By Celia McInnis
I love cycling and particularly enjoy doing bicycle time trials. Time Trials are a wonderful medium for camaderie and competition, since all riders, regardless of their speed, can compete and excel relative to whatever measures they wish to use as comparators, whether that be the best in the world, the best in their age group in their local club, or just their own previous performances.
Professionally, I am a research mathematician (with a PhD from the University of Waterloo), and my initial attraction, as a young child, to the bicycle, with all its circles, triangles, lines and curves, likely hinted at my future career. For the past twelve years, I have further paired my loves of cycling and mathematics through the creation of a time trial web site which aims to encourage people to enjoy riding and improving in these events.
Currently, my database contains about 30,000 entries, mostly just for clubs which I belong to, but I would be interested in providing this service, for free, to other bicycle clubs. My software allows riders to search for and rank their performances in a number of ways — for instance relative to their previous season-series best, previous database best, the category best, the gender best, some handicap algorithms, etc. I am particularly interested in having more data so that better handicapping algorithms can be developed. Please send me an email if you can get your bicycle club interested in using my site for its time trial data.
By the way, I have had Type I diabetes for more than forty years, but that hasn’t stopped me from doing more than 600 time trials over the past 24 years. In fact, it has probably encouraged me to do so!
My other major hobby is music. I play flute in the Zephyra Wind Quintet, and flute/piccolo/viola in two amateur orchestras — The Ottawa Chamber Orchestra and Divertimento Orchestra. I have also just started playing the oboe, and am finding it extremely pleasurable. Life is busy, and some of my fastest time trials have resulted from having to get to a music rehearsal on time!