Day Sixty Three: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

When Christopher Columbus set off on his travels he did so thinking the earth was a lot smaller than it is. A lot smaller.  He based his calculations on those of a chap called Marinus of Tyre. Who, despite being the founder of mathematical geometry was incorrect in putting the landmass of the earth at 225 degrees, leaving only 135 degrees left for water. To make matters worse, Columbus also believed that one degree represented a shorter distance on the earth’s surface than was actually the case. To top it all off, he read maps as if the distances were calculated in Italian miles (1,238 meters) thereby accepting the length of a degree to be 56⅔ miles.  He did this because he based his calculations on the writings of an eighth century astronomer called Alfraganus.  What he did not realize is that Alfraganus was also using the much longer Arabic mile (about 1,830m).

Christopher had therefore packed enough underwear, bread and water to travel 25,255 kilometres at most to circumnavigate the globe and believed the distance from the Canary Islands to Japan was 3,000 Italian miles or 3,700 km. The true circumference of the Earth is about 40,000 km and the distance from the Canary Islands to Japan is 19,600 km.  Clearly then poor old Christopher was in for a bit of a surprise. He would no doubt run out of fresh underwear along with water and food.  His little jaunt across the water was going to turn out to be something of an epic trip.

I was using the rather more up to date mapping tool provided by Google to work out my off road mountain bike route.  It rather cleverly provided me with satellite images of the land, a map showing roads names and, if I so desired, photos taken by people who had travelled to the same area before me.

It was a beautiful ride.  One of those rides that stays with you for a while.  I was riding on new trails, in search of technical descents and flowing tracks through the scrub land.  Dodging between huge out crops of cactus, traversing rocky sections and negotiating a narrow sliver of single-track that wound its way high up along the ridge line, I was for a moment, an explorer.

As I climbed higher the wind picked up, the clouds rolled in and it began to rain.  I stopped to shoot some video before making a quick retreat, picking an exciting trail off the top of the mountain, heading lower for warmer weather and tree cover.

I leave you with a few videos that I shot on my travels.  In the meantime I will set about getting hold of a map that shows relief upon it.  It is the missing piece of data I need to calculate my ride times and ensure that I do not set off on a quick jaunt that ends up being an epic voyage of discovery.


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