I've been planning a Grand Tour of... Norfolk. It's something that I've been doing annually for the past decade. Have bicycle, have parental caravan, will travel.
I've pretty much exhausted all routes (known to me...) over the past few years. The mass BONKAGE that was the ride to Burnham Market that went wrong last summer caused a re-think.
How tricky is it to organise some half-decent cycling routes around a county that isn't exactly Petrol Head Central?
With a little bit of modern interweb planning, it's been much easier this time.
I'm probably teaching all the Garmin Grandma's how to suck cycling eggs, but WOH! The little grey handlebar device is proving to be revolutionary for me.
I've blogged before about the ease of using a Garmin Dakota to knab rides off other riders. But what if the badlands of Norfolk aren't exactly oozing with GPX files to lift?
A bit of cartography DIY action has set me up for the Tour de Norfolk 2014.
I chuffing LOVE maps, almost with the same passion that I LOVE cycling. bikehike.co.uk has been brilliant for me.
It let's you release your inner-cartography creativity by drawing a wiggly line all over a Google map. You then export the file as a GPX, whack it over to your Garmin and then overdose on gel bars ahead of a day of navigated cycling.
That's the theory, anyway. Come back at the weekend to see just how lost one man and his Garmin dreams can become.
I've planned three stages for Le Tour: an opening 125km Hunstanton hop, a mid-stage 42km rest ride going round and round, and then a 76km climb (in Norfolk...) out to somewhere I'm not really sure of.
All I need to do is sit back in the saddle, pedal and watch the Garmin grey arrow guide me around North Norfolk.
If you want to share any of these routes (and others) then let me know. I've got a Dropbox folder shared with other riders which is regularly being updated with all of our GPX gubbins.
So yeah, the Garmin Dakota - a self-facilitating cycling node.
I give it 10km before I get lost.