The best of your emails: Wednesday July 13
Re: A nation hooked on flying
Footprint guide winner
Your recent features on the environmental costs of flying prompt me to tell this little story.
Last year, I rode my bicycle - emission-free and carbon neutral - 20,000 kilometres from England to China, and arrived feeling moderately pleased that I'd come quite a long way without pumping so much as an ounce of the polluting stuff into the atmosphere.
Then my partner flew out to meet me in Shanghai. A few weeks later, her parents decided they would make the most of us being there, so they came to check out China as well - via the plane. My mother and grandmother were not far behind. Then last month my sister popped over for a jet-propelled look-see, her boyfriend in tow. My partner's brother and his wife are expected in a week or two, and they won't be pedalling either.
As unintended consequences go, this one was pretty bad. One squeaky-clean intercontinental bike ride has ended up being responsible for no less than nine round-trip intercontinental air journeys.
In September, in an attempt to dry up the stream of airborne visitors (of all of whom I am very fond, I hasten to point out), I'll be getting back on my bike and riding home again. But without the smug eco-friendly grin on my face. And probably wearing sackcloth too.
It's a funny thing.
You send these emails in the middle of the night and forget all about them, and then next thing you know, you win a thumping great book.
Did the Guardian tell me about my letter-writing triumph? No. I only found out because I happened to be looking at my web access logs, and noticed that someone came to 2wheels by way of the Grauniad's traevl section.
Oh well. Perhaps I'll ask them to air-mail my prize out to me....