Archive for November, 2011


November 27, 2011

So – Neil Bryant has not beaten Martin Beale’s and Martin Indge’s record, inspite of having the stamina to do so as a Lands End to John o’Groats winner. The difference is in the navigational skills; but it also has something to do with the defects of strip maps. When I mooted doing strip maps in the manner of the Round Rotherham Race, Martin said that were more comforting than reliable. What he did when doing the Round Rotherham Race was to use the strip maps to work out the course on a standard OS map and then use that. By going through this process before the race, he could visualise the course in detail and more or less knew it by heart before he started. In this way he was able to out-navigate those who relied on the strip maps alone. The main problem with strip maps or any set of linear instructions is that once you get off track it is very difficult to get back on track as Neil discovered. (See The time spent finding yourself is compounded by the way that uncertainty slows you down.

The first tranche of Woodwoses were all experienced mountain navigators, which means they had a lot of practice under their belts before they set out. Those of us without that experience probably need to reccie the route in stages or else do a lot of work with maps and satellite pictures beforehand. The alternative is to find a Woodwose or two to show you round.

A New Woodwose?

November 26, 2011

Neil Bryant is on his way. I went to the Green Man at 6-30 to see him off. At first there was no sign, but after a couple of minutes I saw a light coming up the hill out of the deer park. It was Neil Bryant who had jogged over from Totterdown to the start (45 minutes!) He is certainly a Woodwose in spirit – to beat the record he will need to get in around 1-30pm – I reckon he will do it if he doesn’t get lost!