Is a single map enough?

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JackT
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Is a single map enough?

Post by JackT » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:46 pm

Interesting sustainable travel / lockdown / covid times idea from Al Humphreys.

https://alastairhumphreys.com/a-single-map-is-enough/

I'm intrigued and I think I'll give this a go this winter. To really ride / walk everything interesting on a single custom 1:50k map sheet centred on my house. (Al's doing 1:25k and I'm not sure that's big enough but I might get one as well). My journeys will include a judicious amount of trespass. Besides doing more local travel, that's the other issue that's got me fired up lately.

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RIP
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by RIP » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:26 pm

Excellent idea! Bit different.

Wonder what his GR is...
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JackT
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by JackT » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:47 pm

Al lives in very suburban north Kent. So the Thames estuary probably cramps his style a bit - unless he's prepared to get the packraft out :shock:

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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by RIP » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:02 am

Bivvying in Sheerness, now that would be interesting....
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

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"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster

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RIP
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by RIP » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:06 am

JackT wrote: My journeys will include a judicious amount of trespass. ... that's the other issue that's got me fired up lately

:-bd You've bought The Book presumably?
Besides doing more local travel.
Good stuff. Flying about all over the place is soooooo pre-lurgi.
"My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster

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voodoo_simon
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by voodoo_simon » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:06 am

OS Explorer map 266, it’s a double pager for me if the Wirral and parts of Cheshire/Wales :-bd

One side has been explored very well and the the Wirral side was a work in progress but did slow down this year due to obvious reasons.

Only started driving a few years ago (passed my test years ago but didn’t want a car), so most of my rides start from my doorstep. I think most of the bridleways near me have all been cycled, just warming in some of the further ones out :-bd

It does amaze me, even in a massively large industrial town, how much countryside there is and how much ‘exploring’ I can do from my own home.

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:09 am

I'm struggling with the idea that this is something 'new'. Doesn't everyone spend large amounts of time exploring the area covered by the OS map of where they live?
What value a life half lived if the half you lived was the wrong half?

ton
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by ton » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:13 am

OL21 is enough map to keep us all occupied.

we went through a stage in the early 2000's of riding nowhere else. barely scratched the surface.

belugabob
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by belugabob » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:21 am

:-bd

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PaulB2
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by PaulB2 » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:22 am

It's easy to get stuck in a rut when you've only got a finite amount of time to ride and stick to a route where you know how long it's going to take.

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sean_iow
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by sean_iow » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:31 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:09 am
I'm struggling with the idea that this is something 'new'. Doesn't everyone spend large amounts of time exploring the area covered by the OS map of where they live?
That was my thought but perhaps I'm a special case as my sheet, OL29, has water around the edge :smile: But I've always tried to explore every possible route just to keep the boredom away. This is my Strava heatmap for this year so far and I've done significantly less riding than a normal year

Image

So in answer to the question, unless I get on a ferry, one map is plenty :grin:
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slarge
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by slarge » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:50 am

When I first started riding I got into Trailquests, and eventually organised a few - that meant riding just about every bridleway in a 25 mile radius - I avoided footpaths but Warwickshire footpaths are nothing to write home about. It did mean that I know all the good trails and also the bad ones. In fact some of the bad ones were so bad (overgrown or mud fest) that I vowed never to return. I forgot about a few of these last year and found that 10-15 years later they are still horrible.

The road bike now takes me further afield, and I often ride without a plan - which really means I do some of a pre-planned route then go off down little lanes to explore - mostly works and I have found a few further afield tracks and paths this way.

The OS map isn't always the best method of planning off road routes round here - it can lead to real misery when a track/path looks ideal on the map but is disappointing on the ground.

I like the idea of the OS map exploring - it's just another variation on the theme of exploring!

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:59 am

The OS map isn't always the best method of planning off road routes round here - it can lead to real misery when a track/path looks ideal on the map but is disappointing on the ground.
That must be awful :wink:

When we first moved here, I'd spend as much time as I could out exploring. I'd return home and the conversation would usually go something like this ...

Did you have a nice time?
No, did I fck.
Why?
I've spent two hours up to my bollox in bog only to find the track doesn't go anywhere.

However, every now and then I'd turn up a real gem and as Steve says, over time I built up a mental cache of the good stuff, the bad stuff and how best to link it all together. However, after 15 years there's still some places on Explorer 215 I've never ridden or even visited on foot, same goes for 214 which covers Hafren (anyone who rode the BB200 a few years ago will likely testify to the rewards to be gained from aimlessly exploring) and 213 which is a fantastic map.
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benp1
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by benp1 » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:25 am

Interesting concept

When lockdown first happened I started riding every road/track/trail in my postcode. Took longer than I thought because I only had a couple of hours in an evening and was only heading out a couple of times a week. I went down dead ends and all sorts. I gradually moved it out and covered the surrounding postcodes. I suppose this could carry on ad infinitum

Personally, I find veloviewer to be a real help in seeing exactly where you've been, and highlighting areas you've missed.

