Bicycle 19:53  3.6 mi (5:31 / mi) +37m 5:21 / mi
Off to orienteer in Medford. Went mostly the same way as last week except went straight over the hill and then on the narrow sidewalk along the Fellsway. Again, it's a good thing we have three lanes for cars along there. We wouldn't want a bicycle facility. Lots of hills for my bike that rarely shifts between front rings. Need to fix that at some point.
Orienteering race 26:08  3.0 mi (8:43 / mi) +10m 8:37 / mi
So. Orienteering. I wanted to go fast and not get lost, but the map. Oh, the map.
I did fine to 11, where I though the clue sheet with the X and T meant "at the top of the feature" so I started running up the stairs before I saw the control below. But it would have been fun to have it at the top! Then 12. I decided to go through the white woods to the stream, and then follow the stream. A few issues:
* The green woods the stream goes through are really reedy undergrowth or impassable swamp, and there should be a contour there or at least a form line.
* There's a discernible—especially given 1m contours—dropoff/curve to the hill to the northeast of the inlet, but it is not mapped. Makes it harder to reorient when you're in there.
* There's a noticeable hill at the control. At least a dot hill, but standing there it is at least 1m high, probably higher.
* The control is not really near the stream, despite that being on the clue sheet. More at the base of an unmapped hill. Not sure what the symbol is for that.
Obviously the best attack is to run in the trail and look for the control. But if you're trying to use the map, and the map lacks pretty much any information you need, it's frustrating. As much as I'm not great at orienteering, part of the fun is spiking difficult controls by properly following the land. When the map and the land don't match, it's less fun. And when the boring attack—run in the trail and look around—is the best, it takes the fun out of it.
Ran to 13 and then along the trail to 14, looking for the depression's southeast end. (Also, it didn't help I had a poorly printed map.) But the depression went on. There was no discernible end. I ran too far, turned back, and just started looking in to the woods. There was the control, on a bank on the side of the trail, but not matching the feature at all. Well, okay then. Ran to 15, back along the trail and saw someone else overrun 14. Great.
Then sprinted back to the finish and had a cupcake and complained about the map. I guess it's a park-o, but after last week at the Fells on a WRE-level map, this is a step down.
Bicycle 23:20  4.3 mi (5:26 / mi) +35m 5:18 / mi
So I biked home. Over the hills, slightly lost around Ten Hills but I came down one of the roads with a great view of the Mystic—and 93. Then orienteered my way through Somerville, past Demoulas, and on to the Beacon Rattler. There were some cars going slowly because there was a guy with a walker on the other side of the street—facing oncoming traffic, walking down the middle of the traffic lane. I figured he might be memory impaired and I went to assist him (much easier to do on a bike than a car—another win for bikes after yesterday's passing of a $300,000 McLaren on a $300 MTB) and he said "I see the bus and I don't want to miss it.
I assured him I'd hold the bus and he moved to the sidewalk. I went up to the tombstone and waited for the bus, which got there about when he did, and made sure it stopped for him. Great to see independent old folks like this; it would be nice if we funded transit enough so that the buses they depend on come more than once every 45 minutes.
Then I patted myself on the back, rode home, and found $5.