The Paper Round: The Best Route for a Marginal Gain

The current route (blue) is very inefficient because it doesn’t offload papers very quickly. It takes 4 units of distance (hops) to offload just 3 papers, and we still have 3 papers in the bag at H (hop 8) just 2 hops from the finish. If we take advantage of the fact that H is a block of flats where we delivery two papers, and head straight for that delivery (via D) then we can get rid of three papers in just two hops. This is the pink route on the map below.

Paper round best routeFrom H we cycle on to I, where we have a choice of routes to deliver the remaining five papers. Neither loop offloads papers faster than the other, so the decision here should be based on which offloads the heaviest paper/s first. E has the Telegraph, and J the Daily Mail if I recall, so lets take the loop that offloads the Telegraph first.

Bye the time we get to J (hop 8) we have delivered all our papers and have the luxury of cycling the final two hops with a paper free bag.

The marginal gains of the new route are probably best illustrated in a table.

Blue route Papers in bag Pink route Papers in bag
A
B
E
B
C
F
J
I
H
D
H
8
7
6
6
5
4
3
3
1
0
0
A
D
H
I
E
B
C
F
J
I
H
8
7
5
5
4
3
2
1
0
0
0
Hops = 10 Total Papers in bAG =  43 hOPS = 10 Total pAPERS IN BAG = 35

This may not look like a huge advantage, but remember these are the sort of ‘marginal gains’ British Cycling and Team Sky search for in the pursuit of Olympic gold and Tour de France glory. Just steer clear of the TUEs, unless you wake up with a bad cold!

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