By: Blonde Two

I had an interesting maths moment yesterday.  When you write an expedition route card, you have to put your maths head on before you start.  Clearly, when your head is Blonde, this can cause a problem; there is usually only room for one head on each neck.

I was adjusting a route card that had been written for a team walking at 4 kilometres per hour in order to make it suit our 55 Mile team who can walk at twice that speed. We had agreed on 6 kph as a compromise.  This was fine but my poor head that has learnt walking times for 4 kph by rote and used them so many times that they are engrained on my psyche, could not make the massive leap in mathematical calculation.

Those of you who can actually do maths will have already spotted where this is leading; I had no idea at the time and had to dig out a calculator to help me with the sums.  I got approximately half way through the route card before I realised that, at 6 kilometres per hour, the sums were really, really easy.  So easy, in fact, that they were non-sums. I think this is something to do with the relationship between the number of minutes in an hour and the number 6 (I could be wrong).  Anyway, it goes something like this: a distance of 6 kilometres will take you one hour (60 minutes), a distance of 3 kilometres will take you half an hour (30 minutes) and a distance of 4.3454234543 kilometres (our youngsters are very accurate about distance) will take you 43.454234543 minutes.

I asked the 55 Mile team about this phenomenon later and they said that they had worked it out ages ago and always wrote their routes at 6 kph because it was so easy to work the times out.  There is a good reason that I leave much of the route card writing to them these days!