(Round Two MAPLE XXVI) And then some

From one of my favorite books when I was younger:


5 Miles

1,600 Rods

8,800 Yards

26,400 Feet

316,800 Inches

633,600 Half inches


So, it’s a whole sign of units, but all have exactly the same length (and obviously the same dimensions).  The reason why I brought up this sign was because of my use of units on Bike The Drive.

Last year, my speedometer was on km/h instead of mph (I intentionally did it that way.  Since my siblings don’t like it when I would change the speedometer on the Prius to metric, I figure I have full control over a bike speedometer! :))  When I was on one stretch of Lake Shore Drive, and saw the “3900 SOUTH” sign, I realized that since there are 8 Chicago blocks to a mile, there are therefore about 5 Chicago blocks per kilometer.  Therefore, I like to quote distances in Chicago in metric on occasions, with distance between two places using “taxicab metric.”

Of course, it’s always fun to be the units translator in that way.  Unfortunately, there is definitely “innumeracy” and not understanding how to convert units.  I wonder if the whimsical nature of Imperial units have anything to do with that?

A few more things related to this are salient as well.  One thing that is commonly confused: A “Calorie” (capitalized intentionally) that is given on a food label is actually a kilocalorie (i.e. 1000 calories).  According to my MapMyRide log, I burnt on the order of 3000 Calories today on the bike, so that I am positive that I was negative when I got home.  Even after having some leftover Chinese for dinner, that probably only reset my Calorie balance to near zero.  However, I never really count Calories anyway.  I think that my instincts guide my appetite.

Returning to “The Phantom Tollbooth,” it’s just a good thing that I wasn’t near Digitopolis, lest I start eating twenty-three bowls of “FAMINE!” (i.e. subtraction stew).

But today was quite a fun day!  I was up at 05:00 in order to prepare to go to Bike The Drive.  This was a great ride, as the weather was pleasant.  Lots of different bikes, including paracycles, “Flintstones” bikes (I yelled YABBA-DABBA-DOO when I saw these), and a peloton of ellipticals, were on the Drive.  I managed one full loop and a quarter loop of the course in the time that I had.

Then, I biked to Des Plaines for the Pokemon TCG Battle Road tournament.  Along the way, I took Elston and Milwaukee Avenues, and passed by familiar places from my past, including The Abbey Pub (where I saw Falldown on 2/25/2013), The Red Canary (rest assured, I did NOT lose my phone today!), and The Original Pancake House in Park Ridge (where Mom and Dad took me for breakfast on Labor Day of my move-in).  When I got to the tournament, I had accumulated 100.3 km on the day.

I did very well in the tournament, rolling to a 5-1 record with a “conventional” deck that was unexpected but quite consistent.  I played it very well, and was aided by some difficult drawing from my opponents.  But then in the last round, my deck was flatter than the Northwestern lacrosse team!  Still, this was my first time since 2009 that I made the placing that would get me into top cut at a Premier Event.  I was very happy about this.

And, as is usual on Sundays, after I finish eating and writing this post, it’s off to NU bridge club!  My M.O. seems to be “work hard, play hard.”


Today is the twenty-sixth day of M.A.P.L.E.  That makes three weeks and five days.

SOURCE CITED: “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Juster Norton, Random House, 1961.


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