Task# Bike Race

Illustrative MathematicsVaries

The purpose of this task is for students to interpret two distance-time graphs in terms of the context of a bicycle race. There are two major mathematical aspects to this: interpreting what a particular point on the graph means in terms of the context, and understanding that the 'steepness' of the graph tells us something about how fast the bicyclists are moving. Technically, students do not study average rate of change until high school, but they can understand that if a bicycle has gone 1/2 mile in one minute it is moving about 30 miles per hour (or if its distance is unchanged for a minute, it is standing still). This task adds to the complexity by having two graphs, so the relative positions and speeds of the bicycles can also be compared.