   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from Anne, a parent: A bicyclist pedaled up a 2 mile long hill averaging 4 miles per hour.  Upon reaching the top, the bicyclist headed down a 6 mile descent averaging 26 mph.  What was the bicyclist's approximate average speed? Thanks very much in advance!! We have two responses for you.

Anne,

Average speed is the total distance divided by the total time.  Find
out the total time it takes for the circuit.  The total distance is 8
miles.

Stephen La Rocque.

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Hi Anne,

Average speed is total distance divided by total time. This bicyclist
went 2 miles uphill and 6 miles downhill for a total of 8 miles.

On the 2 mile uphill ride the average speed was 4 miles per hour. How
long did it take?
On the 6 mile uphill ride the average speed was 26 miles per hour.
How long did it take?
What was the total time?

I hope this helps,
Penny     Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.