Monday, August 22, 2011

Tip of the day – road signs

A cyclist naturally appreciates road signs, giving confirmation that she still is on the right track. Yet here we once again encountered a Russian oddity: where you would have expected or wished for signs no were to be seen. And where you kind of knew where you were (straight road – no intersections to be seen) there was an array of signs every five kilometers.

And in addition to this, the numbers indicating distance seemed to be either completely arbitrary or just plain wrong.

A classic example of this was spotted on our last day in the Murmansk region – on one side of the road there was a sign telling us that the distance to Kirkenes was 43 kilometers, on the other side the same distance measured 32 kilometers.

Also, the policy of to which point distances were given varied greatly. This was mainly an issue when moving closer to bigger towns. Sometimes the distance was given to the edge of the town, at other times to the center. And here a ten kilometer-plus difference could be found. Not a remarkable difference, but one that truly matters to a tired cyclist.

So enjoy the signs, for what they are worth, but bring along a proper map from which you measure distances.

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