30-Day Map Challenge #5: An Old Paper Mountain Biking Map (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Sun, 05 Nov 2023

30-Day Map Challenge #5: An Old Paper Mountain Biking Map

Day 5 of the 30-Day Map Challenge is an analog map.

That got me searching back through old scans, and I found a couple good ones. In particular, some of my old El Corte de Madera maps. [Scan of an old hand-drawn map of El Corte de Madera OSP]

El Corte de Madera Open Space Preserve is one of the open space parks in the Bay Area, above Woodside, CA. It's beautiful, dense redwood forest on a steep hillside. When I lived (and biked) there in the 1990s, ECdM (as it was abbreviated) was particularly popular with mountain bikers for its highly technical trails.

Unfortunately, not everybody agreed about those trails. The Mid-Peninsula Open Space District (MROSD), which administers them, had a policy that there should never be more than one trail going to any particular place, and it also had guidelines for trails that would have eliminated most of the technical ones. The official maps mostly showed the fire roads, which were especially steep, not at all technical, and generally not very interesting for biking.

But there were a lot of good trails at ECdM that weren't on the official MROSD maps. The property had once been used for logging, then for a while it was owned by a motorcycle (dirt bike) club, so there are all sorts of unofficial trails.

Mountain bikers passed around many-times-photocopied unofficial maps, some dating back to the motorcycle club days. One of my treasures in those days was a much-annotated map, marked up with ink of many colors, carried so much in my bike bag that it was coming apart at the folds. Of course, the hand-drawn trails are all approximate: none of us carried any sort of GPS then, and the GPS of the day probably wouldn't have gotten a signal in the deep redwood forests anyway.

In 2013 as we were preparing to move to New Mexico, I tried to find and scan old documents that were prone to getting lost during a move. I found a couple of old ECdM maps, though I'm not sure I found my main one; I remember it being more colorful than this one. Still, this one has a lot of my annotations, so I scanned it in case I lost the paper copy. Looking at it now brings back a rush memories of mountain biking adventures. And the map seems perfect for the 30-Day Map Challenge Day 5: Analog Maps.

Day 4: A Bad Map

By the way, although I didn't do any new work for challenge Day 4: A Bad Map, I wrote an article this past September wherein I go through several quite bad iterations of a choropleth map (regions shaded according to a particular variable — in this case a red-blue voting map) before figuring out how to get the colors right: Los Alamos Voting Data on a Folium Choropleth Map.

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[ 15:23 Nov 05, 2023    More mapping | permalink to this entry | ]

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