Christmas Party, Pizzas and… what!?

It was Twisty Ride’s annual Christmas party yesterday, celebrated in “style” at Rossopomodoro. Well, yeah, Italian food is a favorite. Why force yourself to eat those ill conceived “Christmas” mini-nibbles (pork & apricot pinches!?), standing up in your once in a year Tuxedo when you can have a proper meal, splashed with some more than decent wine and spend an unashamedly good time with all your friends? So there we were, enjoying the night when an astute member of the crew pointed at the quote of the day: “Pizza is like sex.” (half of the crowd starting to check their pizzas, the other half already trying to induce self-vomiting). “When it is good, it is really good.” (wave of relief felt throughout). “When it is not good, it is still good.” (silence, then general disagreement with this statement, then silence again as everybody was trying to figure out what horrible things could possibly have happened). Oh, fun we had…

(For illustration purposes only)

(For illustration purposes only)

Is this real?

A group of three bikers approached us recently for a trip to Spain. Their ages total up to more than 160 years so operating the keyboard was already declared a great success and celebrated duly. A number of good questions were raised. Here is the transcript:
 
ABG (Ancient Bikers Gang), speaking of our route planner: “First thing that came to mind: is this real, where is the catch?”.
Totally real, we use our search engine for our own touring trips. The way it works is quite simple actually. Instead of listing the best roads one by one like other websites, we have decided to cut them into small chunks and let an algorithm piece them back together to create a trip that matches your preferences. Each little piece of road is given a note for:

  • Twisties
  • Scenery
Whilst each waypoint / town is given a note for:
  • Good places to stay for food / bed
  • Tourist attractions (the worthwhile ones like UNESCO)

The algorithm then finds the collection of roads and waypoints which maximize those four parameters while at the same time matching your start / end locations (A to B mode) or regions and duration (Touring mode). It’s a little bit more complicated actually as there are a number of rules to prevent going back to the same places too often etc but I won’t bore you with the details.

 Now, nothing is perfect, and if you find a bug do let us know (puncture@twistyride.com). However, it is easy to see that this planner is a lot more user friendly than browsing through large-ish collections of roads and piecing them together by hand. You can also add your own roads at:
 
ABG: “We have about 7 days, possibly stretch it to 8 or 9.”
So 8 minus 2 to go down and 2 to go up that’s 4 days in Spain? Let’s try with this. You can use the two modes of the search engine:
– A to B, where you specify a list of places you want to visit and let Twisty Ride do the rest e.g. journey to Santiago de Compostela
– Touring, where you specify a starting place, duration and region and let Twisty Ride do the rest e.g. 4 days around Madrid
 
However, the main problem here is that 8 days, departing from Milton Keynes, is not really enough for something as far as Spain. We took two weeks last time we did it and went to see Gibraltar. But if I had 8 days, I’d spend them in the Alps anywhere from Geneva to Nice and from Annecy to the Simplon Pass.
 
Do not hesitate to contact us if you are planning to do a trip, we are always happy to help!
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