A friend emailed me asking whatever happened to my cycling experiment. Well… it failed. A few things went wrong. First, my conference season started in mid February which lead to much more travel and few visits to my office. Second, I had some problems with my phone and the GPS did not work for about 3 weeks. Third, a little thing called the seasons started to wreak havoc with the internal validity of my “study”. It slowly started to get warmer, the snow started to melt and I felt like I was going faster because there was less snow on the roads.
Regardless I feel like I should post the data and make a few comments. You can download the data here. A few comments.
1) This is all “illegal” cycling.
2) There is quite a lot of variability in the time to get to school during cycling. The to school (uphill) route was on average 9min 32sec with a minimum of 8:53 and maximum of 11:12. The route from school (downhill) was on average 6min 34sec with a minimum of 5:15 and maximum of 7:10.
3) The failures of this study are an important reminder to plan your research and not just do things at random and hope they will work. Garbage in, roses out, I think not.
Final conclusion: Cycling up hill is slower than cycling downhill!!
Wow, what a revelation.