Bored of Local Trails? Plan a Route on Mars!

by
February 25, 2016

If you’ve done any bikepacking or long rides on natural trails in the UK, you’re probably a bit geeky about OS maps. Ordnance Survey have mapped The Red Planet. The image below is a tiny excerpt, and you can see the full map on Flickr, read an interview with the designer here, or register your interest in buying a physical copy. As the designer points out though, he normally has to take gloves off to unfold an OS map, which might be a problem in an average atmospheric pressure of just 1/166th that of Earth.

 

Pros:
Peace and quiet.
Lower risk of injury in 0.38G gravity well.
Potentially: lower wear on some components.
Massive air.

Cons:
No actual air.
Riding in a space suit.
You’ll probably have to change the number of spacers in your shock.
Planning with 1:4,000,000 scale mapping will be challenging.
Quite a long way to A&E.
Strava not yet implemented for other planets.
No one yet knows which tyres are best for Mars.
Travel time of several years (or possibly just several months if that freaky EMDrive technology pans out).
A minimum of around US$5000 per kilogram shoved into orbit, which means working off some of those pies could save you a fortune, and you probably won’t be packing a downhill bike.

We’re probably best off leaving it to Matt Damon for now. Don’t expect a feature anytime soon, but if mountain biking really is the new golf…

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