I am a nerdish type who likes riding my bike. Things like Strava and its spin-off VeloViewer are perfect for me. Spend all morning riding a bike and then all afternoon looking how far I went, how slowly, had I been there before, how many feet I did climb before my heart rate hit 180bpm etc etc.
I also one of those “ticker” or “collector” types who can’t help but make lists of things to complete and then try to complete them (I blame my Dad who climbed all of the “Wainwrights” in the Lake District and charted his progress for years on the kitchen wall).
When Ben Lowe of Veloviewer introduced the “max explorer” square to Veloviewer, I knew I had found my “Wainwrights”. Whenever I upload a ride to Strava, Veloviewer detects whether I have been in any new Google maps squares and paints them green in the “activities” window. And if I have been to all the squares that make up a big square of squares, it surrounds that square in blue. The size of that big blue square is my max explorer square. As I write, mine is 26×26:
To really fuel my dorkish listish tickish desire, Ben also puts together a global leaderboard of the squares with the biggest blue squares. At the time of writing I’m sixth, stranded behind four Belgians and an American. This blog tracks all the muddy fields and dead end roads I’ve cycled up to try to beat the four Belgians and an American.