Bike exploring: Help for Heroes
OS GetOutside Champion, Helen Pollard, takes us on a great Mountain Bike (MTB) route used as part of the delivery of MTB leadership training to Phoenix House staff in collaboration with Cycling UK.
Why not have some daily GetOutside fun and create your own map art? GetOutside Champion duo TwoBlondes show us how.
For many of us, with the end date of UK lockdown still not clear, our daily local exercise has become an important way of relieving the physical and mental stresses of family and work life.
If your daily walk, run or cycle is starting to lose its interest factor and you feel like you’ve explored all of your local green spaces, how about enjoying yourself with a bit of creative map route art.
As an outdoor writer I’ve recently been restricted in my research possibilities but have enjoyed the creative side of local exploration. I
’m one half of GetOutside Champion duo Two Blondes Walking and Lucy and I are used to regularly walking together as well as teaching navigation and wild camping skills.
We miss doing that but have been having lots of virtual fun in separate towns setting each other indoor/outdoor challenges and getting creative with OS Maps.
Neither Lucy nor I are particularly artistic but we are both creative in the ideas department, which is why I probably found myself walking/drawing a picture of the Covid-19 virus for my first route art attempt. I discovered two things straight away:
Lucy and I quickly progressed to writing each other route art messages and had fun, first with our Two Blondes initials (B1 and B2), and then with a whole message for all of you.
We split up the letter walking/writing, used some letters twice and made a few mistakes along the way (for example, look closely and you will notice a reversed N).
Creating route art is great fun as well as being good for you, and the great news is you can do it on a run or cycle as well as a walk. It doesn’t matter how far your daily exercise takes you, you can draw pictures over any distance. There are plenty of impressive examples online but we recommend keeping things simple to start with.
Ordnance Survey has created a great ‘Quick Start’ guide to using OS Maps but the very best way to improve your route art is to have a go. Why not try tracing your daily exercise today; you will also be able to find out how far you’ve walked and how many metres of hill you’ve climbed.
Once you get going with map route art, you might find it hard to stop. Don’t forget to share your images with us all on social media using #GetOutside #OSMaps and tagging OS on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Fi Darby is a freelance copywriter and blogger and the co-author of the successful outdoor blog Two Blondes Walking. Fi now runs her own blogging and copywriting business Fi Darby Freelance and works with some great clients from all over the world (including Australia and Argentina).