EFC Improvements

Well, I managed to improve my EFC time by 15 minutes, to 27 hours 21 minutes. As seems to be the case with most improvements, it happened with a paradigm shift – where instead of making minor improvements to an existing route, I just tried something new. And as also seems to usually be the case, the improvement happened pretty much by accident. I was browsing through an older route that I had created and noticed that one of the lines I had written 54 miles when really it was only 8 miles, which dropped the time from somewhere in the mid 28s to 27:48.

So I took that and used some of the things I’ve learned about routes, and was able to whittle the time down to 27:21. I varied it again and came up with a 27:32 route. The basic gist of this new route is instead of taking the Turnpike from OH 66 across the top of Ohio, I get off at OH 4 and take that down to the middle-western counties (Wyandot, Crawford, Hancock, Hardin, etc). A variation of this route I think was originally proposed by Jim, back in the day.

ETA I shaved another 15 minutes off of it by taking Hancock and Hardin from the west instead of the east. 27:06!

EFC Tests

Okay so I did some testing of my EFC route. One of my problems is that although I have estimated times for several different routes, I don’t have a very good way of determining if my estimates are accurate (other than driving and timing them). The way I do my estimates is that I classify each road I drive on as one of several different “types”, and then give each type an approximate average speed. For example, Interstates – 60 mph, Divided Hwys 50, State and US routes 40, etc. Then I multiply the distance * this average speed and add them all up and get my total estimate.

Anyways, I did some testing of a local portion of my route this afternoon. I am posting it here not only for your fun and amusement, but also to save it for posterity:

Got off 71 South at 11:12, with odometer ending in 7.5
Went straight at the offramp, curled around past Home Depot and turned right onto Fields Ertel Road. Drove on there for awhile, and passed Butler-Warren road (and thus into Butler county) at 11:17 (odometer 0.0). There was a business right there for my turning around convenience, and I was back on 71 south at 11:20 (1.9).

So total for the detour was 8 minutes and 4.4 miles, or approximately 33 mph. I had estimated 12 minutes for this (4 miles at 20 mph), so that’s good. I will point out that if I were to come the other way (from 71 northbound instead of southbound), I think it will take longer, as I’ll have to turn left off the off-ramp and then left onto Mason-Montgomery, and to get back on 71 north I’ll have to go past the 71S onramp, through the M-M intersection and then left across F-E. That might be a problem, especially at a high-traffic time.

EFC

For awhile now, some friends of mine have been planning a trip to try and visit all 88 Ohio Counties in 24 hours or less. This trip is code-named EFC (Every Freakin’ County). In any case, I would just like to report to all my loyal readers that I have come up with a route that can do it in 27 hours, 49 minutes (31 minutes faster than the previous best route). Still not 24 hours, but I have confidence it CAN be done.