in miles or km in terms of cycling??
ftfy
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Old 10-08-12, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by snotrockets
ftfy
For real??

I actually meant to use the plural.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:52 PM
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The only way to avoid converting is to use/know the system enough. I'd really prefer if we expressed the weights of our bikes in stones...
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Old 10-08-12, 12:54 PM
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USA and Liberia are pretty much it, although the UK still has a bit of a holdover attitude from what I can gather. And by that, I mean that on Top Gear, I usually hear them talk about mph and mpg.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
The only way to avoid converting is to use/know the system enough. I'd really prefer if we expressed the weights of our bikes in stones...
Yeah I agree. That's why I'm just going to start using it and get used to it. I've just switched Strava over to display in metric, and I'm just going to change my Garmin over to Km as well. After a while I should (maybe) stop having to convert back to miles all the time.
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Old 10-08-12, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
USA and Liberia are pretty much it, although the UK still has a bit of a holdover attitude from what I can gather. And by that, I mean that on Top Gear, I usually hear them talk about mph and mpg.
"the new Jag-Y-war is 120,000 pounds delivered straight to your Ga-Radge"

^I guess those brits make really really heavy cars.
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Old 10-08-12, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ntjp
Yeah I agree. That's why I'm just going to start using it and get used to it. I've just switched Strava over to display in metric, and I'm just going to change my Garmin over to Km as well. After a while I should (maybe) stop having to convert back to miles all the time.
Me to, starting today at quitting time (that's at 64.8 Kiloseconds)
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Old 10-08-12, 01:22 PM
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I'm basically "bilingual" at this point, though it's very context-dependent. For following professional races via the Internet, I'm completely adapted to km and would actually find conversions confusing (the thing Versus-now-NBC Sports does with switching between metric and imperial distances drives me crazy) if I had to deal with them very often. I don't especially care how many miles 10km is. I just know that when it's down to 10km, there's not a not of racing left, giant mountain stages in the Grand Tours excepted. In that sense, getting a grip on metric measures is partly about letting go of the need to have an external context to define them.

For my own riding and racing, I stick to miles. Because if I were using metric units, I would be constantly having to translate absolutely everything I deal with on a regular basis. Distances around here are given in miles. Speeds are given in mph. Trying to switch over to metric speed and distance would just make my life more difficult. By the same token, if I were to spend any significant amount of time in Canada or Europe or pretty much anywhere else in the world, I would switch over to kilometers, because trying to constantly translate things back to Imperial units would be far too confusing.
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Old 10-08-12, 01:36 PM
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I like to use km on my bike just because my brain still thinks in mph so when I see a super high number I still associate it with mph and thus think I'm going super fast!
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