Across Continents

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Measuring the miles

January 30th, 2011

16,028 kilometres – 9959 miles

Distance cycled. So far. My own, reasoned, estimate had been about 10,000 miles. But now I’d got a much more accurate figure from all the GPS fixes I’d collected over the past five hundred or so days.

You’d think there’d be some nifty software to calculate the distances between fixes. But no. Not that I’ve been able to find. Rather, you must devise your own. Or ask your webmaster to help.

Enough statistics. Early morning here in Cairns. Might have to go and do a couple of loops of Cairns. Bag another 41 miles. Hit the magic 10,000.

[With especial thanks to James the webmaster for devising the software to calculate the distance ridden]

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Scones, sandwiches and degrees of separation

December 13th, 2010

South of the Nanchang’s centre the marshals faded away and the bicycles drifted back onto the highway. Chaos resumed. Order restored. Soon reaching what I thought to be Fengcheng, my intended night’s stop. Far earlier than anticipated. A few hours of daylight remaining. Opportunity to gain a few more miles south. To the provincial town of Zhangshu.

Except everyone I spoke to, showed the map to, assured me I was there already. Confusing. People’s concept of distance unreliable beyond their immediate neighbourhood. But you’d think they knew where they lived. Eight different passers-by. Luckiest of numbers in China. Open questions. Same result.

Amidst the confusion, certainty. Of sorts. Between the towns about a quarter of a degree of longitude. Doesn’t sound much but it equates to about twenty miles. Placed my trust in my GPS receiver. Knew where I was on my map with sufficient accuracy to assure myself this definitely wasn’t Zhangshu. Onwards then. Besides, I was buoyed up. Fresh sandwiches. Proper ones. Tuna. And fruit scones. Little shop in Nanchang.

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