Cambridge to Oxford and Oxford to London

June 24, 2010

These were group trips. On Monday we cycled from Cambridge to Oxford, staying there at the Oxford Backpackers Hostel for a look around Oxford on the Tuesday before returning to Cambridge on the Wednesday. Originally the plan had been to cycle back to Cambridge, reversing Monday’s route but we then had the idea of instead cycling to London and then getting the train back to Cambridge. As this was a group trip the speeds were relatively relaxed.

I estimate that the route to Oxford was 90 miles once deviations for lunch stops etc. were added, and from Oxford to London about 70 miles (I wasn’t able to fully record the routes for exact distances). The route to London goes over a couple of fairly decent hills (Watlington Hill to name one) – not that high but fairly steep – that were great fun for climbing without dropping from third at the front (I typically only use third at the front so saw it as a challenge to do the whole route that way).

Due to the length of both journeys I had some trouble with recording the routes – the first problem was that on the Monday, despite using the extended battery I have for my phone the battery didn’t quite make it to the very end, so recording cut off just as we hit the Oxford ring road. When I realised this had happended I put the normal battery in and attempted to begin recording the rest of the route as a second part, but when I told it to begin recording, it just sat there and did nothing – no error or anything. Fully recording the route wasn’t a priority at the time – finding the hostel and getting some food were higher up on the list. Hence the route from the Oxford ring road to the hostel is not included in the collected data. A similar thing happened on the Wednesday morning when setting off for London – I told My Tracks to record and it just sat there doing nothing. Not wanting to hold the others up I gave up, and tried again when we were outside of Oxford, near Garsington. By this point two possibilities had occured to me – either the length of routes previously recorded was such that there was not enough free memory left for recording (though there was no error to suggest this was the case), or the fact that I had let it run until the battery failed on the Monday had left the My Tracks database in an inconsistent state and there was no code to handle the situation, hence the lack of error. I made sure I’d uploaded Monday’s route to Google and then reinstalled My Tracks, nuking the database in the process. This solved the problem – I was now able to record data again. As on the Monday, the battery ran out just as we got close to Liverpool St Station (we took a wrong turning, going along City Rd the wrong way – had we not done this it would probably have just made it to the station), so again the route is not entirely complete. On putting the normal battery in and attempting to record the remainder of the route, it again failed to – given that there was only the one route in the database at this point (having nuked it earlier that day), I end up concluding that the cause of the problem is that the database ends up in an inconsistent state when My Tracks is run until battery failure.

Route from Cambridge to Oxford:

Route from Oxford to London:

Here is the Google Doc with all the stats: