Life Cycle - Figuring It Out
Cycling Plus|March 2018

Rob Ainsley visits Eddington the new bike-friendly ‘village’cience nerds know

Science nerds to know Eddington: the 20th century British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Eddington, whose 1919 eclipse observations confirmed Einstein’s relativity theories, and who once calculated all the protons in the universe.

Strava nerds also know Eddington. A keen cyclist, he devised a measure of cumulative long distance, now called the Eddington Number. He just referred to it as ‘n’ – nothing to do with ‘n+1’, famously the ideal number of bikes to own where n is the number you currently have.

Your Eddington Number is the maximum n such that on n days in your life, you cycled at least n miles. (Strava won’t calculate n, but apps such as VeloViewer will.) Looking over my touring stats, for instance, there are hundreds of days when I did over 40 miles, and a handful when I did over 100 – but the max across both, my Eddington Number, is 66: on 66 days I did at least 66 miles. Eddington reached 84; hardcore audax cyclists might eventually top 140; Amanda Coker, who recently rode 100,000 miles in a record-breaking 423 days, did 235 days of over 235 miles in that period.

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