The Routemaster

You might have noticed that there’s one page of this website that’s always bang up to date.

This is because, almost every evening, I sit in my tent, laboriously sign in to gmail via my Kindle (yes, it does internet, but this is 1995-style internet, with each page taking five minutes to load) and send a long list of towns and villages to my father, at his request. I was a bit perplexed as to why he wanted such an unnecessarily detailed account of my journey. He hasn’t actually been to any of these places, so they’re really just names on a map. I wondered briefly if he had set up some approximation of Churchill’s war rooms in his study, with a massive map spread out on a table, on which he’d move around little counters to signify my position in relation to enemy forces, 1:5 climbs, warm meals and rainclouds – which is exactly the kind of thing he’d do.

It turns out he’s gone even further than that. He has a spreadsheet, which he updates daily (or whenever his errant offspring bothers to get in touch), with my location, route, mileage and average speed. This means he’s far more on top of my progress than I am. He regularly informs me of how many miles I’ve covered so far, and gives me estimates, based on his calculations of my average speed, of how long it will take me to get to Istanbul, Sulemaniye, and other major milestones.

So it made sense to put him in charge of my route page, a task he’s sunk his teeth into with a great deal of relish. Go and have a look. It will usually give you a report of my current whereabouts, a brief description of how I got there and my current mileage (an estimate way below the actual total, because it doesn’t take into account the hours I spend riding around in circles when I get lost trying to find my way out of a city) and an idea of where I plan to head next. He’s even working on a complete map of the journey so far.

Go and have a look – and I’m sure he’d be delighted with any comments, suggestions or feedback!

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