I am a CYCLING TRAGIC and proud of it. A friend recently described the Tour de France (TDF) as having three continuous weeks of Christmas each year. Yes, another tragic who travels to France as often as possible to be a part of this sporting spectacle.
So what constitues the numeracy of cycling? I could say pretty nearly every thing, from the kilometres/miles travelled, the time for each rider, the number of revolutions of the pedals, drink bottles used by each team down to the number of kilojoules/calories consumed by each rider. To complete the activities I have listed below, use this web site http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2012/us/overall-route.html
When teaching primary aged students (11-12) I would simulate Individual Time Trials (ITT) by using a grid and number facts. To complete this activity in the classroom all you need is a worksheet with a grid and lists of number facts.
1. You ask the number facts orally (mental arithmetic).
2. Students can either record the fact and/or answer.
3. They mark the grid as shown (above).
4. Students record distance travelled e.g. 57km.
You can easily create your own local tour with as many stages as you please. Students can use GOOGLE MAPS or mark the distance and route on a map (crazy I know). They record co-ordinates for a given site e.g. an intermediate sprint or King Of The Mountain points. Google maps gives you the option of displaying the route when you travel by bike.
So what is a rider's cadence? Cadence is the number of revolutions a rider completes in a minute. Depending on the gear ratio and terrain this can vary dramatically. During the 1999 Tour de France (TDF), riders' cadence averaged between 60-80 when climbing. However, it was between 70-100 on flatter stages. The average cadence has since changed due to riders adopting a higher cadence (lower gear ratios) to reduce muscle fatigue. Check out Chris Anker Sorensons' race data for Stage 14 in the 2011 Tour de France.
Calculate the number of revolutions this rider completed by using the above data.
1. Stage 14 TDF 2011
2. Extrapolate for other stages use official website. http://www.letour.fr/2011/TDF/LIVE/us/le_parcours.html
3. Calculate for entire race.
4. Calculate distance travelled in one revolution.
Fuel For The Ride
On average a rider in the TDF will burn between 700-900 calories per hour. Except for the time trials, stages take between 3 - 6 hours to complete. The real issue for these athletes is they can only process approximately 400 calories per hour. This is one reason why they hit the wall or BONK.
1. Compare calories/kilojoules burnt per hour by different athletes e.g. tennis players, surfers, football players.
2. Calculate the number of calories/kilojoules Chris Anker Sorenson would have burnt for Stage 14, 2011.
3. Calculate the average number of calories/kilojoules burnt by previous winners based on their time. http://www.bikeraceinfo.com/tdf/tdfindex.html
4. Write a list of the quantities of food that equal the number of calories needed by each rider per day.
5. Learners compare with their own intake and calculate the number of calories they consume per hour and per day.
If you follow the Tour de France you will already know there are a number of days when the race climbs through the Alps, Pyrenees or other mountain ranges. Use the following map from http://bit.ly/o99Pc1 to complete this task.
1. Locate the three climbs from this stage in the 2011 Tour.
2. Use the elevation at Pontechianale to calculate the elevation to the first climb at Col Angel.
3. Repeat Step 2 for the Col d'Izoard by using Arvieu or the Chateau de Ville-Vieille as the base elevation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arvieu Use the elevation at Briancon for Col de Galibier.
4. You can also print the map and mark the elevation for towns along the route. This will give learners a comprehensive idea of the elevation between one area and the next.
5. Use the elevations to plot the profile of the stage. I've always used grid paper for this activity. You can set a scale or learners can develop their own scale.
A great way to introduce finding the circumference of a circle is by using bike wheels and/or tyres. By marking a point on the tyre and rolling it along a line until the point touches the ground again, learners readliy see the circumference. I then use a piece of string or measuring tape to find the diameter. This is then placed along the line to find the relationship between the diameter and circumference.