You’re probably wondering how this is going to end.
A few days ago I found something on the Internet that intrigued me. It was on a site called Bikely.com. The site is a route bank for cyclists; you can register and upload your route for others to benefit from. Presumably most people are able to do this quite quickly if they carry a GPS device. ‘Thunderthighs‘ is a prolific uploader of routes, far more than he could have ever cycled himself (although if this is the case, I apologise to him). Not sure why I assume he is indeed a he. Thunderthighs implies, if anything, a female, no? Anyway, let’s assume that he is a he.
Have a look at the route below; does it look familiar? Well it should as it is the route that I cycled in the first couple of weeks of my trip along the Eurovelo 5 in summer 2010 and upon which the book, Good Vibrations is based. One thing that I regretted not doing when I cycled from Reading to Brindisi was to keep an accurate track of my route. It would not have been a difficult job. I did, of course, have the SPOT tracker strapped to the back of Reggie which recorded my position every 10 minutes and which beamed my position to a website, but it never showed the twists and turns of my route. When I arrived in Strasbourg, I made a point of storing the route that had been created – you can still see it here – but once I headed south along the Rhine, I never found the time to record the route before it disappeared from the server. It’s not the most accurate of route maps however; it’s a very angular path as it joins the dots of the 10-minute signal emitted from the SPOT tracker.
The map above however is much more accurate. I can only assume that Thunderthighs has gone through my book and made a point of noting all the places through which I cycled & where I stayed overnight. If you hover over Luxembourg on the first map (the route to Strasbourg is split into two with Luxembourg being at the end of the first route and the start of the second), the bubble that appears tells you that I stopped in Place Guillaume II. The second route tells you that I started from the 4th floor of the Hotel Parc! Perhaps the word ‘accurate’ is not the best one to use; there are points where I remember taking a slightly different road from the route produced by Thunderthighs but that is by no means a criticism of what he has done. It is wonderful! Whoever you are, Thunderthighs, you have done me a great favour as I can now direct people in the direction of Bikely.com when, as they often do, they ask for my detailed route. I am genuinely impressed. Let’s hope that he also takes the time to map the route from Strasbourg all the way to Brindisi; I’ll keep you posted about whether he does. The links to the two routes that he has done are as follows;