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Problem: "A biker bikes at a consistent speed of one mile every 4 minutes for 16 minutes in the direction S30°E and then in the direction N20°E for 10 minutes. Approximate the straight-line distance from the endpoint to the starting point of the biker."

So I understand 16/4 is 4 miles and 10/4 = 2.5 miles.

However I don't see how to implement the degrees and which angles they would represent. The S30°E format is throwing me off.

Right now we're learning law of sine and cosine. I would appreciate it if someone could walk me through the problem. Thank you!

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1 Answer 1

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If you make a drawing of the the bikers path, can you see that you can divide the line form the starting point to the end point in two lines $L_1$ and $L_2$ in a way such that you have two triangles with a rectangle? If so, you can calculate both $L_1$ and $L_2$ with the sine/cosine law. Does that help a little?

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on this? How would there be two triangles? $\endgroup$
    – DrMoney
    Dec 7, 2015 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ Please make the following drawing. Call the line from the first part line F, call the line from the second part line S. Now call the straight line from the starting point to the end point line L. Call the point where the biker turns, the point P. Now can you think of a line that intersects P and L such that it intersects L with a 90-degree angle? $\endgroup$ Dec 9, 2015 at 14:49

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