Cycling goals for 2016 with added Veloviewer explorer tiles.

Setting some cycling goals last year worked well. Ride every day, 10,000 miles and the Audax UK Super Randonneur Award. Each complimented and fed into the other. They were all beyond my proven abilities when I set them. People who had done any of these things were in my mind pretty special. Having done these things myself now I would rebuff any suggestion that there is anything special about me. That’s not to discount the achievement but rather more to do with understanding what went into getting there. Lots of small decisions and committing to seeing them through. Pretty mundane for the most part. A lesson in life I suppose.

And so to 2016. A bit later than tradition prescribes to set intentions for the year but that is what this post is about. I’ve kept on with the ride every day. I’ve signed up for enough rides to get in another Super Randonneur Award. It seems possible that I’ll do another 10,000 miles this year. I’m repeating last year simply because I enjoyed and got so much from putting in the miles. Not that inspiring though.

The obvious thing would be to build on what has gone before. 15,000 miles, some other Audax UK award… ride twice every day? I’m not really motivated by that idea and not sure I’d make the time. Quite fancy chalking up as many of the climbs listed in Simon Warrens two books as I can in the year. Made a start doing so this month and will continue with it. Good as that may sound it did not fill me with the same buzz I had when thinking about the months ahead this time last year. Yesterday I came across something that did.

Veloviewer explorer tiles. I’ve used Veloviewer for a couple of years or so. Last year I noticed an explorer score (raw data) on the summary page. Given that 2015 was all about the miles I paid it no mind and didn’t have much of an idea what it represented. Yesterday I noticed my score (raw data) was 8208 tiles, average of 3.785 mi per tile, Max square 9×9. This peaked my interest to find out more. I’m pleased I did. The next hour or two was lost looking at maps, areas covered and what I might be able to do in 2016.

All time coverage. The blue squares indicate the max

All time coverage. The blue squares indicate the max square areas to date.

2015 kent explorer tiles

2015 coverage

20160123 explorer tiles

2016 so far

Karl Anderson has done a good job of explaining / illustrating what explorer tiles are all about in this post. Thank you Karl. It helped me understand and means I won’t have to bother trying to explain it myself. So my new goal for this year? Fill Kent with green tiles and get as big a Max square as I possibly can. It’s gonna’ be an interesting year.

all time rides on Strava just for shits and giggles.

all time rides on Strava just for shits and giggles.


  1. Thanks for the mention, Monaxle! Nice maps, especially over the channel. 🙂 And what’s your biggest square, nine? I got obsessed with filling the biggest square possible, and by the time I was at 20 x 20 (where I still am) Ben saw it and made that too a Veloviewer feature, which was really cool – what if real companies ever responded like that on customer interest! I think I’ll focus on something else in my biking in 2016 though, got fed up with all the offroad stuff across fields etc just to fill a missing green tile.

    • Cheers Karl! I’ve already been thinking about the hard to get places. There’s a few places where a fat bike may be the only option. I’ll settle for as many as I can get. 20×20 is great. You’ve given me something to chase there…

  2. Pingback: Explorer square links | ExplorerSquare

  3. How do you make the tiles green???? Ha! So true about being born of the computer age and wanting to turn all the tiles green Karl. This could become a serious mission…

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