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We’ve all done it, or at least if you’re reading this, then I’m going to assume you probably have. Maps strewn across the floor, you on your hands and knees trying to align the grid squares from three different sheets while preventing the dog / cat / child from bounding all over them. You curse yourself for your over enthusiastic use of highlighters and vow to buy the erasable ones next time you’re in Smiths. Two seemingly perfect trails refuse to join, no bridleway between them, not even a cheeky path, in isolation they’re useless, together they’d be ideal.

You’ve marked down your intended overnight spot and the location for the following mornings breakfast. You need to maintain an average of 10 kph if an evening meal in the pub is to be obtained and the “cheese and onion or ready salted?” alternative avoided. The route profile has become ingrained in your mind, every up and down forever a part of your subconscious.

Hours have been spent on the world wide web trying to glean every drop of information about your intended passage. Someone, somewhere mentioned a boggy bit, maybe best to re-route? Google Earth takes pride of place on your computer, a shining beacon helping illuminate the dark unknown. Your route’s nearly complete, every turn a pixel on a gps screen, each shop, pub and cafe a pin on a digital board … you’re ready!

30 seconds earlier we didn’t know this splendid bridleway existed.


PPPPPP

Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance is an adage worthy of consideration in many instances. It would certainly be the case if you were racing, building a house or attempting an armed raid on a jewellers … but chances are, you’re not doing those things. It’s much more likely that you’re simply looking to escape your usual routine for a day or two, see things you’ve not seen before and dare I say … enjoy a bit of adventure.

What do you think it is? Don’t know … maybe a hedgehog?


OPRA

If your goal appears similar to that stated above, then I think, ‘Over Planning Removes Adventure’ would be a more apt motto than the six P’s. You probably already have enough deadlines and responsibilities in your life, each hour of each day mapped out, every hour accounted for. A list of times, people and places, all part of ‘the schedule’ and each a single piece in the jigsaw that makes up day to day life … do you really want to take all that with you? Would it not be better to travel with a low resolution outline and let mood, fate and circumstance colour it in? It’s not knowing that keeps us riding, what’s over the next hill? Where will I be tonight? Will they have any salt and vinegar? Carrying these and questions like them, rather than an elaborate, detailed itinerary is what leads to adventure … give it a go, I can’t see there’s anything to lose but much to be gained.


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