LEJOG: Stage 2 | Launceston to Ilminster
Stage 2 saw a (still hilly) 90-mile ride through Devon and into Bens home county of somerset. Stage highlight was a quick stop for coffee at Coldharbour Mill in Uffculme. This particular mill is one of the oldest woollen mills in the UK having been in continuous production since 1797.
Originally owned by world-renowned textile producers Fox Brothers, the Mill took fleece from all over the world and transformed it into yarn, cloth and textiles. It was a beautiful red brick collection of buildings set amongst some gardens tended by volunteer workers and mill staff. It was nice to see such a building preserved and still in operation, avoiding the more typical conversion or demolition. It reminded us both of a PAD studio’s project, Lister Tower in the New Forest. A similarly historic utilitarian building which was lovingly restored and turned into accommodation for the clients.
Stage 3 | Ilminster to Gloucester
Continuous rain was the order of the day on stage 3. Wet and cold for most of the 100 miles which prompted us both to take our minds off the riding by contemplating the co2 and sustainability impacts of driving vs riding the length of Britain.
With a few internet searches (so please take our statistics lightly!) we calculated that, if we took Bens car, a Bluemotion VW Passat it would discharge approx. 250kg of Co2 to do the 1000 mile trip (www.nextgreencar.com). According to an article in The Guardian by Mike Berners-Lee cycling generally contributes 50 grams of co2 to go one mile on a bike including embodied co2 of the bike, fuel (food) and equipment. If we’re doing 1000 miles it’s 50kg of co2 total. That’s 200kg less than the car! Interestingly Mike does make the point that we do have to think about the journey holistically; where our food has come from to fuel us and the materials or clothing that we may use. Certainly, the food could make a big difference to the Co2 output.
Not only do we have the benefits of lower Co2 cycling has a positive impact on our mental well-being, enjoyment, health and making new friends. The one negative output is the result of sitting on a saddle for several hours a day!