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[personal profile] shinytoaster
This year I am trying, as much as possible, to cycle to work every day, which saves me £5.80 ($9.30 or thereabouts) a day on Oyster. It's not just for that reason, I really enjoy cycling, it's the only sport I've ever really been able to do well at, and it's really good exercise for my poor sick legs.

Obviously it's still winter so I've been able to do it maybe two or three days a week if lucky. I'm going to try to build that up in the coming months because just to make it fun (and to allow me to play with maps and stats and stuff) I'm riding to the US this year.

On a heading of 288.55 degrees from our front door, it's exactly 3,664.52 miles to L's parents' house in MD. Currently, since January 1st, I've ridden 442.1 miles exactly, or 12.064% of the total distance.

Assuming I'm riding in a dead straight line I headed out of London through Chiswick, Brentford, Southall and West Drayton, passed between Oxford and Abingdon and then on into Wales. I hit the Irish Sea at a place called Aberaeron and hit Ireland near Tinnacree, Co Wexford. I then crossed Ireland and have hit the ocean again in Co Clare, where I miraculously survived a plunge directly off the 214m high "Cliffs of Moher".

I am currently at 53º04'05" N 10º14'47" W, which puts me in the Atlantic, 17.77 miles off the westernmost tip of Inis Mór, one of the Aran Islands (home of Father Ted).

I will next make landfall after 1,889.35 miles of rather boring ocean cycling (that's 2,331.44 miles or 63.621% of the total distance) on Eastern Indian Island, a small island off the coast of Newfoundland, due south of Fogo Island.

There's a small fishing settlement on the island and some villages on Fogo, but the nearest place of any consequence appears to be Gander Airport, 44 miles SSW. St John's is 153 miles away heading SSE (that's 246km, on account of now being in Canada).

The ride will then take me across the central part of Newfoundland, before crossing the Gulf of St Lawrence and hitting Prince Edward Island at Stanhope. From there, I cross the central part of the island and pass across the strait to New Brunswick, going just south of the new road bridge to PEI.

Passing across the isthmus between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, there's then another lengthy period of seaborne cycling, heading down the Bay of Fundy and skirting the coast of Maine, always keeping within sight of land.

I will hit the USA proper at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Essex County, MA. I then skirt several large towns, passing between Lowell, Boston, Framingham and Worcester before crossing into CT just east of I-84. Through CT I skirt the southern suburbs of Hartford and hit NY in Westchester County, where I pass north of White Plains and Yonkers before crossing the Hudson.

The ride continues through NJ and across PA, passing through King of Prussia and the botanical garden at Longwood before crossing the Susquehanna within sight of the I-95 bridge. From here the final stretch is through central Baltimore, crossing the harbour, then down through MD, over the Beltway, through a large and pleasant tract of suburban housing and Sligo Creek to my final destination.

I then got to thinking, what if I was to take a heading in the exact opposite direction and go 3,664.52 miles that way.

This journey takes me through mainland Europe (fine so far) on a line running from the Pas de Calais from a point midway between Calais and Dunkerque, through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria, hitting the Sea of Marmara, which is the name given to a stretch of sea dividing European Turkey from Asian Turkey, about midway between Gallipolli and Istanbul.

I would then cross Turkey and a small section of the Med just off the northern tip of Cyprus. Unfortunately the ride then becomes a bit less appealing. It's a straight shot across the Syrian Desert, passing across the north eastern corner of Jordan. I then do a bit of border hopping, from Jordan to Iraq, back to Jordan, back to Iraq (I spend 1.5 miles total in Iraq) and then across bloody Saudi Arabia, where I will cross the main runway at King Khalid International and through the north eastern suburbs of Riyadh.

This route ends at a random point in the Omani desert, 111 miles short of the Indian Ocean. The nearest identifiable place on Google Earth is called Kubbat an Nasr. It looks like some kind of walled compound. I don't fancy it much.

And this now concludes your geography nerdgasm.
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