It’s worryingly difficult to find a cyclists map to a reasonable scale, which was prepared in the last decade or so, and most importantly has some connection with actual geographical features. I’ve given up on finding all these on one map now, and carry at least three around with me whenever I venture far afield.

The first of these was bought soon after we moved in. It’s to a scale of 1:100 000 and boasts certain ‘special features’ such as trip destinations, places to eat, and recreational tips. Unfortunately accuracy isn’t its strong point. Several local cycle lanes are simply not there. Come to that, some minor roads and one entire town have disappeared as well. Our local government sells a much larger scale map (1:250 000) which may not show where to get lunch, but at least it shows all the local cycle ways. In fact it goes a step further and shows cycleways that aren’t there: I don’t mean lanes turn out to be unsurfaced tracks, more that they are a field: what the map (and some council members) insist is a cycleway turns out to be open land with the faint traces of a tractor crossing the grass.

Finally after some searching I’ve found the 1:500 000 Cycling and walking maps from the State Mapping Ministry, which seem to be reasonably accurate and show useful things like contour lines. They aren’t perfect, but at least they seem to actually show what is there, which is an improvement.

All this is a long way to say that I’m hoping to make a few longer-distance tours before the winter comes, so on the basis that the State Mapping Ministry seems to know what’s happening geographically rather better than anyone else, I’ve ordered a couple of their maps before venturing into the unknown. However, I’ll be carrying the others just in case, as well as a few emergency supplies.

If you don’t hear from me for a bit, don’t worry: I’m just lost.

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