I am really enjoying mapping out and riding routes to cover Kent and by close association a large swathe of London with Veloviewer Explorer Tiles. For the uninitiated everything you might want to know about Explorer Tiles can be found here. I have also written a bit about them on this blog before here, here and here.
What’s the motivation? Satisfaction from having some added purpose to my rides, the pleasure of riding in places I’ve not been before, and incremental gains in fitness from riding more regularly for longer distances. Riding fast has never been my thing but riding lots and exploring places on my bike always has. This endeavour really resonates with what motivated me to get about on a bike all those years ago as a little kid and has remained with me all my life. It’s great! I love it!
The tiles which I can grab by riding from home are by default getting further and further away. There are still a few localish ones on Sheppey that need bagging. The ride to get those will involve a lot of off-road trails along muddy tracks. I’ll be taking the plus bike to get those. That will make it more slow going than usual. The out and back to the island from Medway means I’ve not yet been able to get the time to nab them so far. Still now it seems like spring has finally decided to join us and with daylight hours stretching out again all the signs are good for April.
The map above shows the explorer tiles around Kent and London I have covered to date. The purples signify contiguous coverage. The square outline denotes the largest square of contiguous coverage. The plain tiles are places I have yet to go on my bike.
For another perspective the satellite image below shows Kent county lines. The red squares represent explorer tiles to be bagged.
As with all things an element of competitiveness can be found by comparing the largest cluster / largest square. When I started writing this post I had a total of 11475 tiles (many more are outside the area shown on the map), have cycled an average of 4.115 mi per tile; my max square is 22 x 22 and max cluster is 1271. That places me within the 98th percentile of those ranked. Pretty decent but nowhere near the front-runners. Still to mix a couple of my favourite quotes: Comparison is thief of joy (Theodore Roosevelt); Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today (Jordan B Peterson). On that note my current max square is 24 x 24 🙂