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Wayne and Dennis like to ride the bike path from Riverside Park to the beach. Dennis’s speed is seven miles per hour faster than Wayne’s speed, so it takes Wayne 2 hours to ride to the beach while it takes Dennis 1.5 hours for the ride. Find the speed of both bikers.

Wayne 21 mph, Dennis 28 mph

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Jeromy can drive from his house in Cleveland to his college in Chicago in 4.5 hours. It takes his mother 6 hours to make the same drive. Jeromy drives 20 miles per hour faster than his mother. Find Jeromy’s speed and his mother’s speed.

Jeromy 80 mph, mother 60 mph

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In [link] , the last example, we had two trains traveling the same distance. The diagram and the chart helped us write the equation we solved. Let’s see how this works in another case.

Christopher and his parents live 115 miles apart. They met at a restaurant between their homes to celebrate his mother’s birthday. Christopher drove 1.5 hours while his parents drove 1 hour to get to the restaurant. Christopher’s average speed was 10 miles per hour faster than his parents’ average speed. What were the average speeds of Christopher and of his parents as they drove to the restaurant?

Solution

Step 1. Read the problem. Make sure all the words and ideas are understood.


  • Draw a diagram to illustrate what it happening. Below shows a sketch of what is happening in the example.

    Christopher and Parents are represented by two separate lines. The distance between these two lines is marked 115 miles. Lunch is also located between Christopher and Parents. There is an arrow from Christopher that is marked 10 mph faster and 1.5 hours. There is an arrow from Parents marked 1 hour. These two arrows meet somewhere between Christopher and Parents.
  • Create a table to organize the information.
  • Label the columns rate, time, distance.
  • List the two scenarios.
  • Write in the information you know.

A table with three rows and four columns and an extra cell at the bottom of the fourth column. The first row is a header row and reads from left to right blank, Rate (mph), Time (hrs), and Distance (miles). Below the blank header cell, we have Christopher and Parents. Below the time header cell, we have 1.5 and 1. The extra cell contains 115. The rest of the cells are blank.

Step 2. Identify what we are looking for.

  • We are asked to find the average speeds of Christopher and his parents.

Step 3. Name what we are looking for. Choose a variable to represent that quantity.

  • Complete the chart.
  • Use variable expressions to represent that quantity in each row.
  • We are looking for their average speeds. Let’s let r represent the average speed of the parents. Since the Christopher’s speed is 10 mph faster, we represent that as r + 10 .

Fill in the speeds into the chart.

A table with three rows and four columns and an extra cell at the bottom of the fourth column. The first row is a header row and reads from left to right blank, Rate (mph), Time (hrs), and Distance (miles). Below the blank header cell, we have Christopher and Parents. Below the rate header cell, we have r plus 10 and r. Below the time header cell, we have 1.5 and 1. Below the distance header cell, we have 1.5 times the quantity (r plus 10), r, and 115.

Multiply the rate times the time to get the distance.

Step 4. Translate into an equation.

  • Restate the problem in one sentence with all the important information.
  • Then, translate the sentence into an equation.
  • Again, we need to identify a relationship between the distances in order to write an equation. Look at the diagram we created above and notice the relationship between the distance Christopher traveled and the distance his parents traveled.

The distance Christopher travelled plus the distance his parents travel must add up to 115 miles. So we write:


The sentence, “The distance traveled by Christopher plus the distance traveled by his parents equals 115 miles,” can be translated to an equation. Translate “distance traveled by Christopher” to 1.5 times the quantity r plus 10, and translate “distance traveled by his parents” to r. The full equation is 1.5 times the quantity r plus 10, plus r equals 115.

Step 5. Solve the equation using good algebra techniques.

Now solve this equation. 1.5 ( r + 10 ) + r = 115 1.5 r + 15 + r = 115 2.5 r + 15 = 115 2.5 r = 100 r = 40 So the parents’ speed was 40 mph. Christopher’s speed is r + 10 . r + 10 40 + 10 50 Christopher’s speed was 50 mph.

Step 6. Check the answer in the problem and make sure it makes sense.

Christopher drove 50 mph (1.5 hours) = 75 miles His parents drove 40 mph (1 hours) = 40 miles _______ 115 miles

Step 7. Answer the question with a complete sentence. Christopher’s speed was 50 mph. His parents’ speed was 40 mph.

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Questions & Answers

Aziza is solving this equation-2(1+x)=4x+10
Sechabe Reply
No. 3^32 -1 has exactly two divisors greater than 75 and less than 85 what is their product?
KAJAL Reply
x^2+7x-19=0 has Two solutions A and B give your answer to 3 decimal places
Adedamola Reply
please the answer to the example exercise
Patricia Reply
3. When Jenna spent 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer and then did circuit training for20 minutes, her fitness app says she burned 278 calories. When she spent 20 minutes onthe elliptical trainer and 30 minutes circuit training she burned 473 calories. How manycalories does she burn for each minute on the elliptical trainer? How many calories doesshe burn for each minute of circuit training?
Edwin Reply
.473
Angelita
?
Angelita
John left his house in Irvine at 8:35 am to drive to a meeting in Los Angeles, 45 miles away. He arrived at the meeting at 9:50. At 3:30 pm, he left the meeting and drove home. He arrived home at 5:18.
DaYoungan Reply
p-2/3=5/6 how do I solve it with explanation pls
Adedamola Reply
P=3/2
Vanarith
1/2p2-2/3p=5p/6
James
don't understand answer
Cindy
4.5
Ruth
is y=7/5 a solution of 5y+3=10y-4
Adedamola Reply
yes
James
don't understand answer
Cindy
Lucinda has a pocketful of dimes and quarters with a value of $6.20. The number of dimes is 18 more than 3 times the number of quarters. How many dimes and how many quarters does Lucinda have?
Rhonda Reply
Find an equation for the line that passes through the point P ( 0 , − 4 ) and has a slope 8/9 .
Gabriel Reply
is that a negative 4 or positive 4?
Felix
y = mx + b
Felix
if negative -4, then -4=8/9(0) + b
Felix
-4=b
Felix
if positive 4, then 4=b
Felix
then plug in y=8/9x - 4 or y=8/9x+4
Felix
Macario is making 12 pounds of nut mixture with macadamia nuts and almonds. macadamia nuts cost $9 per pound and almonds cost $5.25 per pound. how many pounds of macadamia nuts and how many pounds of almonds should macario use for the mixture to cost $6.50 per pound to make?
Cherry Reply
Nga and Lauren bought a chest at a flea market for $50. They re-finished it and then added a 350 % mark - up
Makaila Reply
$1750
Cindy
the sum of two Numbers is 19 and their difference is 15
Abdulai Reply
2, 17
Jose
interesting
saw
4,2
Cindy
Felecia left her home to visit her daughter, driving 45mph. Her husband waited for the dog sitter to arrive and left home 20 minutes, or 13 hour later. He drove 55mph to catch up to Felecia. How long before he reaches her?
Rafi Reply
hola saben como aser un valor de la expresión
NAILEA
integer greater than 2 and less than 12
Emily Reply
2 < x < 12
Felix
I'm guessing you are doing inequalities...
Felix
Actually, translating words into algebraic expressions / equations...
Felix
hi
Darianna
hello
Mister
Eric here
Eric
6
Cindy

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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. Jan 18, 2017 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12116/1.2
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