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Riding Log: Essential & Helpful Elements

by on November 29, 2011

For the past two years I’ve kept a riding log.  Initially I used it for the basics but now it has evolved into a rather complicated multi-worksheet Excel spreadsheet.  Maintaining it is fairly easy and it generates a lot of information.

The Log Entry Page

The key data points of each ride are logged onto my “front page”.  Included on this page are 12 data entry points (copied from my Garmin) and 6 calculated data points:

  1. Date (Each day of the year has a separate line so that I can see the days with no rides at a glance.)
  2. Distance (Multiple ride days have total distance entered.)
  3. Time (Length of Ride in time)
  4. Average Speed
  5. Maximum Speed
  6. Bike Ridden
  7. Calories Burned
  8. Average Heart Rate
  9. Conditions
  10. Route
  11. Goal of the Ride
  12. Impressions/Notes
  13. Maintenance Alert [Calculated Field]
  14. Weekly Distance [Calculated Field]
  15. Moving 7 Day Distance [Calculated Field]
  16. Moving 30 Day Distance [Calculated Field]
  17. Annual Cumulative Distance [Calculated Field]
  18. Annual Cumulative Time [Calculated Field]

This page supplies the data for most of the other worksheets in the spreadsheet.  With 18 columns of information, I can get a quick overview of my rides and my history.

I highlight those rides which are my fastest, longest, or otherwise noteworthy.

Data Overview Page

Information on this page relies on the entries of the previous page.  Once the page is set up, all data fields are calculated.  Columns here include:

  1. Date
  2. Monthly Distance
  3. Annual Distance
  4. Decade Distance
  5. Columns to track goals
  6. Columns for each bike’s mileage

This page is helpful in giving me a good overview and additional motivation.  I spend time looking at my monthly goals for distance, then input them at the beginning of the year.  A calculated column lets me know how far ahead or behind I am today for the goal I set.  I’ve also got a column which gives me a countdown to the miles needed to complete a circumnavigation of the globe (just for fun).

Maintenance Log

On this page, I started simply noting the date, mileage, and types of maintenance performed on each bike, separately.  Later, I added a section which takes the bike’s current mileage, compares it to the recommended maintenance schedule and the last time the maintenance was performed, and gives me the miles to (or past) the next recommended maintenance.  The real helpful addition to this was to create a formula on the Log Entry Page that alerts me to when a maintenance item is due and what it is.  That item will fill the Maintenance Alert column on the Log Entry Page until I reset the maintenance log reminder.  I’m always amazed at how often an alert pops up, and as a result I’m much more aware of preventative maintenance needs.

Month to Month and Goals

I’ve got a simple worksheet that lets me input my goals for each month of the year and see my progress toward those goals.  The sheet also lets me see my monthly mileage compared to the same month in previous years.

Clothing Chart

The Clothing Chart is simply a self designed chart broken down by 5° F increments that reminds me what clothing I need for a particular temperature.

Brevet Log

This worksheet contains all my Randonneuring dates, times, distances, and the like.  I also have a section of the worksheet designed to calculate what my control departure times will be for different average speeds.

Other

I occasionally use other pages of the spreadsheet for lists of things to pack, needed or wanted items to purchase, or what materials I have in stock.  These pages are only intermittently used and are often out of date.

At another time, I hope to discuss how I use all this information (beyond bragging, of course!).

Do you have suggestions about what to include?  What data have I left out that you find essential in your cycling log?

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