Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Motorway Topology
August 30th, 2007

I found this fairly cool map the other day when surfing over at The Serif.


I’d challenge someone to have a go at doing this for somewhere else. Topological maps like these are some of the more difficult cartographic documents to produce. They only provide information specific to their purpose. With the unnecessary detail stripped out, no scale or definition of distance or direction, they maybe no more than reference tools. What works on trains and buses as a navigation aid however, doesn’t necessarily make a good driving aid. This maybe because in general people find it hard to translate the position of places on such maps to their real world positions.

August 24th, 2007

I’ve been playing around with some logos recently, partly because it’s time to order some more stickers, but also just to get to grips with Illustrator a bit more. Here’s the end results so far:

Rothar Square



Here’s a couple of links that have been interesting finds over the last few days. First a series of bike and related videos over at I make death look interesting. Then there’s the techy work that have produced a graphical representation of the Internet. It’s only when you view the original image in full 4,000×4,000 pixel size available as a link at the bottom of the page, that you realise it’s not so beautiful closeup.

The Grass is Always Greener
August 22nd, 2007

I’ve been riding bikes to get places, be it school, college, university or work for a long time. Probably over 20 years now in all weathers, all times of day and night and all over the UK. It’s still great and I love it, even if I do curse under my breath sometimes when it’s cold and wet. In all that time my favourite commute is still the Wymondham to Norwich run.

So many options. Cane it along the old A11 with tri-bars on for extra speed cutting through the early morning air with fields on either side and passing Kett’s Oak or taking a longer more interesting route through Intwood and East Carleton. 10 miles(ish), best time door to door a long 22. It rocked. I miss it (sometimes).

Getting home in 10 minutes is ace.

What Happened to Summer?
August 20th, 2007

I rode to work today in a long sleeve merino base layer and a fleece gillet. As I rode home this evening under lead grey skies threatening rain, I wished I had three quarter length shorts. Did summer pass us by? As Bomb the Bass once wrote, this year’s been like Winter in July

Google Maps API
August 19th, 2007

I’ve been wanting to get to grips with the Google Maps application for sometime because the geographer in me recognises it not only as a useful tool, but a spatial data godsend. I’ve been using Google Earth for sometime, but Google Maps lets you do some cool stuff. After trying a few different plugins that utilise the Google Maps API, I’ve decided to use Avi Alkalays version to develop the Singletrack Magarchive website.

I’ve long recognised that my previous method of illustrating the various locations of Singletrack’s route guides had limitations. The largest being the poor spatial resolution a fairly big marker on a smallish map had. Google Maps gets around that with its use of scalable vector data and geocoded tags. Better still each of the marker point tags can be customised to include images and hyper links.

This means that every time you click on one of the markers in the new route guide section you get the details of the route and a link to the magazine page in the archive. I’ve added in the Singletrack Office location too. I’m hoping that this new approach will also solve the second concern I had – In places like Calderdale and the Peak and Lake Districts, some of the points were so close together that they were quite off the mark. I’m pleased with the end result and will be applying this to some websites at work.

There’s a few things I’d like to be able to tweak, least not being able to number each of the marker points rather than just have a black dot in them. I’ll have to get to grips with the Mapplets documentation first, but I think it’s do-able. Here’s a quick demo:

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