Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why You Should Have Paid Attention in Math Class

Remember 7th grade pre-algebra word problems?:

"Solve for Z:

Robbie and Timmy get on their bicycles in California and start riding east.

X= the fact that Timmy is listening to Neil Diamond.

Y= the fact that Robbie is listening to Black Sabbath.

Z= How many RAAM crew members will wish they had vacationed in Cleveland by the time Robbie reaches the Mississippi River"

See - you DO need math after all!

In truth, RAAM is one big time/distance problem. The key to everything is miles per day. On its face, it is all quite simple: 3,000 miles/300 miles per day = 10 day crossing.

A 10-day RAAM is a nice goal to shoot for.

Typically, when a rider is fresh, he/she will do more miles per day in the first few days and then that will come down as the racer tires. So, someone might average 340 miles/day for the first two days. Then he will sleep and the next two days, that daily total might come down to 320. By the time he reaches the last three days, he might be so exhausted, he can only squeeze out 280 miles/day.

But there are a lot of other factors that affect average speed, including wind, heat, medical issues, mechanical unknowns.

But, for the sake of establishing a benchmark, we'll look for Rob to do a 10 day crossing and adjust upward or downward based on what actually happens on the road.

It really is one big math problem, so all you kids at Danbury High who are following Officer Morlock: get to math class!

1 comment:

Dustin said...

I would even take it a step further. You need to be good at math when you are really tired and have been eating McDonald's for 7 straight days!