Update: Analysis of the “Tenerife Incident”

I’ve been reviewing where my navigation skills let me down during last weekend’s ride.  As a retired Army Officer, land navigation is a point of honor for me (Not for the guys today, however.  They just use their GPS systems. Where’s the glory in that?  Pffft!) and I was bothered that I completely misread my map on Tenerife Road.  After completing a thorough analysis, I am pleased to report that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my ability to read maps.  However the same cannot be said of mapmyride.com’s ability to create them.

When planning my rides, I often use a website called www.mapmyrun.com.  It’s really user-friendly and allows you to plot a course on a street map.  Like other map sites such as Mapblast and Mapquest, mapmyrun allows you to zoom in/out and see satellite imagery in addition to traditional maps.  You can get elevation data and all sorts of good info for your prospective route.  Sadly, all this means little if the information it gives you is flat-out wrong.

Check out the mapmyrun depiction of Tenerife Road.  See how nice and unbroken it is?  Please pay particular attention to the portion of the road circled in red.

Now here is a depiction of the route taken from MapQuest.  Again, I draw your attention to the red circle.  See any difference?

Not cool, man.  Not cool.  It seems that some time after the Founding Fathers of Catlett, VA, built Tenerife Road somebody decided that it was no longer needed and they destroyed it.  How often does something like that happen?  Part of the road is now a local farmer’s driveway (which I rode on) and part of it was simply torn up.  You can see faint remnants of the road in this satellite imagery, provided by MapQuest:

Crazy stuff.  I am now forced to confront the possibility that every new route I create on mapmyrun contains fundamentally flawed data which could result in miles of wasted riding time, being chased by ravenous animals for no good reason, or both.  The site is so good I will probably keep using it, but an occasional spot check of the back roads is probably in order!

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4 thoughts on “Update: Analysis of the “Tenerife Incident”

  1. After reading this, I am reminded of the 6 P’s! I guess, from now on, you’ll have to do some more “prior planning”! 🙂

  2. You should know that GPS units and stuff like MapQuest, etc. are unreliable – reference the directions you gave me to Manassas on a certain street that I turned left on only to find out the road ended in 100ft. ha ha

  3. The term “ordinary” may be British but because colonial Virginia was British then it was a term familiar to any colonial Virginian and any student of Virginia history. It is not so much a hotel but more commonly a tavern some of which provided shelter. You might be interested to know that the Warren Green Hotel was the residence, for six months, of Wallis Warfield Spencer while she awaited her divorce. Ms. Spencer later became Wallis Simpson and then the Duchess of Windsor. Had you gone inside the building you would have found a small Wallis Spencer display, including the door to her room. Warrenton really didn’t lose business from a bypass in that they acquired a Subway, Petco, Harris Teeter, Borders, Ledos etc. long after the bypass went in. What business that has been lost is more from the recession than any bypass. So please set the record straight!

    • Thanks for your information, Wanda, although I suspect you didn’t mean to reply to this post. Since the markers are meant for the general public and not the subset consisting of students of Virginia history, I do believe a definition of the term would have been helpful. I was aware of Warren Green’s connection to Ms. Spencer but thought the McClellen connection was more significant and left it at that in the interest of conserving space. I attempted to enter the building but found it locked on account of the holiday. It is good to hear that Warrenton’s downtown businesses did not suffer from the bypass, although you may be surprised to learn this is precisely what the town’s Wikipedia entry states. That’s what I get for listening to Wikipedia! 🙂

      I enjoyed my ride to Warrenton very much and hope to make it back there again soon.

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