I was surprised to see that I got different values if I use "time at a particular speed" compared to "map my route". I realized that for some activities this site overestimates and others underestimate and since I do different things I figure they probably balance each other out. Nevertheless, I try to focus on time and activity and not worry too much about the details.
Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.
@CAROKNITS: Please, don't get be back on my soapbox about how remarkably inaccurate the SP calorie counting actually is. You are absolutely correct: It's accuracy is off by MILES. Accurate calorie counting should be done based on heart rate level. Just blindly punching in distance and time will always generate inaccurate data.
If I ride a Metric (100km), I generally burn around 2,500 calories. I've confirmed this figure is correct by the heart rate based calorie counter of my Garmin 500, and then cross-confirmed it when I upgraded to my (current) Garmin 800. Both showed the same approximate values. To further check their accuracy, I checked against a (web-based) calorie counter calculator that I have which backed these numbers up to within 100-200 calories. So, in essence, three different calculators have reported the same figures. However, when I punch in those same figures - miles, distance and time - to the SP counter, I've burned well in excess of 4,000 calories - that's almost 60% more than what I've actually burned. With those types of inaccurate values, losing weight via cycling is almost impossible if solely using Sparks calculator(s).
By no means am I unappreciative of Spark, it's features or the fact that it's truly 100% free, but if their laudable goal is the improved health and fitness of their members, they need tools that more accurately reflect consistent and reliable values. My web-based calorie calculator is something that Spark could EASILY incorporate into their site but I doubt they would ever do so.
If you're interested, PM me with your personal e-Mail address (since you can't include attachments in SparkMail) and I'll gladly send you the application with installation\usage instructions.
I haven't started biking that long, but I can definitely see your point. I'm curious about the calorie algorithm. I biked 50 minutes yesterday, working hard, and ended up burning, per the website, 100 calories less than I did on an easy ride of the same length today. Going uphill and into headwinds burns more calories than a calm ride on the flats! Maybe they could have a 'road cycling' option with an 'overall exertion' level that could be used for rough calorie calculations.
Despite the shortcomings, SP is still a great website!
Done. I just basically copied and pasted my original entry and posted it as the blog.
Anyone who wants to post to this forum entry, and or my blog, just as a show of support, I can at least message them and tell them I'm not alone in my thoughts\opinion. This is an obvious cap set in their code within the webpage. A simply modification wouldn't be that difficult to either open it up to whatever we plug in or at least cap it at something more reasonable. I would think an 8 hour cap would be more than reasonable. Generally, a full Century is done in under 7 hours, so an 8 hour cap seems plausible.
I do recall I did ask one of the SP admins about this several years ago, when I first joined SP. I was given a rather half-baked, vanilla answer that didn't really address the issue. I want to say that I was told something to the effect of, ''This is how we've set it up and we don't really feel the need to change it.'' That doesn't really explain the reasoning behind their initial configuration decision or the lack of interest to change it to better suit those of us who do more than just enough to get by.
Is it just me or does it bother anyone else that you can only get 24 Spark points for only 2 hours of exercise in a 24 hour period? I generally ride at LEAST 3 hours, usually 4, and to only get credit for 2 of those hours seems almost insulting.
Yes, I know: They are dinky points that, in the real world, simply do not exist and have no intrinsic value. But that's not the issue. If we're going to get ''rewarded'' for our efforts with points, let us get rewarded for all of our efforts! Not just some of them. As it stands now, I have to divvy up my rides and mileage for just 2 hours per day so I can feel I've been "credited" for my efforts and not cheated.
So, is it just me and my OCD? Or does anyone else share my sentimonies?
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