I wonder if my daughter and son-in-law and their fellow metrologists at the NPL in London, know this: if you click on the measurement tool for Google Earth, it can not only show you a distance between two points on the surface of our planet in conventional units like kilometres and miles, but can also give the answer in more unusual units (rods, poles, perches, furlongs), in ancient units, such as cubits, or in humorous units, such as attoparsecs and Smoots.
We came across this entertaining distraction while my husband was looking up his cycling distance to work, last night. The long, straight section of Ottawa's Greenbelt Trail that passes the Nepean National Equestrian Park, for example, is 20 American football fields in length. What fun.
Anyhow Chris has done the long ride (for the first time) this morning. It took him an hour and 10 minutes and he reports that his legs are feeling the distance.
I love all kinds of maps. Last night, at a friends' house, we also had the chance to study navigation charts for the lakes on the Rideau River system, and I've been packing my old maps and relevant Stadtpläne from Germany and Switzerland to take on our imminent travels so that we'll be able to see where we are. We decided not to book seats on the Köln-Bern flight after all. We now have tickets to go by train instead, which will take us for a half-day ride, mostly up the valley of the Rhine.