Degreasers & Maps

I think that we have a second love – second only to our bikes.  Our maps. 

Anything better than to have put in a good shift, the rain’s still driving it home and your swaddling a steaming cuppa with tingling fingers, and casting your eyes over the two-dimensional domain you’ve just conquered?

I thought so.

I recently purchased, and with the aid of a very kind book token gift from my wife and son, the latest (pictured on the right) OS Explorer ‘Active’ Map 341.  It not only shows my ‘Craig of Todholes’ travail,

which lies between Hardridge Farm and Clyde Muirshiel, but I have stumbled across a previously-hidden ‘Misty Law’ route – loop route optional!

Saturday night. Marking limit reached. Studies temporarily complete. Fine ride the Friday evening before (enjoying Jack Campbell’s second installment of ‘The Lost Fleet’ series). Yes, I love the ‘My Tracks’ app for Android – it’s great for real-time logging and reviewing…but for prospecting?  Returning to the previous domestic image, there’s also the sheer physicality of your palms flattening out and crackling the crisp, taut laminated quilt and greedily scouring for the black follicle-thin dashed lines betraying accessible (and inaccessible) single- and dual-tracked lanes.Previously, I had been using a 2001 and had to really think about re-attaching the bike carrier to the rear of the Golf and setting off: but I have to compromise (as I think we all do) between family and ‘me time’.

It was time to give the machine a clean – the ‘mech’ given priority.  Selfishly, I was affording some time so I let loose using two cans of ‘W5 Chain Cleaner’ degreaser.  As the images will attest, it certainldoes the job.

Sunday morning. Seven ‘Othello’ critical essays marked since 7.20 and already I’m thinking about the evening ride…

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