Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Am I a bike or a car or a pedestrian?

Route-planning's a fun game. You take a map, a start point and an end point, and draw a straight line between the two. You then check where the mountains are, adjust your line slightly to avoid it, count up the number of days you have to travel, and divide the route by that. You then check for fence-post errors, re-do your sums, and that gives you your approximate daily route.

Now's when the real gaiety starts. You find yourself something like Google Maps, and tell it that you want to travel from A to B. "Easy," says Mr GoogleMaps, and presents you with a choice of motorways to take. "Hmm,"you think, and click the "I am a bicycle" button. At this point, Mr GoogleMaps will either tell you flatly that "directions are not available", or will say in the manner of an enthusiastic puppy "Oh, a bicycle! I can do that! Look, I've got a cycle track over here, it's only a five-mile detour off your route to incorporate it, and technically it's a mountain-bike-track, but bicycle!"

A bridleway which led to a Sustrans-built NCN (which wasn't any better in terms of surface)

A French (or possibly Belgian) cycle-path. Beautifully smooth - just a shame we couldn't get the bike to it!

A network of well-surfaced, well-signed cycle-roads! All praise German efficiency!

I gave up with wheels, and told Mr GoogleMaps that I was a pedestrian. Sure, this meant I was directed via steps and wrong-way-streets, but it was better than motorways or bike paths.

No comments:

Post a Comment