One of those end of year things

2018 rides Heatmap – UK – lots of wales and no rain, wow! The Northern part is the Mille Pennines

It could well be a boring “I did this” and that and it was great kinda thing, OK yes it will be, I’m sure the meager numbers who come here might be interested in cycling adventures. But it could also be a new refreshing start as I start my first full year as a hashtag cycletramp. (sorry kids for writing that in full)

9 months ago I quit work, just upped and left, yes they went nuts and thought I was indeed nuts but I needed freedom to cycle more without juggling holidays with co-workers; enjoying life before my brain turns to strawberry jam and refuses to connect the right bits together was also right up there, having an income was very low on the list. Nine months in and I’m not starving and the pile of old tyres and chains are still keeping me moving, and I’m loving sleeping in, life is good.

I love exploring, visiting new places has fallen in nicely with new ultra events cropping up in Europe, which is the area limitation as flights are off the agenda now. Shame the New Zealand dream adventure is off the list now I’m time rich enough to do it justice. Watch out for the 2019 plans in a future blog.

Exploring the UK ties in nicely with the Veloviewer Explorer tile challenges and keeps the wheels turning during the cold months when I could so easily hibernate now. Rides now make full use of the travelling luggage to carry a flask of coffee and ample food with me, days out embrace fully the mantra of outside is free. An added bonus of being time rich is that there is little need to ride in the rain too.

My exploring Box has now expanded to a healthy 60 x 60 tiles; I’m chuffed with the increase from last years 40 x 40 and a place in the top 10 and 3rd in the UK list. it could go to 62 in the spring but any further increase is going to be hard won unless I give up summer chasing it.

Explorer square all time top 10

The big one, I like to call it the Explorer rate, is the total tiles visited on the planet; the inspiration for big new rides.  36,409 which is up from last years 28.181 and has moved me from 3rd to top spot wahoo.

A new fun target is to improve what many others use as their priority, the cluster score. That is squares that have all four adjacent squares visited.  Despite almost doubling mine from last years 2,286 I have only moved up 2 positions to 16th.

Blue cluster and Outline is the current 60 x 60 square of tiles

The cluster is shown in blue and with a bit of effort and lots of mud has reached the wash, so my new idea is to expand that to be coast to coast, heading out to the Severn bridge area. It could be fun to try and expand into Wales, but that would be an epic task. This needs at least a band of tiles 3 wide so the central one is the cluster. As a cycletramp nights away in accommodation is out of the budget, as are trains, so this will have to wait for warmer climes. Any new tiles involve an 80 mile round trip before even expanding outside the cluster.

oh look it did get boring in the end after all 😉

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