Cycling the Solar System

Not often in my life, never actually, have I had people proclaim, “COOL!” just at the sight of me but when I go cycling on the bakfiets, it happens all the time. Ok, so they’re referring to the bike rather than to me but I’m not going to let the facts get in the way of a bit of an ego-boost.

Today we cycled to the solar system, a model built to scale of our own solar system.  The scale is 575 872 239 to 1 so for every 100m of bike path, we travel 57 million kilometres in space. Even the planets are built to scale which made it easy for the kids to see the hugeness of the sun compared to Mercury. Here’s the sun:

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The tiny speck at the top of the stand is Mercury:

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Earth plus moon:

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The whole solar system is over 10km in length and we only made it as far as Jupiter as it was a fair ride from York just to get to the sun. There was also a delightful organic nursery at Jupiter where we stopped for ice-blocks.

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More pics from our ride:

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The following stretch of path runs straight through the Knavesmire racetrack. In order to stop cyclists from digging up the track, they’ve put down a very strange surface that is quite hard to pedal on.  Riding on it feels like cycling in a dream where you pedal as hard and as fast as you can without actually getting anywhere.

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I just love being out on the bike and I’m sure it’s very good for me.  I can already feel the new strength in my legs. I’ve always thought it a waste of time and money to go to the gym for exercise when exercise can be had for free if only town planners would cater for pedestrians and cyclists. They do a pretty good job of it in York. There’s not even a shopping centre here which I think is fantastic.

One thought on “Cycling the Solar System

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