Saturday, May 9, 2015

Word Problem / Applied Trig

Saturday dawned cloudy and really windy.

Forecast: little chance of rain, decent temperature for riding, but 100% chance of very high winds from the south-west all day.  Right is what the weather report looked like on-line... and below is what that weather report looks like in terms of the real world ;-)

I really wanted to ride some, so I started the day with coffee and something that reads like the word problem from hell on SAT in teenage years:

"Steve is in Breda, and wants to ride to Dordrecht, which is ~25 miles away to the North, following bike paths.  The wind is blowing at 20+ miles per hour from the Southwest, and will continue all day, getting stronger in the afternoon.  The first miles of Steve's planned route would be almost directly into the wind, which would suck. Can Steve change his route to avoid the headwind?  If so, how?  When should he leave Breda?  In what direction?  By what means?  What is his first destination?  Second?  Third?  Keep in mind these factors:  all possible solutions must result in a route for Steve using available public transportation or posted points on the cycle network, Steve must cross the forbidding Hollandsche Diep using the only available bridge, and the use of magic in putting a hex on the wind to stop it is not permitted.  You have 30 seconds to answer.  Show your work."

Well, all of the above applied except the 30 seconds part.  (Thank you to the cosmos that SAT's are behind me...)

Answer was to use the advice Mirjam gave us on the boat:  If the wind is blowing and you want a nice ride, take the train to someplace where the wind will be more at your back.  Obvious, but you have to know just how great the Dutch train system really is to believe it can actually work.

In my case, the answer was:
-- take the 11:21 train to Roosendahl, leaving from track 7
-- transfer in Roosendahl to the 11:51 milk-stop local, leaving from track 3B
-- get off at Zevenberg, a nice little town approximately 20 miles west of Breda
-- ride around more or less aimlessly and hope to find a sign for LF2B bike route, then turn north
-- improvise as needed from that point
-- leave now if you want to catch that 11:21 train!

Test scorers probably wouldn't like that "improvise as needed" part, but it was useful.  I did find the LF2 route in Zevenberg... but the always reliable LF network was blocked for repairs at one section outside Dordrecht and an ad hoc re-calculation of route was needed.  Seemed to work, as I'm here in Dordrecht now!

1 comment:

  1. Go to see the "Delta Werken" visit the "Neeltje Jans" exibit. I am sure you will enjoy this.
    Also stand on top of a Dijk where you will see the roof top on one side and the water surface on the other size above the roof...