The custom OS map on my wall highlights just how many other bits I could head to, but it's mostly footpaths rather than bridleways sadly. And around 70%, at a guess, is urban

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faustus
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by faustus » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:35 am

This has been my riding life since March, although using OS maps on Viewranger so there's no border as there would be on a paper map. Good thing too because i'm near a corner of about 4 explorer maps!

It's been really rewarding finding little bits i've not tried, and some considered use of footpaths (unapologetically) alongside a few decent unofficial trails that are not on the map - and a good bit of just following my nose and looking for path entrances/exits is the only way to find those. As I knew a good deal of the off-road already, i've equally enjoyed going along lanes and backroads that I hadn't done before, and found new ways to get to places. Including a road where a Heinkel crashed in 1940!

Is 'The Book' The Book of Tresspass? I've been reading that too and it's been informative :grin:

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whitestone
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by whitestone » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:47 am

However, every now and then I'd turn up a real gem and as Steve says, over time I built up a mental cache of the bad stuff and how best to link it all together.
Now we know how the BB200 routes are put together :lol: :-bd
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RIP
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by RIP » Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:47 am

faustus wrote: Is 'The Book' The Book of Tresspass? I've been reading that too and it's been informative :grin:
Yep. He's A Very Naughty Boy :-bd . Joined the 'campaign' but not heard owt from him recently. Not heard much about the Trespass Bill either - I think Boris has a bit on his plate at the moment ha ha ha...
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psling
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by psling » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:17 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:59 am
The OS map isn't always the best method of planning off road routes round here - it can lead to real misery when a track/path looks ideal on the map but is disappointing on the ground.
That must be awful :wink:
Prelude to your Winter Event 2021 Stu?!? Half a dozen GRs along Afon Hengwm :lol:
Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:09 am
I'm struggling with the idea that this is something 'new'. Doesn't everyone spend large amounts of time exploring the area covered by the OS map of where they live?
I agree that this is hardly anything new. Over the years I've been lucky enough to explore my local map on foot, by bike and on river and often have found hidden gems by going out without looking at the map first or taking the map with me. This somehow seems to broaden the scope for exploring rather than planning beforehand. We can immerse ourselves in the need for the big open spaces when sometimes the urban and industrial corridors can be just as absorbing.
It's amazing how areas change with the seasons and over the years, both naturally and with man's input. Local exploring should be done continuously, not just during lock-down :cool:
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.

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thenorthwind
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by thenorthwind » Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:26 pm

benp1 wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:25 am
When lockdown first happened I started riding every road/track/trail in my postcode. Took longer than I thought because I only had a couple of hours in an evening and was only heading out a couple of times a week. I went down dead ends and all sorts. I gradually moved it out and covered the surrounding postcodes. I suppose this could carry on ad infinitum
That reminded me of this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/54626043

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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by jameso » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:24 pm

Nice idea. In English Country Lanes Gareth Lovett Jones talks about using main roads as natural borders and riding all the lanes within that area, similar idea of constraint as a way to find details. I tried it in an area near here and found hours of riding in a place I really like, Vs passing through on a longer ride yet wanting more of the same area. It made for a long ride in total but the weather was good and it was the best ride this autumn.

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whitestone
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by whitestone » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:48 pm

jameso wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:24 pm
Nice idea. In English Country Lanes Gareth Lovett Jones talks about using main roads as natural borders and riding all the lanes within that area, similar idea of constraint as a way to find details. I tried it in an area near here and found hours of riding in a place I really like, Vs passing through on a longer ride yet wanting more of the same area. It made for a long ride in total but the weather was good and it was the best ride this autumn.
We live in a triangle of main roads with Skipton, Colne and Keighley(ish) as the vertices. During the first lockdown I went outside that triangle just twice. No really long rides, I suppose the longest was 25km until the WyRT in May. Does help that there's some reasonable, if over too quickly, moorland riding in there.
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Alpinum
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by Alpinum » Tue Nov 10, 2020 9:59 pm

Funny to read this.

Since I just recently drew a square with 20 km edge length around my house (10 km from the edges' centre).
Then I picked fun looking tracks following the straight lines, et voilà:

Image

164 km, 5610 m vert gain/loss.

Was nice to see the mix of sections I already know and don't know yet.

Should be fun.

Lazarus
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by Lazarus » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:01 pm

The more i read this thread the more I think you all live in more interesting areas than I do .

slarge
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by slarge » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:15 pm

Lazarus wrote:
Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:01 pm
The more i read this thread the more I think you all live in more interesting areas than I do .
Don’t bet on it

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K1100T
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Re: Is a single map enough?

Post by K1100T » Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:28 pm

I did a vaguely similar thing to Alpinum. From the pub, 100m from the house, I drew a straight line into the centre of Cambridge. Using that as a radius, I traced a circle around Cambridge, and tried to link up byways and bridleways that were close to the edge. The result was Round Cambridge the Hard Way, which I've ridden, slight variations of, twice. ~162km with ~818m of climbing, got to love the fens...

Image

I keep meaning to write it up. I also keep meaning to plot similar routes around Haverhill, Saffron Walden, Newmarket and maybe even Bury St. Edmunds.
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