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1st day of rest: Macklin, SK (915 miles)

Today's farmstead photo reminds me of "Pierre to the Pole"--take biking risks and hope to see North Pole, Alaska.

A break is in order. Twelve days on the bike and after 915 miles, I am nearly a third the way through my trip. OK. It started at 40F this morning with a high predicted at 47F and raining all day with a 11 mph NNE wind. I'm a wimp. With a chance to double lubricate chain and gears, I'll be ready for the next few days heading northwest.

For you real bikers, here are a few stats in American and international standards: Average speed: 10.1 mph (16.8 km/hr) over 915 miles (1525 km). Average miles per day 76.25 (127.1 km/day). Average calories per day 3,277.

The Garmin Edge 20 Cycling GPS ($99.99/Amazon) apparently uses my weight, 183 lbs. (83 kg), times bike speed to calculate calories consumed. My slowest day, fighting winds with fully loaded bike (79 lbs. or 35.8 kg.), I averaged only 6 mph (10 km/hr) and consumed 36.3 calories per mile (21.8 cal/km); whereas my longest day with the wind behind me most of the way I traveled 166 miles (277 km) averaging 12.9 mph (21.5 km/hr) and supposedly consumed 41.1 calories per mile (24.7 cal./km).

Obviously, calories consumed are estimated based on weight and to get a closer estimate I should have built into the original setup my pannier weigh. Reality is I burned far more calories per mile fighting a wind than with wind behind me. Likewise, I burned far more calories for 737 mile carrying 40 lbs. (of food, clothes, tire, tubes, etc.) in panniers the first 10 days than the 178 miles during last two days stripped down to the bike.

As long as I am referencing my odometers, I find the $12.95 Walmart Bell Dashboard 150 quite satisfactory, but based on my tire size it consistently underestimates the Garmin Edge 20 ($99.99/Amazon) by about 2%. Based on price, I find the Bell system more than adequate, and I could improve accuracy by more closely calibrating the Bell's spoke censor. Secondly, the Bell system will operate all summer on one battery, but the rechargeable Garmin will not last a full day (usually 8-9 hours) which is not adequate for serious long-range bikers.

Since I'm on statistics today, I had a few minutes in the past 12 days to count pedal revolutions. I am averaging right at 70 revolutions per minute. That means in 915 miles the pedals have circled over 380,000 revolutions. Taken times two, the body's natural knee lubrication is amazing...and I have to lubricate the bike chain and gears daily.